Category: General

Société Générale Pays $1.4 Billion for Systemic Sanctions Violations

Société Générale (“SocGen”) entered into two deferred prosecution agreements (“DPA”) (here) and agreed to pay $1.34 billion in penalties (here): $717 million to the Justice Department; $325 million to New York’s Department of Financial Services “DFS”); $163 million to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office; $81 million to the U.S. Federal Reserve; and $54 million to the U.S Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”).  The...

Effective Compliance is More than the Sum of a Program’s Parts

The beauty of an effective ethics and compliance program is captured in the well-known phrase that it is worth much more than the sum of its parts. I am reminded of the Beatles refrain, “All Together Now,” (HERE) which is an apt reminder of the importance of operationalizing an ethics and compliance program.  Frankly, the life of an ethics and compliance program depends on the...

Behavioral Studies and Compliance

I am not a cynic when it comes to looking at the latest “fads” in compliance.  Please do not get me wrong.  Compliance is a fast-evolving field that is quickly moving beyond the limited perspective of legal into a new territory, coined by Donna Boehme (here), the subject-matter expert (“SME”). Donna has a great point – lawyers and other professionals cannot just willy-nilly decree themselves...

Michael Volkov on FCPA Compliance Report Podcast and Compliance Next

Tom Fox recently posted a conversation on his blog, FCPA Compliance Report, reviewing FCPA enforcement practices and policies over the last five years, culminating in the FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy. The podcast is available here. NAVEX Global’s compliance online community, Compliance Next, has posted a video I recorded on responding to potential misconduct.  The video is available here. Thanks for your continuing support!!

Ethics and Compliance Initiative Report: The Importance of Ethics Communications and Accountability

The Ethics and Compliance Initiative (“ECI”) continues to publish important surveys and studies.  In a recent report (available here), the ECI cited important research from its Q3 Global Business Ethics Survey (“GBES”) demonstrating the value of ethical communications and trust in an organization.  In particular, the ECI study found that: Employees are 11 times more likely to speak up when faced with witnessing wrongdoing in...

NAVEX Global Research Demonstrates Correlation Between Business Performance and Hotline System

NAVEX Global continues to publish important research and guidance on ethics and compliance program (benchmark reports for hotline systems here, third-party risk management systems here, and policies and procedure management here). In an interesting new report (here), NAVEX Global enlisted Professor Kyle Welch from George Washington University’s Business School to analyze years of NAVEX Global’s hotline data.  Professor Welch was given access to over ten...

Where Has All the Money Gone? Longtime Passing, Oh Where Has it Gone?

Compliance officers have enough challenges.  Most compliance officers, if you ask them, will candidly admit they are constantly putting out fires.  It is just part of the profession and comes with the territory. I hate to add to their burden but here goes anyway – companies face serious financial risks: I do not mean in the profitability way but in the fact that employee misconduct...

The Goldman Sachs 1MDB Scandal: The Doctrine of Respondeat Superior

As Goldman Sachs continues to navigate its way through the 1MDB investigation and prosecution, there is no question that the media is beginning to focus on who at Goldman Sachs knew about the bribery activity (or should have known) and what liability, if any, Goldman Sachs will incur as a result. At the outset, it is important to remember what facts have been disclosed so...

The Tangible Benefits of a Positive Ethical Culture

We all enjoy citing Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s famous description relating to obscene materials, “I know it when I see it.” To apply this maxim in the corporate compliance field does not take much imagination.  Let’s start with the most important corporate control for any organization – its culture? How do we define a positive culture of ethics and compliance?  We can throw out...

Human Resources and Criminal Antitrust Prosecutions

As companies seek to attract talented employees in a competitive market, Human Resource officers have to be aware of and avoid serious potential antitrust risks.  The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division has put everyone on notice – corporations will be criminally prosecuted if they enter into anti-competitive agreements with competitors concerning hiring and retention of employees. The Antitrust Division and the FTC have prosecuted companies under...