Featured Articles:

Connecting with Your Employees – What is Your Company’s Purpose?

Companies are getting on the bandwagon – corporate culture matters.  Business ethics is important.  My worry is whether this new acknowledgement is viewed as a short-cut for compliance investment. CEOs and the board are troubled by (and even resisting) the resources needed to implement an effective compliance program.  Unfortunately, this attitude reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the importance of an ethical culture and robust compliance...

Compliance and the Attorney-Client Privilege

Chief compliance officers have to work closely with the chief legal officer or general counsel on a number of important issues.  In certain circumstances, CCOs  have to be mindful of the importance of the company’s ability to assert the attorney-client privilege.  While CCOs tend to lean in favor of disclosure and transparency as an important principle in promoting a company’s compliance program, there are a...

Compliance Needs to Understand Business

A chief compliance officer needs to be independent and have adequate authority within the organization.  But do not get confused by the concept of independence.  Compliance depends on collaborative relationships with other corporate functions. Most importantly, a compliance program’s success depends on its ability to embrace the company’s business.  To do so, the compliance staff has to learn and understand the company’s business inside and...

Sapin II and French Anti-Corruption Enforcement

As more countries enter into the anti-corruption enforcement world, companies face exponential risks of detection and enforcement. Recently, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein has commented on the need to avoid unfair enforcement actions by multiple jurisdiction based on a single course of conduct.  This approach has been reflected in FCPA enforcement actions involving multiple countries and resulting in division of fines and penalties. The United States...

The SEC Targets ICOs for Enforcement

I am always amazed at how “business” entrepreneurs ignore enforcement risks in the face of specific warnings from regulators.    The SEC and the CFTC have made it clear to the emerging initial coin offering (ICO) and cryptocurrency markets that they intend to vigorously monitor and enforce securities and commodities regulations against the burgeoning industry. Yet, the latest vehicle for scams continue unabated, driven by greed...

Episode 29 — Building Blocks for an Effective Due Diligence Program (Part II of III)

Companies continue to face significant risks from their third parties.  In response, companies are implementing sophisticated due diligence and third party risk management systems.  FCPA enforcement risks are only one of several risks created by a company’s third parties.  Companies have to screen and review their third parties for corruption, sanctions, money laundering, antitrust, human trafficking, child labor and reputational risks. In this three-part series,...

Five Questions for Corporate Boards on Oversight of Compliance

Let’s face it – corporate boards are not adept at overseeing a company’s compliance program.  In the absence of a board member who has prior compliance expertise, corporate boards either ignore or struggle to fulfill their compliance oversight responsibilities. Corporate governance performance is suffering from this serious gap between compliance responsibilities and compliance capabilities.  Corporate boards are under increasing pressure to improve their performance, including...

Governments Begin to Embrace Cryptocurrency

Matt Stankiewicz, an Associate at The Volkov Law Group, joins us to discuss global regulation of cryptocurrencies.  Matt can be reached at mstankiewicz@volkovlaw.com. The world is abuzz about cryptocurrency.  By this point, most everyone has heard of Bitcoin, and may even know about some of the other big players in the world such as Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, and countless others.  The technical specifics may be...

A New Holistic Model for Internal Controls Management (Part II of II)

Companies have to embrace a holistic management approach to their internal controls.  In the corporate governance world, a new approach is needed to develop a more rational and consistent method for managing your company’s internal controls. This is not a radical proposal but a rational response to the enforcement risks and the need for consistency across an organization. Let’s start with a basic set up. ...

Time to Review and Revise Your Internal Controls (Part I of II)

Laws control the lesser man — right conduct controls the greater one – Mark Twain A company’s internal controls define the backbone of its operations, encompassing financial, operational and compliance functions. The FCPA defines requirements for publicly-traded companies to implement internal controls, including compliance controls.  Under the internal controls requirements, issuers must devise and maintain a system of internal accounting controls sufficient to assure management’s...