Tagged: CCO

DOJ’s Pilot Program – The Five Factors Designed to Nurture the Compliance Function

Perhaps the most positive and important aspect of the FCPA Pilot Program was the announcement of forward-looking and innovative remediation requirements for corporate compliance programs. As an aside, DOJ’s FCPA Pilot Program was a disappointment and failed to deliver meaningful incentives for companies to self-disclose FCPA violations to the Justice Department. The difference between 25, 50 and 75 percent from the bottom of the sentencing...

Addressing AML Risks in the Era of Aggressive Enforcement

The resurgence in anti-money laundering enforcement in the last few years reflects the overall improvement in the banking industry and recovery from the financial collapse. Federal prosecutors and regulators have renewed their interest in AML compliance lapses, particularly in the area of sanctions/OFAC violations. FinCEN, the primary regulatory agency responsible for enforcement, has both diversified its targets and increased its enforcement efforts. For years, FinCEN...

Do Former Prosecutors Make Good CCOs?

A number of companies have adopted the requirement that a new Chief Compliance Office come from the ranks of former federal prosecutors. I am not sure exactly why companies have adopted this requirement. Perhaps company leaders think this will give the company an advantage when dealing with the Justice Department or the SEC. With full disclosure here, I admit my bias in favor of federal...

Getting Back to Basics: CCOs and Independence

Chief compliance officers continue to enjoy these heady days – salaries are up and new opportunities are popping up in the corporate world. CCOs have to keep their eye on the ball. It is well and good to get a good salary, a nice office, and a title, but there is an important requirement that cannot be overlooked – independence. The trend over the last...

CCOs: Living in the Land of False Promises

We all have heard the scenario involving a compliance professional. A new CCO joins a company with promises from the board, the CEO and senior executives of cooperation, compensation and support for a robust independent compliance function. The new CCO arrives with an idealistic spirit only to discover that he or she has been misled. Sure, the CCO has a title, and a nice salary,...

Your Company’s Compliance Program is Finished – April Fools

Happy April Fool’s Day! Could you ever imagine coming to work one day and realizing that you have “finished” your ethics and compliance program? There is nothing left to do. You can go home. Ohhhh, if only it was so. We all know the truth – a compliance program is never finished, never completed and there is always something to do. This gets us back...

Writing Effective and Clear Compliance Policies

In the press of compliance priorities, chief compliance officers have to prioritize what is important and what is not. In some respects, the task of a CCO is a continuous loop of prioritizing tasks. CCOs know that the job is never done – once a set of tasks is done, there is always a new list of tasks that need to be prioritized. One of...

Is Your Anti-Corruption Compliance Program “Operational”?

The Justice Department and the SEC are tired of investigating companies with “paper” compliance programs. It is easy to spot a “paper” compliance program – as the saying goes, you can smell it a mile away. The key distinguishing feature of an effective compliance program and a “paper” program can be distilled down to the question of whether the program is “operational.” Hui Chen, the...

Cyber Security Compliance: The Role of the CCO

For years, cyber security has been the province of IT specialist and technicians. Those days are long gone. If you ask a Board of Directors to identify a company’s most significant risk – cyber security is tops. That is no big surprise. When you consider the consequences of a cyber intrusion or a more likely breach, companies suffer serious reputational and financial harm. Directors, senior...

Defining Business Ethics

One of the more frustrating topics for discussion is defining business ethics. It is frustrating to see how complex and unhelpful the discussion turns when defining business ethics. I have two tests for how to deal with this issue. Do you use simple terms that can be easily communicated internally in a company? Do the terms embrace the kind of values important to the company?...