Tagged: Company culture

Insights from Recent NAVEX Global and KPMG Surveys

Chief compliance officers are always hungry for benchmarking data, for comparisons and insights around how their respective compliance programs stack up against other companies, especially in the same industry.  Compliance professionals, as a general rule, are collaborative and willing to share information with each other.  CCOs are an optimistic lot and enjoy sharing best practices, ideas and insights in order to further the ethics and...

Company Kool-Aid, Misconduct and a Misfiring Corporate Culture

We all know (and repeat every day) that corporate cultures reflect social trends and pressures.  Companies face extraordinary political and social pressures, and this translates into its corporate workforce. Without being overly dramatic, we are witnessing a fundamental social decay in belief in our institutions.  This is not a recent phenomenon – it has accelerated over the last twenty years, and interestingly, has fluctuated over...

FCPA Enforcement Actions and Reputational Damage

If you ask members of a corporate board or senior executives about the cost of an FCPA enforcement action, they will candidly acknowledge all of the costs – fines, penalties, and professional costs (e.g. legal, accounting, forensic). These are significant costs and nothing to sneeze or laugh at (however the expression goes). In a moment of candor the board members and C-Suite executives will confess...

Creating a Valuable Training “Program”

We all know the scene but choose to ignore it – a senior employee or manager is taking an online training course and is talking on the phone, writing emails and basically ignoring the training session. Why? Because it has no importance to the employee’s job. It is irrelevant but something he or she has to complete. A check the box task if ever there...

Responsible Corporate Officers’ Jail Sentences Upheld in Selling Contaminated Eggs

In an important decision, on July 6, 2016, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the prison sentences imposed on Jack DeCoster, and his son, Peter, under the “responsible corporate officer” doctrine (aka Park doctrine) for their role in distributing eggs tainted by salmonella. (Here). In 2010, approximately 56,000 persons fell ill from salmonella after eating contaminated eggs. The outbreak was eventually traced back to...

Train Your Board and C-Suite Now – The Under-Education of Corporate Leadership

The next time we read about a train wreck of corporate malfeasance – be it in the anti-corruption, money laundering, financial reporting or any other space you can think of – please do not shrug your shoulders and shake your head from side to side. Instead, let’s consider how the board and senior management handled the specific matter, why they failed to address any concerns...

Defining the Compliance Mission – More Than Just Preventing Violations

I am not one to beg but I have decided I have nothing to lose here – please, when it comes to compliance, everyone has to adopt a new mantra. The purpose of compliance is not to prevent legal and code of conduct violations. Such a purpose is way too limited in scope and almost guarantees failure, because at one time or another, company employees...

A Rush to Compliance: Patience is a Virtue

Compliance officers are, by definition, goal driven. They are high achievers and expect to succeed. So what. You may say – we all know that. Compliance officers are not the most patient group of people. They want to see change, improvement and action. Patience is not in their blood, nor is it their middle name(s). Unless a CCO is directed by the board or the...

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...