Tagged: Ethics and Compliance

Karin Sweigart Joins The Volkov Law Group

I am excited to announce the addition of Karin Sweigart as a new Senior Associate at The Volkov Law Group. When I launched the firm, I was committed to providing high-quality ethics and compliance, and enforcement defense services. With the help of my existing members we have been fortunate to grow and develop our services and capabilities.  I am proud to announce that Karin Sweigart...

Five Major Compliance Predictions for 2018

When you look back on the rise of the ethics and compliance profession, you cannot ignore the history of accomplishments.  It is easy to minimize these accomplishments as a reaction to the government’s aggressive FCPA enforcement program. Companies are starting to embrace ethics and compliance as a positive force to build sustainable financial growth – which is the true calling of a robust ethics and...

Putting Ethics Back Into Compliance (Part IV of IV)

My final posting on this week’s ethics series is a call to action for all compliance professionals. Every compliance officer should insist on and embrace a title – “Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer.” Some larger organizations have a separate ethics officer, and I am not suggesting to merge the positions. Every company should have a chief ethics officer, either as a separate function or as...

A CCO’s Challenge: How to Convince a CEO to Embrace Compliance

A Chief Compliance Officer faces many challenges in designing and implementing an effective ethics and compliance program. If a CCO conducts appropriate due diligence before joining the company, he will know the challenges he is facing. All too often, I hear of CCOs who join a company based on numerous promises and representations by the CEO, the board and senior managers about the importance of...

Wells Fargo’s Desperate Need for a Compliance and Business Ethics Function (Part III of III)

While reading the independent directors’ report on the Wells Fargo sales incentives scandal, you will be overwhelmed by the feeling of frustration. At the same time, what is described in the report is the extent to which every control function came up against the problem staring them in the face – Wells Fargo’s sales incentive program was out of control. Notwithstanding the 20-20 hindsight pictured...

Legal and Compliance Coordination – An Essential Foundation to an Effective Compliance Program (Part IV of IV)

Here is a profound grasp of the obvious – Lawyers can be difficult people. Some like to condemn the profession in its entirety (and carry with them a collection of lawyer jokes). As an attorney, I beg to differ. Many professions include and reward difficult people. For example, CEOs have the highest incidence of psychopathy among professionals. Lawyers are no different and expected to zealously...

When Tone at the Top Is Missing

We all tend to gloss over a critical requirement for an effective ethics and compliance program – tone-at-the-top. I hate to be dogmatic about the issue but, as Mel Brooks said in the Curb Your Enthusiasm (Season 4, Episode 1), “You either got it or you ain’t.” The same is true for the board, CEO and senior executive commitment to ethics and compliance. Every Chief...

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...

Yates, Whistleblowers and FCPA Pilot Project: Re-Examining Your Internal investigation Protocols

Companies face an ever-changing constellation of risks, enforcement priorities and demands for internal controls and compliance program elements. As more resources are poured into government enforcement programs, companies have to “reinvent” compliance programs to incorporate new priorities and demands. Many companies have established complaint systems and internal investigation programs to conduct routine and serious investigation. In most cases, these systems do not adequately address whistleblower...

Third Party Risk Management Not Just Due Diligence

The term “due diligence” is an overused expression in the compliance world. It has become a term to mean heightened concern or investigation. No one can really define what it means except to say it has different meanings in different contexts. Some would say it is a term of art in the legal and compliance world. It is misleading to add the term “investigation” to...