Compliance Week 2016Today I conclude my celebration of progressive rock by looking at the greatest prog rock single of all-time, which, of course, is Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, written by Freddie Mercury. It was written for the band’s 1975 studio album A Night at the Opera. It is a six-minute suite, consisting of several sections without a chorus: an intro, a ballad segment, an operatic passage, a hard rock part and a reflective coda and “was the most expensive single ever made at the time of its release.”

The song was a huge commercial success, staying at the top of the UK Singles Chart for nine weeks and selling more than a million copies by the end of January 1976. It reached number one again in 1991 for another five weeks when the same version was re-released, eventually becoming the UK’s third best-selling single of all time. In 1977, it was awarded the top UK single for the first 25 years of rock and roll. In 2004, Bohemian Rhapsody was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

What makes it the greatest prog rock single of all-time? Was it the intro, with it’s a capella singing; the ballad with its opening line, Mama, just killed a man; the booming guitar solo of Sir Brian May; the opera section, vocal multi-tracking, depicting the narrator’s descent into hell; the hard-rock nature of some of it or the ending, with its iconic final line he final line, Any way the wind blows, followed by the quiet sound of a large tam-tam that finally expels the tension built up throughout the song? I think it is that the whole is far greater than the sum of the parts.

One of the top compliance conferences, which truly is greater as a whole than the sum of its parts, is the annual Compliance Week conference. This year is no exception and it will be held again at the Mayflower Hotel, in Washington DC, May 23-25. Compliance Week Editor in Chief, Bill Coffin, and his team have put together a program that carries on the tradition from immediate past EIC Matt Kelly. The program is excellent and I hope you will plan to attend this year.

The keynote speeches once again showcase the cutting edge of some of the most important topics in the compliance world these days. They include “Are We Defining Effectiveness Correctly?” where there will be a review of current standards and where the Department of Justice (DOJ) may be headed with its new Compliance Counsel; an interesting look at “The Unsolvable Problem: Performance, Pay, Pressure, and Misconduct” where Richard Bistrong will bring his always interesting perspective together with Marc Hodak, Adjunct Professor of Business Ethics at NYU-Stern, and Michael Shaw, Vice President (VP) and Compliance Officer at GSK US. Another very interesting and timely presentation will be to review “What Went Wrong at FIFA” headed by Michael Hershman, President of the Fairfax Group. And finally, for those who do not believe the compliance profession has developed over the past 10 years, Donna Boehme and Pat Gnazzo will speak on “The Maturing of a Profession: The Rise of Compliance 2.0”.

There will be a number of sessions developed to specific programs to enhance your own compliance proficiency and your company’s program as well. Here sessions include information on “The Art and Science of Measuring Program Effectiveness”, where you will hear about how to identify the types of data available and apply insight to the metrics to create the story around effectiveness; in the “Continual Monitoring and Mitigation of Your Third-Party Risk” session, there will be a discussion on how to institute frameworks and processes that will continue effective compliance monitoring and risk mitigation beyond the contract signing, including political change and new business relationships – and how they affect the risk profiles of your business partners; one session near and dear to my heart is an area I have been writing about for some time, “Applying COSO to Internal Control, ERM, Ethics and More”. Another interesting sessions appears to be “Behavioral Research: From the Lab to the Field” where you will learn how to move research from the lab to the field to help create a more effective compliance and ethics program in your organization.

One of the most emerging issues in both compliance and the corporate world generally is cyber security and privacy. There will be sessions on both areas. They include: “Cyber Fraud: The Human Element” where you will learn how to protect your data, corporate intelligence and reputation and “Developments in Cybersecurity Compliance: Regulation and Best Practices” in which you learn about not only how regulators are now holding companies responsible for the security of personal data and sensitive corporate intelligence but also hear about best practices in preventing and responding to data breaches. Finally, in the in the area of data privacy, is a session entitled “Managing Data Protection Rules in a Data-Driven World” where you will gain insight into managing a global business with the ever-changing data privacy regulations around the world and how compliance officers can run programs facing those challenges.

Lastly, for those who desire a smaller, more intimate and into the weeds look into certain areas, I highly recommend the Tuesday morning Topic-Specific Breakfasts which this year include: Meet the Editor with Bill Coffin, FCPA Update With Tom Fox, New to C&E, Audit Update With Tammy Whitehouse, and Performance and Incentives Part II. There will, of course, be the focused Conversations, which once again bring focused experts to lead a conversation on important topics and topical issues. This year’s Conversations include: Effective Compliance at Small Companies, Doing Business in Africa and the Middle East, Benchmarking Your Ethics and Compliance Program, Doing Business in China and Aligning Compliance Risk Assessments to Your Business. These are all not to be missed sessions.

There will also be a wealth of vendors in both the product and service space all there to meet you. In the not to be passed up department is the chance to meet and interact with your peers at the catered breakfast each morning, the always tasty morning and afternoon breaks and the Sunday night opening event get together and the Monday evening cocktail receipt. You should never pass up the opportunity to meet and share ideas and questions with your industry peers.

Readers of this blog can receive a $200 discount to Compliance Week 2016 by entering the Code CW16FOX when registering. For registration and conference, information click here. I look forward to seeing you there.

I hope you have enjoyed my exploration of my favorite prog rock albums and songs as much as I have enjoyed writing about them.

To listen to the studio version of Bohemian Rhapsody on YouTube click here.



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© Thomas R. Fox, 2016