The FCPA Blog is the Godfather of all compliance blogs. It was founded 11 years ago and is recognized as one of the top sources for all things Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and compliance related. The FCPA Blog has had more than 350 individual contributors over that time and as a Contributing Editor to the site, I am proud to have been one of that number. Today, it continues to be as vibrant as it has ever been. When you read the FCPA Blog this morning you will see another name (not new – more on that later) on the masthead as Harry Cassin is now the Publisher and Editor.
Dick Cassin envisioned the FCPA Blog as an international bulletin board for all persons wanting to comment upon or learn about the FCPA and compliance and ethics. Dick certainly succeeded in creating a community space where people can post their ideas and learn about a wide variety of compliance topics, multiple times a day. If you read my blog but do not read and subscribe to the FCPA Blog, I can only suggest you go over to that site and sign up for their daily emails now.
As the FCPA Blog is the Godfather of all compliance blogs this makes Dick Cassin the Godfather of all compliance commentators. He was the first person who consistently wrote and talked about ethics and compliance in the context of anti-corruption enforcement under the FCPA. I once interviewed Dick about why he started the FCPA Blog and he responded, “My main professional interest is the FCPA — what it means, how to comply with it, how it’s enforced. That’s what I wanted to read about and talk about. But six years ago, there was no daily source of FCPA-related news and information. I started posting some ideas to share with clients and friends. And that eventually became the FCPA Blog. My aim then was to deliver practical information accessible to anyone. That’s why the posts are written in plain English, and most are fairly short. That’s still the objective. But the scope has broadened. Posts now deal with any aspect of corruption, enforcement, and compliance.”
The FCPA Blog has become the virtual watercooler in cyberspace as many practitioners have come together to consider issues raised in the FCPA Blog over the years. But more than simply fostering discussion, the FCPA Blog has led to professional relationships which fostered long friendships. For instance I met Scott Moritz through his guest post on the FCPA Blog back in 2009 and I am proud to call him a friend to this day. I have met and corresponded with numerous others, all because Dick provided a platform for us to share our views and discuss them with the greater compliance community.
Dick’s voice has consistently been an advocate for the compliance profession and compliance programs. Just this year, in a post entitled “The Big Story of 2018: Compliance Officers”, he said that the true rock stars in the corporate world now are compliance professionals. He wrote, “It was a breakout year for compliance officers and compliance professionals, making them the big story of 2018. As I said mid-year, they’re rock stars now, famous and wanted.” This is because compliance is the key to navigating everything from the FCPA to sanctions to #MeToo. Sadly, we still see companies humbled in the international press, with the share prices pummeled for failing to heed the clear warnings Dick has led over these past 11 years to increase your corporate compliance and ethics.
Yet I found some of Dick’s most powerful blog posts came when he wrote from the heart. A prime example was when he wrote about President Kennedy on the anniversary of his assassination in 2013, in a blog post entitled “And So the Legend of Camelot Was born”. It nearly moved me to tears.
Dick was not only the first but he is the most generous person in allowing others to write and speak about compliance. It was Dick who gave me the first opportunity to guest post on the FCPA Blog and it was Dick, who after seeing my guest posts, encouraged me to begin my own blog. Finally, it was Dick who encouraged me to take my career a step further by publishing my first book and providing me the forum to do so. And I am far from alone in those Dick Cassin has helped, encouraged and supported over these past 11 years.
Yet my story is just one of many as other great compliance commentators, Mike Volkov is one who comes to mind, got their start submitting blog posts to the FCPA Blog. This led Mike to write several books and found his own blog. Dick’s generosity in encouraging all members of the worldwide compliance community to participate is well-known. Simply put, no single other person has encouraged and connected as many compliance practitioners to participate in the ongoing compliance discussion as has Dick Cassin through his FCPA Blog.
Now Harry Cassin takes over as Publisher and Editor. I can think of no person more well-suited to carry on as the leader of the FCPA Blog. No doubt Harry will put his own stamp on the FCPA Blog. I cannot wait to see where he will take both it and all of us in the compliance community.
Thank you, Dick.
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© Thomas R. Fox, 2019