Welcome to the only roundtable podcast in compliance. This week’s episode was is dedicated to considering one article which recently appeared in the New York Times, entitled, “Trump Administration Spares Corporate Wrongdoers Billions in Penalties”. Each panelist considers the piece and its underlying principals from their own perspective.

  1. Jonathan Armstrong considers whether or not the US is losing its role as the global anti-corruption policeman? If it is, will another country step up to take its place? Jonathan rants about UK politicians meddling in UK criminal prosecutions and criminal procedure.
  1. Mike Volkov considers what, if anything does the article tell you about DOJ enforcement priorities? How do priorities change from administration to administration? What does that mean for line and career prosecutors? Mike gives a shout out to US voters who turned out in record numbers in the recent mid-term elections.
  1. Matt Kelly considers the enforcement angle from the SEC or other regulatory bodies notably the Federal Reserve and Office of the Currency. Matt give a very large tip of the hat in his shout out to shareholder activist extraordinaire Evelyn Davis who recently passed away.
  1. Jay Rosen who works as a vendor during in the ethics and compliance space, considers the article from his perspective. He explores such questions as are companies spending less because of enforcement or is corporate compliance is as robust as ever? Jay has a heavy heart this week in remembering the victims of the massacres at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburg and the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, CA.

For additional reading see the following from Cordery Compliance:

http://www.corderycompliance.com/client-alert-rolls-royce-case-sends-a-strong-signal/

http://www.corderycompliance.com/new-sfo-director-assumes-office-2-2/

http://www.corderycompliance.com/brexit-and-compliance-2/

http://www.corderycompliance.com/client-alert-skansen-linked-executives-jailed-for-bribery-in-uk/

The members of the Everything Compliance panelist are:

  • Jay Rosen– Jay is Vice President, Business Development Corporate Monitoring at Affiliated Monitors. Rosen can be reached at JRosen@affiliatedmonitors.com
  • Mike Volkov– One of the top FCPA commentators and practitioners around and the Chief Executive Officer of The Volkov Law Group, LLC. Volkov can be reached at mvolkov@volkovlawgroup.com.
  • Matt Kelly– Founder and CEO of Radical Compliance. Kelly can be reached at mkelly@radicalcompliance.com
  • Jonathan Armstrong– Rounding out the panel is our UK colleague, who is an experienced lawyer with Cordery in London. Armstrong can be reached at armstrong@corderycompliance.com

The host and producer (and sometime panelist) of Everything Compliance is Tom Fox the Compliance Evangelist. Everything Compliance is a part of the Compliance Podcast Network.

Over this podcast series, I visit with Vin DiCianni, founder and President of Affiliated Monitors, Inc. (AMI) and Eric Feldman, Senior Vice President of AMI. We consider the global view of ethics, compliance and corporate culture of non-US companies, outside the US; in both their home countries and in other countries where they do business. AMI does independent integrity monitoring in multiple countries outside the US and for many non-US organizations. This work has given them a unique vantage point to observe developments. In this Part III, I discuss trends in ethics and compliance programs in Spain with DiCianni.

DiCianni noted that corruption has been a long-standing problem for the country. However the government has moved to address this problem. This has led to a great interest in compliance programs, leading to more robust ethics and compliance in organizations. This is in the face of no real government enforcement efforts. It seems that organizations are looking to implement a compliance program literally for themselves. Further, they are doing so to help themselves move to a proactive level of compliance rather than simply reactive.Two areas that interest me about working with and traveling to countries outside the US are the local compliance practitioners. The first is that compliance professionals outside the US are very enthusiastic about the compliance practice and the compliance profession. Moreover, they really believe in compliance and ethics and that they can make a difference inside of a corporation to help change an entire country’s culture. The second observation is that I see a lot of people directly out of college in their mid-twenties with this enthusiasm for compliance going into the compliance field.

DiCianni certainly agreed with the first observation. He said, “compliance officers, once they take on that role and they understand the importance of it and they understand how compliance is being used by other companies. I saw that firsthand in almost everyone that was in the Madrid and Bilboa AMI roundtables I led. It is very palpable to see how much they really like the compliance function. People never want to go back to their old roles. They really liked the compliance role and helping the company.” He disagreed with my observation on the youth. He found that most of the compliance professionals he met, came from other corporate disciplines such as the legal department. This was certainly the path I took and the path for many in the compliance profession here in the US.

From the corporate perspective, one of the things DiCianni has observed is multi-national companies bringing compliance into Spanish corporate culture. From there they are driving compliance through their supply chain and other third-party relationships. DiCianni observed another interesting driver for compliance in Spain is that both law and accounting firms are pushing their clients to invest in compliance programs.

DiCianni concluded by noting that while compliance is a concept that many practitioners and corporations are comfortable with, the values-based ethics portion that has taken hold in other countries is not as prevalent in Spain. Things like a whistleblower hotline, how it is supposed to work and how it is supposed to be effective is really not considered. In their area of training, there is a plethora of computer-based training but not the type of training which makes it more topical for people. He observed that when “you talk to people about ethics, it’s really a new concept for them. They understand compliance and complying with the rules, but ethics is something different.” Even most compliance professionals have not received any instruction  about ethics. He concluded that in many ways “it’s sort of a new concept for them.”

Tomorrow we consider developments in independent integrity monitoring through international enforcement.

For more information on how an independent monitor can help improve your company’s ethics and compliance program, visit our sponsor Affiliated Monitors at www.affiliatedmonitors.com.

In this episode, I visit with Margaret Johnson, the author of the book from From SOS to WOW. This book can help you to move your leadership skills to a new level through by helping you bust through assumptions, unleash your creative ideas and take courageous action to finally make the move to where you really want to be personally or professionally. Johnson is a long-time business leadership coach who shares some of the techniques she uses to help folks achieve greater results in business and in life.

NOVEMBER 14, 2018 BY TOM FOX

In today’s edition of Daily Compliance News:

  • Creating jobs not a defense to FCPA violations. (FCPA Blog)
  • Bad Blood wins FT Financial Book of the Year. (Financial Times)
  • Creating jobs not a defense to FCPA violations. (FCPA Blog)
  • In a win for fairness both Google and Facebook end forced arbitration for sexual harassment claims? (Washington Post)
  • Jay Clayton worries companies are understating the Brexit effect. (Wall Street Journal)

In this podcast series, I visit with Vin DiCianni, founder and President of Affiliated Monitors, Inc. (AMI) and Eric Feldman, Senior Vice President of AMI. We consider the global view of ethics, compliance and corporate culture of non-US companies, outside the US; in both their home countries and in other countries. AMI does independent integrity monitoring in multiple countries outside the US and for many non-US organizations. This work has given them a unique vantage point to observe developments. In this Part II, I discuss international enforcement trends with Feldman.

Eric Feldman noted that the US has led most of the enforcement efforts because of the long-standing role of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) as one of the earliest anti-corruption laws. US enforcement has also been the most aggressive across the globe. However over the past five years or so the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)  have worked to train a cadre of prosecutors in enforcement techniques and tactics to fight the international scourge of bribery and corruption.

This cross-training steered by US prosecutors led to several immediate and longer-term impacts. The most obvious and initial impact was the cooperation by prosecutors and regulators, literally across the globe. One need only review each DOJ or SEC Press Release announcing a FCPA prosecution and the non-US agencies who provided assistance are listed near the bottom. The cooperation began during the Obama Administration but has continued under the Trump Administration and Sessions-led DOJ. Feldman noted that he has seen more cooperation in the investigations and international enforcement front and a sharing of the penalties in several cases. This began as the one Pie model where there would be ‘one pie’ of penalties for an organization. The name has evolved into the anti-piling policy.

The aggressiveness of US prosecutions led to the US penalizing many non-US based companies and keeping the vast lion’s share of the financial penalties. Simply look at the current Top Ten in all time FCPA enforcement cases and you will see that only two of the top ten are US based companies. In addition to the cross training listed above, many countries wanted to get in on the financial penalty action. This has led to many large anti-corruption fines and penalties being shared by multiple countries since 2016. This includes Odebrecht/Braskem, with $2.6bn shared between the US, Switzerland and Brazil; Petrobras with $1.78bn shared between the US and Brazil; Telia Company, with $965MM shared by the US and Sweden; Alstom, with $814MM shared between the US and Switzerland; Rolls-Royce, with $809MM shared between the UK, US and Brazil; VimpelCom, with $795MM shared between the US and The Netherlands; and SocGen, with $585MM shared between the US and France.

Feldman pointed to the specific example of Singapore, where over the last couple of years have had the instance of Keppel Offshore being prosecuted by DOJ for corruption under the FCPA. This was very embarrassing to the government of Singapore because while Singapore always had corruption laws on the books it did not have a big method of enforcing them. Then two years ago, Singapore passed legislation requiring DPAs as an alternative mechanism for settling those types of international corruption cases. Now DPAs are a part of the landscape for anti-corruption prosecutions in Singapore. Just across the straits in Malaysia, the country passed tougher anti-corruption laws as well. All of this means from Feldman’s perspective that both investigations and enforcement are up in a much wider variety of countries combatting bribery and corruption.

As to where all of this enforcement may be heading, Feldman noted the DOJ model of enforcement has been fairly consistent. The basic level of enforcement and theory that the US will continue going forward to enforce the FCPA is fairly high. Feldman believes that the cooperation which began in the earlier part of the decade will continue, particularly between DOJ and the SFO, when it comes to the UK Bribery Act. This may be even more so with the new Director of the SFO, who is a former DOJ prosecutor and has an “American understanding and acceptance of enforcement of these laws, as an accepted way of doing business. I think is going to move the SFO to even more aggressive enforcement going down the road.”

The bottom line is that even if the US somehow or for some reason dialed back its prosecutions under the FCPA, there are multiple international enforcement agencies who stand ready to pick up the slack and reap the benefits in terms of fines and penalties. This also means that companies operating in these countries should have robust compliance to not only detect and prevent legal violations but provide a solid defense if something goes askance.

In the next episode we consider the changes going on in the country of Spain.

For more information on how an independent monitor can help improve your company’s ethics and compliance program, visit our sponsor Affiliated Monitors at www.affiliatedmonitors.com.