Corporate

Recent Posts

Economic Downturns and Increased Compliance Risk
Posted on 17 Feb 2015 by Thomas Fox

Oil is hovering around $50 per barrel. For most of the US economy this drop in oil price has provided a much-needed economic boost. One piece on the NPR website, entitled “ Oil Price Dip, Global Slowdown Create Crosscurrents For U.S .”, said... Read More

Silver Blaze and Leadership-Find It, Fix It and Prevent It
Posted on 29 Jan 2014 by Thomas Fox

Today, we continue our Sherlock Holmes week by drawing inspiration for lessons for the compliance practitioner from the story of Silver Blaze . In this story, a star racehorse disappears, Holmes pulls out his usual deductions to determine where the horse... Read More

Good Bye to Mr. Cub, the Siege of Vienna and Doing More Compliance With Less
Posted on 26 Jan 2015 by Doug Esten

Let’s play two! That was perhaps the most famous maxim from Ernie Banks, who died this past weekend at the age of 83. As for a sobriquet, it does not get much better than being known as ‘Mr. Cub’ from any baseball fan from 9 to 90. Banks... Read More

New Coke and Technological Solutions as a Response to the Economic Downturn
Posted on 26 Feb 2015 by Thomas Fox

Earlier this week, Donald R. Keough died. He was the leader of Coca-Cola, who pressed for and introduced the infamous New Coke to the world in 1985 and then the return of the original formula just 10 weeks later. Since I was not alive during the Ford... Read More

Board Investigations and the Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb – Part II
Posted on 18 Feb 2014 by Thomas Fox

Yesterday I began an exploration of a recent article in the Corporate Board magazine, entitled “ Successful Board Investigations ” by David Bayless and Tammy Albarrán, partners in the law firm of Covington & Burling LLP. In Part... Read More

Never Tick Off a Redbird
Posted on 17 Jun 2015 by Thomas Fox

At a press conference today, Satan officially announced that Hell has frozen over. He made this stunning announcement after the New York Times (NYT) reported that the baseball team with the most World Series wins in the history of the National League... Read More

Compliance at the Tipping Point, Part II – New DOJ Compliance Counsel
Posted on 13 Oct 2015 by Thomas Fox

The second tipping point for compliance which has occurred over the last 30 days or so is the information which has leaked out that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is in the process of hiring an outside advisor to provide to the Foreign Corrupt Practices... Read More

A Summer of Compliance
Posted on 12 Aug 2015 by Doug Esten

When I was working in the field of international sales, August was typically a month of ‘down time’ as a combination of end user, third party and corporate holidays marked a lull in summer sales activity. Well, I have not experienced such... Read More

How Do You Develop a Compliance Practitioner?
Posted on 24 Oct 2013 by Thomas Fox

The Morrill Act was a seminal moment in American education. This law, passed in 1862, provided that land-grant institutions of higher learning should be created “without excluding other scientific and classical studies and including military tactic... Read More

The Easter Rebellion and Petrobras’ $17 Billion Write Down
Posted on 27 Apr 2015 by Thomas Fox

Ninety-nine years ago Friday the Easter Rebellion began. If there is one event that is seared into history as a turning point for Irish independence from Britain, it was the Easter Rebellion. England had finally granted Home Rule to Ireland in 1914 but... Read More

Social Media Power-How it Impacts Your Compliance Program
Posted on 23 Sep 2011 by Thomas Fox

In a September 26, 2011 article in Forbes magazine, entitled " Social Power and the Coming Corporate Revolution ", author David Kirkpatrick argues that the social media revolution has so empowered employees and customers that these groups... Read More

Scam Artists from Texas and Compliance Risk Management
Posted on 15 May 2013 by Thomas Fox

Billie Sol Estes died yesterday and when it comes to scam artists from the great state of Texas, before there was Allen Stanford and his magical Certificates of Deposits located in his private bank in Antigua, there was Billie Sol Estes. Before Sir... Read More

Gehrig’s Streak Ends and Compliance Week 2014 Is Near
Posted on 2 May 2014 by Thomas Fox

Today we celebrate greatness in two areas. The first is in baseball as on this day in 1939, “New York Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig benches himself for poor play ending his streak of consecutive games played at 2,130. “The Iron Horse”... Read More

In Praise of the Mock Audit – Lessons from the Power Industry
Posted on 6 Mar 2013 by Thomas Fox

Last week I attended the Society for Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE) Energy and Utilities Conference here in Houston. As usual, SCCE put on a great event, the speakers and topics were all first-rate. As you might expect at such an event, the... Read More

An Oscar Winner for Compliance
Posted on 19 Mar 2013 by Thomas Fox

Ben Affleck has certainly had his share of ups and downs in his professional career. He shared an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Good Will Hunting with his fellow Bostonian buddy Matt Damon at age 25. Thereafter things were not always at that... Read More

  • Blog Post: How to Engage Employees in Compliance

    In the September 2011 issue of the Harvard Business Review , in an article entitled " How to Cultivate Engaged Employees " , author Charalambos A. Vlachoutsicos wrote about his experiences in working for a family-owned multi-national organization. From his experiences he learned how to...
  • Blog Post: Compliance Convergence: US Customs and Border Protection’s Importer Self-Assessment Program

    Compliance convergence can have several variations. I have written about the convergence from export controls to anti-corruption controls. Last week I wrote about the Lacey Act, which regulates imports of certain types of wood, among other items. One of the valuable lessons of compliance convergence...
  • Blog Post: Social Media Power-How it Impacts Your Compliance Program

    In a September 26, 2011 article in Forbes magazine, entitled " Social Power and the Coming Corporate Revolution ", author David Kirkpatrick argues that the social media revolution has so empowered employees and customers that these groups will soon be calling the shots in companies and...
  • Blog Post: Jeannette Rankin, Infosys, Ethics and Compliance

    Who was Jeannette Rankin and why do we celebrate her today in the context of ethics and compliance? She was the first female to be elected to Congress, as a Representative from Montana in the 1916 elections. In 1917 she was one of 50 votes opposing America's entrance into World War I. She had...
  • Blog Post: The Worst Conflict of Interest Move of All-Time (at Least Since Enron)

    Last week, I observed one of the worst actions by a major league sports commissioner in my lifetime. Not the worst, as I will give that "worst award for a decision made by a sports commissioner in my lifetime", to either of two Baseball Commissioners; Ford Frick, for the * next to Roger...
  • Blog Post: From Whistleblower to RICO Claimant

    The holiday season is past and many of us have returned to work. However, if you are a Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) there is a gift that you may wish to give yourself, it is " T he Whistleblower's Handbook - A Step-by-Step Guide to Doing What's Right and Protecting Yourself "...
  • Blog Post: Conduit to Compliance or First Line of Defense – the Local Compliance Point Person

    As compliance programs mature, it is becoming increasing clear that one size does not fit all. Moreover, there may be several different approaches to creating the most effective compliance program for your organization. This past week I attended the ACI FCPA Boot Camp in Houston. Many of the presentations...
  • Blog Post: Compliance, the Middle-Finger Malfunction, and the Reluctant Touchdown

    It's sad day in Boston. We've become accustomed to winning and the Super Bowl drought continues for at least another year. There were two compliance-related stories that came out of Super Bowl XLVI. The first was singer M.I.A.'s obscene gesture and expletive during the halftime show...
  • Blog Post: Ryan Braun and Building Employee Trust in Your Compliance Program

    Most people who have a modicum of interest in baseball now know that Ryan Braun was successful in the appeal of his 50 game suspension by Major League Baseball (MLB) for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs; i.e.: elevated levels of testosterone. The suspension had been levied based upon...
  • Blog Post: Banning Beer in the Clubhouse? How to Sustain a Culture of Trust and Integrity

    Continuing our sports theme this week, I was interested in my friend, Jay Rosen's former hometown team, the Boston Red Sox move to ban alcohol from the clubhouse. I found fascinating the commentary on this move, which seemed to me to break down into two categories: (1) Pro-supporting new manager...
  • Blog Post: Barbara Tuchman and Compliance Programs

    One of my favorite historians is Barbara Tuchman. One of the first large volumes of history I read growing up was "The Guns of August", her Pulitzer Prize-winning book about the outbreak of World War I. The Library of America has recently released two of Tuchman's works, the aforementioned...
  • Blog Post: Are You a Supervisor?

    As a compliance officer, how far do you need to go in dealing with a problem employee? The Urban case was trying to address this question, but got twisted up in procedural machinations. In dropping the case, the two SEC commissioners didn't explain when a compliance officer or in-house counsel...
  • Blog Post: Three Keys to the Role of a Chief Compliance Officer

    There is an ongoing debate in the compliance world about whether a company can or should combine or separate the role of the Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) from that of the General Counsel (GC). However, before a company can answer this question, it must meet No. 6 of the Department of Justice's...
  • Blog Post: To Boldly Go…Where the Board Needs to Go

    Belatedly, we boldly go where no Canadian actor has ever gone before, to celebrate yesterday's birthday of William Shatner, Captain Kirk of the original Starship Enterprise. I thought about Captain Kirk and his leadership of the Enterprise in the context of a panel at Ethisphere's 2012 Global...
  • Blog Post: JPMorgan Chase and Compliance Risk

    Most of the business news over the past few days has been dominated by JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM) and its announced $2.3 billion trading loss. Early on there was focus on JPM's trading operations in London as the cause of this massive loss and even one trader, nicknamed the "London Whale"...
  • Blog Post: Amnesty for Armstrong? Lessons for the Compliance Practitioner

    The Lance Armstrong saga continues to provide many lessons for the compliance practitioner. A recent article on ESPN.com, entitled " Lance calls for amnesty program ", reported that Armstrong has come out in favor of those who openly speak about the doping culture of cycling, of course...
  • Blog Post: Quadrophenia and Four Compliance Issues

    This past weekend I saw the remaining members of The Who perform in their Quadrophenia Tour. While I had seen Roger Daltry perform the rock opera Tommy, I had never seen Pete Townsend in concert. To say I was blown away would be putting it mildly, especially as Quadrophenia does not even make it...
  • Blog Post: The HP Acquisition of Autonomy – Lessons Learned for Doing Compliance ‘By the Book’

    Doing something 'by the book' means more than following a process. It means following that process during high stress times. One of the things that I think gets missed when discussing compliance programs is the need for rigor in the process. By this not only do I mean that your process needs...
  • Blog Post: In Praise of the Mock Audit – Lessons from the Power Industry

    Last week I attended the Society for Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE) Energy and Utilities Conference here in Houston. As usual, SCCE put on a great event, the speakers and topics were all first-rate. As you might expect at such an event, the informal conversations with other compliance practitioners...
  • Blog Post: Lessons from Bill Belichick for the Compliance Practitioner

    I recently read " War Room: The Legacy of Bill Belichick and the Art of Building the Perfect Team " by Michael Holley which is about Bill Belichick, the rise of the New England Patriots and the sophisticated player evaluation system that Belichick and others installed in New England. The...
  • Blog Post: An Oscar Winner for Compliance

    Ben Affleck has certainly had his share of ups and downs in his professional career. He shared an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Good Will Hunting with his fellow Bostonian buddy Matt Damon at age 25. Thereafter things were not always at that same height for him professionally. He had a...
  • Blog Post: Don’t Spread Your Compliance Program Too Thin

    "You do not want to be spread too thin". When I heard that phrase a light bulb went off inside my head. It was uttered to me by Jan Farley, the Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) of Dresser-Rand. I asked Jan what he meant by the phrase and he explained that you cannot stretch your compliance...
  • Blog Post: Ethical Behavior in the Navy – Lessons for the Non-Military Compliance Practitioner

    What exactly is doing business in an ethical manner? I believe that the answer is different for each company. Ethical behavior can translate into doing business in a manner that does not jeopardize the safety of others and how you treat co-workers and subordinates. One of the things that I think...
  • Blog Post: What is Risk? Compliance Lessons from the Senate Hearing On the Whale

    What is risk? Under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and UK Bribery Act risk is generally doing business in a non-compliant manner under these laws, where such action can increase the possibility of engaging in or facilitating a corrupt payment or bribe. However, risk can involve other areas...