Archive for 2015

More on conflicts of interest and corporate boards

Director COIs are in the news again. First, the Wall Street Journal reported last week: “Generic-drug maker Mylan NV moved into new headquarters in December 2013 after buying vacant land in an office park near Pittsburgh and erecting a five-story building for about 700 employees. The company hasn’t publicly disclosed […]

The Magna Carta, compliance and ethics

A brief birthday salute to the Great Charter in the July issue of Compliance & Ethics Professional (second page of PDF). I hope you find it of interest.

Behavioral ethics and compliance – what to do about “framing” risks

Over the past few years, the COI Blog has devoted a fair bit of attention to considering what “behavioral ethics” can mean for corporate compliance programs.  An index of these writings can be found here.  Conspicuously absent from this compilation was anything on the important behavioral concept of “framing.” But […]

General counsel as chief ethics and compliance officer

Woody Allen once wrote: “Why pork was proscribed by Hebraic law is still unclear, and some scholars believe that the Torah merely suggested not eating pork at certain restaurants.” Something similar can be said about general counsels serving as chief ethics and compliance officers. The dispute about GCs wearing the […]

Inherent conflicts of interest and behavioral ethics

At his trial for Libor rigging, evidence was introduced last week that former trader Tom Hayes had told the Serious Frauds Office that “many of the people responsible for submitting panel banks’ Libor rates also traded products linked to the rate, creating an inherent conflict of interest” and that “’[n]ot […]

The compliance officer as spy (among other unusual roles)

I was on a conference panel this week discussing compliance officer reporting relationships and the topic of C&E officers reporting to the audit committee came up.  I stated my general view: strong informational reporting by the C&E officer is always a good thing, but with administrative reporting the picture is mixed. (In brief, […]

What should your risk assessment do for your compliance program?

On Monday June 1 I’m giving a presentation on risk assessment at PLI’s Compliance & Ethics Institute in NYC.  Here are the slides, which discuss, among other things: – Fourteen specific things a risk assessment should do for your program – most of which are missed by many companies. – […]

The ethics of “backscratching”

The notion of reciprocity plays a foundational role in our ethical order. Most prominently, variations of the Golden Rule are evidently found in all of the world’s major religions.  Ethics-promoting reciprocity can be negative (“an eye for an eye”) or positive (“the best place for [an Eskimo] to store his […]

A recent judicial decision helps make compliance a little less risky

In a world thick with laws, it is unfortunately to be expected that law would not only make C&E program measures necessary – it would also make them more difficult.  The latest instances of this (at least in the U.S.) are decisions/guidance by the National Labor Relations Board which limit […]

“Advanced tone at the top” and the role of behavioral ethics and compliance

Many years ago a CEO at a client organization was called on to respond to a case of employee misuse of T&E expenses at his company.   The CEO was, as best I could tell, an honest individual, and he used the occasion to tell managers in no uncertain terms that […]