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e-Book: Rooting Out Conflicts of Interest
This e-Book, produced by Compliance Week in cooperation with Convercent, looks at what companies are doing to drive awareness and educate employees about conflicts of interest. The real issue is training them to recognize when a situation could potentially lead to a conflict and having a thorough disclosure management process in place. Click here to download.
The SEC has decided not to let an admission of LIBOR manipulation result in the loss of Deutsche Bank’s well-known seasoned issuer status. “It is safe to assume that these waiver requests will continue to roll in, as issuers are now emboldened by an unofficial Commission policy to overlook widespread and serious criminal conduct,” Commissioner Kara Stein said in her objection.
This week Compliance Week starts a series on corporate sustainability, asking the most basic question of all: Will sustainability reporting ever be required? Yes, at least in the European Union. Inside we look at the state of CSR in Europe, and what role compliance officers are likely to play. “It’s one of the most difficult areas, in the sense of access to information as well as control over improvements,” says Wim Bartels of KPMG in Amsterdam.
Compliance officers responsible for accurate books and records and effective internal control over financial reporting may be entering a brave new world of regulatory enforcement. The SEC is stepping up its use of administrative proceedings to impose strict liability on even relatively minor infractions of securities law. “The SEC plans to use administrative proceedings in all kinds of enforcement matters,” says Sanjay Bhandari of the law firm Ballard Spahr.
Compensation committees and external reporting executives should brace for impact from the SEC’s newest addition to executive compensation disclosure: pay-for-performance rules. The detailed new disclosures (tagged in XBRL, no less) will be extensive, the consequences for executive pay unknown. “How useful is this information really going to be? To what degree is that system really broken at this point?” asks Andrew Liazos of the law firm McDermott Will & Emery. More inside.
Everyone says bribery risk is highest along the Pacific Rim, but how acute is the problem really? Pretty bad, according to a Compliance Week review of recent FCPA enforcement actions—and the risks will only increase as more U.S. companies enter Asia and more Asian companies tap U.S. capital markets. “The number of international companies exposed to extraterritorial jurisdiction of U.S. regulators is set to skyrocket,” says William Robinson of the law firm Freshfields.
The data behind financial restatements tell a fairly positive tale for 2014, with improvements in financial reporting across many variables (unless you’re an accelerated filer, where restatements edged up from the prior year). Inside we have a close look at which companies restated for what reasons, and whether improvement will continue—or not. “We may be finding a new floor in restatement activities,” says Chris Wright of Protiviti.
As part of our occasional series of conversations with compliance and risk executives, we caught up with Michael Pizzi, chief risk officer at E*Trade Financial. Prior to the financial crisis, E*Trade had made sizable investments in mortgage-related assets—toxic assets whose value ultimately plummeted, resulting in substantial writedowns for the financial services company. Inside, Pizzi talks about how E*Trade revamped its enterprise risk management framework to recover from its crisis predicament.
The political season is ramping up in both the United Kingdom and the United States, which means one thing: lots of talk about the shortcomings of corporate governance, and how to fix it. This week, columnists Stephen Davis and Jon Lukomnik look at what governance reform might transpire after British elections, and how that might be a harbinger for the United States in 2016.