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Compliance Week 2016: First Sessions Announced

Matt Kelly | September 28, 2015

We hold the Compliance Week annual conference every May, so our 2016 event might still seem a long way off to many. Around here, however, we’ve already been working on speakers and ideas for months. So this week I want to give you a peek at what we have on the drawing board so far.

First, the logistics. Our 2016 conference will happen next May 23-25, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. as usual. We expect roughly 550-600 attendees from all over the corporate compliance community: across many industries, many geographies, and many professional disciplines as well—we will have plenty of content geared for chief auditor executives and chief risk officers, as well as our base of chief compliance officers.

That diversity in the audience is important to us. Compliance Week always strives to give a cross-disciplinary look at the challenges of running corporate compliance, audit, and risk programs, and that involves lots of people with lots of perspectives. We focus on the strategy of managing a good program as much as we focus on the technical details, so all are welcome. (You can register now at early-bird rates if you like.)

Now let’s get to the fun stuff. We spent much of the summer talking with our advisory board and other compliance officers, reading feedback from 2015 attendees, and just pondering matters important to the compliance community. Here are our first six announced sessions.

The era of increased judgment in financial reporting. Two things are on the rise in modern financial reporting: complexity, and use of judgment. This will be a keynote discussion will explore how compliance, audit, and financial teams are supposed to navigate those difficult straits. Our panel will debate what regulators and rulemakers want to see, and how corporate reporting teams can achieve it. We already have Russell Golden, chair of the Financial Accounting Standards Board, confirmed as one speaker, with other panelists to be announced soon.

Data protection in the cloud. Compliance officers today are stuck between the irresistible force of data storage in the cloud, and the immovable object of data protection rules—and somehow you must survive between the two, overseeing everything from regulatory compliance to internal investigations and government subpoenas. This session will look at the current state of global privacy rules (including how often they contradict each other) and how you can cultivate effective policies and business processes that respect the reality of cheap cloud computing and tough regulatory requirements.

Building controls for enterprise risk management. My column last week talked about moving from compliance programs to enterprise risk management. This session will delve more deeply into how compliance officers can help build controls and control environments that support what ERM is all about: getting the business units to “own the risk,” which means they own the control for the risk and the upside for successful risk management, too. Achieving all that, and doing is well, is very difficult. Here we will talk about how you can try.

Investigations under the Yates Memo. By now you probably already know the broad outlines of the Yates Memo, issued by the Justice Department on Sept. 9. This new policy requires companies to procure far more information about individual employees suspected of misconduct, and that could carry serious implications for how you investigate employees, address questions of attorney-client privilege, and more. We will have more about the Yates Memo to come, and lord knows there is plenty to discuss just on this point alone.

Compliance Week always strives to give a cross-disciplinary look at the challenges of running corporate compliance, audit, and risk programs, and that involves lots of people with lots of perspectives.

Cyber-security as a process. One of the great challenges for corporations generally, and compliance programs specifically, will be to shift the mindset of your workforce away from cyber-security as a collection of tools run by the IT department, to a set of processes carried out by all to ward off a constantly shifting threat. This session will consider the compliance officer’s role in building those processes, assigning responsibility for them, measuring their effectiveness, and more.

Building data warehouses that work for you. Compliance officers need data—on third parties, on financial transactions, on training completion rates; really, you need data on everything—but good luck getting it all in a format you can use, when the modern corporation has so many different IT systems. This session will look at the technical challenges of designing a warehouse that works for you, and at the human challenges of convincing other executives to make deliveries of data into it.

As I said, those are only the first six sessions we’ve announced. Ultimately the Compliance Week 2016 conference will have dozens of keynote speeches, panel discussions, case studies, workshops, and product demonstrations. We will talk about doing business in various parts of the world, working with various regulators, solving problems of training and communication, and much more.

You can register now if you like, and we encourage you to do so. If you’re an in-house corporate executive who might also be game to speak at our conference, please email me at mkelly@complianceweek.com or Maria Sonin at maria.sonin@complianceweek.com. And check here regularly for updates, because we will have plenty more. I look forward to seeing you in Washington.

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