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Richard Bistrong: the great communicator

Bill Coffin | May 2, 2017

In 1987, Richard Bistrong never wanted to get into sales; he had plans to become a foreign policy professor. But after he got his first postgraduate degree in 1987, he joined his family business which made bulletproof vests, and from there joined a publicly owned defense contractor. Bistrong had sold to the U.S. military and law enforcement markets, which are stable, high-integrity, and low-risk. In 1997, when he took an opportunity to become an international sales vice president, he suddenly had a much different experience, traveling around the world for some 250 days a year, dealing with clients for whom bribery was not just an occupational hazard, it was a way of doing business. From 1997 to 2007, Bistrong began bribing foreign officials to gain and retain business. In 2012, he would pay for his actions, as well as turn the page on a new career promoting compliance and business ethics. Today, he is one of the compliance communities most outspoken voices on how to manage...

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