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Top Minds: The ethics entrepreneur

Dave Lefort | May 8, 2018

For Jerry Kral, starting a conversation with the top executives at one of the largest spirits companies in the world about going all-in on ethics and compliance was made easier by the fact that he could speak their language.

As a former business owner himself, Kral knew the key to selling a robust compliance program was to get senior-most leadership to see it not just as an important part of running a public company, but as a value-add for the business, a way to stand out that appeals to both a bottom-line mentality and a commitment to doing the right thing.

“My entrepreneurial mindset makes it much easier for me to relate to my business clients, to my peers. I’ve had to manage risk myself,” explains Kral, the vice president and chief ethics and compliance officer at Brown-Forman, an American-owned spirits and wine company that employs more than 4,600 people worldwide and sells its products—which include some of the top brands in the business (Jack Daniel’s and...

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