Compliance is a collective term which is used to mean inter alia that a person or organisation works in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, as well as rules which the organisation itself has implemented. These internal and external rules and frameworks may vary from financial rules to anti-corruption, anti-money laundering rules and the list of trading bans. After the introduction of the Tabaksblat Code, corporate compliance and competition issues may also be part of compliance. For example fraud and risk. In many organisations and companies, the person responsible for compliance is involved immediately when breaches or fraud are discovered; this means that incident management is often part of compliance. In short, compliance comprises a broad range of topics, and requires a tailored approach when it comes to recruiting the right compliance professionals.
Compliance and corporate responsibility
Compliance and ethics are closely related when compliance is translated as ‘doing business responsibly’. This is why in many organisations compliance is placed next to, or under ethics. This is a logical choice, because organisations that show corporate responsibility refrain from bribing people, from committing fraud or unlawfully buying influence, but in fact work within the applicable rules. Because the starting point of ‘doing business responsibly’ has to eventually be anchored in the company’s culture and DNA, it is of the highest importance that compliance professionals in addition to general and regulatory expertise also have the right soft skills and judgement of character. Furthermore, the compliance professional must be good at explaining and instilling in others what it means for all in a company to be pulling in the same, ethical, direction. In order to anchor compliance in the company’s culture and DNA, it is of the highest importance to make clear that the introduction of a compliance structure is not an end-goal, but just the beginning. It is an ongoing process, in which what it means for everybody to do business responsibly has to be repeated and retrained and checked. The compliance professional is not the one who supervises compliance, it is the business and the organisation who must ultimately respect compliance. This ongoing process must be properly and professionally supervised; that is to say that a compliance professional must also be a good compliance programme manager.
Judgement of character
As compliance professionals must have the right expertise as well as the right personal characteristics, it is clear why it is so important for Compliance People to select the right person for your organisation. 25 years of experience have given Compliance People enough judgement of character to be able to do this. For us, the individual is just as important as the expertise they have.