5 September, 2014 by Ben Sharples (firstname.lastname@example.org), Senior Conference Producer, Legal Division, C5 Communications
Dr Klaus Moosmayer, Speaker at C5′s Compliance and Legal Risk Leaders Summit
Q1. – What would you say have been the key changes in the compliance officers' role in the last 12-18 months?
What I see in Europe, and the US to an extent, is the growing topic about the potential liability of compliance officers. The question is how are compliance officers protected in companies and what is their level of personal liability. In Europe, the role of a compliance officer was not known as a profession 10 years ago, and has now significantly developed. So this has raised new questions as to what is the status, role, protection, and liability of compliance officers? Do we need a specific insurance protection? This is a big point of discussion currently.
Q2. – Have you encountered any challenges in getting buy-in of the value of compliance from top to bottom?
What I always say is for me, the famous "tone from the top" concept is a prerequisite for any effective compliance culture in a company. If this is not there we won't even talk about operational compliance and business partner issues. The major day-to-day challenge of a compliance officer, and many colleagues agree with me, is getting support from middle management. They have challenging business targets in decreasing markets, and are close enough to their employees to set the tone day to day of the operations. Given the current economic situation where companies are certainly facing challenges in places such as China and Russia, there is I think a great need for attention on this issue (getting the backing of middle management).
Q3. - In your opinion, are companies now taking compliance more seriously and seeing the value it adds to their business?
We are on the way. I am optimistic, but I'm not naïve, so we are certainly not at the end of the way to achieve this fully. It has developed significantly over the last 10 years, but this is largely due to pressure from the outside; court rulings, famous cases like the Siemens case, changing level of expectations from shareholders, analysts, investment funds, and also journalists. For example, anti-corruption has picked up all over the globe – if something happens in – for example and with no prejudice – Bangladesh it can really affect the headquarters in Munich or London. But the question of whether it is seen as a business value is a developing topic, and again, you have to convince the middle management of the value of compliance and the support it gives the business.
Q4. – AML seems to be increasingly on the radar for non-financial sector companies. How are companies in this space dealing with regulations that were often written with the financial sector in mind?
This is certainly a developing risk that I see. Traditionally it was only considered for the financial sector, but now there are new authorities appointed who are now focussing on AML in Germany. It is a risk in transactions from real estate to M&A transactions, and my assessment is that the authorities are increasingly taking this up. With the prosecutors if there is an AML investigation, they have a huge level of power, and can do things like secret taping because there is a severe crime. So you have all the tools as a prosecutor to investigate and prosecute, and this is new for the industry. It has to be discussed and is definitely an emerging risk.
Q5. – What are you currently busy with?
From October 1 we have a new company structure in Siemens and are completely adapting our compliance structure, so I am extremely busy with this new set-up. We at Siemens have put a much bigger focus on the analytics of risks in the compliance organisation, with a special focus on risk assessment and strategies. Taking a "Compliance 2020" approach, the question is how can we better prevent or mitigate risk in difficult markets such as Asia? Another key focus is on the professional development of our compliance officers, making sure we promote and develop our compliance experts internally
Q6. – In light of this, what are the main objectives you are setting for yourself and your team in the next 12 months?
The goal is to really make this new organisational setup work, and offer our compliance people in the company encouraging career paths and a future of compliance. This will enable us to even better support our board and management to prevent risks in difficult markets.
This article first appeared on c5-online.com/blog (http://www.c5-online.com/blog/). 5 September, 2014 by Ben Sharples (email@example.com), Senior Conference Producer, Legal Division, C5 Communications