Five Takeaways from the Recent ACC Compliance Club Meeting

Five Takeaways from the Recent ACC Compliance Club Meeting

My cousin has recently become a certified auditor. I am very proud of him. And interestingly enough, while he explained me about the profession, I realized that it is organized quite similarly to that of attorneys’. Furthermore, this pattern is visible for most if not all independent professionals: notaries, judges, doctors, private court bailiffs and more. All have specialized legislation, admission requirements, self-governing bodies, professional gatherings, continuous education requirements and so on.

It was a pity to realize that nothing of this sort exists in Ukraine for compliance professionals. Although I am not worried much about self-regulating bodies or administrative gatherings, I am a bit concerned that they have rather limited capabilities of learning and development in Ukraine.

Many in-house legal communities, professional legal journals and even law firms behave as if Ethics and Compliance is just another branch of law and occasionally include compliance topics into their events’ agendas. And it is true, that legal and compliance are highly interconnected (if you want to learn more, please have a look at my presentation comparing Legal and Compliance as a Batman and Superman)). I strongly believe that ethics and compliance professionals require separate platforms fully dedicated to discussing their relevant agendas.  

If we cross out all online opportunities (some still prefer learning old-fashioned way), I am aware of only two solid platforms in Ukraine for learning and development for ethics and compliance professionals. These are the Compliance Club of the American Chamber of Commerce (ACC) and the Integrity Week of the Ukrainian Network of Integrity and Compliance (UNIC).

As our other editor Tetiana Kheruvimova expressly discusses UNIC and its activities in her posts, I will focus on the other platform – the Compliance Club. I shall disclose here that I have just recently been appointed as a co-chair of the ACC Compliance Club, but this is not the reason why I vouch for it in this post – the Club functions for several years and, during this period, I had a chance to continuously observe its valuable contribution to education of compliance community.

To familiarize you a bit with what is in the Club’s agenda, I decided to share in this post five highlights from the recent Compliance Club meeting which took place on 24 May 2018. I definitely derived much value from that event and hopefully you will do so from my post.

(1)    Compliance Club agenda for the future meetings will represent 11 elements of assessment of effective compliance programs, which is currently considered as the minimum standard for the companies aiming to meet expectations of U.S. enforcements authorities (which, as you can see in our posts, have long arms) concerning compliance programs.

(2)    Presentations about “tone at the top” are much more exciting and meaningful when delivered by someone from the top. In a brilliantly organized dedicated 1st panel discussion, Tetiana Kyryk, Chief Compliance Officer of Kyivstar, replaced the routine discussion among compliance officers on how to train top managers to spread out a compliance tone with the actual discussion with top managers on how they do it in real life. This shift in my view changed everything. Some compliance officers could not imagine seeing their top management to come and talk on their efforts and are hesitant to ask them to do so. Now they can give a vivid example, which I am sure they will remember. Two CEOs and one CFO shared their real life stories. For me it was also particularly interesting to hear how a telecommunications company’s CEO had to call government officials and explain that they can no longer receive services for free.  

(3)    The number of policies and procedures is usually proportional to the size of the company. Ario Dehghani, Counsel at Redcliffe Partners, moderated the 2nd panel discussion where compliance officers of Coca Cola, DTEK, Henkel and BASF shared their thoughts on compliance policies and procedures. Among discussed topics were who should be the custodian of all the policies and procedures and how independence of ethics and compliance function helps to manage processes around the policies. It was also discussed what role in compliance and ethic work a Ukrainian subsidiary of a worldwide represented company headquartered from outside Ukraine has to play and how much self-responsibility the Ukrainian subsidiary should have.

(4)    Having an commissionaire of anti-corruption program is quite similar to having a compliance officer. The 3rd panel discussion was on independence of compliance professionals, their resources, and expertise. The panel was selected specifically to consist of compliance officers from an international company, from a national company, from a public authority and the representative of the National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP). We discussed whether a compliance officer is protected under Ukrainian legislation, which hard and soft skills are needed to perform well on the job, what kind of resources are needed, how to benchmark the performance and the budgets, and more. The expected conclusions are that Ukrainian legislation has a number blind spots if to compare with the global trends, NACP has limited possibilities of protection of commissionaires of anti-corruption program, not to speak of compliance officers, and anonymous poll could be the benchmark on the adequacy of resources depending on industry, size, and other specificities.

(5)    The more is yet to come. The next meeting of the club is planned for September. Even more interesting discussions are expected to take place. The panels will cover risk assessment, trainings and internal investigations. So why not to join as a panelist or attendee? Please feel free to reach out to me for more information.

As presented to you, the Compliance Club of the American Chamber of Commerce stays a reliable platform for continuous education of ethics and compliance professionals. If your company is a member of ACC, do not miss out and join the discussion. If your company is not yet a member of ACC, consider vouching for membership because of the multiple benefits inclusive of the Compliance Club activity. In any case, I am planning to provide regular updates on the Club’s agenda and activities, so stay tuned.

 

Pavlo is a regional Legal and Compliance Head with a global pharmaceutical company. He leads Legal and Compliance function in CIS & Romania as a part of Emerging Markets business region.

He got his LL.M. degree in International Business Law from Tilburg University, the Netherlands. He also graduated from Ukrainian university with a Master degree in Commercial Law.

Pavlo is an attorney at law admited to Ukrainian Bar, and a certified compliance professional (CCEP-I). Pavlo has been recognised in 2016 as the best Compliance Officer by one of the most reputable Ukrainian legal publisher (Yuridicheskaya practica).