Search

Editors

Harry Cassin Publisher and Editor

Andy Spalding Senior Editor

Jessica Tillipman Senior Editor

Richard L. Cassin Editor at Large

Elizabeth K. Spahn Editor Emeritus 

Cody Worthington Contributing Editor

Julie DiMauro Contributing Editor

Thomas Fox Contributing Editor

Marc Alain Bohn Contributing Editor

Bill Waite Contributing Editor

Shruti J. Shah Contributing Editor

Russell A. Stamets Contributing Editor

Richard Bistrong Contributing Editor 

Eric Carlson Contributing Editor

Bill Steinman Contributing Editor

Aarti Maharaj Contributing Editor


FCPA Blog Daily News

« World Bank debars two waste management companies and their owner for fraud | Main | Zero-tolerance policies are dishonest and damaging »
Wednesday
Feb062019

Dick Cassin retires

Dick Cassin, founder of the FCPA BlogDick Cassin, who founded this Blog nearly twelve years ago, is retiring. Effective this month, Dick is taking what we might call senior status, becoming the editor at large. His extraordinarily capable son, Harry, has taken over daily operations. 

We should pause to consider what our world was like before Cassin, and what it’s like now. 

I’ll never forget my first encounters with the FCPA Blog. It was different from anything I’d read -- so very fresh and interesting. And so real. It made you feel that something new was happening in the world, something good. Something you wanted to be a part of. Dick wanted you to be a part of it.

Others caught on. More blogs spawned. And Dick never wanted it any other way. He didn’t see his fellow FCPA bloggers as threats; this was never a competition. It was, and is, about building a worldwide community of believers and experts. The more, the better.  

Only now can I see that Dick didn’t just write about the characteristics of good compliance. He exemplified them, in his writing and in his interactions. We came to understand these attributes not just by reading about them, but by feeling them emanate from him. I can think of at least five:

Genuine conviction. This is where it has to start, and where it started for Dick: strongly held beliefs about the harms of corruption and the possibilities of prevention, shaped by years of real-life engagement with the world.  If you ever had the pleasure of interacting with Dick, you felt his integrity and his strength of commitment. There was no doubting it.

Lead by example. Call it tone at the top. Or conduct at the top. Or tone or conduct in the middle. But compliance requires leadership by someone whom others intuitively trust and respect. Dick has a rare gift for gently earning the respect and admiration of his peers, seemingly without even trying.

Be a team player. Compliance can’t be about making a name for yourself or proving you’re smarter -- and certainly not more ethical! -- than the next person. It’s bigger than you. The FCPA Blog was never about Dick Cassin. Heck, he couldn’t even bring himself to announce his own retirement. It was always about the larger enterprise. And it always will be at the FCPA Blog.

Deliver the hard advice. I’m sure I’m not the only writer who sometimes received advice from Dick that I didn’t particularly want. But I always needed it. And it worked because I trusted the source. I and countless others are better writers -- and better people -- because of it.

Build something that lasts. Compliance can’t be about short-term gain. It’s about playing the long game, seeing the big picture. It’s about envisioning a certain kind of company, one operating in a certain kind of world, then doing your part to bring that company and that world into existence. Today, the FCPA Blog has scores of writers and countless readers from literally all around the globe, with 1.5 million readers annually. They’re participating in, and leading, anti-corruption movements in Brazil and South Korea and France and most everywhere else. These are not fads; the anti-corruption ethic has caught on in a way that’s irreversible.  What Dick worked to build is certainly here to stay.

There may be no person better positioned to sustain and grow the FCPA Blog than Harry Cassin. I had the distinct pleasure of working with Harry as a student at the International Anti-Corruption Academy and now as my editor. I’ve witnessed firsthand his intelligence, his sharp eye for good writing, and his fundamental integrity. Let’s just say this apple did not fall far from the tree. The FCPA Blog’s in good hands. 

* * *

I once heard a federal judge say there are two kinds of great people in the world. When we meet the first kind, we think, “that person is great.”  But when we meet the other we think, “I can be great.”  Dick made us all feel great, made us want to contribute to something truly great. He’s that kind of great person. 

The FCPA has changed the world. Every reader of this Blog is participating in the change. But a few people have played a special role. We’ll look back one day and see there may well be an FCPA pantheon. Or maybe a Hall of Fame. And Dick Cassin is in it. 

First ballot.

If you’d like to add to the thanks, kindly leave a comment below. Dick will love to hear from you.

_____

Andy Spalding chairs the Olympic Compliance Task Force. He is Professor at the University of Richmond School of Law (Virginia, USA), a Frequent Visiting Instructor at the International Anti-Corruption Academy in Austria, and Senior Editor of the FCPA Blog.

Reader Comments (16)

Andy - a fitting tribute. Many thanks to Dick for this his leadership, insights and for this forum, as you so eloquently posed is a font of great collective wisdom and giants in this field. Thanks Dick for selflessly sharing, developing and fostering this blog. Wish you fulfillment and success in all your endeavors. Very Respectfully, Ed
February 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEd Herbst
Dick Cassin exemplifies all the best qualities: passion, idealism and knowledge, all wrapped up in a plain-speaking, honest style that is almost becoming extinct. His pieces are well-written, amusing and above all insightful. I hope he keeps on writing, and keeps on educating us.
February 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAdrian Tan
I really enjoy his posts, will miss those on the frequent level I have become accustomed to receiving them. Appreciate you and all you've added to integrity in business, and hopefully you have shown a light for others to see that corruption is a real risk factor and is a very real problem for all of us.
February 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTess
Andy - Such a fitting tribute. Dick - you will be missed! I will never forget how you encouraged me to join the conversation and post on this blog when I was a very junior lawyer. It meant more than you will ever know, and I try to pay it forward. Thank you for creating a space for this kind of dialogue. - steph connor
February 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie Connor
Andy, I couldn't agree more with you regarding Dick's incredible contribution to and influence on the world of Anti-Corruption compliance. The world is a measurably better place because of that contribution.

Thank you, Dick, for your vision and commitment to helping us all better understand and digest the ongoing global tectonic shift happening in ABAC over the last 11 years.

Andy, I vote yes as well.
February 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTony Charles
Dear Richard,
I have been so fortunate to have been a part of fcpablog.com as a contributing author from the beginning of times. Many thanks for founding this forum, for your leadership and for your excellent editorial judgment. As you pass the torch on to Harry, who has a very similar editorial style to yours, I wish you fulfillment and success in all your endeavors.

Sincerely,

Selva Ozelli
February 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSelva Ozelli
This blog is playing a critical role in connecting the US and LatAm on compliance matters. Mr. Cassin deserves credit for this.
February 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEl Viejo
Best of luck Dick!
February 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTom
Greetings Dick from the UK; and thank you for FCPA Blog. It is a great and informative publication.

I have "senior status" (what a dreadful expression) in my 72nd year and my time as CEO of ICSA: The Governance Institute draws to a close at the end of June after almost eight years. I refuse to retire so I am just stepping down! I shall continue to subscribe to ICSA Blog as I revert to a former role as a board evaluation consultant.

All good wishes for your future.
February 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSimon Osborne
Thank you for creating a community and an excellent source of knowledge.
February 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAlan Wolfe
Thank you Dick for your support of our program at Trust Across America-Trust Around the World. Best of luck as you move into the "next" phase.
February 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara Kimmel
Dick has been, is and will always be a TRUE LEADER AND HERO in the anti-corruption movement and ethics movements, and agree a HALL OF FAMER. We are all NOW AND ALWAYS WILL BE DEEPLY GREATFUL FOR HIS INVALUABLE COMMITMENT AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO THESE MOVEMENTS. THANK YOU DICK!!!
February 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterHumberto Kuhn
Dear FCPA Blog,

Congratulations to Dick on making the big move, and to Harry on stepping into some mighty big shoes! After first having met Dick when we were both living and working in Singapore in around '06 or so, I have been a huge fan and occasional contributor to the FCPA Blog. I am a daily reader, and was somewhat impressed when I heard an SEC enforcement representative at a conference mention that the FCPA Blog was the first thing she attended to in the morning, before even feeding her cat! I look forward to watching the Blog continue to evolve, and will as always, recommend it to my teams and students as a first-rate source of information on this incredibly important topic. All the best, Dick and Harry!

Cheers,

Pete
February 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPete Viksnins
Many thanks, Andy, for your elegant and well-deserved laudatio for our exiting FCPA editor-in-chief.
Yes, looking at the succession, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, but hopefully far enough to see flourish an equally vital and inspiring companion tree with its own signature. For instance: Cassin 2.0 as a gradual, complementary shift from the Montesqieu-inspired, normative approach to a pragmatic, Machiavelli-inspired approach of the fight against grand corruption. Otherwise said: a shift from tightening the "rules of the game" to increasing the "skin in the game" ,, a shift from punitive to disruptive strategies & tactics.The ultimate aim of the crimefighters remains the same : raising the costs of abusing public posts and privileges for private benifits; among other recipes by fostering the distrust among (aspiring) complotteurs. That would be a commensurate tribute to Cassin 1.0 's heritage.
February 8, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterarthur f.p.wassenberg
Dick Cassin has been supportive to me in so many ways, and has had a huge impact o& m6 work by sharing my writing. I’m so grateful that his judgment and convictions have built and shaped this exciting, evolving community. This will always be THE blog to read for it’s breadth, depth, debates and huge variety. I look forward to it’s next iteration, and to Dick’s!
February 9, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAlison Taylor
Andy thank you for sharing the announcement.
Dick, I want to thank you for your time and ability to create and coordinate such a useful tool and information base.
All the best to you and yours on your retirement, well deserved, but I hope we have not heard the last from you.
Regards.
February 9, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJames Long
Comments for this entry have been disabled. Additional comments may not be added to this entry at this time.