Compliance pros are rock stars, yes they are
Monday, June 25, 2018 at 7:08AM
Richard L. Cassin in Argentina, Brazil, Fifa, Lisa Osofsky, Mexico, Richard Bistrong, Russia, Siemens AG, Tom Firestone, ZTE

Only yesterday they were pimply FCPA nerds. But a strange thing happened. They morphed into the cool kids.

Today's compliance officers are famous and wanted.

Here's some evidence.

The White House commuted ZTE's corporate death sentence by arranging to embed hand-picked compliance officers in the outlaw Chinese company.

(True, they're really compliance monitors. But to sell the deal, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross called them compliance officers.)

Earlier this month, Siemens named a CCO, Sylvie Kandé de Beaupuy of Airbus, to its board of directors. Imagine that -- a  role at the highest level of one of Europe's biggest companies.

Nations are enshrining the compliance function in their legal regimes. Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico now require some government contractors to prove they have effective compliance programs. How do you do that except with compliance officers?

Even Russia is moving closer to mandatory compliance programs, hence mandatory compliance officers.

What did FIFA do to get back in the game after U.S. prosecutors exposed its global graft? It hired an American compliance officer.

The new director of the UK Serious Fraud Office is a compliance pro. Lisa Osofsky worked at the FBI as deputy GC and ethics officer. She was the AML officer at Goldman Sachs in London. She spent time at Control Risks and Exiger.

Earlier this month in Ukraine, an American enforcement and compliance expert, Baker McKenzie's Tom Firestone, was a surprise finalist when parliament chose an auditor for the National Anti-Corruption Bureau.

How many compliance officers does it take to host the Olympics? Plenty.

The International Olympic Committee is now obligating host cities and their Olympic organizations to adopt anti-corruption and human rights compliance, compliance pros Cecilia Fellouse-Guenkel and Andy Spalding said.

For the Paris 2024 Olympics, the French compliance association, Le Cercle de la Compliance, launched Compliance 2024 -- "a working group of French compliance professionals . . . [who will] offer a detailed framework for the components and the monitoring of the Paris 2024 Compliance program."

Prof Spalding is also busy assembling the Olympics Compliance Task Force. The mission: to research international law and best practices on anti-corruption and human rights compliance generally and mega sporting events in particular.

Last week we reported how a compliance training video that tells Richard Bistrong's story won several top media industry awards.


Goodbye to yesterday's maligned compliance geek. Hello to 2018's sexy compliance pro.


Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.

Article originally appeared on The FCPA Blog (
See website for complete article licensing information.