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Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance: It Can't Happen to Us—Avoiding Corporate Disaster While Driving Success by Richard M. Steinberg

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The Compliance Office

The chief compliance officer role is increasingly expanding to a full-time job. Financial services firms, pharmaceutical companies, and other heavily regulated organizations have long devoted significant resources to a compliance office, typically with a full-time chief compliance officer and strong support staff. Multinationals have embedded part of the compliance function locally, typically with reporting to both the central compliance office and local management. But now studies indicate that for companies not facing heavy regulation, even large ones, which have struggled in deciding what compliance resources are needed, a full-time role is becoming more common.

One study from the Open Compliance and Ethics Group shows 75 percent of respondents have a chief ethics and compliance officer or similar title with “top-level oversight of compliance.” And 40 percent said the compliance chief has no other role in their company; for companies with over $1 billion in revenue, the number is 55 percent. Where the title is shared, it's with the company's legal department 23 percent of the time. Another survey, conducted by the Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics, shows 97 percent of respondents have a designated compliance or ethics officer, with 36 percent having no other title. Of those with another role in the company, 20 percent share responsibilities in the legal department. As with the OCEG study, other shared roles include the chief audit executive, CFO, ...

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