Who is a compliance officer?
The CEO of the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics Roy Snell says the work of a compliance officer is to implement a compliance program, look for and fix problems arising from ethics and regulations. They then prevent them from happening again and when they do, punitive measures are taken. This profession has grown so much and currently there are thousands of compliance officers dealing with various functions. Some people see it as the most rapidly growing career option, suitable for those seeking new challenges. The work of a compliance officer is basically to help a company ensure rules are adhered to.
One really important function of the compliance officers is preventing employees from making mistakes which may cause the enforcement officers punish them. The job may come as an accident to some as they may be pulled from fields such as law and accounting. Compliance officers have to be able to influence the companies’ leadership as problems facing a company may lead to its eventual collapse. The profession is actually in demand as many universities are now offering degree programs for it. Having a compliance officer is advantageous to any company because it cuts the cost of hiring more auditors and attorneys.
Helane Morrison is an example that shows how a compliance officer is influential in the corporate world. She is the Chief Compliance Officer of Hall Capital Partners LLC and also its Managing Director and General Counsel. She joined the firm in 2007. Ms. Morrison was the head of the San Francisco office of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission from 1997 to 2007. She was in charge of enforcement for Commission from 1996-1999. Before she become a compliance officer she practiced law (1986-1996) at Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk and Rabkin law firm in San Francisco. She earned a J.D from the University of California at Berkeley school of Law has a B.S. in
Journalism from Northwestern University.
Ms. Morrison was one of the panelists in the 2012 Private Fund Compliance Forum. These are some of the rules that were given;
• False advertising is not allowed, whether or not your firm is registered.
• A registered advisor is prohibited to advertise unless jobs Act’s new rules are implemented.
• Deal lists are required to have good patterns.
• All marketing materials need to be approved by compliance.
• Only appropriate benchmarks are allowed.
For more information regarding the 2012 private Fund Compliance please visit Compliance building article
Helane Morrison occasionally speaks on the legal and compliance issues which investment advisors and private funds face. She is a member of the Hedge Fund Subcommittee of the American Bar Association.