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SEC alert regarding ESG-related reviews

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s published a Risk Alert last week regarding its review of ESG investing – https://www.sec.gov/files/esg-risk-alert.pdf
They explain how their staff will “evaluate whether they are accurately disclosing their ESG investing approaches and have adopted and implemented policies, procedures, and practices that accord with their ESG-related disclosures.” They will focus on Portfolio Management, Performance Advertising and Marketing as well as Compliance Programs.
MessageWatcher can help with our ability to archive and flag content for websites, social media, email and more. MessageWatcher’s archive then makes it easy to search your client presentations, responses to due diligence questions, proposals, client documents and marketing materials. Plus, your archived emails will provide evidence of policies & procedures and their implementation.
Let us know if we can help your organization – sales@messagewatcher.com.

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Chief Compliance Officers – in the news for the wrong reasons

Some Chief Compliance Officers in the news over the past few weeks – for the wrong reasons. One is leaving (Credit Suisse) and one is staying (home under house arrest).  Both quotes below are from Aaron Nicodemus articles in Compliance Week.

“Credit Suisse’s chief risk and compliance officer has stepped down from her role and left the company following the bank’s loss of an estimated $4.7 billion due to the meltdown of hedge fund Archegos Capital Management… Brian Chin, CEO of the Investment Bank and Lara Warner, Chief Risk and Compliance Officer will step down from their roles.”  https://www.complianceweek.com/grapevine/credit-suisse-compliance-chief-steps-down-in-archegos-collapse-aftermath/30229.article
“A former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) examiner who used insider information about an ongoing fraud investigation to obtain the chief compliance officer job with a private equity firm has been sentenced to nine months of home confinement.”
https://www.complianceweek.com/regulatory-enforcement/ex-gpb-capital-cco-avoids-prison-in-sec-theft-case/30193.article

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Facebook Data Breach

It makes sense to check if your Facebook data was exposed.  This site seems like a good place for that according to various news sites – https://haveibeenpwned.com/

This article from Forbes mentions that some users’ dates of birth were exposed by the Facebook breach.  “As well as phone numbers and email addresses, the data exposed in the Facebook breach includes dates of birth, relationship statuses and locations.” – https://www.forbes.com/sites/kateoflahertyuk/2021/04/06/facebook-data-breach-heres-what-to-do-now/

A little more information can be found in this Wired article “What Really Caused Facebook’s 500M-User Data Leak?” including this about the data not coming from the 2018 Facebook data breach “the recently public trove of 533 million records is an entirely different data set that attackers created by abusing a flaw in a Facebook address book contacts import feature.” – https://www.wired.com/story/facebook-data-leak-500-million-users-phone-numbers/

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Drop in calls to company ethics hotlines last year.

This article mentions decreased calls to corporate ethics hotlines –
https://www.wsj.com/articles/reports-on-corporate-ethics-hotlines-fell-in-2020-11617615001
The SEC previously reported record tips to their whistleblower program. So what is going on? Maybe more employees are working remotely so they are not witnessing unethical or policy-violating behavior, or the way companies remind employees about their internal hotlines was focused on physical presence like signs in the break room. The article lays out other possibilities too.

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Family Offices should expect more regulatory attention after Archegos

Family Offices will most likely see more monitoring after Archegos Capital Management rattled the stock market last week.
Dan Berkovitz, the commissioner on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, released a statement here about the need for increased regulation of Family Offices. https://www.cftc.gov/PressRoom/SpeechesTestimony/berkovitzstatement040121

Bloomberg had a good article about the Archegos situation at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-31/sec-opens-investigation-into-archegos-trades-that-sparked-rout
Including this – “Hwang has been in the SEC’s crosshairs before. In 2012, his former hedge fund, Tiger Asia Management, pleaded guilty and paid more than $60 million in penalties after the SEC and U.S. prosecutors accused it of trading on illegal tips about Chinese banks. Hwang opened Archegos, a family office, following the sanctions, as the SEC kicked him out of the hedge fund industry by banning him from managing money on behalf of clients.”

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Discrimination lawsuits can cost your organization money and morale.

MessageWatcher helps prevent discrimination and helps you flag inappropriate electronic communication.

The BBC, in their Diversity Box series, has listed some of the big discrimination lawsuits in this article., cases worth hundreds of millions that could help chip away at long-standing workplace inequality.

http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20180815-the-most-influential-us-workplace-discrimination-lawsuits

 

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Interesting how FIFA seems uninterested in compliance

From ABC news via the Corporate Compliance Weekly News email (which I recommend to anyone dealing with compliance) –

FIFA has officially eradicated corruption. All it took was pressing the delete key.

Soccer officials and players who bother checking out the new code of ethics governing their conduct will find the word “corruption” missing. They also will discover how to avoid being banned for paying and receiving bribes.

Corruption was scrubbed as an official misdemeanor during secret meetings where executives executed the first overhaul of the code since a wave of scandals left soccer‘s governing body “clinically dead” by 2015. That was the hyperbole used by Gianni Infantino during a speech at the World Cup in June boasting of his own apparent achievements cleaning up FIFA.

But in two years as FIFA president, Infantino has been accused of violating governance rules and forcing out officials who threatened his position.

It will be even easier now for FIFA to banish critics.

A new offense has been introduced in the ethics code — defamation. There are no specific examples, providing flexibility for the ethics committee to decide on the burden of proof — as with all cases.

“Persons bound by this code are forbidden from making any public statements of a defamatory nature towards FIFA and/or towards any other person bound by this code in the context of FIFA events,” section 22.2 of the new code states. – more here…

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/bribes-quiet-10-years-fifa-punish-57156393