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Category Archives: Ethics

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Fake News, Plagiarism and Business Ethics

Posted in Disclosure and Transparency, Ethics, Investment Management, Non-Profits, Risk Management, Trading
If you are a consumer of factual information, your head is probably spinning from the fast-paced discussions about what constitutes real news versus fake news. Not being a journalist, I’ll leave questions about a reporter’s obligations to the media industry’s standard-setters. That said, I can and do vote with my dollars. If I sense that an article or broadcast reflects shoddy… Continue Reading

Ethics and Leadership

Posted in Ethics
Although I was excited to dine with friends this weekend, I have since been haunted by comments made by the husband of the other couple about ethics and leadership. His take is that there are few people today who command respect, adding that the “me first” focus is unlikely to change any time soon. I know we broke the rule… Continue Reading

Wall Street Ethics

Posted in Compliance, Ethics
I’ve been waiting to see Equity since I read about the project a few months ago. I like films about business and this one has received lots of attention because it is written, produced and directed by women. The story about taking a technology company public was interesting enough and the sub-plot about life in the Wall Street fast… Continue Reading

Publicizing Corporate Ethics and Values

Posted in Ethics
Financial Times columnist Lucy Kellaway questions why companies publicize value statements, writing that “Values may be important, but they are also slippery. The minute anyone tries to write them down they become trite and unhelpful.” As she explains, anecdotal evidence that supports the value of value statements is weak. Individuals she interviewed about their respective employers either mistakenly selected… Continue Reading

Effective Business Communications – Is Squeaky Clean Better?

Posted in Banking, Derivatives, Ethics, Financial Reporting, Investment Management, Trading
During a recent conversation with colleagues about effective business communication, the topic arose as to whether it is okay to use a swear word or two in conversations with colleagues and clients. Having worked on several tradings desks at different banks, my experience likely reflects two extremes. At one financial institution, I traded foreign exchange… Continue Reading

Marshmallows and Financial Fraud

Posted in Compliance, Ethics, Fraud, Governance
Long deemed to be a seminal assessment of delayed gratification, the Marshmallow Test was designed by then Stanford University psychology professor Walter Mischel (now at Columbia University) and remains popular today. In a typical experiment, youngsters are told that they can have one sweet now or wait awhile and receive two as compensation for their… Continue Reading

Heroism in Business and Politics

Posted in Banking, Compliance, Ethics, Governance, Regulation
Coincidentally, two lectures I attended this weekend focused on the concept of heroism, individual rights and integrity. Although the speakers drew from different historical events, their interesting anecdotes about people who made a difference offer important lessons for modern time decision-makers. In “The Heroic City: New York As A Microcosm of America (March 7, 2015),… Continue Reading

Financial Fraud At Ball State University

Posted in Broker Dealers, Compliance, Ethics, Financial Reporting, Fraud, Key Person, Trading
According to “Ex-prosecutor helps Ball State avert future fraud” (Indianapolis Business Journal, December 7, 2014), the university has hired a team to implement safeguards in the aftermath of losing more than $13 million in several investment scams. Using a reputable brokerage firm, establishing a third party managed hotline for whistleblowers and ensuring custodial best practices for securities are some… Continue Reading

Article About Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and Institutional Investors

Posted in Compliance, Disclosure and Transparency, Ethics, Financial Reporting, Fraud, International Investing, Litigation, Regulation, Risk Management
When I was asked to co-author something for The Corporate Counselor, I suggested an article about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) and its implications for institutional investors and their counsel. I had not seen much on the subject yet knew that it was starting to percolate as an important topic for several reasons. First, it… Continue Reading

Attorneys Can Help to Correct Corporate Compliance Missteps

Posted in Compliance, Ethics, Investment Management
Inside Counsel recently published an interesting article about how best to create and implement compliance procedures. In its October 2013 issue, “Running The Risk: Mistakes and Realities of Implementing and Executing Effective Compliance Programs,” writer Melissa Maleske explains that a company can spend money and time to put in place what are thought to be fail-safe initiatives… Continue Reading