Here are some recent compliance-related stories that caught my attention.
The Saga of MF Global – Don’t Shoot the Messenger, Fire the Chief Compliance Officer by Tom Fox
Both the DOJ minimum best practices and the amendment to the US Sentencing Guidelines, giving the CCO direct access to a company’s Board of Directors, would seem to provide the profile that would mandate that a Board wants to know the reason why a CCO (or Chief Risk Officer) would suddenly resign, particularly after he “repeated clashed” with a CEO over compliance issues. The universal corporate blanket “resigned to pursue other opportunities” is a white-wash that a Board should look beyond, if indeed that reason was given to the MF Board. The bottom line is that when a CCO leaves, particularly if it was due to a clash with the CEO, the Board had better take a close look into the reasons as it may be that the CEO wants to take risks which could put the company at grave risk.
The SEC Issues Disclosure Guidance on RELPs and REITs by Vanessa Schoenthaler in 100 F Street
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy published an Investor Bulletin on real estate investment trusts (REITs) and, at the same time, the Division of Corporation Finance issued informal disclosure guidance detailing the comments it most frequently raises when reviewing sales materials submitted by real estate limited partnerships (RELP) and REITs pursuant to Securities Act Industry Guide 5.
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