A compliance officer is not a title that everyone is familiar with because the profession has been around for a short time. However, it is my belief that it is gaining popularity with the passage of time. The CEO of the Society of Corporate Compliance &Ethics, Roy Snell, stated that the role of a compliance officer is to implement systems that prevent, fix and identify regulatory and ethical issues. This is done by the use of familiar tools such as risk assessments, education, investigation and audits.
In a span of 20 years, the profession has grown from zero professionals to the current tens of thousands of compliance officers handling different functions. The demand for compliance experts has risen because of the state and federal rules as well as regulations touching on the business sector. According to Cathie Mackenzie, the general counsel and vice president of Island View Casino, corporate compliance is the fastest growing career with high chances for advancement.
In my opinion, not everyone understands the role of a compliance officer. At times, people think that the compliance officers make up the rules and that they are punitive. Snell maintains that the above statement is not true and adds that there are many similar myths. Compliance officers have enough rules. Their major function is to ensure that companies follow rules. Anyone who wants to be a compliance officer needs to be endowed with people skills, technical skills and the ability to influence a company’s leadership. Majority of the problems experienced in different firms are developed over a couple of years because of the lack of personnel that can influence leadership. This information was originally published on Mississippi Business Journal.
About Helane Morrison
Helane Morrison is the Chief Compliance Officer of Hall capital Partners LLC. She is also the Managing Director and General Counsel of the firm. Before joining the firm in 2007, Helane was working at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s San Francisco Office. She served as a district administrator between 1999 and 2007. Later, she was elevated to the position of a regional director. At the firm, she was mandated with the duty of litigation, securities enforcement and regulatory matters.
In addition, Morrison practiced law at Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, and Falk & Rabkin for ten years. She specialized on defense of private securities action and business litigation. Prior to joining the private practice field, Helane was a law clerk for Hon. Richard Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals and Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun. Helane is a member of the Hedge Fund Subcommittee of the American Bar Association and the Regional Parks Foundation.