On September 10, 2020, the Basel Institute's Tim Wittig and Juhani Grossmann presented to the Dutch Compliance Officers Association on the nexus of corruption and illegal wildlife trade. 

Thirty-five compliance experts, largely from financial institutions, participated in the conference. It featured a lively debate about:

Representatives from nine leading Collective Action initiatives that offer local anti-corruption compliance certification gathered yesterday at a virtual roundtable. The event was part of a wider Basel Institute's project on certification initiatives funded by the KBA-NotaSys Integrity Fund.

The idea is to support local certification of anti-corruption compliance programmes in particular in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that supply larger customers.

Our Collective Action team is working with companies to find synergies in human rights and anti-corruption compliance.

The idea: Companies invest significant resources in anti-corruption and human rights compliance programmes, often developing them separately. We believe there are synergies between these areas that will contribute to the effectiveness and cost efficiencies of both programmes.

At a high-level B20 panel on “Enhancing Integrity for Responsible and Inclusive Growth” on 24 August, Gemma Aiolfi, the Basel Institute’s Head of Compliance, Corporate Governance and Collective Action, discussed how small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been forced to focus on survival in recent months.

Written by our Head of Compliance and Collective Action Gemma Aiolfi, this indispensable book offers step-by-step guidance to small and mid-sized companies and non-profit organizations in managing corruption risks in overseas markets. It covers how and why to build a culture of integrity, develop a risk-based anti-corruption compliance programme, and engage with other industry players in collective action against shared corruption challenges.

I recently spoke about Collective Action as part of a virtual panel discussion along with Andrey Tsyganov, Deputy Minister of Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service, on the topic of New Russian Antimonopoly Regulations. The webinar was organised by the Russian Business Ethics Network and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research, and is available on YouTube here.

Gemma Aiolfi, Head of Compliance and Collective Action, will explore some thorny areas of anti-corruption and human rights risk assessment and compliance during a forthcoming virtual “pre-evening dialogue” of the UN Global Compact Network in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

The focus is on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with limited resources to address due diligence, and more broadly compliance risks. The topic, though, is relevant to all companies who need to address both corruption and human rights risks in their international business operations.

New business and new markets present risks and opportunities. For a compliance officer, assessing and mitigating these together with business colleagues is no easy task. But a robust compliance programme and a clear, sustainable business strategy make it a lot easier.

Risk and opportunity

In the last few months, the business world has been turned upside down by the Covid-19 pandemic. We are reminded of the Chinese word for “crisis”, which is composed of the two characters for risk and opportunity.