Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Function, role and qualities of Compliance Officer

Where the accountants have failed, a new supervisor is rising: the (Chief) Compliance Officer.

In an article in the Financieele Dagblad (a Dutch newspaper), Edwin Weller, CCO of Robeco (a Dutch Financial Institution) discusses the function, role and qualities a Compliance Officer should have.

He says that the compliance function is an independant function in an advisory role, aimed at controling the risks that are relevant for maintaining or strenghtening the corporate reputation. However, the final responsibility for controling these compliance risks and for the definition of integrity remains a task of the Executive Board.
Mr Weller says the main personal qualities of a Compliance Officer are discreetness, objectivity, independence, professionalism, and that he should be experienced in relation to the activities of the corporation.
The Compliance Officer should have knowledge about legal, economic, social, operational and commercial aspects and preferably have a legal background.

Do you agree that the role of the Chief Compliance Officer is merely an advisory one? Is protecting the corporate reputation his most important goal? Are the mentioned qualities and expertise areas complete?