The Unconventional Compliance Officer

This book is not intended as an introduction to compliance – a Compliance 101 – but it does give unconventional, new and novel ideas, approaches and strategies right across the compliance officer’s spectrum, including some intended to address or mitigate what are, arguably, the most intransigent and universal issues. Arguably, it will not take long for these issues to arise for you – whether you are new to compliance and ethics, in a new role or in a new company – and so I would like to hope there is relatively little doubt that the book will be appropriate as you, and your role, develop.

Publisher: Tricorn Books

I came to my career in corporate ethics and compliance like many others, I suspect: I wandered into the field by chance, without understanding how rewarding it could be. Come to think of it, my friendship with Keith Read started much the same way.

By the time I met Keith in 2010, I had already been studying and writing about corporate compliance programs for several years. I had started as a contributing writer for Compliance Week in 2003, shortly after the Sarbanes-Oxley Act had been enacted in the United States — the first law that put true urgency behind corporate governance, audit, and compliance issues. In the ensuing years I rose to be editor of Compliance Week and the publication grew to be a voice for compliance professionals in the United States.


That said, we understood that corporate compliance was a global issue, and I needed more contacts from outside the United States. So I started searching online for compliance officers in London. Soon I found one Keith Read, then head of ethics and compliance for British Telecom (now simply BT).

Well, I thought, he must be someone who knows compliance in Britain. So I emailed him — and thus began one of the most enjoyable and rewarding professional relationships I’ve had in what is now 20 years of writing about corporate compliance. I have never had a conversation with Keith where he isn’t brimming with enthusiasm, both for corporate compliance as a field and for compliance officers as people. Keith grasps the central challenge of the modern corporate compliance officer: how to make corporate ethics and compliance relevant to employees, in a tangible and practical way.



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