Corporate Governance and Compliance

What is corporate governance and compliance?

Corporate governance encompasses not only the protection of shareholders interests but also wider categories of stakeholders such as customers, employees and suppliers, as well as takes account of the role companies play in a country’s economy and the communities in which they operate.

It is within this broader context that the importance of good corporate governance and its capacity to prevent corruption is of interest to the Basel Institute.

Corporate governance is a significant tool that can help deter corruption. Not only is it a preventive measure for the company itself, but it also supports good public governance with economic benefits. Creating a sustainable anti-corruption environment in a country involves developing strong institutions that operate within the rule of law, reforming and reducing bureaucracy in areas such as public procurement, levying taxes and so on. Robust corporate governance within companies can support efforts at the country level. Instituting rigorous internal controls, creating transparent procedures and accountability of employees and directors, as well as monitoring and reviewing operational procedures can all make it harder to hide bribes.

Our work

The Basel Institute regularly acts as a compliance advisor or monitor for a wide range of industries and companies, small and large, family owned and publicly listed. This means that we are particularly well placed to address corporate requirements across diverse legal and compliance related risks and to tackle the challenges of preventing white-collar crime within a company, whether it is bribery, money laundering or trade sanctions.

The Basel Institute also has extensive expertise in corporate governance and compliance relating to international and local sports organisations, advising both organisations and public regulators in these matters.

For example, from 2011 to 2014, the Basel Institute acted as the Independent Governance Committee (IGC) which under the leadership of Professor Mark Pieth oversaw the reform of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).

Compliance advisor

The Basel Institute works as a compliance advisor to varying sizes of company with different legal structures because corporate governance is essential for small and medium sized companies, family owned businesses, just as it is for large multinationals or state owned enterprises. Corporate governance establishes a framework that enables informed and accountable decision-making based on rational and transparent information. This leads to better management and sustainability of operations, and affords greater opportunities for companies to be fully integrated into global supply chains by partnering with multinationals.

In our advisory capacity we have conducted risk reviews, employee surveys, benchmarked existing compliance programmes, written policies and procedures, training materials and advised on the enhancement of existing anti-corruption programmes as well as creating them from scratch, advised on the implementation of whistleblowing systems and developed tailor made solutions for companies that are too small to warrant establishing a compliance function.

For example: A mid-sized family owned company implemented a Code of Conduct and enhanced its internal control systems to reduce the risk of embezzlement but also to enable it to engage in business with MNEs who demand that their third parties have compliance standards compatible with their own.

Monitor (crisis management)

The Basel Institute also assists companies with crisis management, in particular dealing with incidents of immediate suspicion or revelation of non-compliance within an organisation. Our services include the identification and the formulation of mid- to long–term strategies to develop and enhance the compliance programme, as well as advice in the definition of appropriate media and law enforcement responses.

In the context of a company’s mid- to long-term response to a crisis, the Basel Institute may serve as compliance monitor. Assigned to this role either by a multilateral development bank, regulators, law enforcers or procurement agencies, or – voluntarily – by the company itself, our experts will accompany, assess and review an organisation’s efforts to develop or reform their internal control systems to prevent and detect a broad range of financial crimes in compliance with applicable international standards, and report on the adequacy of these efforts to the concerned authority as well as the company.