Up to a few decades ago almost no one had ever heard of a corporate compliance officer. These days many corporate structures would be in serious trouble without the services of these trusted corporate professionals. Times have changed. Society has become a lot more litigious, the environment is a lot more fragile, and people are more aware of the dangers unchecked corporate action can cause. This has given rise to more local, regional, and national laws and regulations and the need for someone working within the company to ensure it is playing by the rules. That person is the corporate compliance officer.
Compliance officers are crucial to many corporations. Not long ago it was only defense contractors, medical research companies, and a few other industries which required compliance officers. Today almost every company has one. Compliance officers are valuable because they are keenly aware of the laws governing the industries in which they work and have the training and knowledge to provide the guidance their company needs to keep it from inadvertently hurting consumers, the public, or the environment, or running afoul of the law. Compliance officers create and monitor policies and practices designed to keep workers and consumers safe and the lawmakers satisfied.
One example of an excellent compliance officer is Helane Morrison. Known for her integrity and willingness to fight injustice, Morrison has a solid background in law. She was a practicing lawyer with the California based Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin law firm. Morrison worked with them for 10 years, 5 of them as a partner with the firm. Her next career move made her even better prepared to work as a corporate compliance officer. Morrison took a position with the SEC San Francisco office. Her job was to identify and prosecute companies involved in fraud and other corporate wrong doing. She held that position for 11 years.
After 11 years with the SEC, Morrison accept the position as Chief Compliance Officer for Hall Capital Partners, a financial services company in California. Trained to sniff out crime and identify crooked practices, Morrison now dedicates her time and talent to ensuring her company toes the line and doesn’t violate the law or mishandle customers inadvertently or otherwise. Helane Morisson, like all other compliance officers, serves a much needed role. They protect the public and their companies by ensuring they follow the spirit and letter of the law.