Creating Compliance For A Miscreant
February 13, 2018
In an interview, the former compliance chief of Swedish telecommunications firm Telia explains how she created a team from scratch following allegations of corruption in the company’s foreign business dealings, which led to an FCPA probe in the US. In 2013, a whistleblower contacted media in Sweden and claimed that corrupt activity was going on in Telia’s C-suite. Heads rolled, and Michaela Ahlberg was brought in to instill a new culture in the company. The case was eventually settled. “I reported directly to the new CEO, although I also had direct access to the ethics and sustainability committee of the board,” says Ahlberg. “I communicated my findings, initiatives and queries to them. To be honest, that’s really somewhat unusual in Sweden, as few compliance officers have direct access to a board committee.” After some initial reluctance on the part of the new head of legal, she was allowed to attend meetings with the DOJ and SEC. “This really helped me directly interface with regulators and tell them what I was doing on the ground,” she says.
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