Compliance: Cross-Border Complexities

BulletContributed by Jennifer M. Sanders, IACCP® In a nutshell, investment industry compliance departments are responsible for both protecting the client from fraudulent and manipulative business practices, and the firm from the ever-increasing regulatory requirements and the many risks associated with the failure to adhere to them. Here at KeatsConnelly, we take this duty very seriously and strive to keep the delicate balance between the two. Just as our cross-border clients struggle with the complexities of living their lives on both sides of the border, the firm also takes on additional operational challenges to operate in that space.

Multi-firm and multi-jurisdictional compliance management risks exist when businesses like KeatsConnelly expand their operations across national borders. Many of my fellow compliance industry-folk realize the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has moved toward a risk-based testing  protocol encouraging firms to take a good look at their operations and realize where the weaknesses are and what resources they have to address them in a systematic way. They also, for the most part, feel pretty comfortable in their familiarity with US industry rules and regulations. However, when you add another corporate entity in another country to the mix, the basic risk-matrix-type compliance management process becomes much more difficult to perform. How can you follow rules in two different places when some of them are misaligned and potentially conflict? How do you manage client safety and business risk with so many different rules, regulations and requirements? The answer is: carefully and creatively.

On behalf of the compliance department at KeatsConnelly, I am proud to say we not only have a goal to meet the industry standards for regulatory risk management, we strive to surpass it. In doing so, we use our principals of unwaveringly high ethics and business management techniques to create policies that exceed the basic requirements imposed on the firm both in the US and Canada in most cases. We feel strongly about the need for and the role of compliance in our industry, working diligently to support those efforts despite the challenges. It is complex, but we create cross-border solutions- as we do for our clients, every day.

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