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Leverage the value of connected compliance to your competitive advantage

The most successful companies take an integrated approach to compliance. Despite this, many companies continue to operate in siloes, viewing compliance as a barrier to growth and reducing its role within the business. At the same time, companies are taking calculated risks in pursuit of growth — only one-in-five businesses involve compliance substantively in the planning and implementing of multi-billion pound M&As. Unsurprisingly, compliance chiefs expect breaches will only rise as regulation becomes more complex.

Our survey of compliance leaders across 537 multinational companies with a UK turnover of £1 billion or more uncovers the challenges associated with redefining compliance in today’s complex business world. We’ve also developed an online diagnostic tool to see how successful your company is in connecting compliance across the organisation, as well as comparing your performance with others in your sector and with high-performing businesses.

What is connected compliance?

Connected compliance is the antithesis of typical siloed organisational structures with detached compliance teams. It is about spending and working smarter – saving money, making better growth decisions and improving compliance coverage by weeding out duplication, weakness and confusion. Four dimensions – collaboration, agility, strategy and effectiveness – work together to ensure compliance is connected to the business and its growth plans.

Reorganising policies and creating new procedures is not enough. To connect compliance, organisations need to reshape teams, reform cultures and open new lines of communication. It will take time and collective effort, but the business case is clear.

Our research suggests that, in connected organisations, compliance is better able to protect value and support growth. Growing organisations consistently outperform those in negative growth in the four dimensions of connected compliance. That means adopting best practice to align plans with compliance, broadening accountability for compliance, responding fast to shifting regulatory requirements, and eliminating duplication to maximise compliance effectiveness.

Key findings

  • More than half of large corporates in the UK (52%) admit they are aware of unresolved compliance issues that are yet to surface to a regulator or the public
  • More than half (55%) of business leaders are overwhelmed by the risk exposure of their business, with two thirds (66%) of compliance chiefs expecting breaches to increase as regulation becomes more complex.
  • Two thirds (67%) of respondents are taking calculated risks in pursuit of growth by exploring riskier markets and business models, while well over half (57%) of large corporates have already had a violation uncovered by a regulator.
  • Rather than investing in and bolstering their compliance functions as a way of mitigating risk, one-third (37%) of companies are planning to reduce their internal compliance services as a way of cutting cost.

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Author

Joanna Ludlam is a partner in the Dispute Resolution team in Baker McKenzie's London office, where she leads the market-leading Regulatory, Public & Media law team and also co-leads the office's Compliance & Investigations Practice Group. At an international level, she co-chairs the Firm's Global Compliance & Investigations Steering Committee. In 2016, Joanna was named as one of The Lawyer’s “Hot 100” for her practice, and is recognised by Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners.

Author

Luis Gomez serves as partner in the London office’s EU, Competition & Trade Department and currently chair of the EMEA Competition Group. He advises on general competition and merger control law at both the EU and UK levels, as well as varied competition issues in a wide range of industry sectors, including the oil and gas, mining, chemicals, infrastructure, agribusiness, media, consumer goods and financial services sectors. Luis is co-author of "State Measures and Public Bodies" in PLC’s EC and UK Competition Law Practice Manuals. He joined Baker McKenzie in 1994 and became a partner in 2003.