At a recent conference held by the SEC, a panel highlighted the importance of compliance and ethics for broker-dealers. The big take away from the conference was that a strong compliance program must have a solid ethical foundation.
In other words, a compliance program is not simply making sure that your representatives check the right boxes on applications. It has to start with a culture of compliance and leadership from the top down, not the other way around.
It is imperative that upper management set the tone for a culture of compliance by fostering an ethical culture at the firm for others to follow. Once you set the tone at the top, you can impress that tone throughout your organization, and, hopefully, avoid compliance issues going forward.
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