The week of August 29th the SCCE returned to Sao Paulo, Brazil for the first time since the start of the pandemic. The country is second only to the US in its number of SCCE members. Through a lot of hard work by SCCE & HCCA board member Shin Jae Kim, we gained a toehold there, which led to a foothold, and now a very large platform.
For our return to in-person programs we offered a Basic Compliance & Ethics Academy followed by a regional conference. Both were well attended and filled with new and old faces eager to connect with us and each other.
Our first event in Sao Paulo was back in 2010, and enthusiasm for what we did helped propel the growth of our membership there. The market clearly needed all the benefits of an association, from training to networking to feeling a part of a broader compliance community.
Brazilian compliance professionals wrestle with a range of issues, especially the persistent challenges of corruption. The country ranks 96th on the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index, with 54% of people surveyed believing corruption is increasing.
At the same time, though, the country has a very sophisticated business community. Global companies have a strong presence in Brazil, whose GDP is ranked #8 in the world, putting it between France and Italy. Anyone who has flown an Embraer jet has seen what that nation is capable of.
Each time we visit Brazil, the warmth of the welcome is extraordinary. That’s partially because of the culture. There are enough hello and goodbye hugs and kisses to cause a stateside compliance person to lose a month of sleep. But there, it’s how friends greet each other, and us.
The warmth also reflected a need for compliance people to reconnect with each other. It is something we have seen at our in-person meetings everywhere over the last several months. Compliance professionals are just so glad to be around each other, sit across a table and chat again.
We will continue to provide venues for those reconnections, both in the US and internationally. The Compliance & Ethics Institute in Phoenix is coming up fast, and we are currently working on the agenda for the 2023 European Compliance & Ethics Institute, which will take place in Amsterdam.
But, don’t just rely on us to reconnect. Reach out to others in the compliance community directly, whether it’s a long-time friend or someone new in your area. Take advantage of the LinkedIn SCCE and HCCA groups to find colleagues near you. Call them to see if they want to get together to informally benchmark.
Whichever route you choose, there are other compliance professionals eager to see and warmly welcome you back.