By Adam Turteltaub
This is a picture of me speaking at a compliance conference that I was invited to attend. It looks like many other pictures of me at compliance conferences. And it looks like many compliance conferences we have all been to.
But this one is different. It’s in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. To spare many of you the trouble of looking it up, Ulaanbaatar is the capital of Mongolia, which is located between China and Russia. The country has only about three million people spread out over 600,000 square miles. It’s famous for Genghis Khan, and Mongolian barbecue, which isn’t really Mongolian at all, as it turns out. It was invented in Taiwan.
Compliance wasn’t invented in Mongolia either, but unlike Mongolian barbecue, you will find compliance people in Mongolia. Not only that, you will find very enthusiastic compliance people.
The country has a banking sector which has embraced compliance as a means of participating in the global economy. In addition, there is a significant segment of the rest of industry that sees the value in compliance. I gave a second talk, with the assistance of the US Embassy, to The Business Council of Mongolia. They, too, were eager to learn more about compliance programs.
It was an amazing week that I spent in the country, and not just because it is a far off, exotic, distant land. It was exhilarating to see that our humble profession now spans the globe. While we may feel few in numbers, we are numerous enough to be found where you don’t expect us. And, we are valued enough to have local communities able to support conferences.
The SCCE is valued globally as well. There were two graduates of our Basic Compliance and Ethics Academies in the room, both of whom hold the Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional-International (CCEP-I) designation. One had attended an Academy in Dubai and another an Academy in Singapore.
I expect more to follow suit, starting with our upcoming Academy in Hong Kong.
There is a role for compliance people everywhere. There is a need for certification. There is a need for what the SCCE does, and we look forward to meeting that need with ever more programs both in the US and around the world. For 2019, in addition to the Hong Kong Academy, we are adding regional meetings in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Santiago, Chile; and Bangkok, Thailand. In 2020 we expect to expand even more.
Then, maybe one day, a picture of a compliance conference in Mongolia won’t be so unusual. Instead, it will be as commonplace as one taken in Manhattan, Madrid or Minneapolis.