ACi's Annual Symposium event will takes place at Ropes and Gray in London on 14th November 2019. We have a packed agenda featuring gripping topics such as when the tables are turned on investigators, how to manage #metoo investigations, issues that arise during cross-border investigations and much more. The event is a great chance to meet your peers and to meet the ACi executive committee, including our newly appointed Head of EMEA, James Low. Places are limited and only a few remain so please book now to avoid disappointment. See our event page here.
ACi has run a series of immersive workshops throughout the Autumn of 2019, with events taking place in London, Manchester and Geneva. Delegates were taken through an investigation scenario with the opportunity to debate issues around corporate bid rigging, protection of reporters, interview management, open source investigations, and interviewing techniques, to name but a few. The response we have had to the workshops has been excellent. Here's some feedback from delegates:-
Very well organised and prepared. Very interactive too. This was great.
The excellent level and details about the investigation case built! Well done!
Very practical and relevant to the work I do. Thorough way to build a case and learning for me.
ACi will be running more events in 2020.
We are seeking an EMEA regional head to join our executive committee.
If you are interested in learning more and would like to speak to a member of the ExCo please e-mail our General Manager, Kate Winter, email@example.com
Read all the latest news from the ACi in our Summer 2019 newsletter.
The ACi spent a very enjoyable evening in the esteemed company of Freshfields lawyers, and Albert “B.J.” Stieglitz, Assistant Chief, Fraud Section, Criminal Division of the US Department of Justice. BJ has previously completed a secondment to the UK Financial Conduct Authority and is currently on secondment to the UK Serious Fraud Office.
Following extensive research by Freshfields into the root causes of investigations, the assembled panel included Steve Young, CEO ACi, Holly Insley, Senior Associate, Freshfields, Katie Palms, Senior Associate Freshfields, and BJ. The panel was chaired by Ruby Hamid, Counsel, Freshfields.
Matthew Bruce, Partner, welcomed delegates and explained that the panel had wide experience in international enforcement. Ruby then asked the panel about their views on compliance and root causes. BJ explicitly recommended taking compliance into account as the strength of a company’s compliance and governance programmes impacts all stages of investigations.
The panel discussed why organisations should look at root causes, while BJ mentioned that the DOJ has recently published updated guidance on how corporate compliance programs can be evaluated. The panel picked out a couple of themes – very technical areas and strong personalities – which repeatedly come up investigations. BJ said the 2019 DOJ guidance explicitly emphasises culture. He said there are three aspects to look at – is the governance structure designed effectively; is it implemented effectively; and does it work?
ACi’s CEO Steve Young said he had experienced cases where language barriers had a huge impact, and it wasn’t only different languages but also technical-speak that can derail an investigation. Steve said that when dealing with investment bank traders he has used technical translators to help unpick the jargon.
The panel then went on to discuss how an organisation’s Speak up Culture can impact whether or not whistle-blowers will come forward. The main reasons whistle-blowers may be reluctant to come forward are a sense of fear or futility. Steve mentioned that the treatment of witnesses and whistle-blowers is very important and investigators need to be sensitive as to how a whistle-blower may perceive an investigation. He said the ACi is developing training programmes to help investigators develop their interviewing skills.
The panel discussed ways in which organisations can put in place their lessons-learned reports. They talked about culture and governance audits, keeping an eye out for the number of reports the organisation is getting (remembering that no reports is not necessarily a good thing – it could mean that everyone is afraid to speak up about issues). Investigators need to stand back periodically and spot trends in their organisation.
As both BJ and Katie Palms are US lawyers (Katie being dual New York and English law qualified) the panel then discussed the difference between investigations in the US and the UK. BJ mentioned that although he has worked for different agencies, they all have the same goals – accountability, justice for victims, and reliable and safe jurisdictions which are free from corruption. He talked about how investigations are often interconnected and how much investigators can learn from each other.
Ali Sallaway, Freshfields partner, closed the discussion with some final remarks about the role corporate investigators can play in helping their organisations to spot trends and address any cultural issues.
After the panel debate, delegates continued their discussion over drinks and canapes in the Freshfields building. Many delegates picked up on Steve’s mention of forthcoming ACi training programmes, and we plan to issue further news on this and other ACi events shortly.
The ACi is delighted to announce that Vanessa Nigro has been appointed to its Executive Committee as Chief Technology Officer. Vanessa is currently the Global Internal Audit, Investigations and ERM Director for Dufry. Her work for the ACi will be in addition to her role at Dufry on a pro-bono basis, in line with all the ACi's executive committee members.
Steve Young, CEO, ACi and Head of Investigations, Lombard Odier, said, "We extend a very warm welcome to Vanessa as she joins the ACi ExCo. All our committee members are experienced corporate investigators who want to make a significant difference to the profession. Vanessa has both experience in and passion for using technology in investigations, and she will help us keep abreast of advances in technology so we can advise and inform members on trends and innovations."
Vanessa said, "I am thrilled about joining the ACi ExCo. The purpose of the ACi is of pivotal importance for advancing the status and professionalism of the corporate investigations discipline. I am particularly fascinated by investigative solutions and assurance approaches that enhance results and reduce workload – an area which is highly impacted by advances in technology. In my role, I will help the ACI to keep an eye out for innovations that will leverage our work”
The ACi's vision is that corporate investigations is universally recognised as an accredited profession and that the ACi is a key enabler for continued personal development and operational investigative excellence. To view the full Executive Committee click here.
ACi’s CEO Steve Young spoke to delegates attending the Proactive and Covert Financial Investigations breakfast presentation organised by Finance Isle of Man on Wednesday 19th June and supported by Expol Group.
The event brought together business owners, C-suite executives, regulators, lawyers, consultants and those tasked with managing corporate risks, to explore pro- active investigation tools and processes to investigate wrongdoing originating from external and internal sources.
“The delegates who attended were very interested in pro-active investigation techniques” Steve said. “The ACi will connect professionals from across the world, from a variety of disciplines, so they can share experience and keep their skills up to date. The IOM has a thriving business community and the ACi intend to bring investigations training to the Island in the near future’’
The ACi received an excellent reception at its inaugural event in Singapore on Thursday 20th June 2019. Mark Gough, regional head APAC, Stephen Storey, ACi board member and Kate Winter, general manager, attended the launch held at KPMG's Clubhouse.
Owen Hawkes, Partner, KPMG was our host for the evening and introduced ACi to the crowd. Mark Gough then gave an overview of the ACi as a membership-driven not for profit organisation, looking for input as to our products and services for members.
ACi board member Stephen explained the ACi's vision for education, training and accreditation for corporate investigations professionals. He asked delegates for their feedback on localised training needs. Some of the topics that came up were cognitive interviewing, planning and scoping in the early stages of an investigation, e-discovery and data science, managing large volumes of data, cultural sensitivity, body language, cross-border investigations and preventing investigations.
Jenny Tsin, Partner, The Wong Partnership, was our keynote speaker. Jenny has many years experience dealing with issues that arise in investigations She advised delegates that before commencing they should understanding the purpose of the investigation, identify the root causes, identify those responsible and identify any remedial action required. She said it was important to understand the relevance of legal privilege, and to clarify whether the investigation was for the purpose of seeking legal advice or to find out the cause of an event. She also gave some tips on sequencing interviews for the best results.
Among delegates there was some frank and open discussion about the challenges of running investigations which have thousands of documents to catalogue and analyse. Delegates welcomed the opportunity to network with other professionals. ACi was delighted because delegates came forward offering to host future training events and to support the ACi in the wider region.
The event was run in tandem with a survey among corporate investigators in SE Asia. The survey also demonstrated a great appetite for the ACi and our mission to ensure that corporate investigations is recognised as an accredited profession. 96% of respondents said they would be interested in attending ACi training.
The ACi would like to extend its sincere thanks to the KPMG team Eleanor Goh, Peipei Kew and Owen Hawkes for supporting the ACi and hosting the event. Our regional head, Mark Gough, will be heading up a series of events in the region in 2019 and beyond. Exciting times!
On 20th May 2019, ACi organised an event for corporate investigators who wanted to explore the role of using artificial intelligence in investigations. Kindly hosted by RPC, the event featured insights from Trevor Dickey, GSK, Richard Day, SFO, Sam Tate, RPC and Neil Fletcher, Citibank & ACi. You can read Sam Tate's review of the event here.
We are delighted to be hosting our first event in Asia. Sponsored by KPMG, our networking event takes place on June 27th 2019. If you are interested in attending, or have colleagues working in corporate investigations in the region, please visit our event page for further information and to register. Click here for details.