By: The Ethisphere Institute

Reputation management, compliance implications and stakeholder engagement remain top of mind issues for Compliance Officers, General Counsels and other members of the executive management team. While there’s a lot of discussion around these topics much is left to be explored.


Participants at the BELA roundtable sharing ideas and best practices.

At a Business Ethics Leadership Alliance roundtable last week, hosted by Minneapolis- based U.S. Bancorp (U.S. Bank) a few experts in the field gathered to shed some light on these hot-button issues. The informal conversations, led by Sarah DiLorenzo, Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer, Arthur J. Gallagher; Mark Ohringer, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL); and Deborah Spanic, Executive Director – Global Compliance Center of Excellence at Johnson Controls, Inc., allowed attendees to discuss their concerns, share ideas, experiences and resources.

“Trust and integrity are at the heart of our client relationships,” said Marsha Cruzan, Regional President, U.S. Bank, N.A, who also kicked off the meeting by stressing the company’s commitment to integrity. “We take pride in being recognized as a World’s Most Ethical Company as it reflects the values and principles of our business approach.”

This is the second consecutive year U.S. bank has earned the World’s Most Ethical Company designation. Being an honoree underscores the bank’s commitment to leading ethical business standards and practices ensuring long-term value creation for key stakeholders, including customers, employees, suppliers, regulators and investors.

At Ethisphere’s Global Ethics Summit earlier this year, Richard Davis, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, U.S. Bank, said that building authenticity and integrity across a company’s operations is critical to long-term business success. “Ten years ago, when I started as CEO, ethics in my mind was for and about customers,” said Davis, during a panel discussion, which featured CEOs and board members. “And I realized along the way that it is for the employees who will then transfer that belief and remarkable relationship to the customers.”

Participants at the roundtable also discussed techniques used to track their reputation across social media and other online platforms. “Every employee is an ambassador of our brand,” said Mark Ohringer, EVP and General Counsel, JLL. “Whether they are at a meeting with a client, a cocktail party or posting something on Facebook/ Twitter.  Fair or unfair, their actions are inevitably tied to our brand.”

DiLorenzo provided a high-level overview of Arthur J. Gallagher’s conflict disclosure management program, including the types of issues surfaced, the technology employed, and the key benefits such as transparency and the ability to address potential issues of concern.

“The Chicago roundtable was a great success because we brought together a select group of executives from a diverse set of industries to discuss how they are implementing components of their ethics and compliance programs,” said Jonathan Whitacre, EVP and Chief Revenue Officer, Ethisphere Services. “Participants really appreciate how we operate under the Chatham House Rules. Our goal is to provide an informal platform that offers a conducive environment for free discussion of challenges and strategies used to advance and promote sustainable businesses.”

Ethisphere’s Business Ethics Leadership Alliance (BELA) was created to capture, codify and communicate leading practices throughout the community. The goal of these roundtables is to provide a platform for candid exchanges to help executive leaders and their companies openly address strategic challenges and collaborate together around actionable solutions.