European Compliance Forum – Holding the Helm of the Company is Getting Harder

Following the recently amended law on criminal liability of legal persons, the issue of cost-effectiveness of prevention emerges more and more.

On why should Compliance Management have an important role in the company, and also on the upcoming conference of the European Compliance Forum 2017, we talked to JUDr. Jaroslav Ružička, Managing Partner and one of the founders of the law firm Ružička Csekes s.r.o.

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On 18 and 19 May 2017, a unique European Compliance Forum 2017 is being held that you decided to co-organise. What was the main motivation to hold this prestigious conference in Slovakia?

The decision to co-organise the European Compliance Forum is a logical result of several recently adopted or proposed legislative changes that fundamentally affect and interfere with the business life of many of our clients. As the biggest intervention in commercial law we consider the adoption of law on criminal liability of legal persons, which as prevention requires the adoption of effective measures to protect the company. We are one of the last countries in the European Union to introduce this obligation. Our experience from abroad shows that this issue is certainly not marginal and it requires legal persons to have active and innovative approaches to solving issues. Responsibility that the law imposed on the shoulders of top management, is not theoretical, it is a challenge, which together with our clients we need to face, and active participation in the conference is one of the tools.

You talk about new approaches. What will be innovative in this conference?

The European Compliance Forum is not just a conference. It is a space, where top management will have the opportunity, in terms of a strategic view, to compare their views on this issue with other companies. The Forum is primarily intended for top management because they are the critical stakeholders, who within their own company structure, will determine the direction, which the company will move in the field of Compliance. They will have to weigh the risks and the manner of dealing with them. At the same time, it is necessary to recognise that the broad spectre of the Compliance topic also delivers the debit in availability of information, which are the risks that need to be considered. And of course, where you do not have enough information, you cannot adopt relevant solutions. Therefore, the Forum is structured and organised in such a way that we touch upon the key issues that companies will have to deal with, such as IT security, Know Your Customer processes, internal fraud, modern Compliance structures and how they are formed. Finally, of course also prevention in criminal law terms. The ambition of the Forum is not to explain the thematic areas in detail. Therefore, we supported the idea of short, however concise presentations with a focus on what matters the most in the given area. The aim is to understand the principles and the subsequent search for a suitable and effective alternative, which the particular company chooses. The Forum participants will have a relatively wide range of possibilities of interaction with the aim to establish relevant discussion on these topics, so in addition to the specialised part we have provided maximum support also for networking and interaction.

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That sounds interesting. If you had to choose one speaker, whom we will see at the ECF 2017, who would it be?

This is a very difficult question, I admit. In each of the areas that will be presented at the Forum, we have chosen those, who have truly valuable information for top managers. This was an essential criterion for us. At the same time we wanted to avoid an event, where only consulting firms would be presenting themselves. Therefore the Forum will be primarily about professionals and managers from specific companies operating in various sectors of the economy. Expertise in different slots will then be taken by speakers who are experts in the given subject at a high professional level. The Forum will comprise of an appropriate mix of what the business environment debates, complemented by short lecture sessions given by experts on selected topics.

I am convinced that someone can be captivated by a lecture given by an ethical hacker, who normally only appears at high profile IT security events, others will be attracted by the economy of creative accounting and related internal fraud, which will be presented by the Senior Analyst of Sberbank, Mr. Vaňo. Equally important is also Prof. Zelený, working at Fordham University New York, who is the most-cited economist in the Czech Republic. I cannot but mention, for example Mr. Juraj Szabó from the ČEZ Group, who introduced the Compliance system in the ČEZ Group, in Slovak terms assented by the icon of Compliance in the Slovak Republic, Mr. Vittek from Tatrabanka. Academic environment, which significantly affects the fate of this issue and its development, is represented by such names as Prof. Remišová from the Faculty of Management of the Comenius University or Prof. Čentéš from the Faculty of Law of the Comenius University. Certainly, also for JUDr. Dulla, chairman of the Criminal Senat of the Supreme Court or Col. Krčmárik from NAKA, these topics of the Forum are very close. From the business environment, I can reveal Mr. Slezák, CEO of SIEMENS, Mr. Gabriel Szabó, the new CEO of Slovnaft or Lászlo Ivan, CEO of Arriva Group for the Slovak Republic.

(Source: Ružička Csekes s.r.o.)

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