Compliance officers are the new sheriffs of the corporate world. Their job is to craft, monitor, and enforce policies and procedures designed to ensure companies do not run afoul of local, regional, and national laws, or cause harm to consumers or the environment. They are of growing importance in today’s corporate world where litigation and government oversight work to keep companies in check. While CEOs and CFOs are the faces of the company, the CCO is the one charged with keeping the company working within the law and eliminating gaffs that would put them in the public eye for all the wrong reasons.
Not long ago compliance officers were an afterthought. Today, no major company worth its salt would dare set up shop without one. Compliance officers are the new counterbalance to aggressive commercial action by companies. These professionals are growing in importance because there is often a thin line between aggressively seeking profits for a corporation and violating the letter or spirit of the law. The compliance officer acts as a governor that keeps the company from inadvertently veering off its rails and doing damage to people, property, and the environment. Often the role of the corporate compliance officer is subtle, but it is vitally important.
Helane Morrison is one of the new breed of compliance officers. She is supremely qualified, experienced, and totally committed to justice and fair play. Morrison’s background made her perfect for the position. After earning her law degree from UC Berkley, Helane worked with Appellate Court judge Richard A. Posner for a year. She followed that by clerking for a year for Harry Blackmun, a judge on the U.S. Supreme Court.
After practicing law for 10 years, Morrison decided to take a position with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Her job was to investigate fraud, insider trading, and other corporate crimes. Morrison earned a reputation as a champion of the people. Someone willing to go to the mat with even the best known corporate entities if there was even a hint of wrong doing or malfeasance on their part. After 11 years with the SEC, Morrison was uniquely qualified to take over as Chief Compliance Officer for Hall Capital Partners LLC and make her mark.