Benchmarking Groups

The Benchmarking Groups are a new style of working groups for ECI members to get involved, share their expertise, and produce a standard report to help elevate the E&C field. The goal of each group is to focus on best practices in a specific compliance topic, study the problem, compile data, and write a report to be published and distributed to the ECI community.

Subject matter expert co-chairs will lead 20-25 participants, drawn from ECI’s membership, which consists of senior and mid-level ethics and compliance professionals. Each group will meet monthly for one-hour over three to six months and, guided by the co-chairs, formulate the report. At the conclusion of the meeting series, the group will write an executive summary, made available to the public, and four-page report, made available to ECI members. 

The report will be combined with a webcast, research data, and member samples to form a one-stop shop toolkit for the topic.

Questions or Interested in participating? Contact

Not a member? Learn about ECI membership.

Conflicts of Interest

Sponsor Chair: Jeff Kaplan (Kaplan & Walker)
Practitioner chair: Mark Snyderman (Laureate Education)

This ECI working group will identify the best practice undertaken by organizations with regard to the various important and often challenging areas of conflict of interest (“COI”) compliance programs. The discussion will include such topics as:
• Standards and communication: What do best practice codes of conduct say about COIs? When do high quality programs also have standalone COI policies in addition to the code? What are effective training and communication measures for COIs?
Disclosure and management: How do best practice programs handle COI disclosure requirements? How detailed are their COI certifications – and are they required of all employees? What are effective monitoring strategies? Is there a best practice for COI risk assessments?
Enforcement: What are effective approaches to COI audits and investigations? How do effective CECOs meet the special challenges of dealing with COIs involving senior management and the board of directors? What is the connection between organizational culture and effective COI compliance?

Jeff Kaplan is a recognized industry expert on COI, a sought-after speaker and author on the subject, and author of the Conflict of Interest Blog. Kaplan is a partner in Kaplan & Walker, LLP, which provides counsel to corporations on ethics and compliance matters.

Mark Snyderman oversees E&C at an organization that networks more than 80 institutions of higher education. Avoiding conflicts of interest among like-minded institutions is an essential part of Laureate’s business model.

Managing Your Relationship with Monitors

Sponsor chair: Eric Feldman (Affiliated Monitors)
Practitioner chair: Michael Kallens (Booz Allen Hamilton)

Independent Monitors are frequently used by federal, state, and regulatory agencies to help ensure corporate compliance with administrative, settlement, non-prosecution, and deferred prosecution agreements which often result from corporate or employee ethical misconduct. Historically, the use of monitors has been imposed by the government agency concerned. While this is still the case in most situations, increasingly, organizations are engaging monitors proactively to help assess their ethics and compliance posture, recommend ways of strengthening their programs, and demonstrate due diligence to government agencies and regulators.

This ECI Benchmarking Group will study some of the best practices used by organizations to develop and maintain effective working relationships with Independent Monitors, and how to get the most value from these relationships and monitoring engagements.

Eric Feldman is the SVP and managing director of corporate ethics and compliance programs at Affiliated Monitors, Inc. He has personally served as a monitor to a number of organizations; among them, Booz Allen Hamilton.

Mike Kallens leads the ethics and business integrity office at Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH). As part of his experience, Kallens worked with Eric Feldman when BAH was assigned a corporate monitor.

Regulatory Intelligence

Sponsor chair: Bobby Kipp (PwC)
Practitioner chair: Scott Jensen (QVC)

E&C functions are challenged with ensuring their organizations are staying on top of the new, emerging and changing regulatory requirements that apply to their businesses. In addition, having visibility to the range of enforcement activity that might be relevant in their industry is difficult. The complexity increases exponentially as organizations enter new business areas or jurisdictions.

This Benchmarking Group would study and provide ideas on how E&C functions can accomplish this within their resource constraints. Amongst other topics, we will explore:
• Roles and responsibilities for regulatory information/intelligence/tracking (including the roles of Legal, business, IA and E&C)
• Technology tools to support the efforts
• Processes and policies that are efficient and effective

Bobby Kipp is a partner in her firm’s Risk Assurance Practice and a former E&C practitioner. Kipp specializes in helping organizations assess and improve their E&C programs. Monitoring the regulatory environment is an essential element of her efforts to inform clients’ priorities.

Scott Jensen is with QVC, the world’s leading video and e-commerce retailer. In 2014, it shipped more than 174 million products, worldwide. As associate general counsel, Jensen is acutely aware of the need for regulatory intelligence, given the many regulations affecting his company.


Sponsor chair: Jeff Knox (Simpson Thacher & Bartlett)
Practitioner chair: Nancy Higgins (Bechtel)

Anti-corruption enforcement remains a significant priority of the DOJ and SEC. In the past few years, law enforcement authorities throughout Europe, as well as in China, South America and elsewhere, have stepped up enforcement of their own anti-corruption statutes. Enforcement trends that raise heightened compliance challenges include aggressive use of the “willful blindness” (U.S.) and strict liability (e.g., U.K., Brazil) standards to hold organizations responsible for corrupt conduct by third-party agents, consultants, distributors and other intermediaries; use of the FCPA’s internal control provisions to prosecute – often criminally – perceived weaknesses in compliance programs, even in the absence of evidence of actual bribe payments; and prosecution of successor organizations for pre-acquisition conduct of targets.

This group will focus on best practices in this challenging regulatory climate, focusing specifically on: (i) third-party due diligence and ongoing monitoring; (ii) the use of forensic data analytics as a preventative tool to efficiently identify compliance failures; (iii) integrating subsidiaries, affiliates and acquisition targets into a organization's compliance program; and (iv) detection and handling of anti-corruption concerns.

Jeff Knox is former chief of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section at the U.S. Department of Justice. He oversaw criminal enforcement of all FCPA case in the U.S. He now focuses on criminal and regulatory matters, government investigations and compliance counseling.

Nancy Higgins received the top grade in Transparency International UK’s (TI-UK) Defence Companies Anti-Corruption Index 2015, which measures the transparency and quality of ethics and anti-corruption programs of 163 defense companies from 47 countries. Higgins is CECO at the company, and is integrally involved in the anti-corruption effort.


Group members can navigate to Communities > My Communities to access their online community webpage.