X International Applied Science Conference «Corporate Social Responsibility and business ethics

May 22, 2014 the X International Applied Science Conference «Corporate Social Responsibility and business ethics» was held in the Congress Hall of the Chamber of Commerce of the Russian Federation. The conference was organized by the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation and by 

ufrf_logoSubcommittee of the corporate governance and management of the Committee on the industrial development of the Russian Chamber of Commerce

The first day of the conference it was held at the Chamber of Commerce Ilyinka 6, the second at the Financial University.

This event is the result of many years of work of the school of thought at the Department of Corporate Governance of the Financial University. Most findings presented were product of collaboration between universities that only saw light at this conference.

Section 1 Compliance and Business Ethics (held at the Library Hall of the Chamber of Commerce N310)

This meeting was moderated by Irina Belyaeva, KhvichaKharchilava and Anatoly Yakorevwho constitute the core of the EF Working group on business ethics and compliance. Thus the focus of this meeting was the ongoing project led by the Russian Co-Chair Khvicha.

logo4Anatoly Yakorev talked about the project of WG and challenges that the group had encountered while shaping  objectives, getting resources and aligning stakeholders. Dividing the roles in the team turned out to be the key: overall leadership and getting venues — Irina, Khvicha is in direct contact with stakeholders among the banks and Anatoly is working directly with banking compliance officers to collect the data. The rest of the workload gets redistributed as needs arise. The only contributor from the US side is Luke Hornblower who had always been very helpful in addressing the project’s challenges, especially when it came to the situation involving the US Fellows. Also he alerted the Russian WG to help salvage the project of the Loyola Marymount University students on retain banking in Moscow. That joint work brought about lots of new insights into the project from that US team.

Questions and comments ensued not only from the professional pool of experts that were prominently present, but also from the academia which viewed the project’s progress and challenges with a tinge of jealousy. However, the fact that the project took off and made strides and found support among the banks and their leading compliance managers was commendable in the eyes of participants as rarely it was successful given the tough mix of academicians, corporate folks and institutions themselves. Biggest impact the project had on the reps of the regional universities who were very enthusiastic about the project’s setup and milestones. What positive elements can be gleaned from that prolonged discussion as we had to extend the time of our conference are as follows:

logo_eOur best findings and achievements in this project:

— highlights of the project: compliance for banking questionnaire developed jointly with banks that helped secure their involvement in the project;

— the course on compliance in banking that was developed while implementing the project;

— compliance function in banking is not that similar to general compliance because of a special role of Central bank as regulator;

XAppliedConference— the fact we have identified true champions in the banking industry to support our effort;

— we have become a true team while working on this project;

— this project did become a beacon of light for many regional universities due to our joint efforts and communication with business — they are quite eager to follow in our stead. We are going to run workshop for them;

— feels great to be singled out as ethical leaders of the project by the bankers who are pretty difficult to deal with in any country;

— Irina Belyaeva demonstrated her multiple talents as legendary organizer and Khvicha is always loved by the business community;

— disappointment with people we thought would add to our team effort in our WG; overall inefficiency of EF team to address issues in a timely manner except for, maybe, Olga Prokhorova;

— communication with EF needs to be radically improved,

Among people  who contributed to the event are:

The ICS President Ekaterina Pustovalova, Marat Mouradov, Dentons partner, Tomas Karner and Dan Kjellgren (Sweden) from Anatoly’s Center CBEC that offered views of Scandinavian investors on the state of compliance in Russia, the leading expert Alexander Alpatov from the Chamber of Commerce, Alla Vavilina from Saratov State University and many others.

A very special stakeholder in the project is Alla Maslennikova who is Vice-Chairman of the Board of RGS bank. Many other people from other banks continue playing a big role to help us complete this project and we are grateful to them for their continuous support.

Nataly Donelli made a stunning presentation of the Global Business Ethics Challenge (GBEC) which is a practical piece of software that examines participants’ ethical strengths and weaknesses when running a company (simulation). Anatoly Yakorev was invited to participate in one day training session and his team came in second on ethics & compliance score when in fact his team made most of the money and got the first place as a result for commercial achievements.

Marat Mouradov, partner in Dentons made a presentation on anti-monopoly compliance and also is a big supporter of what we do.

Maja Juskiewicz, project manager from Center for Business Ethics & Compliance, provided a good research and findings on the level of anti-corruption activities and compliance in Poland.

The fact that a lot of business and compliance professionals showed support in the conference means that our team has become a player and the project itself became an important benchmark for the Russian banking industry.