RHTLaw Taylor Wessing’s Managing Partner Tan Chong Huat shared his views in this week’s topic in the Business Times’ weekly column, Views from the Top.
This article was first published in The Business Times on 26 September 2016.
Bridging the trust gap
SEP 26, 2016 5:50 AM
THIS WEEK'S TOPIC: What can be done - by business leaders and companies - to build trust?
Tan Chong Huat
RHTLaw Taylor Wessing LLP
At the risk of over simplifying the subject, I would recommend that business leaders and companies remember the acronym "GRACE" ie Governance, Risk, Anti-Money Laundering, Compliance & Ethics. These are important virtues when it comes to building trust.
The embracing of each and every one of them will be essential to guide and promote trust, and prevent the destruction of trust that have been established, built over time and maintained between companies and stakeholders.
Good governance that delivers performance and profitability which complies with regulations (among others, anti-money laundering as in the recent BSI / 1MDB case), conforms with good ethics, and is equipped with adequate and effective risk management will offer a good trust-enabling framework.
Needless to say, the honesty, diligence and accountability of business leaders will be of foremost importance in determining the trust quotient of the companies they helm. Examples include Dr Cheong Choong Kong (Singapore Airlines) and Warren Buffet (Berkshire Hathaway), just to name a notable few.
Over time, some of these companies become great institutions which are trusted and loved by their stakeholders, with a distinctive culture of honour and integrity. Hence the importance of "GRACE"
RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Family & Matrimonial Partner Michelle Woodworth was invited to speak at a conference organised by Singapore Academy of Law and the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple titled “Recent Developments in Law and Practice in the UK and Singapore”. The conference was held over two days from 23-24 September 2016 at the Supreme Court Auditorium Singapore. Honourable Judge of Appeal Justice Chao Hick Tin from the Supreme Court of Singapore gave the opening remarks.
Michelle spoke about "Developments in Family Law” where topics discussed included:
• Developments in the Approach to a “Just and Equitable” Division of Matrimonial Assets
• Developments in post-divorce maintenance
• Parental responsibility as substantive principle regulating parenting
Other renowned speakers comprised Professor Leong Wai Kum from Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore and Ms Ann Hussey QC from 1 Hare Court.
The conference was attended by practitioners, judges and academics professionals from both the UK and Singapore.
RHT Compliance Solutions organised its flagship Compliance Summit titled “Getting Smart and Getting Touch” at Suntec Convention Centre on 22 September 2016. RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Chairman and Senior Consultant Professor Walter Woon SC gave the welcome address. We were delighted by the turnout of about 250 guests, mostly from the legal and compliance community in financial services.
Four interesting panel discussions were held covering the following themes:
AML in Focus – how certain unprecedented enforcement actions in Singapore by the MAS has put AML front and centre, and how financial institutions should react.
Role of technology in compliance – with increasing complexity of regulations, there is a need to leverage on technology for compliance.
Anti-Corruption – dissecting issues such as the impact of 1MDB on anti-corruption programs, dealing with cross-border risks, innovative approaches towards anti-corruption program and handling cross-border investigations.
Compliance culture – how recent enforcement actions has put compliance culture in the forefront, designing a program to promote compliance culture, measuring compliance culture, and a debate about the need to have an accreditation program for compliance officers in Singapore
FinTech and Compliance – the inherent tensions between innovation and regulation, the importance of having a risk-focused compliance program for Compliance Officers.
We were also privileged to have a speaker from HK’s Independent Commission Against Corruption to present on Asset Forfeiture in Corruption.
This Summit took place as part of the UK Government’s International Anti-Corruption Week –Tackling Financial Crime Together organised by the British High Commission in Singapore.