The obstacles and opportunities in the increasingly important role of chief compliance officers

While the role of the CCO is gaining prominence within companies, new obstacles and opportunities are presented

It is said that chief compliance officers (CCOs) are in the same position that chief financial officers (CFOs) were in about 15 years ago: gaining more prominence yet still needing to play a more strategic role in their companies in order to become essential members of the C-suite. PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) fourth annual State of Compliance Survey shows how the role of a CCO is rapidly evolving and how current CCOs can further their business prominence.

According to the study in which over a thousand organizations were surveyed, 69 percent of companies have a CCO while the other 31 percent said they did not. It seems that larger and more regulated companies tend to have CCOs, while smaller and less regulated companies should consider establishing the role of a CCO.

Sally Bernstein, a principal in PwC’s Risk Consulting Advisory, says, “As the CCO’s role further evolves, compliance will become more integrated with business performance and CCOs will assume a more strategic role.  Overall, the future of compliance depends on defining not just the compliance function, but also specifically the organization’s desired role for the compliance chief. It’s difficult to be ‘chief’ in the current environment, but more companies recognize they need to get into the ‘business of compliance,’ and are working towards that goal.”

Contributing Author

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Jessica Liu

Jessica Liu is a sophomore at Haverford College, where she is majoring in political science. At InsideCounsel, she reports on news for the Women, Influence,...

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