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Instilling an Ethical Culture - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!

April 11, 2013 9:57 AM | Theresa Boyce (Administrator)

On Thursday evening April 4th the CEO Trust Philadelphia Chapter held an event at Drinker, Biddle- Instilling an Ethical Culture: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly!

The event was made up of an all-star group of panelists; Marc Hodak-Moderator (Adjunct Associate Professor NYU Stern School of Business & Managing Director, Hodak Value Advisors), Michael Brozzetti (President of Boundless, LLC), Paul Donato (Director, Atlantic Financial Advisory), Greg Miller (Managing Partner, Drinker Biddle), and George Zauflik (SVP of Compliance/Government Relations at Cardone Industries).

The panelists provided real life situations which demonstrated just how very important it is for an organizational leader to instill ethical conduct. At one point a panelist succinctly stated “it all starts at the top.”  If a CEO doesn’t lead ethically, the culture will be reflected.

After Mr. Hodak cited a recent day’s Wall Street Journal headline involving a case of corporate malfeasance, Mr. Miller described a hypothetical involving an organization’s lack of oversight with its inconsistent internal pricing schemes resulting in a federal grand jury subpoena seeking all documents related to its contracts… “The Ugly” situation.

Mr. Donato then went on to describe an accounting forensic case whereby a former company owner had circumvented his formal business relationships benefiting from a more favorable pricing scheme from a foreign company in which he was an investor that was selling to his current business partners. In this case the company owner cited being “bored” and wanted to pocket from arrangements about which the current business partners were unaware….“The Bad” situation.

Mr. Zauflik described how due to his company’s principled core values resulted in a supplier’s having to come clean and confessed to price-gouging….”The Bad to the Good” situation.

Finally, Mr. Brozzetti discussed how specific internal controls utilizing I.T. to mitigate risk could be instituted within any organization….”The Good” situation. All in all, the panel discussion could have extended beyond the scope of time allotted due to the spirited discussion. One participant expressed the view that this was quite possibly the best CEO Trust panel event yet!

-- Chuck Steege, Founder and President, SFG Wealth Planning Services, Inc.