The Black Swan Partners
Risk, Compliance & Resilience
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Experience


Our team of professionals has many years of deep risk and compliance experience.

Resiliency

Helped organizations effectively prepare for and manage adverse events, develop management systems, tools and resiliency programs, and respond effectively during actual crisis situations. Helped organizations create the necessary level of response capabilities, including how to address the essential strategic, operational and policy issues during a crisis. Developed related program design, governance, alignment and linkages to enterprise risk management, compliance, cyber response, business continuity and incident management/response capabilities.

Building compliance programs

Designed and implemented an ethics and compliance program in response to a Settlement Agreement with the New York State Attorney General (Eliot Spitzer). Collaborated with business leaders to create an ethical environment and to achieve compliance with regulations by developing and maintaining policies and procedures in support of a culture of integrity and excellence

Launching a risk framework

Led the implementation of a world class, global Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) function for professional services firms. Work included creating a risk framework aimed at sustainable, transparent and effective attainment of the firm’s risk management objectives. Partnered with and advised a public company’s ERM team to develop and improve their reporting to senior management and the Board on key risk-related metrics across all of its compliance risks, emerging issues and mitigation initiatives, and contributed to the development of the company’s new risk appetite statement.

Operational Due Diligence

Black Swan experts have extensive experience conducting ODD reviews across diverse investment strategies, including hedge fund, infrastructure, private equity and traditional asset managers.

Employee Benefits Compliance support

Helped organizations with their regulatory and compliance risks associated with fiduciary, tax, HIPAA, ACA, FERPA, ERISA, ADA, FMLA, COBRA and other regulatory requirements governing healthcare and HR program design and administration. Work in this area has included developing a comprehensive risk management program for managed care organizations and assisting numerous health care organizations in obtaining new product licensure, including preparation and filing of applications with state and federal regulators. Developed intellectual capital such as a Dependent Eligibility Audit Toolkit  Supervised and drafted extensive benefit handbook and plan document materials. Conducted compliance reviews, governance and fiduciary assessments and training for executives and employee benefits administrators.

Privacy and data protection expertise

Expertise in privacy and data developing privacy and data protection programs to help mitigate privacy and cyber threats. Led the HIPAA privacy and cyber security consulting efforts for a US-based consultancy which included developing technical tools and training and overseeing over 50 consultants nationally. Led many large HIPAA engagements with large organizations.  Led a risk assessment that led to the development of privacy and data protection policies and related training programs for a US-based consultancy. Helped develop cyber metrics to help monitor risk against our articulated risk appetite. These Key Risk Indicators included, e.g., # of lost stolen devices, malware/virus attempts, # of data incidents, DoS attacks, etc. Created a risk reporting for the C Suite and the Board which led to significant cap-ex investments to lower enterprise cyber risk. 

Global ethics and compliance training

Developed and deployed many types of compliance, risk and ethics training programs including technical training in the areas of FCPA, FMLA, IRC (Tax), ADA, HIPAA and ERISA. Conducted national and local webinars and seminars for both Mercer and third party sponsors on topics such as eligibility audits, wellness incentives, HIPAA, and risk management.

Compliance investigations

Conducted and or oversaw investigations into actual or potential violations of law and ethical codes. Directly responsible for recommending and executing discipline of colleagues. In some cases, the incidents investigated led to required reporting to federal and state regulators.

Code of Conduct Development and Training

Led the development, drafting and design of a new values-based interactive Code of Conduct for a highly regulated financial institution, with over 22,000 employees worldwide. This project involved working with leaders at all levels to inspire engagement with the company’s values. The new Code is more readable and less legalistic, while addressing the company’s key compliance and ethics risks.  Co-developed, delivered and oversaw an in-person training program on a new Code of Conduct for the Corporate Function of a financial services firm with 55,000 employees worldwide. The training promoted a “speak-up” and “risk mindfulness” culture to enable employees to better address the range of ethical and compliance-related dilemmas faced in their day-to-day jobs.

Non-Profit Advice

Advised a US not-for-profit standard-setting organization on licensee compliance monitoring, due diligence, risk reporting, board governance and oversight. Provided practical hands-on guidance to a Canadian not-for-profit on how to improve its enterprise risk management framework, including the development of its first Board-approved risk appetite and tolerance statement, updates to its risk management policy and improvements to its risk identification, management, monitoring and reporting processes. 

Working with Regulators

Provided strategic direction and collaborated with senior management to address a set of mandatory regulatory insurance reforms.  Successfully led the regulatory examination process as required by a five-year settlement agreement demonstrating to regulators, management and Board that the company had reformed its insurance practices and implemented an effective compliance program. An independent monitor of the audit and governance processes of the Los Angeles and Detroit Police Departments, provided guidance to help reform their policing practices as required in the aftermath of the Rodney King and other police corruption scandals.

Improving Compliance Performance

Led enterprise-wide initiatives to improve the effectiveness of a public company’s compliance program and align with globally accepted compliance standards relating to AML, data privacy, trade sanctions, bribery, corruption, conflicts, records retention and dealing with government officials.  These initiatives included developing harmonized policies and communications to address the company’s key compliance risks and drive employee awareness. Designed and led the implementation of a public company’s global compliance monitoring and reporting program to test and report on the effectiveness of its compliance program for each of its key compliance risks, through a shared team of approximately 40 compliance, internal audit and operations personnel.

International Forensic Accounting Expertise

Led and conducted >200 forensic accounting cases in Canada, the US, the UK and internationally in >25 countries around the globe, for clients in a wide variety of industries, including banks and other financial institutions, resource companies, manufacturers, retailers, construction companies, lawyers, charities and governments.  Most cases involved investigating allegations of procurement fraud and other corruption, and resolving financial issues in commercial litigation. Most significant cases included leading teams of lawyers, investigators, internal auditors and forensic accountants investigating the auditor’s role in a multi-million-dollar mortgage brokerage fraud; assessing the damages suffered by a large shopping center due to faulty construction; and an asset tracing case involving US$300-million laundered through offshore bank accounts during the war in Kuwait.

Conceptualization and implementation of business operations

Created new business operating units for top multinational firms, and growing them into mature and profitable entities. Significant experience in offshoring and process optimization. Relevant experience includes leading the implementation of the “Seat-sharing Process” for a large financial services firm which increased seat utilization to 120% (from 97%) effectively rendering ~$1.2M in occupancy saves.  Our work also included putting controls in place to reduce tech-related purchases for the client firm by 38%.  We've also led the process migration and setup of the Account Management Workstream, a new footprint for the site. One of our Black Swan partners was the overall receptor lead which moved 12 new business processes from activation to business-as-usual status.