Compliance Week 2009 Day 1: What A Difference A Day Makes

It was a great first day yesterday.  I’ve been telling Matt Kelly, Editor of Compliance Week, that this year is better than ever. One profound change is the Twitter presence this year.  Last year I was the only one Twittering, Matt did not yet have blogs on the Compliance Week site, and fewer people knew or cared what I was doing or why.  This year, I share the front row at every presentation (and the backchannel) with several bloggers/Twitterers.  I’ve now met Doug Cornelius, Bruce Carton, Alex Howard, and Eric Cohen live.  I also had a chance to talk with two out of three of my panelists for the Maryland Association of CPAs Business Expo panel, Colleen Cunningham and Susan Webster. (The third panelist on the 16th in Baltimore is Joanne O’Rourke of the PCAOB.)  And I ran into Tony Chapelle from the FT’s Agenda publication, where I was quoted last year.

Follow the rest of the conference via Twitter hashtag #CW2009

As always, one can plan an agenda, but you have to be flexible.  I woke up at 4:30 Chicago time yesterday and by late afternoon, even after lots of Starbucks espresso, I was cashed. Skipped the Oracle presentation after I got a late afternoon email that rescinded their Thursday dinner invitation from last week.  I was a little peeved.  It was written as if I had asked them to please ask me, pretty please, to come and eat their food. Which I did not.  I can make my own fun.  But to make an invitation and then rescind as if they found someone more interesting, more sexy, or less threatening was rude and unacceptable.  Well, I guess I just go to the Tweet Up early.

BTW If you are at the conference or in Washington DC, please come out and meet me, and whomever else the cat drags in, at Busboys and Poets, a place recommended by my friend Max.  It’s at 14th and V Street and anyone else will show up after 8:30.  Hope to see you.  Cash bar.

So who did I see yesterday?

The opener was an interesting presentation by SEC Commissioner Luis A. Aguilar on the Regulatory Agenda.  It was newsworthy for his statement that he supports a combining of the CFTC with the SEC. Unlikely to happen, though.  The CFTC says no. Legislators says no. 

Next up Fannie Mae Chief Compliance Officer Bill Senhauser discussed the immense challenges his firm has encountered during the credit crisis, and how he is trying to restore trust both inside and outside the company. This guy is a superstar.  Stay tuned for an in depth look at who he is, what he’s doing there, and why you need to keep an eye on him.  Never thought I’d say this about Fannie Mae, but with guys like this in senior positions, I’m hopeful for the future.

Former SEC Deputy Chief Accountant and Compliance Week Columnist Scott Taub reprised his  “top 10″ things you think you know about the SEC, and why you’re wrong. Scott is a Chicago guy and University of Michigan/Michigan native.  We’ve had some long talks and longer lunches.  After his presentation we had some lunch together and I saw him in action at a table full of folks who had no idea who he was.  He’s a smart, savvy former-SEC A-Lister who’s also just a “regular guy.”  A separate post will go in depth on his presentation and my very informal interview.  Takeaway for now?  You just might see Scott Taub, talker extraordinaire, on Twitter, under my tutelage.  

Finally, I attended KPMG Partners John Farrell and Rocco deGrasse ‘s presentation with Office Depot’s Chief Compliance Officer Bob Brewer that discussed how effective enterprise risk management program/GRC program can help to mitigate risks. The bonus part was, thanks to Rocco, a discussion of FCPA-related pre-acquisition/merger activities.

These Tweets pretty much sum up that presentation. Here. Here. Here. 

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