In September 2018, the ABC’s hit documentary series Australian Story tracked ...
Brendan Leddy is Global Head of Compliance at GFG Alliance. Fresh from rolling out GFG’s new Global Compliance Standards and Code of Conduct, he spoke with us as part of a new series celebrating ESG achievements across our GFG family.
Hi Brendan, when we talk about ESG, the ‘G’ tends to get overlooked – even though it’s vitally important. How does the work you do in compliance help us achieve our governance goals of integrity, transparency, and accountability?
Brendan: While governance often gets less attention than environmental risks and societal implications, when executed appropriately it can contribute enormously to long term value creation and help an organisation to achieve its environmental and social goals.
Many firms today are building a culture of compliance and, within that, governance features high on the list of priorities – customers expect it, competitors see the value of highlighting their superior ESG contributions and authorities have made it their mission to come down hard on organisations that fall foul of legal and regulatory obligations. A company’s integrity is almost like any other commodity and it should be managed and safeguarded. Compliance aims to do just that by aiming to weed out potential breaches, build transparency at every level and improve accountability.
Congratulations on rolling out GFG’s new Code of Conduct and Global Compliance Standards recently. What does it actually mean in practise for our GFG colleagues?
Brendan: For our colleagues, the GFG Alliance Global Code of Conduct and the Global Standards provide the tools to do the right thing in the right way, consistently. The Code serves as a valuable reference point to assure external stakeholders like our customers, regulators and other authorities of our commitment to compliant and ethical practices.
I will often be asked for compliance advice by colleagues about the jurisdictions where GFG operates. I welcome these interactions because they demonstrate that colleagues across the organisation are aware there is a Code and Standards, and they want to ensure they are moving forward in a way that is consistent and transparent, compliant and ethical.
What’s next for the Compliance team? Is there anything you’re working on that you’d like to share with GFG colleagues?
Brendan: It is not enough to say we have a Code and Global Standards, we must be able to show our internal and external stakeholders that we also have transparent reporting frameworks in place. That’s why we are working to roll out the GFG Alliance Compliance Charter, which will address how we can demonstrate our commitment to compliant and ethical business practices.
What do you find most interesting about your role and its unique challenges?
Brendan: The world is in a constant state of change and that means compliance is also in a state of change. So, like everyone, I adapt because today’s priority may not be tomorrow’s priority and that’s fine because change is exciting.
In terms of ESG, governance was late to the party but it is now a mainstay because without the ‘G’ there is no ‘E’ or ‘S’. There is an old expression that good compliance is good business. Similarly, I strongly believe that good governance is also good business.
Click here to access the two documents on the Global Compliance pages on the GFG global intranet The HUB.