Introducing: Conflicts of Interest 2.0

Taking aim at an underserved and under-addressed risk area

Today, Convercent announced the launch of a major enhancement to our Conflicts of Interest Manager. It’s what we’re calling COI 2.0. And we believe it fundamentally enhances the way we take in, address and analyze disclosures of conflicts of interest.

WHY, OH WHY, COI?
COIs don’t discriminate. They happen in every industry no matter the size, shape or age of the company. More than that, they’re ground zero for any number of types of misconduct, including IP leakage, insider trading, corruption, fraud and so on. And yet, the way companies are addressing this level of risk is sub-par, to say the least, given the threat it poses to a company’s culture, reputation and bottom line.

Research has found:

  • COIs are the third most commonly observed type of misconduct (2013 National Business Ethics Survey).
  • Only 49 percent of workers who observe COI misconduct report what they see (NBES), meaning 50 percent or more of COIs are going unreported.
  • A combined 74 percent of companies use internal/desktop tools – or none at all – to manage COIs (2015 Compliance Trends Survey from Deloitte and Compliance Week).

These findings are a pressure cooker for things to go wrong, and fast. Worse yet, they run the very real risk of going unreported, undocumented and unnoticed until something goes devastatingly wrong.

WHERE THE STATUS QUO FALLS SHORT
While most companies will share that COIs are one of their top three risk areas, a vast majority of them are managing disclosures through face-to-face meetings and basic desktop tools. Many will instruct employees (in their Code of Conduct or related policies) to report potential COIs in person to their manager or CECO. That’s hugely intimidating, if not highly unrealistic.

Today, there’s little to nothing in the ways of formal and standardized disclosure processes. At best, it’s inefficient. Worse (though not unlikely) case is that COIs go unchecked, and the risks they pose unmitigated.

The cost of continuing to sweep COIs under the rug is far too great. We read it in the news, we hear it from our customers and we hear it from industry experts: COIs can bring down a reputable company fast and hard, leaving it to climb out of a deep and complex hole of regulatory fines, culture adjustments and public embarrassment.

ENTER COI 2.0

The remarkable thing about COI 2.0 is how quickly—and easily—it can elevate a company’s approach to managing this critical risk area. – Philip Winterburn, Chief Product Officer, Convercent

We’re completely overhauling our Conflicts of Interest Manager in response to this need (and, as always, with some enthusiastic nudging from our awesome customers). COI 2.0 has all the underpinnings of the first-generation product that we launched less than a year ago: a refreshingly intuitive and non-threatening interface, ability to make updates to disclosures and clearances and comprehensive reporting and analytics capabilities. We’ve drastically improved configuration, escalation and reporting capabilities to provide a more standardized and scalable way to capture, manage and monitor disclosures of conflicts of interest.

With COI 2.0, users can now:

  • Link directly from Code of Conduct and related policies
  • Customize the disclosure types and related questionnaires
  • Keep track of when employees tell you they don’t have conflicts to disclose
  • Require additional approval layers and attestations to clearance conditions
  • Update or retire disclosures anytime there’s a change
  • Manage workflow by assigning tasks, setting reminders, sending messages, creating alerts and adding notes and attachments directly to individual disclosures
  • Leverage real-time, dynamic dashboards and rich analytics

When you give your employees an intuitive way to make and manage disclosures, more of both will get done—in a more efficient and consistent way. Armed with more (and better) disclosure data, you can finally understand, address, anticipate and manage the conflicts that create risk and misconduct within your organization and make strategic business decisions with ease and confidence.

LIVE FROM NEW YORK…
Convercent is formally launching COI 2.0 at the 8th Annual Global Ethics Summit today in New York City. If you’re there, let us know. We’d be happy to walk you through COI 2.0 in person!

PRESS RELEASE
Read this morning’s press release on COI 2.0.

SAVE YOUR SEAT
We are hosting a live webinar on Wed., March 30 at 1 p.m. EST on the topic of conflicts of interest featuring guest experts Nick Hayes of Forrester Research and Katie Smith, AVP and Chief Ethics Officer at USAA.

Register now to save your seat.