Leaving aside the ideal profession to be a CO, what is worthy of study are the knowledge and skills that he/she must possess to fully fulfill his/her responsibilities and not only that, to achieve a transcendence in his/her work team, his/her organization and society.

In 2018 Thomson Reuters[1] reported the expectations of Andrew J. Donohue, then chief of staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), where the CO was asked to move away from the traditional role of knowing only those laws and regulations that affected their business, but to start with broader work, taking in areas such as technology, operations, market risk, audit, to name a few.

Let’s go a little further and analyze those qualities that are beginning to gain more importance for OC, not only in Mexico, but also internationally.

Emotional Intelligence: According to Bruce T. Blyth and Rick J. Machold’s study, ‘The Human Side of GRC'[2], any well-intentioned compliance program is destined to fail if the human factor and the complexity of relationships are not taken into account. The CO has the responsibility not to allow the constant hustle and bustle of his or her work to affect the work environment, but rather to have a deep understanding of himself or herself, his or her emotions, and to generate empathy with all members of the organization and stakeholders in general.

Leadership and inspiring others: If a CO is seen as the “security guard” of the organization, risks may not be brought to his or her attention for fear of “nagging” or retaliation. A CO must at all times “roll with resistance”.

According to David Bohman-Carter[3], “rolling with resistance” is a key technique that recognizes that simply attacking or confronting someone directly does not always work; it can cause people to go deeper into their shell or become very defensive. If there are behaviors or compliance program failures that need to be remedied, the best way to address these challenges is through inspiring others, being a leader and demonstrating how controls can be the gateway to more robust, sustainable organizations that have a positive impact on the lives of employees and society.

Negotiation[4]: Budgets, personnel authorizations, innovation in financial crime risk management, all require effective communication of the needs of the compliance area and that in turn the CO knows the impact that each request will have on the operational, commercial, technological areas, etc., not because they are his area of competence, but because it allows him to gain the empathy of the decision-makers.

Other qualities that make up the ideal CO, which we will address in future installments, are: ethics and integrity, good reputation, knowledge of risk management, pillars of corporate governance, law, technology, good judgment, coaching and continuous preparation.

Being a CO is a profession that is becoming more and more popular in Mexico, and gives us the opportunity to take the lessons available at an international level in order not to start from scratch, but to align ourselves and be part of the same innovation.


[1] Ten things compliance officers need to do in 2018, Thomson Reuters, visitado el 30 de mayo de 2019.


[2] Bruce T. Blyth and Rick J. Machold, ‘The human side of GRC’, Crisis Management International (August 2011), visitado el 30 de mayo de 2019.


[3] David Bonham-Carter, Self-Help eBooks & Articles, CBT Techniques & Self-Coaching Tips. Visitado el 30 de mayo de 2019.


[4] What makes a good Compliance Officer? GRC Institute. Visitado el 30 de mayo de 2019.