In his inauguration speech, Abou-El-Fotouh said "as a result of the financial crisis of 2008 financial institutions and regulators have taken measures to protect the financial sector against future failures. An important area is the need for better transparency, mainly regarding remuneration, and how boards should improve their corporate governance practices to reduce the chances of a repeat of the credit crunch."
Stressing this theme, he said, "there are several recommendations for good governance available for the board of directors. However, the most important `10 commandments`
Speaking on risk governance, Abou-El-Fotouh explained that the board should never be in a position of being surprised by failures and deficiencies. To prevent such surprises, the board should establish a board risk committee to work in tandem with existing audit committee. The risk committee would concentrate on risk strategy and management, free from any conflict with demands placed on audit committees. The risk committee has authority to seek external advice to test its risk management assumptions, particularly in the context of risk related to significant transactions.
He further added, "the board should periodically review and revise its strategic plan that assesses all risks in many areas such as customer base, geographies, products and services, distribution channels, and mergers and acquisitions, cross-border transactions"
Addressing the delegates about anti-money laundering governance, Abou-El-Fotouh said that money laundering is a global concern that requires intensive international action. The huge amounts of dirty money injected into the international financial markets may also undermine the financial system. He further added that regulators expect to see convincing evidence that banks and other financial institutions govern themselves well. An important measurement of AML good governance is how well senior management and board of directors are being informed about key aspects of AML compliance, risk management and events that may call for their attention"
He concluded by saying that despite the global effort and progress achieved to deter financial crimes and improve governance practices, there is a considerable amount of work still to be done in this area.
For more information, contact:
Middle East Compliance Officers Forum (MECOF)
About Hany Abou-El-Fotouh
Hany Abou-El-Fotouh is Chief of Staff & Group Board Secretary, CI Capital Holding - the investment banking arm of Commercial International Bank which is the largest private bank in Egypt . He provides advice and direction to the Board and management with respect to corporate governance practices and formulates corporate policies.
Hany is a leading expert on money laundering and terrorist financing controls in the MENA region. Founder of the Middle East Compliance Officers' Forum (MECOF), he has been honored for his work in promoting compliance culture and awareness in the MENA region
Hany writes articles to different newspapers and journals on a variety of subjects. He is a public speaker and professional trainer. Previously, he worked in various senior positions in leading banks in Egypt and GCC countries like HSBC, Oman International Bank, Banque Saudi Fransi among others