Whistleblowing, over here and over there

Almost all of the money management or securities firms on Wall Street “entrusted with the life savings of their clients lie, cheat and steal one way or another.”

Not the kind of thing you might expect to read in Forbes, but columnist and former whistleblower Edward Siedle offers a lively column this week inviting others in the finance industry to “join the whistleblower revolution.”

If you work on Wall Street in the money management or securities industries—like I used to—you should serious consider becoming an SEC whistleblower. Why? Because almost all firms in these industries that are entrusted with the life savings of their clients lie, cheat and steal one way or another. If you don’t already know this, you’re probably new to the business. You’ll find out soon enough, like I did early in my career as the Compliance Director of a global asset manager.

He writes that the terms “lie, cheat and steal,” are rarely heard on Wall Street.

Money management lawyers and securities regulators typically use sterile, colorless terms such as misrepresentations, failures to disclose and mischaracterizations as to the nature, sources and amounts of fees, conflicts of interest involving self-dealing and fiduciary breaches.

If you’ve been in the business long enough to believe that a misrepresentation or mischaracterization is not a lie, or that steering a client into an underperforming product that earns your firm more money is not cheating, or that using client assets for your benefit is not stealing, then it may be too late for you. I hope not.

The incoming EU Whistleblowing Directive 2019 will require many organizations to make significant changes to protect whistleblowers against retaliation, establish confidential whistleblower channels and clear reporting processes. Organisations must implement arrangements now that enable employees to speak up about perceived wrongdoing. But how to go about this? This research examined key organizations in the finance, health, engineering and public sectors in several countries.

Also worth a look:

Democrats, who disclosed the existence of the whistleblower as part of their lawsuit seeking President Donald Trump’s tax returns, have been vague about what the person is alleging, beyond that someone in the administration may have tried to interfere with an audit of either Trump’s or Vice President Mike Pence’s tax return.


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