Duff & Phelps Benchmarking Study Reveals Inefficiencies in Corporate Compliance Policy Reviews

Duff & Phelps Corporation (NYSE: DUF), a leading independent financial advisory and investment banking firm, today announced the results of a compliance benchmarking study indicating that, despite a rapidly-evolving regulatory environment, nearly half of responding organizations are undertaking regular policy reviews every two to three years or as time allows. Moreover, only half of the respondents indicated that they conduct periodic internal audits of policy compliance. The study--which assesses the effectiveness of compliance functions within organizations and identifies best practices in policy management--also concluded that organizations lean heavily on corporate intranet and email capabilities to communicate compliance policy. Respondents included compliance officers at a broad spectrum of organizations. 

"Compliance issues are more pressing now than ever, as companies are subject to increased regulatory requirements, and at the same time, management is expected to do more with less," said Robert Kirtley, managing director at Duff & Phelps and leader of the firm's Legal Management Consulting practice. "Organizations must endorse an active approach to compliance management that includes both scheduled reviews as a first line of defense in identifying and managing risks. They must also remain flexible to perform internal audits when regulations change." 

The study also revealed that nearly 90% of organizations make use of a corporate intranet, along with email, newsletters and bulletins, to distribute policy information. "Corporate intranets and emails can be a relatively inexpensive strategy to relay ethical behavior and corporate standards to large numbers of employees," Kirtley said. "But it is important to consider other, more reliably effective methods, such as training that requires employee attendance, combined with testing and a certification program."

Among other key findings, only one in four respondents (26%) use one-on-one training, and fewer than half of respondents (45%) that conduct policy reviews do so on an annual basis, A majority of organizations (64%) initiate policy reviews as regulations change. The study also sheds light on multiple areas of compliance, risk management and governance, including the fact that 61% of respondents have dedicated internal personnel to stay abreast of changes in law. In addition, 75% of respondents indicated that their organization creates and manages policies at the enterprise level; however, only 45% review policies at the same level.

Open Compliance & Ethics Group conducted the online survey of its members on behalf of Duff & Phelps during September 2009. The 380 respondents represented a variety of organizational functions, including compliance professionals (42%) and internal auditors (18%), across a spectrum of more than 30 industries. Respondents were from a variety of entity types, including 42% of respondents from publicly traded entities, 30% from privately held companies and 13% from nonprofit organizations. More than 60% of survey respondents were from organizations with revenues greater than $500 million and more than 75% had more than 500 employees. 

The Legal Management Consulting practice at Duff & Phelps provides services that maximize corporate legal department performance and efficiency in the areas of strategy, operations, technology, compliance and risk management. To learn more about the study, click here. 

About Duff & Phelps 
As a leading global independent provider of financial advisory and investment banking services, Duff & Phelps delivers trusted advice to our clients principally in the areas of valuation, transactions, financial restructuring, dispute and taxation. Our world class capabilities and resources, combined with an agile and responsive delivery, distinguish our clients' experience in working with us. With more than 1,200 employees serving clients worldwide through offices in North America, Europe and Asia, Duff & Phelps is committed to fulfilling its mission to protect, recover and maximize value for its clients. Investment banking services in North America are provided by Duff & Phelps Securities, LLC. Investment banking services in Europe are provided by Duff & Phelps Securities Ltd. Duff & Phelps Securities Ltd. is authorized and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Investment Banking services in France are provided by Duff & Phelps SAS. For more information, visit www.duffandphelps.com. (NYSE: DUF) 

Media Relations: 
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