Following the success achieved last year, the second edition of the Aequivalent forum was held on 14 May 2019. More than forty professionals and executives of the finance sector exchanged on ways to handle human risks, and particularly on the maintenance and promotion of integrity.

The main goal of this event was to offer concrete examples of the maintenance and promotion of integrity, as well as the prevention of fraud, within financial institutions. The objective was also to share theoretical reflections, philosophical and strategic, related to the aforementioned themes. Finally, a debate involving a panel of experts from the banking world allowed the participants to get answers to their questions.

First Part: Theory and Philosophy

Dominique Freymond, co-facilitator from the Academy of Administrators, lead the way by reminding that integrity is a fundamental value, not just a transient concern. Integrity is the foundation of trust-based relations between individuals and, put back in the context of the Executive Board, it allows an efficient functioning, as well as the implementation of a proper governance.

Connecting integrity to the definition of Man and his nature, the Director of the Observatoire de la Finance and Professor at the University of Fribourg, Paul Dembinski, then underlined the importance of the “why,” too often forgotten in favor of the “how.” This “why” which allows to cultivate, and not decree, a corporate culture, acting as an intermediary to integrity.

After this definition and anchoring, Olivier Deslandes, former HRD by banks of great renown, and today Managing Partner by Adexis Solutions, opened new horizons by presenting integrity in a worldwide perspective, using reliable indicators, allowing an international comparison between diverse cultures and types of institutions.

Second part: Tools and case study

The first of practical applications was presented by Joël Winteregg, CEO of NetGuardians. A company whose software detects fraud based on the learning of the “normal” behavior of employees and clients. Different parameters are to be taken into account: including the analysis of the clients’ usual transactions, which constitute automated and clear indicators to signal cases of internal fraud.

Mr. Emmanuel Frenck, Head EMEA South by beqom, followed by drawing a parallel between remuneration and integrity. The beqom platform seeks to motivate collaborators and clients by facilitating the implementation of an effective wage policy, in conjunction with the company’s objectives. The reward of adequate behaviors and the respect of procedures established can easily be integrated to their platform.

Our founder and CEO, Michael Platen, concluded the second part by presenting his digital platform of background checks, as well as the 2018 statistics, which the platform allowed to obtain. The sample of more than 3,000 files notably showed non-compliances in 7% of cases; those being mainly related to the financial integrity of candidates or employees, but also to potential conflicts of interest and fake qualifications. Considering that only 40% of files are completely compliant, Mr. Platen drew attention to the reputational risks and monetary losses incurred by financial institutions in case of failure in the verifications. A study conducted by Aequivalent on Swiss health insurers was also presented by Virgil Girardin, Business Consultant. This study reveals that, despite the growing preoccupation with human risks in this sector, still few reliable verifications are actually performed.

Third Part: Debate

The extensive debate which followed included human risks management supervisors within the most famous financial institutions of the Swiss financial sector. Animated by Dominique Freymond, the discussion covered numerous questions like “What are the key elements in a human risks policy that targets integrity insurance?” or “How to define the positions and/or individuals with a higher risk factor?” During the debate, multiple participants actively intervened by submitting to the experts panel the challenges encountered in their respective institutions.

If you wish to know more about the content of this event, do not hesitate to contact Aequivalent SA, by calling 024 524 30 02 or by writing to info@aequivalent.ch.

Aequivalent thanks all its partners as well as its team for their contribution to the good execution of this event!

We look forward to our next exchange!

Your Aequivalent team