An interview with Carlos Zarlenga, CFO of General Motors South America


GM World Headquarters. Photo: Ray Dumas

30th April 2015

Latin Trade interviewed Carlos Zarlenga, chief financial officer at General Motors South America during our CFO Forum in Sao Paulo.
The benefits of compliance culture
 
Why is compliance important from a CFO point of view?
 
Leaders need to be very black and white, very clear what they mean about compliance. There is really zero tolerance. There is no explanation. Once an event has happened, you have to address it, you have to do it fast, and you have to do it very visibly for everybody. Second, you have to have the right processes. They have to be implemented and they have to be clear for everybody in the company. Training, acknowledgement, exposing conflicts of interest and all the process to report these difficulties. On top of that, you must have a business process, in which you are building in the capability to deliver compliance. It is very hard to deliver customer compliance if you do not have a competent compliance team. And then, there is the culture of the organization. You have to have everybody talking about this, and you do it by talking about it often, over and over again. You can never repeat it too much.
Is it important to emphasize these compliance issues right now in Brazil, when you have all this compliance problem at Petrobras and its contractors?
 
Absolutely. Frankly to me, companies that are able to articulate their visions in integrity and compliance will have a value of their own. If you actually can show your processes, your …

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