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I want to emphasize again the risks JVs pose under the FCPA. Mike Volkov has stated, “A joint venture requires the integration of disparate company cultures. It can be successful and is usually one of the significant reason for the joint venture itself.” Both parties should assess each other and decide that the JV is a good fit, meaning that each side will benefit. Too much time is spent on looking at the JV partner’s compliance toolbox (i.e., policies, procedures, and controls), and not enough time is spent on identifying compliance strengths and weaknesses. You must bring it all together with one format.

Indeed the 2020 Update to the Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs posed the following questions under the category, “Process Connecting Due Diligence to Implementation” What has been the company’s process for tracking and remediating misconduct or misconduct risks identified during the due diligence process? What has been the company’s process for implementing compliance policies and procedures, and conducting post- acquisition audits, at newly acquired entities? Remember a “newly acquired entity” can be a joint venture.

Three key takeaways: 

  1. It all starts with a Relationship Manager.
  2. Have company oversight of all JVs. Couple this with a COC for a second set of eyes.
  3. Audit, monitor, and remediate (as appropriate) your JVs on an ongoing basis.