Week That Was in Ethical Systems, 9/30-10/6

SEC Gives Whistleblower More Than $14 Million In Record Award​, in The Wall Street Journal

The SEC said it awarded more than $14 million to a whistleblower who gave the agency information that led to an enforcement action “that recovered substantial investor funds.” This award was the third-ever handed by out by the agency and by far the largest in the history of the program, which was established by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial-reform act.

Revolving Door Helps SEC, Chairman Says, in The Wall Street Journal

Washington’s revolving door is often used as a pejorative, but Mary Jo White said it’s personally helped her improve the Securities and Exchange Commission’s policing of Wall Street. Ms. White, who became chairman of the SEC in April, said Thursday her prior legal work representing large banks and securities firms was “invaluable” in laying out a tougher enforcement policy that includes the pursuit of admissions of wrongdoing against companies and individuals in certain cases.

Former CEOs Talk Rebuilding Reputations, in The Wall Street Journal

Two executives who were tasked with turnarounds shared their road maps for rebuilding a company’s reputation on a panel this week. Although reputation is difficult to measure, the two proposed concrete and strategic steps firms should take to build it. The message for chief executives: figure out how to gain favor with key stakeholders, and be cautious about the messages you broadcast to the world.

Amid Corporate Crime Crackdown, Expectations for Board Rise, in The Wall Street Journal

A growing expectation among U.S. enforcement agencies that companies investigate themselves when allegations of corporate misconduct arise and turn over the results means the consequences of mishandling the probe have never been larger. Amid the heightened risks, prosecutors increasingly prefer an even higher standard of review. They want internal probes to be led by the board of directors to ensure independence from management interference, according to current and former officials at the Department of Justice.