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PORTLAND, Ore., July 22, 2020 – NAVEX Global®, the leader in integrated risk and compliance management solutions, today announced the release of its 2020 Definitive Risk and Compliance Benchmark Report. Based on a survey of over 1,400 risk and compliance professionals, the analysis showed a strong correlation between risk & compliance (R&C) program performance and strong, ethical cultures. 

Specifically, respondents who rated their program’s performance as “good” to “excellent” were 4.6 times as likely to work for organizations they also believed acted ethically most or all of the time. Self-reported organizational trustworthiness was also highly associated with program maturity, which is an additional key indicator of strong R&C program performance.

Not surprisingly, the majority of respondents indicated that regulatory requirements were the primary driver of program decisions and their approach to risk mitigation. But the analysis also showed that meeting regulatory requirements alone is unlikely to enhance program performance. The report clearly indicates that improvement, and ultimately trust in the organization and its leadership, is highly associated with prioritizing workplace culture, tone from the top and, importantly, R&C program automation. 

In a surprising finding, only two years after the #MeToo movement consumed the dialogue in boardrooms and compliance meetings, the topic has been generally deprioritized in R&C programs. While this does not indicate the issues central to the #MeToo movement have been solved, it does demonstrate that R&C programs frequently react to the changing priorities of stakeholders as current events unfold.

“Right now, we are all operating in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic and dealing with pressing social and racial equity issues. At no time has organizational trust been more important,” said Carrie Penman, Chief Risk and Compliance Officer, NAVEX Global. “As risk and compliance professionals, we need to ensure all levels of leadership, including the board, understand this. We must also ensure our programs have the right focus and organizational support needed to succeed in building and maintaining that trust.”    

Additional key study findings include:

  • Leadership perception and board-level engagement directly impacts R&C programs—both how an organization’s senior leadership views its compliance function and the frequency with which compliance officers interact with their Board greatly impacts overall program performance
  • Respondents increasingly view bribery, corruption and fraud as major concerns, and are prioritizing training accordingly—nearly half (49%) of respondents plan on providing training on bribery, corruption, fraud and financial integrity in the next 2-3 years
  • Continuous improvement of R&C programs is top of mind for many—conducting and documenting program audits, organizational assessments and improvement activities are widespread, with two-thirds (66%) of all programs and virtually all advanced programs conducting periodic assessments
  • Navigating today’s increasingly complex regulatory environment while also building a stronger workplace culture calls for technology—automated R&C programs perform significantly better than those that don’t leverage technology, with respondents reporting their programs perform better than their non-automated peers across all program activities surveyed

To learn more about the NAVEX Global’s 2020 Definitive Risk and Compliance Benchmark Report, join our webinar on Wednesday, July 22 at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET, which will offer a summary of the report that will help CCOs and other program managers see how their efforts stack up against peers and offer numbers that can be used to advocate for more authority and resources. Click here to register. Click here to download the report.

About NAVEX Global
NAVEX Global is the worldwide leader in integrated risk and compliance management software and services that help organizations manage risk, address complex regulatory compliance requirements and foster an ethical, highly productive workplace culture. 

For more information, visit; Risk & Compliance Matters™ Blog (, @NAVEXInc (, and LinkedIn (

Media Contact:
Shannon Casey
(617) 426-2222