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Bentley Global Business Ethics Symposium: Doing Business in Wake of Corporate Scandals

May 23, 2005

The key to instilling ethics in employees and corporate culture is "high standards for corporate governance, a clearly-defined Code of Conduct and a focus on managing risk and ensuring compliance," according to State Street Corporation's Joseph Chow, as he delivered the opening remarks at the May 23 inaugural Bentley Global Business Ethics Symposium, co-presented by State Street and Bentley College.

 

"In my experience, effective risk management and compliance begins with a philosophy that comes from the top of the house - from the Board of Directors and senior management," said Chow, State Street Executive Vice President and Chief Risk and Corporate Administration Officer. "The value system that the board of directors and senior management convey through actions, programs and decision-making will, in large part, determine the corporate culture and resulting attitudes ... and ultimately it is everyone's responsibility in an organization."

 

The Symposium, a day-long gathering of international experts, corporate leaders and academics, focused on best practices and challenges in business ethics and ethics education, and launched a unique partnership between State Street Corporation and Bentley.

 

The two institutions have joined in a multi-year collaboration to unite business and higher education in the common goal of building a strong ethical foundation from which to serve their many constituencies and communities. The partnership, established in memory of Timothy B. Harbert '76, Chairman and CEO of State Street Global Advisors (SSgA) and alumnus and trustee of Bentley, reflects a long-time commitment to ethics for both Bentley and State Street.

 

During a luncheon keynote, Deloitte & Touche LLP New England Managing Partner William K. Bacic said business needs to reclaim its role as guardian of the public trust to benefit itself and the investing public.

 

"Corporate America must realize there are costs and consequences for falling short on ethics," said Bacic. "As disturbing as it is to watch the current parade of corporate executives on trial, I value the message it conveys - that there is accountability at stake and a price to pay for unethical behavior. We can talk about regulation, about strict codes of conduct, but ultimately integrity begins at home."

 

In a series of morning and afternoon panels, several experts examined ethics, risk management and corporate governance issues in the wake of corporate scandals such as Enron, WorldCom and Tyco and the 2002 enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act which imposed far-reaching regulations for corporate governance, financial disclosure and the practice of public accounting.

 

State Street Corporation is the world's leading specialist in providing institutional investors with investment servicing, investment management and investment research and trading. With $9.5 trillion in assets under custody and $1.4 trillion in assets under management as of March 31, 2005, State Street operates in 25 countries and more than 100 markets worldwide. For more information, visit State Street's Web site at www.statestreet.com.

 

Bentley's commitment to ethics education has been a cornerstone of the school's curriculum and campus culture since the founding of the Center for Business Ethics in 1976. The Bentley Alliance for Ethics & Social Responsibility extends the work of Bentley's many centers and initiatives and is committed to instilling a fuller sense of ethics and corporate responsibility in courses, research and campus culture, as well as extending this work to the business community and other academic institutions. Bentley is honored to partner with State Street Corporation to further this mission.

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit www.bentley.edu

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