In recognition of International Anti-Corruption Day, the EBRD cordially invites you to a talk by Harvard Business School Professor, Eugene F. Soltes. Professor Soltes will address in his talk: “What Drives the White Collar Criminal?” at the EBRD’s London Headquarters at 16:30.
From the financial fraudsters of Enron, to the embezzlers at Tyco, to the Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff, the failings of corporate titans are regular fixtures in the news. But what drives wealthy and powerful people to white-collar crime? Professor Soltes will draw from his extensive personal interaction and correspondence with nearly fifty former executives as well as the latest research in psychology, criminology, and economics to explain how once-celebrated executives become white-collar criminals.
He will highlight the findings of his over seven years in the company of the men behind the largest corporate crimes in history which resulted in his 2016 book, Why They Do It: Inside the Mind of the White Collar Criminal –– a breakthrough look at the dark side of the business world.
Professor Soltes refutes popular but simplistic explanations of why seemingly successful executives engage in crime. White-collar criminals, he shows, are not merely driven by excessive greed or hubris, nor do they usually carefully calculate the costs and benefits before breaking the law and see it's worth the risk. Instead, he shows that most of these executives make decisions the way we all do - on the basis of their intuitions and gut feelings. The trouble is, these gut feelings are often poorly suited for the modern business world.
With the increasing globalization of business threatening us with even more devastating corporate misconduct, the lessons Professor Soltes draws are needed more urgently than ever. These lessons include why compliance programmes fail and how they can be made more effective – the focus of Professor Soltes’ more recent research, which he will also highlight.
The event will commence with opening remarks from EBRD Chief Compliance Officer, Lisa Rosen. An open question and answer session will follow Professor Soltes’ talk. The event will be capped off with a drinks reception outside the EBRD Auditorium.