Learning from the Best: Compliance Officers and Quarterbacks

Todd Burks

Loan Review Officer/Auditor

April 27, 2016

As I watched the retirement announcement of Super Bowl 50 winning quarterback Peyton Manning, one thing kept coming to mind in regards to his success during his 18-year career as a quarterback with the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos.

It is obvious that he has the physical skills – and size, at 6’5” – to be a productive player over his career. The one attribute that former teammates and coaches kept referring to was his mental preparation.

It was told time and time again how Peyton constantly studied film of opponents for hours on end. He used this preparation in practice to provide the best possible outcome of the game to be played. During his tearful retirement announcement, Manning said he knew others had more talent, but no one in the National Football League would outwork him, and he was proudest of that accomplishment. He also went out of his way to talk about the many players and coaches who played a part in his career, and that his accomplishments were a function of the teams’ overall successes on the field.

I began to formulate an opinion on how this type of dedication could be used in the complex area of Compliance Management within the banking and financial institution industry. The Bank Compliance Officer is like the quarterback of the football team. In a financial institution it is common for the Compliance Officer to be responsible for studying the changing regulatory environment and coming up with a game plan to provide the best overall way to help comply with the various regulations. (Regulations are constantly evolving in areas such as Bank Secrecy and TELA/RESPA Integrated Disclosures.)

On a football team, the quarterback cannot win a game by himself; it takes the hard work of offensive and defensive teammates as well as coaches. On the financial institutional level, effective compliance management is no different. Winning the “Compliance Game” takes an overall team effort – from executive management buy-in on the importance of a sound compliance program, to the daily operations employees who are trained in the various regulations (and must follow compliance rules on a daily basis.). The Compliance Officer is the facilitator who puts his or her teammates in the best position to be successful through effective preparation, training and monitoring – with feedback on performance.

Although the worlds of football and compliance appear to be nothing alike, when zeroing in on the core level, it is apparent that preparation, hard work and teamwork go a long way in achieving success in any endeavor. And unlike football, compliance does not take the physical skills of being 6’5” and having Peyton Manning’s rocket arm to be successful!

For questions or more information, please contact Todd Burks at 404-420-5974 or tburks@pkm.com

Stay Up-to-date