Clients and fellow senior executives often ask for unique insights into where legal and compliance exposures might lie in wait. Here is the second of three examples.

The Holiday Card List.

Yes indeed!

Christine Chang, a top industry CEO recently joined the Operational Leaders podcast and had a great quote: “The budget doesn’t lie”. Know what else doesn’t lie? The holiday card list.

The Founder/PM’s list might be the most telling. Even if the firm doesn’t have an official list, the Founder/PM almost invariable does. Who makes it on to the list – could there be anyone who might require some explaining? Anyone who might potentially supply insider information, been in trouble with regulators or has some other reputational issues? It’s worth a look.

And who is not on the list. Regulators like to talk about tone at the top. Does the Founder/PM’s list include everyone from the senior management team, or just some. Are the Chief Compliance Officer and the General Counsel on this list? Consider what else the list might suggest.

One other problem. If the list is created and updated by a firm employee, the list is stored on the firm’s computer systems, and/or cards are mailed at the firm’s expense, then the list is likely a record of the firm. That means regulators can ask for it.