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Risk profile: Rolls Royce appoints new compliance chief from IMI

Less than a year after appointing Mark Serfozo as director of risk from defence, security and aerospace giant BAE Systems, Rolls Royce has further bolstered its senior internal risk and compliance capability with the hire of IMI’s Jo Morgan as chief compliance counsel.

Morgan, a former Pinsent Masons lawyer who is currently the chief compliance officer of London-listed engineering company IMI, joins shortly after the Serious Fraud Office confirmed in December it had opened a criminal investigation into allegations of bribery and corruption at Rolls Royce, which launched its own investigation.

She leaves IMI after 14 years, having joined the company in 2000 as assistant company secretary before being appointed as deputy general counsel four years later.

Having been made up to chief compliance officer in 2009, Morgan, who will now report to Serfozo, notably led a major ethics and compliance programme, known as The IMI Way.

Her move comes nine months after Serfozo joined Rolls Royce as director of risk after nearly 20 years at BAE Systems, where he was compliance and regulation chief counsel and part of the efforts spearheaded by BAE general counsel Philip Bramwell to beef up that function.

John Rishton, Rolls-Royce chief executive, said last December: ‘I want to make it crystal clear that neither I nor the board will tolerate improper business conduct of any sort and will take all necessary action to ensure compliance.’

The move comes as a number of corporates bolster their compliance and litigation capability, including making senior private practice hires such as the appointment of Clifford Chance (CC) partner Daniela Weber-Rey as chief governance officer and deputy global head compliance in Deutsche Bank’s Frankfurt office, announced last April.

Weber-Rey, who was a long-serving corporate partner at CC, joined Europe’s biggest bank by assets last June. Reporting to its management board and group executive committee member Stephan Leithner and serving as deputy to outgoing compliance chief Andrew Procter, her role involves overseeing corporate governance globally and acting as adviser to the management board on the governance structures and processes of the bank.

Similarly, it emerged last August that Berwin Leighton Paisner financial services partner Nick Kynoch joined Barclays Investment Bank as the head of regulatory compliance for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).