58 Journal of Regulatory Compliance Issue II
Exchange. 47 FINRA has a strong regulatory presence, with over 3,500
employees in 16 different offices around the United States. 48 FINRA’s main
priorities are investor protection and market integrity. 49 It has a board of
governors that represents the interests of private and public firms including
firms of all size. 50
These enforcement agencies respond to the call of business ethics.
Corporate ethics and compliance officers grew out of the business ethics
movement. 51 While the beginning of this movement can be traced back to
the 1970s and 1980s, it expanded in 1991 with the publishing of the U.S.
Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Corporations. 52 This law gave incentives
to companies to use ethical structures in their organization. 53 These
guidelines provided U.S. companies the opportunity to set up programs that
took appropriate measures to prevent and detect unethical behavior. 54 If a
company could show that they took these steps, then their sentence would be
significantly reduced if convicted of unethical behavior. 55 Specifically, fines
could be reduced by up to 95%. 56 The position in charge of the programs
created by the guidelines is known usually as one of three titles: Corporate
Compliance Officer, Corporate Ethics Officer, or Corporate Ethics and
Fast forward one decade, and Congress passed SOX. 57 This was prompted
by business scandals such as the Enron and WorldCom scandals.58 SOX
created a private corporation, the Public Company Accounting Oversight
48. About FINRA, FINRA, http://www.finra.org/about (last visited Sept. 17, 2017).
50. FINRA Press Release, supra note 45.
51. Richard T. De George, A History of Business Ethics, SANTA CLARA U.,
MARKULA CTR. FOR APPLIED ETHICS (Nov. 17, 2015),
52. Id.; Federal Sentencing Guidelines Manual (1991).
53. Federal Sentencing Guidelines Manual (1991).
56. De George, supra note 51.
57. The Laws That Govern the Securities Industry: Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, U.S.
SEC. & EXCHANGE COMMISSION, https://www.sec.gov/answers/about-
lawsshtml.html#sox2002 (last updated Oct. 1, 2013).
58. Larry Bumgardner, Reforming Corporate America: How Does the Sarbanes-Oxley
Act Impact American Business, 6 GRAZIADIO BUS. REV. (2003),