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THE LEGAL 500 > EVENTS > The changing role of the Mexican GC: contemporary challenges in a fast-changing scenario

The changing role of the Mexican GC:
contemporary challenges in a fast-changing scenario

The boardroom of the new offices of Von Wobeser y Sierra was the location for the most recent of The Legal 500’s Latin American corporate counsel roundtable events. We were fortunate enough to be blessed with an impressive array of guests including representatives of Engenium, AlphaCredit, Merck, Grupo Modelo, Praxair, AB-InBev, FINSA, Continental, Mars, AT&T, Grupo FRISA, Grupo BAL, SAP and Cinépolis, among others.

With Mexico finding itself in a unique and highly-challenging conjuncture comprised of diverse elements that range from domestic presidential elections to a fluid international horizon dominated by US-Mexican bi-national relations during the Trump administration, businesses find themselves facing an additional layer of unpredictability on top of the ever-increasing regulatory burden –FCPA, FATCA, UK Bribery Act, etc.– and the challenges of compliance, data privacy and cyber security.

In such a context, this roundtable sought to examine how GCs should understand the evolution of their role – the challenges of prioritisation versus the necessities of delegation; the structuring of compliance capability and management of the regulatory workload; the technological challenges constituted by data privacy and cyber-security; and in a post Lava Jato world, the potential issues of crisis management and reputational damage control.

While there remains a considerable difference between the preparedness of multinational business entities and local companies, the evening’s discussions also made it abundantly clear that there is an increasing understanding in Mexico that, quite simply, compliance pays; the challenge remains achieving (and maintaining) it. As one of the GC’s present commented: compliance somos todos [we are all (responsible for) compliance]. In these terms, issues of company culture and team morale come to the fore and so our conversation turned to issues such as ‘tone at the top’ and how to entrench a corporate culture that fosters compliance and practically facilitates data security. Suffice to say that the conversations persisted long after we had all decamped to the firm’s library to enjoy a glass of wine and canapes.

The Legal 500 would like to thank all those who attended for sharing their perspectives with fascinating –and at times truly challenging– input, and our sponsors, Von Wobeser y Sierra, without whom this event would not have been possible.

Please scroll down to see pictures of the event: