Speakers BCEC 2020

Gabe Shawn Varges (2)

Gabe Shawn Varges

Mr. Varges is Senior Partner of HCM and Chairman of the GECN Group, an international consulting firm active in Europe and around the world.

Mr. Varges’ expertise includes the intersection of governance, culture, organizational effectiveness, leadership, ethics, and compliance. This also encompasses the role of performance management, compensation, and incentives in promoting responsible conduct. 

Mr. Varges works with boards, senior management, heads of key functions, and regulators on the more challenging and delicate aspects of these and other areas. He is also on the faculty of the University of St. Gallen Executive School in Switzerland where he is Director of Compliance Studies. Earlier, Mr. Varges was Head of Governance of the Swiss financial services regulator and was a senior executive at the Zurich Insurance Group, where he had world-wide responsibility as Group Chief Compliance Officer. Mr. Varges serves as speaker and moderator for company and other events around the world. He has served as board member of Swiss and international organizations and is currently Vice-Chairman of Ethics & Compliance Switzerland. A Juris Doctor graduate of Harvard, he is the author of numerous publications, including “The HR Side of Compliance”, “Working with the Chief Compliance Officer: A New CEO Skill”, “Internal Governance: The Next Frontier”, “Governing Remuneration”, “Board Assessments”, and chapters in the book “Corporate Compliance: The Next Generation of Compliance”.

Read Mr. Varges’ article on compliance and the coronavirus here.

1. What are in your opinion most important lessons of current corona crises for compliance officers and business leaders to benefit from?

“Compliance officers should seek to apply the learn-by-analogy technique, i.e. draw parallels from the approaches by various countries to Corona (which vary in how they balance competing risks) with how one approaches compliance at a company.”

2. How is this crisis going to influence corporate governance, if at all?

“Crises tend to focus the mind. And without question the Corona crisis has reminded Boards, executives, and even investors that to get to wise, durable solutions good governance cannot be skipped. Some found during Corona that their company’s governance was lacking in some way, such as in not having good crisis management processes. These are insights that will have impact beyond Corona.”

3. Which compliance and ethics risks have rose from the corona business conditions, which were perhaps not anticipated or not so much in the front before?

“Compliance officers that before shied away from topics such as employee and client safety, or the compliance issues of distant working, are having to retool to better address these challenges.”

4. What specific projects and tasks are you currently working on?

“We are advising companies around the world on topics such as the above but also on how to use the Corona period as a time to rethink their enterprise wide compliance strategy.”

5. What is your message for attendants of the 6th Annual Conference on Compliance and Ethics?

“Be there! As we are moving to the next phase of this Corona period, it is critical for compliance communities to exchange views and concerns, both across industries and across countries. I look forward to seeing you virtually soon.”
Gabe Shawn Varges, Senior Partner of HCM and Chairman of the GECN Group

Ruth Steinholtz

Ruth’s consulting work, speaking engagements and writing are in service of her mission to fight corruption by changing attitudes and practices relating to regulation, ethics and compliance.

An international corporate lawyer prior to founding AretéWork, Ruth developed a values-based approach to ethics and compliance while General Counsel and Head of Integrity at Borealis AG. The concept and the creation of a network of ethics ambassadors was key to the effectiveness of this approach.

Ruth is a member of the UNODC E4J panel of experts on Ethics & Integrity and is an experienced Certified Barrett Values Centre Consultant.

Ruth is co-author, with Professor Chris Hodges of Ethical Business Practice and Regulation: A Behavioural and Values-Based Approach to Compliance and Enforcement (Hart Publishing, December 2017).

Ruth’s other publications include the Institute of Business Ethics’ Good Practice Guides to Ethics Ambassadors (2010) and Performance Management for an Ethical Culture (2014).

Follow Ruth @ruthsteinholtz, connect with her on LinkedIn and find her blog at aretework.com

Murray Grainger

Country Manager Spain & Portugal Business Keeper AG

Murray Grainger is Business Keeper’s Country Manager for Spain and Portugal and responsible for Strategic Partnerships. Murray is an experienced lawyer and compliance officer, having worked in the UK, Australia, France and Spain. He has his Global Executive MBA from IESE Business School and is a past Chair of the Ethics and Compliance Officer Association’s Global Business Interest Group. Murray has presented at US and European conferences including ECOA, SCCE, Compliance Week, ACFE.


Roman Sartor Foto

Roman Sartor

Co-Founder and Chairman/Advisory board of the Austrian Compliance Officer Association.

Compliance & Corporate Culture Enthusiast from the very beginning! Roman started with ABB as Head of Legal & Compliance after receiving the bar exam. Since 2014 Managing Director, KPMG Compliance & Risk. He is Co-Founder and Chairman/Advisory board of the Austrian Compliance Officer Association. Editor and author of several publications (Compliance, Risk, Strategy). Co-Founder of the ´5×5-method´ for corporate culture and compliance. Roman initiated and supervises the first Austrian MBA “Compliance & Risikomanagement” and represents Austria at European Network for Compliance Officers (ENFCO).


Jelena Danilović

Compliance Manager

Before joining Hemofarm in 2018, the company leader on the pharmaceutical market and a member of international STADA group, Jelena worked as an attorney at law in cooperation with Karanovic & Partners for more than a decade. As an attorney, Jelena obtained an extensive legal experience in advising international clients on commercial law topics and supporting them in complex legal matters and major M&A transactions in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. As a Compliance Manager in Hemofarm, she is responsible for enforcing regulations in all aspects and levels of business, as well as for providing guidance on compliance matters. She monitors and implements both international and internal compliance standards and provides education and guidelines on compliance-related topics.

At the conference, Jelena will be discussing challenges of COVID-19 crisis for compliance and different aspects of compliance system that can help in overcoming these challenges.

Barbara Krajnc

Public Affairs / Government Affairs / Strategic Communications / Mentor / Speaker / Certified LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Facilitator / Aurora Borealis Consulting (Slovenia, Europe)

Barbara is an experienced international consultant with extensive experience in the areas public sector (Office of Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia), corporate affairs at an international corporation (Philip Morris International), general management of an outdoor advertising company (Epamedia d.o.o. / Premena d.o.o.) as well as a professional association (Slovenian Advertising Association). She also held a position of the Executive Director of the Golden Drum, International Advertising Festival, one of the biggest creative award shows in Europe.

Today she works as independent consultant – strategist, specialized in the areas of public affairs, government affairs, regulatory issues management, compliance and corporate / crisis  communications.

Barbara is also keen speaker at conferences in Slovenia and abroad. Mentoring future managers and leaders is also one of her passions.

Creativity has always been at the core of Barbara’s work which means she applies many different innovative methods and approaches to consult, advise, mentor and facilitate.

Certified facilitator of LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® method and materials brings her consultancy work to a new level adding her extensive career experience.