Building on a Strong Foundation

By Ginny O’Neill

Last week we said goodbye to our friend, colleague, and mentor Rich Riese. The years that Rich led ABA’s Center for Regulatory Compliance were transformational years for compliance professionals, and Rich dedicated himself to supporting and promoting your work through thoughtful advocacy and strategic planning. Under his watch, the role of the compliance professional changed dramatically and the Center grew from a staff of two to a staff of eleven working as industry advocates and to assist bankers with regulatory implementation and management. In addition, Rich created a number of compliance resources for ABA members, including the compliance-related “topics pages,” “research resources,” and “Staff Analyses” available on; the Compliance Calendar; the e-bulletin The Compliance Source, which is read each week by more than 12,000 bankers; and the Compliance Network, which facilitates peer exchange among more than 5000 compliance professionals. He also initiated a number of survey and benchmarking projects to inform compliance officers.

Rich established a strong foundation to support the Center for Regulatory Compliance’s dual goals of effective advocacy and supporting efficient regulatory implementation and compliance management. Although we will all miss his energy, passion and strategic vision, you should recognize that the team Rich built is strong and energized to continue working on your behalf. As we begin a new chapter, we will look for additional opportunities to create resources to support compliance professionals, for new opportunities for you to engage with ABA and your peers, and for more effective forms of advocacy.

I invite each of you to suggest new ways that we can support your compliance management efforts and better serve as your advocate. Our goal is to build on the Center for Regulatory Compliance’s existing strong foundation to ensure that compliance professionals remain leaders in their banks and communities.