Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Fourteen Days Until My Release From Taft Federal Prison Camp

In Lessons From Prison, I wrote quite a bit about ethics and the influences that came over me when I lost sight of an ethical code.  I had left the University of Southern California to pursue a career as a stockbroker at Bear Stearns and UBS.  The culture was aggressive, and although those financial powerhouses paid lip service to the importance of ethics, recent events tell a different story.

Knowing that many corporations operate with these same conflicts, I have created a 60-minute speech that includes a questioning session on this topic.  I title the speech “Aggressive Corporate Culture Within Ethical Context” and I expect to deliver it to corporate audiences of all sizes.  The speech follows the outline below.

Background (8 minutes)

In this section I will provide audience members with a glimpse of my career as an aggressive stockbroker managing assets for hedge fund and professional athletes.  I will describe the values that drove me and the aggressive culture of financial management.

Bear Stearns (8 minutes)

Bear Stearns received significant media coverage of dubious nature in 2008. Its aggressive culture operated with handicapped ethical constraints.  In this section of the speech, I intend to highlight how the culture contributed to the demise of one of America’s most storied financial powerhouses as well as criminal indictments.

UBS (8 minutes)

An aggressive culture at UBS, a firm that employed me, led professional money managers to smuggle diamonds in toothpaste tubes.  The aggressive culture resulted in more than $600 million in financial penalties as well as criminal indictments.

Goodman Investments (16 minutes)

I will contrast the cultures at Bear Stearns and UBS with the aggressive corporate culture at Goodman Investments, which operates within an ethical context.  This speech will discuss the importance and values professionals can create through transparency.

Questions (20 minutes)

This 60-minute presentation concludes by engaging those in the audience with questions and responses.

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