Maintaining our standards as we grow
Ensuring we have consistently high standards of ethics across our business gets more challenging as we acquire new businesses. This is particularly true in places that do not have the same standards and practices as we do.
‘When entering a joint venture or acquiring a company, compliance standards are included at the very earliest stages of negotiation,’ explains Sam Vijaya, Regional Compliance & Ethics Director, who works on integrating compliance into mergers and acquisitions in Asia-Pacific. ‘Our counsel, David Harlock, and his team assess compliance as part of due diligence, and there must be certain minimum values or the partner will need to agree to raise the compliance and ethics standards within a certain period of time.’
Once an agreement has been signed, it’s Sam’s job to work with the new company to ensure that Diageo’s standards of compliance and ethics, embodied in our Code of Business Conduct (COBC), are adopted.
Sam has recently been working with new partners Shui Jing Fang, a Chinese distiller, and Halico, a Vietnamese brewer.
‘The key to success is building a good relationship with the partner and getting them to understand the benefits of adopting a compliance programme, such as improving reputation,’ he says. 'With both these companies, once the understanding was there, the enthusiasm followed'. Halico, for example, now aims to be a leader in Vietnam in this area.’