The reporting structure of legal, compliance, risk, and privacy leadership

BarkerGilmore white paper reveals key findings from survey on reporting lines

The reporting structure of legal, compliance, risk, and privacy leadership

Reporting structure is not a “one-size-fits-all” arrangement, according to a new study by BarkerGilmore. The white paper identifies the nuances of organizational structure for in-house legal, compliance, risk, and privacy leaders at public and private corporations across the United States.

Based on its survey of a random sample of general counsel, chief compliance officers, chief risk officers, and chief privacy officers, the white paper reveals the following key findings:

  • Private companies, and companies with revenue under US$500 million are less likely to have chief legal officers / general counsel, chief compliance officers, chief risk officers, and chief privacy officers.
  • The greater the organization’s revenue and number of employees, the more likely the chief legal officer / general counsel reports to the chief executive officer.
  • Chief compliance officers are most likely to report to the chief legal officer / general counsel (44 percent) or the chief executive officer (42 percent)
  • When it comes to the chief risk officer (35 percent) or chief privacy officer (52 percent), reporting lines vary. Of the surveyed companies with chief risk officers, 45 percent report to the chief executive officer, 24 percent report to the chief legal officer/ general counsel, 21 percent to the chief financial officer, and seven percent to the chief operating / chief administrative officer. The chief privacy officer has an even broader range of reporting, with 35 percent reporting to the chief legal officer / general counsel, 33 percent reporting to the chief compliance officer, and the remaining 32 percent having various reporting lines across the organization.

The white paper was based on the responses of 206 survey participants.

Regardless of size, revenue, or industry, the success of an organization depends on the roles and responsibilities of its chief legal officers / general counsel, chief compliance officers, chief risk officers, and chief privacy officers, the white paper reports. Senior leadership is responsible for optimizing these positions to ensure top performance. The results of this survey shed light on which roles organizations utilize and to whom these positions report. Understanding the impact of these reporting lines is the next step.

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