Past ECS Events 2023

General ECS Events

Tour of and Presentation at WEKO (Wettbewerbskommission / Swiss Competition Commission)

On 26 January 2023, ECS Members were invited to a unique event and they had a chance to visit an important regulator. The tour was organized by the ECS Our Board member, Olivier Schaller. Following the presentation, the ECS members were hosted to an Apéro.

Annual General Meeting

On 23 March 2023, ECS members met for the AGM and had a lively townhall discussion after the AGM.

Working Group (WG) Events 

ECS Working Groups conducted 10 events to share best practices and challenges in ethics and compliance:

Corruption risks and challenges

The ECS Working Group on Anti-Bribery and corruption hosted on November 14 a panel discussion featuring various industry experts who shared their insights on corruption risks within their sectors, the strategies they employ to mitigate these risks, and the challenges they encounter in combating corruption. Following the panel discussion, there was an opportunity for the panelists to engage with questions from the audience. The panelists were:

Patrick Trepanier, Director Compliance FIFA, Barbara Lustenberger, Senior Director Compliance infront sports &media AG, Philipp Schinz, Head of Compliance Barry Callebaut AG and Andreas Büscher, DVP, Ethics & Compliance Officer, Abbott.

The event was moderated by the Co-chairs, ECS Working Group on Anti-Bribery and Corruption: Claudia Götz Staehelin, Partner at at Bär & Karrer and Patrick Wellens, ECS Board member

The increase in China regulatory investigations in life sciences: why, how and where is it going?

On October 9 Kent Kedl, a partner of Control Risks, based in Shanghai with 35 years of experience in life science industry in China, explained to the participants that in the past the Chinese authorities targete pharma or medtech companies that were bribing healthcare /government officials. Now the focus of the investigations is on the demand side, i.e., the Healthcare Professionals and Healthcare Organizations. Kent explained what authorities are involved in the corruption investigation, why such investigations are taking place and also gave some practical tips what companies can do to overcome being asked for bribes by healthcare professionals in China. The event was moderated by Patrick Wellens, co-chair of the WG life sciences and co-chair of WG anti-bribery and corruption.


On September 25th the Working Group met at the premises of Bayer Consumer care AG. Patrick Wellens, co-chair of the WG, presented the WG with an overview of regulatory changes, general principles to be followed to prevent greenwashing, and what actions the compliance team can take to prevent any greenwashing risks. Afterwards the WG participants exchanged thoughts on the state of implementation of preventive activities with regards to greenwashing at their company and debates best practices.

9th annual End-of-Summer Roundtable discussion – “The Policies Mess”.

The 9th annual End-of-Summer Roundtable discussion took place on August 25 in Zurich, entitled “The Policies Mess”. The event was organized by the Working Group on Leadership, Communications, and Talent Management.

The theme of the interactive Roundtable focused on one of the key challenges in compliance: who owns, who operates, and who manages policies? After tackling those questions, we will move on to “how can policies best be managed” and to the leadership and communications challenges thereof.

Machine Learning /Artificial Intelligence in Pharma Compliance

On June 1 the working group life science met virtually to learn how machine learning and artificial intelligence could be applied to healthcare compliance. 20 participants attended the presentation of pour distinguished guest speaker Allana Rigby, Partner and regional head of data analytics for EMEA and Asia Pacific region from Control Risks.  Allana has 12 years’ experience as a data scientist and fraud and compliance expert. Allanna specializes in the use of data to detect and prevent fraud and compliance risks.

Allana gave the audience an overview of what is machine learning (ML), what is Artificial intelligence (AI) and applications of machine learning in pharma compliance. Then she provided various real-life examples and case studies on how ML/AI were applied. Afterwards Patrick Wellens, co-chair of the working group moderated the questions and answers.

Swiss CSR Reporting on Combatting Corruption: What does it mean for the Compliance Function?

On 13 June 2023, the ECS WG on CMS/ISO held the event at LALIVE in Zürich on the topic Swiss CSR Reporting on Combatting Corruption: What does it mean for the Compliance Function?

There was a short keynote speech from Daniel Bühr on New Swiss Non-Financial Reporting Obligations on Combatting Corruption and ISO 37001 followed by a discussion on participants’ experience with the topic.

Daniel stepped down as a co-chair after co-chairing the working group with Dominique Casutt since the foundation of ECS in 2014. The event was his farewell meeting and they all thanked him for his contribution to the Working Group.

How do you measure Speak-up campaign?

On May 2 approximately 30 ECS members met at the offices of Meyer Lustenberger Lachenal Froriep in Zurich to discuss “How do you measure the speak-up culture”. On Behalf of the WG Whistleblowing and Life Sciences, Patrick Wellens, vice-chair ECS welcomed the participants, thanked Renato Bucher and MLL for the hospitality and introduced Gerald Hucky as speaker. Gerald Hucky has been a head of compliance for Swiss listed companies and has over 16 years broad compliance experience gathered in the medical device and energy sector.

Gerald used ACFE Report to the Nation and Navex whistleblower benchmark report to provide some insights on the median percentage of allegation categories, reporting mechanisms used by whistle-blowers over time, statistics on the report volume per 1000 employees, retaliation reports and how a SpeakUp cockpit could look like.

After the presentation the WG actively discussed and concluded:

  • Benchmarking with other companies or industry standards is good, but companies should be careful in comparing “speak-up statistics” with other companies as the definition of what is included in speak-up numbers might be different
  • By looking at the median percentage of allegation categories HR, diversity and workplace respect constitutes between 50-60% of all cases. This is extremely high.
  • Finding a right balance between “having employees speak-up” and obtaining many irrelevant whistleblower reports
  • An analysis of numbers should ideally be done by Region/Division, by anonymous/non-anonymous, and percentages of confirmed allegations
  • Numbers should be analyzed over time and analyzed by Region/Division/Country, by anonymous/non-anonymous, percentages of confirmed allegations vs non-confirmed allegations and type of allegations.
  • Different Regions used different reporting channels so an analysis over time of reporting channels used by Region is recommended
  • In addition to analysis of Speak-up Numbers, the evaluation of whether employees trust to speak-up can also be evaluated by including certain questions in employee surveys like “how comfortable are you to report misconduct”

The Group then continued the discussion over an apero.

Cybercrime and Cyber Investigations – Best Practice and Lessons

Cybercrime consists of criminal acts committed online by using electronic communications networks and information systems. The threat posed to companies by cyber-attacks has increased significantly in recent years. The phenomenon of cybercrime, effective prosecution of cybercrime incidents and internal investigations related to cybercrime will be the topic of the next event of the working group investigations of Ethics and Compliance Switzerland (ECS). Dr. Daniel Nussbaumer (Head Cyber Security Schweiz, Telekom Security) and Sandra Schweingruber (Federal Prosecutor for Cybercrime at the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland) shared their wealth of experience with us as in a key note followed by a panel discussion moderated by the co-chairs of the working group investigations, Daniel S. Weber and Dr. Roman Huber.

Whistleblower Protection in Switzerland – Quo vadis?

In March 2020, the National Council rejected the whistleblower law by a large majority. Now, the Whistleblowing International Network (WIN) and the Fondation Charles Léopold Mayer (FPH) have produced a hitherto unpublished report on whistleblowing in Switzerland. The aim of the report is to provide an “outside perspective” on the issue of whistleblower protection in Switzerland and to analyze the reasons for the slow progress in the political consensus building process.

At the ECS event on 20 March 2023, the findings of the report were discussed from the perspective of the private sector by the following panelists:

Anna Myers, Executive Director, Whistleblowing International Network (WIN), Juliette Decoster, Program Manager, Fondation Charles Léopold Mayer, Sandra Middel, Head of Group Compliance, Clariant International Ltd and Stephan Howeg, Partner, Lemongrass Communications AG.

The discussion was moderated by Christian Hauser, Professor, University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons

Supply Chain Visibility, Traceability and Compliance

To combat falsified medicine, in many countries pharmaceutical companies are required to have implemented “serialization” or “track and trace” systems in their distribution network. The Working Group met virtually on January 18 where our distinguished speakers Andre Durrer, Head of Global Compliance Management System (CMS) at CordenPharma, Rob Leonard, Sales Director EMEA/APAC at RFxcel gave the audience an overview of the track and trace requirements in numerous markets and explained how track and trace dashboard is a powerful tool for companies to have insights in their logistic processes. The event was moderated by the WG Co-chair Patrick Wellens.

These are the upcoming dates for our Annual General Meetings:

Thursday, 21 March 2024
Thursday, 20 March 2025