GE Africa Chief Compliance Officer Jeff Stitt Wins Top Honours in 2014
Johannesburg, South Africa, 03 December 2014 – GE (NYSE: GE) has announced that Jeff Stitt, Chief Compliance Officer for GE Africa was named the Chief Compliance Officer of the Year at the inaugural Southern Africa Compliance Awards. The award recognises Jeff's role in upholding GE's global commitment to ethical business, as well as his dedication to improving compliance practices across the industry.
The Southern Africa Compliance Awards, held in Johannesburg, were created to acknowledge professionals from across the compliance sector, who are navigating increasingly stringent corporate governance and regulatory requirements globally. Individuals, teams and initiatives were split into nine categories for judging by prominent compliance and regulatory professionals from across the spectrum of the corporate, legal and professional services sectors in Southern Africa.
“Through continuous improvement, we sustain GE's culture of integrity in all dealings,” said Jay Ireland, President and CEO of GE Africa. “Jeff Stitt has led the compliance team at GE Africa since 2012 and continues to navigate an ethical course for the company by aligning all processes to international best practice.”
GE's globally-recognised compliance processes begin with online training for every new employee regardless of level or geography. In 2013, the company created a compliance-training “Center of Excellence” aimed at assessing compliance training needs, using best-in-class learning principles and instructional design, improving the use of technology to deliver training and making compliance training processes more efficient and effective.
“In assessing a range of compliance programmes for the 2014 Southern Africa Compliance Awards, Jeff stood out for his unwavering commitment to ensuring GE Africa acts with integrity in all business dealings while simultaneously improving the compliance frameworks across markets in Africa,” said Brian Reffell, Director of the 2014 Southern Africa Compliance Awards.
In addition to Jeff being named the Chief Compliance Officer of the Year, GE was recently recognised by Ethisphere magazine as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies in 2014 for the eighth straight year. The Ethisphere magazine awards are based on the impact and effectiveness of compliance programmes and the culture of integrity in an organisation. Also, the GE Africa Legal team, which Compliance is a part of, was recognized as the Legal Department of the Year at the African Legal Awards held on 1 November 2014.
Since his appointment as Chief Compliance Officer, Jeff has established GE Africa's region-wide governance process with the senior leadership team and improved compliance training across the company. His team has launched the first region-wide integrity week, a programme aimed at creating strong links to business partners that operate with integrity.
Jeff's continuous work to improve the reporting process of potential breaches has seen the number of reports submitted more than double since 2012. These improvements protect the anonymity of whistle blowers and ensure an environment of safe reporting.
In addition to his role as Chief Compliance Officer at GE Africa, Jeff also co-chaired the 2014 Southern Africa Anti-Corruption Conference, and is a member of the South African Multinational Chief Compliance Officer Forum, where peers share best practices on compliance programmes and work to improve compliance frameworks in the region.
“This award is not just a recognition of my efforts, but the efforts of my team and everyone at GE Africa who is focused on operating in a clear and transparent manner,” said Jeff Stitt, Chief Compliance Officer for GE Africa. “Our commitment to compliance continues to provide us with the ability to work with customers who are looking for partners who share their values of providing a great product, a great service, along with great integrity.”
Jeff first joined GE in January 1990 and has worked across a number of business units and areas including engineering, auditing, financial management, enterprise risk management, government affairs and compliance.