News at Smith

Venable LLPs Nancy Grunberg Discusses Securities Fraud Ethics with Smith Students

Oct 15, 2007
Experiential / Reality-based Learning


Nancy Grunberg, head of Venables Securities and Exchange Commission and white collar defense practice group, shared her experiences as a securities law and financial disclosure lawyer with 75 Smith students on Oct. 15, 2007. Her lecture was the second installment of the Robert H. Smith School of Business's Business Ethics Lecture Series for the fall semester.

Grunberg has worked on both sides of securities fraud as a defense lawyer and for the SEC. She was with the SEC from 1988-1992 and from 1996-2002. She earned a bachelor's degree from Stanford University and a J.D. from Columbia University.

Grunberg discussed the changes she has seen in the SEC throughout her career. In the late 80s, everyone was paying attention to Wall Street and insider fraud, she said. And when I came back to the SEC in 1996, I was told that the high priority cases were accounting and financial fraud.

These changes in focus are particularly important for students, since new legislation such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) impacts all public businesses, she said. Grunberg described the current statutory environment businesses operate in; including accounting and disclosure irregularities she has seen firsthand, high-profile corporate corruption and Sarbanes-Oxley's stipulations.

In the old days, a 10-year jail sentence would have been considered a harsh sentence in white collar crime, she said. But in the world were facing today, its the norm. The indicted executives from the three companies received sentences ranging from 10-25 years in prison.

Grunberg also said client-auditor relationships have changed drastically since SOX was passed. Its much more common to see an auditor blowing the whistle on some kind of discrepancy now than it used to be, she said. But we are better off now then we were before, pre-Enron and pre-Sarbanes-Oxley.

She closed the lecture with a question-and-answer session with Smith students.

The next session this fall in the "Business Ethics Lecture Series"

Date: November 7, 2007
Speaker: James M. Lager, Deputy Ethics Counselor, GAO
Topic: "Honoring Values in a Compliance-based World"
Time: 5: 30PM 7 PM
Room: Frank Auditorium, 1524 Van Munching Hall, College Park

Related Stories:
Highlights from the Fall 2007 Ethics Lecture Series
Spring 2007 Ethics Experiential Learning Module for MBAs
Fall 2006 Ethics Lecture Series
Spring 2006 Ethics Lecture Series

▓ Donna Lin, MBA Candidate 2009, Smith Media Group

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