SocGen Update – The Mission Green Report

I attended and participated in TechTarget’s inaugural Financial Information Security Decisions (FISD) Conference in New York. It was a first class meeting – and not just because I was an advisor to and panelist at the conference. In my view, the highlight of the sessions, which I attended, was the one on security governance – even more exciting, if that were possible, than the one on compliance and outsourcing in which I myself participated.

The session opened with an enthusiastic presentation by Eric Holmquist on the governance structure and processes that he has established at Advanta Bank. Eric’s presentation resonated with the audience and there was considerable interest in his approach.

But it was the workshop conducted by Keith White of Credit Suisse, supported by a former colleague of mine, Tod Mitchinson, which really caught everyone’s attention and generated one of the liveliest discussions that I have ever experienced at any conference.

Keith’s topic was the enormous fraud perpetrated by Jerome Kerviel, a rogue trader at Societe Generale (SocGen), whose activities lost $7 billion.

The discussion centered on the 71-page Mission Green Summary Report, which I had not known about previously. The final version of this surprisingly detailed and frank report was released on May 20, 2008 by SocGen’s General Inspection Department (probably equivalent to the Internal Audit Department in the US) and has been made available to the public on SocGen’s website. It describes what transpired and how it was done.

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