Just when I thought I had seen and heard everything during the current financial crisis, along comes Bernie Madoff and friends to liven things up. It is almost impossible to pick up a Wall Street Journal from the last few weeks and not read something about Madoff allegedly pulling off the largest Ponzi scheme in history. What amazes me — even more than the number of wealthy investors that were blind followers of Madoff — is the fact that several individuals tried to blow the whistle on him at various times during the last decade and were completely ignored. How many times have you, as an internal auditor, been in that situation? It also appears that the regulators may have missed some signs that the returns Madoff promised investors actually were too good to be true. If you have any thoughts on Madoff, his investors, or those who tried to blow the whistle, I encourage you to share them with other Financial Services members via this blog’s comments section.

The Madoff investigation is still unfolding, as are the latest events in the crisis that has consumed the financial world for several months now. We will have a chance to analyze these issues during The IIA’s annual Financial Services Conference in June. Complete details regarding the conference will be available soon, but I promise that the event will be well worth attending. Included on the agenda will be several chief audit executives and presenters from the regulatory world who will share their insight about the financial crisis. You will also be able to attend sessions on critical issues to financial services auditors, strategies for success, and technology solutions. We also have great general session speakers and panelists lined up, including Michael Marchesani, the chief audit executive of Zurich Insurance, and Terry Savage, a nationally known finance expert, writer, and television commentator. You also won’t want to miss our motivational speaker Ed Robinson at the opening general session. We are going to continue our successful “coffee talk” sessions as well as our Tuesday afternoon roundtables, and our CFSA review course is back by popular demand the day before the conference begins. What better time to add the CFSA credential to your résumé than during the annual conference?

I hope you will plan to attend the 2009 IIA Financial Services Conference June 1–3 at the Renaissance Orlando Resort, across the street from SeaWorld. As always, if you have any questions or comments, please contact me or a member of the Financial Services Advisory Board.

Warm regards,

Scott White, CIA, CFSA
Financial Services Advisory Board Chairman

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