Chairman’s Message, April 15, 2009

What an interesting and amazing time to be an internal auditor in the financial services industry! The Bernard Madoff and AIG scandals, the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and the worst economic downturn since the depression continue to plague the news. And just when you think you have heard everything, Manhattan attorney Marc Dreier appears on the scene with an even more brazen scam. At about US $700 million, allegedly, this scandal is not a large as Madoff’s, but it is much more interesting. According to prosecutors, Dreier sold hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of bogus debt obligations to nearly 40 investment funds run by 13 of the nation’s most sophisticated asset managers. Dreier’s scam has been overshadowed by the Madoff scandal, but there is a lot of information out there if you care to look it up.

If you want to hear more about frauds like these and how to fight them, you will want to check out the 2009 Financial Services Conference, June 1–3, at the Renaissance Sea World Hotel in Orlando, Fla. The Financial Services Board and IIA staff have been working diligently to put together another top-notch program. This year’s conference will feature four learning tracks: critical issues, strategies for success, technology solutions, and auditing resources. The popular coffee talk sessions and roundtables have been scheduled, and you won’t want to miss our great lineup of keynote speakers including CNN, CNBC, PBS, and NBC commentator Terry Savage. We have made an extra effort to recruit internal auditors as speakers for our concurrent sessions this year so that you get to hear directly from your peers. Finally, we have a couple of outstanding panel discussions planned, both centered around the financial industry and the recent events that we have heard so much about and their effects on internal auditing. If you have not received a copy of the conference brochure in the mail, it is available on The IIA’s Web site.

I recognize that these are difficult financial times for everyone, but there has never been a better time to make sure you are up to date on the latest information that you need to do your job. I think you will find that the 2009 Financial Services Conference is well worth the investment. As always, please feel free to contact me or any of the board members with your questions or concerns.

Warm regards,

Scott White, CIA, CFSA
Financial Services Advisory Board Chairman