By Prof. Cam McCaw
Conference delivery in Ecuador
In March 2020, I traveled to Ecuador on behalf of the International Mobility Office and in co-ordination with the Ecuadorian-Canadian Chamber of Commerce (ECCC) in Guayaquil. The activities throughout my stay were organized and co-ordinated by Jessica Nicolaide from ECCE, a wonderful champion of Seneca. She could not have been more gracious and professional. Because of her and her team, the visit was seamless and exceeded my expectations.
Over the course of two days, I delivered lectures, profiling Seneca’s expertise, with respect to fraud, corruption and money laundering. The lectures took place in Guayaquil (Ecuador’s largest and most populous city) and in Quito (Ecuador’s capital). I lectured for about four to five hours each day, with the lectures being simultaneously translated into Spanish. The audience was broad based, most notably a large group from the regulators (led by Alan Sierra Nieto, the National Director of Prevention of Money Laundering), lawyers and other professionals. Mr. Nieto made introductory comments about his big regulatory concerns with preventing money laundering — as it happened, my presentation covered his concerns, which I think added to our credibility.
At the end of day one, I attended a luncheon with the President of the Chamber, several of the board’s staff, and the Honorary Council — Government of Canada (Basil Haylock) — this was an excellent event and there was great interaction. Thereafter, we travelled to Quito.
The group in Quito was appreciably smaller but again of a very high quality. At the end, we met with one of the local sponsors — Grant Thornton, Managing Partner — who was very appreciative of Seneca’s initiative. I was hosted for a one-on-one lunch with Patricia Bustamante, Trade Commissioner at the Embassy of Government of Canada. One of her primary responsibilities is to support work with the local community in fighting corruption. As such she was very interested in exploring how Seneca could work further with the Government of Canada and other Canadian “partners” in this fight.
There seems to be a unique opportunity to foster further collaboration between the Government of Canada, senior members of the Ecuadorian business community and Seneca. I see this through moving beyond understanding the underlying concepts relating to the topics, towards a focus on anti-corruption — preventing, detecting and investigating.