When two companies announce a merger, competition and securities laws prevent them from collaborating in almost every way until the merger is closed.

Ethics and compliance professionals are one exception. These pros from both companies are allowed to collaborate pre-merger, so that on Day One the new company can have a unified set of values, a common code of conduct, a standard way of reporting and escalating allegations of misconduct — among other things.

This is allowed because E&C professionals from different firms don’t compete, even within the same industry. The nature of our work is intended to be cooperative. Yet, so few of us actually reach out to one another to learn and grow.

If antitrust laws allow us to collaborate pre-merger, why aren’t we collaborating even more on a regular day?

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