Laurent Moquet, MBA '91: The Evaluator
Laurent Moquet says that internal auditors are sometimes unfairly compared to a police force, bent on taking names and assigning blame. He prefers a different metaphor. “We’re more like investigative journalists,” Moquet says. “We poke around, ask questions, and serve as an intellectual itching powder.”
An auditor for more than ten years in three different companies, Moquet currently serves as the risk, audit, and compliance director at Marine World Brands in Paris, one of Europe’s leading producers of canned and ambient seafood. Moquet was hired by the company in 2009 in advance of its sale to Thai Union Foods, to ensure, as Moquet says, “there were no corpses in the cupboards.” To gather necessary data, Moquet investigated every aspect of the international corporation’s operations and functions — all in person. For almost half of 2010, he was on the road, visiting canning plants in Brittany, France; Portugal; Ghana; and Seychelles to learn about their finances and operations. It was a schedule that allowed him to travel, a lifelong passion (Moquet and his wife took an around-theworld trip for their honeymoon), but that also made it harder for him to spend time with his six children, ages five to sixteen. After the numbers were crunched back in Paris, Moquet and his team presented their findings in the form of “heat maps,” charts that visually identified levels of risk and priority, and that continue to serve as a guide to the ongoing auditing process. In addition, he and his team investigated MWBrand’s record of compliance with governmental and environmental regulations.
Now that the sale is final — the deal was approved by the UK’s Office of Fair Trading in October of 2010 — Moquet looks forward to taking advantage of “cross-pollination opportunities” — for instance, learning more about the auditing practices at the San Diego-based Chicken of the Sea, one of the major brands Thai Union previously owned. He also is excited to share his most current risk management methodology and plan with the new management (MWBrands is now a subsidiary of Thai Union) in Thailand this summer. The job of assessing risk is ongoing, as nothing ever stays completely the same. And that, to Moquet, is exciting.
“What motivates me is to be the catalyst for positive change.”