Compliance Risk Management: A Game-changing Strategy in Mergers & Acquisitions

Isabelle Rust, Head of Third Party Compliance Management, Airbus Defence and Space, Airbus
Camelia Gardot, Senior Legal Counsel, Airbus

In a context where companies are facing increasingly complex regulatory requirements, more stringent legal enforcement restrictions and NGO activism (including ethical and environmental), the compliance part of the M&A due diligence is entering into the spotlight. Compliance has turned from a regular risk, more or less scrutinized before deal signature, into a game-changing parameter that can cause a deal breaker or substantively shrink its efficiencies in the post-merger integration (PMI) phase. Over the last 3 years, several enforcement agencies have issued “soft law” recommendations to outline the regulatory exposure and encourage companies to perform proper compliance due diligence throughout the deal journey. Although not (yet) legally mandatory, they set “state of the art” expectations while anti-corruption laws make them an essential part of a functioning Compliance Programme. This movement now goes beyond embedding Compliance in the M&A process but leans towards a true enterprise culture, where compliance and strategic growth work hand in hand. The authors further explain where the main compliance challenges in M&A deals lie, show the regulatory trends in this respect and point out which issues to focus on in the target due diligence process and how they can be dealt with, throughout the deal phases and during PMI.

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France Germany Compliance Aviation March 2020 Vol.13, No. 50, Winter 2020

Isabelle Rust


Isabelle Rust is Head of Third Party Compliance Management at Airbus (Defence and Space Division) Working since about 15 years, she has extensive international experience in the governance field, having specialised in corporate governance, internal auditing, forensic investigations and compliance (including M&A compliance). She holds a Master in Research degree in International Private and Public law from the University of Nice (France) and a Master in European Business from ESCP Europe (France and UK).

Camelia Gardot


Camelia Gardot is Senior Legal Counsel – “Mergers and Acquisitions” at Airbus (Defence and Space Division)



Airbus is the largest aeronautics and space company in Europe and a worldwide leader in three sectors: • Commercial Aircraft: Airbus is at the forefront of the aviation industry, building innovative commercial aircraft. • Defence and Space: the 2nd largest space company in the world and top 10 defence company which provides tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft as well as space systems, equipment and services. • Helicopters: the world’s leading helicopter manufacturer offering the most comprehensive range of civil and military helicopters in the world.

France Germany Compliance Aviation March 2020 Vol.13, No. 50, Winter 2020

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