High-profile assignments on an internal investigation into a non-existent bank loan and a DOJ-appointed monitorship in an FCPA case help illustrate why Kroll deservedly makes its first entry into the GIR 100 list this year.
Kroll has been in the investigations market for close to five decades after being established in the US in 1972. Since its acquisition by Duff & Phelps in 2018 Kroll operates as a division of the financial consultancy. The change helped drive investment in significant areas at Kroll, including the hiring of new talent and opening of new offices.
The global leader of the governance, risk, investigations and disputes practice at Duff & Phelps, including Kroll, is Carl Jenkins in Boston, a veteran practitioner with a wide variety of experience in criminal and regulatory investigations.
Within Kroll, Tom Everett-Heath is the global head of business intelligence and investigations. He was appointed in 2018 after some 13 years with the firm and has since been focused on integrating the Kroll team into one seamless group operating from close to 80 offices around the world.
Everett-Heath works alongside a group of regional leaders, including Richard Plansky in North America, a former New York state prosecutor specialising in complex investigations; Recaredo Romero in Latin America, who regularly works on FCPA and commercial bribery probes; financial services specialists Louis-David Magnien and Neil Kirton, who co-lead the Europe, Middle East and Africa region and both have a solid background in investment banking; and Tadashi Kageyama, who oversees the Asia-Pacific region, helps clients with fraud risk mitigation, and recently worked on Kroll's expansion into Australia and India.
Clients can rely on the firm for core investigative services, whether these are local or cross-border assignments. The team provides forensic accounting, forensic audits, asset recovery investigations and more. It also assists in data collection, retention and analysis, and offers a wide array of support related to cyber intrusions and their prevention. The firm furthermore provides e-discovery and litigation support, as well as monitoring and compliance services.
The team's investigative prowess is boosted by proprietary technology, such as the Kroll Artifact Parser and Extractor, a triage programme that can help collect and process digital information to find forensically valuable data, made available in early 2019. The programme was created by New York-based senior director Eric Zimmerman, a former FBI special agent. Through a collaboration with blockchain firm analytics company Coinfirm, Kroll also offers customised crypto compliance and investigations support.
Over the past two years the firm has opened several new offices, including in the Netherlands, Ireland, Saudi Arabia and Australia.
Among the firm's recent hires is forensic services specialist Michael Schwartz, who joined the firm in early 2019. Schwartz previously advised the US Department of Justice-appointed monitors to Brazilian petrochemical company Braskem, in connection with the company's 2016 Foreign Corrupt Practices Act settlement.
The firm's publicly reported investigations illustrate the successful year Kroll has had - for which it was nominated for a GIR Award for Consultancy of the Year in 2020. GIR has previously reported that the firm worked alongside Herbert Smith Freehills on an internal investigation for Nigeria-based oil company Lekoil, into a $184 million loan from the Qatar Investment Authority that turned out not to exist.
The firm was involved in several other notable investigations on the African continent, including two matters led by Paul Nash, a UK practitioner now based in Washington, DC. At the request of the Liberian government, US governmental development agency USAID commissioned Kroll to look into US$100 million of missing banknotes in the country. Kroll identified "discrepancies at every stage of the process for controlling the movement of banknotes" into and out of the central bank.
In Mozambique, Kroll was hired in 2017 by the Swedish embassy, under direction of local prosecutors, to conduct a forensic audit of three state-owned companies and $2 billion in loans from Credit Suisse and Russian lender VTB Capital. Kroll could not account for US$500 million and said that two of the companies were unlikely to make a profit off the assets they invested US$1.2 billion of the funds in.
The firm is also assisting ex-World Bank anti-corruption chief Leonard McCarthy on the DOJ-appointed monitorship of Russian telecoms company Mobile TeleSystems in connection with its FCPA settlement with the US Justice Department.
Kroll has a presence in almost 80 offices across the globe.
Kroll's impressive roster includes government agencies and multinationals. Private companies it has worked for include technology company Tesla, Mexican brewery Modelo - part of AB InBev - and Dutch bank ING.
Kroll has previously worked on an internal investigation into Brazilian state utility Eletrobras. The company settled an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission with a US$2.5 million penalty. The Justice Department did not bring an enforcement action.
Kroll also acted as the compliance monitor to the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi in connection with a consent order agreed with the New York State Department of Financial Services. Kroll helped review the institution's Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering compliance and more.
About Kroll, a division of Duff & Phelps
Kroll is a leading global investigative consultancy, recognized for conducting complex cross-border and internal investigations internationally. For over 45 years, we have worked as a trusted partner to public and private companies, law firms, governments and government agencies, assisting them in conducting some of the most complex and sensitive investigations, forensic audits, compliance reviews, and internal control and fraud risk assessments.
We have an extensive track record of delivering independent, complex, cross-border investigations and forensic audits in difficult operating environments with sensitive political contexts. Our range of services includes forensic accounting, digital forensics, high-end investigative research, human source intelligence and proactive and reactive cybercrime responses. We have the depth and breadth of expertise to undertake complex cross-border investigations in virtually any region of the world.
Why choose Kroll:
- Unmatched experience and expertise in challenging situations
Our depth of experience and expertise enables us to take an informed, proven approach to our clients’ most complex challenges.
- Excellence and efficiency through technology
We are constantly refining our extensive toolkit, applying the most appropriate technology to each investigation to deliver efficient, effective results.
- Global approach, local understanding
We leverage our technical expertise alongside our deep geopolitical and sectoral knowledge and experience to provide strategic advice and high-end consulting services.
Our one P&L structure allows us to deploy professionals around the world on matters relating to fraud, corruption and money laundering based on their experience.
- Truly independent advisors
Investigations are at our core. We are not an audit or accounting firm and as such, we have no conflicts that would dilute our focus and commitment.
Our recent publicly reported investigations include:
- Independent forensic audit of three state-owned enterprises in Mozambique to support a criminal enquiry being undertaken by the Public Prosecutor into the use of external loans totalling $2 billion
- Independent forensic audit of the Central Bank of Liberia for the United States Agency for International Development relating to concerns about the procurement, supply and use of new banknotes