One of the primary challenges of modern investigative work is managing overwhelming amounts of diverse data. Varied, disparate data sources like e-mail, calendar entries, telephone and cell phone records, instant messages, and financial transaction records can be nearly impossible for even the most diligent professionals to analyze within tight budgets and deadlines.
This was precisely the challenge facing the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption when it was appointed by Governor Cuomo in July of 2013. Empaneled in the wake of a series of corruption scandals and charged with casting a critical light on the influence of money on New York State’s public officials, the Commission had an acute need to draw relevant trends and narratives out of a veritable ocean of campaign finance and lobbying data. We are pleased and honored that the Commission turned to K2 Intelligence to help them meet this challenge.
Over a period of months, our highly-skilled professionals employed an enormously powerful data analytics tool called Palantir to conduct in-depth analyses on numerous data sets on a scale nearly unprecedented in public corruption investigations. Yesterday, the Commission issued a hard-hitting preliminary report in which our work is prominently featured:
The Commission has engaged a leading investigative and risk analytics consulting firm, to integrate vast datasets using a unique and versatile data analytics tool originally developed for use in the counter-terrorism context. Since its inception, this analytics platform has been adapted for use by numerous government agencies in a wide variety of complex criminal, civil, and intelligence-gathering matters. Among other things, we have used this analytics platform to ingest and analyze Board of Elections campaign finance information; elected officials’ financial disclosure statements; lobbyist and client disclosures; legislative election results; legislative initiatives; publicly available biographical and professional data about elected officials mined from media, social media sites, and other databases; and proprietary research meticulously gathered by the Commission’s investigative staff. To date, we have used this analytics tool to focus in on and uncover connections and relationships that otherwise would have been difficult or impossible to discern, thereby allowing Commission staff to create dossiers on companies, organizations, and persons of interest to “connect the dots” and construct timelines and relationships maps.
Please see a link to the full report below:
It is no exaggeration to say that an investigation of this magnitude would not have been possible without the cutting edge analytic tools in our arsenal and the biggest and best group of analysts in the business to use them. Time and again, K2 Intelligence has found ways to leverage data analytics for the benefit of clients across a wide array of industries – banks, power/utility companies, law firms – for a multitude of purposes – assessing enterprise risk, enhancing compliance programs, gaining advantage in litigation.
If you would like to learn more about what data analytics can do for you and your organization, please don’t hesitate to reach out at any time. We would welcome the opportunity to provide you with a demonstration of our best-in-breed capabilities.
Jeremy M. Kroll
President and CEO
K2 Intelligence, LLC
“…in an effort to analyze large quantities of campaign fund-raising, lobbying and other data, [the Panel] hired an investigative consultancy, K2 Intelligence, to make use of a data analytics platform initially developed for counterterrorism and intelligence gathering.
The report said the data analysis had allowed the commission to identify hard-to-trace relationships between companies and individuals, and ultimately would help investigators “identify eyebrow-raising patterns of potential misconduct.”
Originally published in the New York Times December 3, 2013
K2 Intelligence invites HR managers and experts to participate in a breakfast round table to discuss the benefits and the limits of corporate transparency, the different levels of access to strategic information and the means of protection of sensitive information.
When: November 12, 2013. 9.30 – 11.30 a.m.
Where: Hotel InterContinental, Madrid, Spain.
The same data-crunching firm that helps the city combat terrorism is being tapped by Gov. Cuomo’s anti-corruption panel to investigate the state Legislature.
The Commission to Investigate Public Corruption is expected to sign a contract this week with Manhattan-based K2 Intelligence, which has sifted through data for the feds in the Bernie Madoff case and consulted for the New York City Campaign Finance Board.
The firm also has ties to the NYPD.
Mitchell Silber, a K2 Intelligence Managing Director, is a former director of intelligence analysis for the NYPD and is considered a pioneer in data analysis.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly is a special adviser to the anti-corruption panel.
The state requested K2 Intelligence services on the panel’s behalf in a Sept. 12 letter to state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, Capital New York reported.
Originally published in the New York Post October 16, 2013
Mitch Silber’s article on Al Qaeda’s Western Volunteer Corps published by International Journal on Criminology
In a sampling of Western countries, Canada, the UK, France and the United States, Al Qaeda type terrorism has not disappeared since 2010. In general, it has become more disconnected from Al Qaeda Core in Afghanistan/Pakistan and when a foreign group has been involved, it is more likely to be with an Al Qaeda affiliate or ally in North Africa, Yemen, or Somalia. Since 2010, most of the cases involving Western countries, have involved citizens of those very countries who either have radicalized and then mobilized to violence in the West or individuals who traveled or attempted to travel abroad to a zone of conflict to fight there and may or may not have returned to the West to carry out their attack. Either way, most of the men who have made up Al Qaeda’s Volunteer Corps since 2010, have spent time in the West and both have Western origins and in some way have targeted Western targets.
This phenomenon continues to surprise media and Western audiences—many are still shocked when two Canadians turn up in Algeria leading an attack against an energy facility, working with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb or when two men who were generally raised in Boston, attack their neighbors at the Boston Marathon. However, for counterterrorism practitioners, this threat is not new and remains one of the most difficult to detect. Unfortunately, it does not seem like it will abate any time soon, regardless of the death of Osama bin Laden, leaving challenges from a security, law enforcement, intelligence, and civil liberties perspective that the radicalization to violence and threat that these Western volunteers present, balanced against the need to maintain civil liberties.
Originally Published in International Journal on Criminology, Vol. 1, Nº 1, Fall 2013
Link to the complete article: International Journal on Criminology, Vol. 1, Fall 2013
Sub-Saharan Africa, as we recently discussed on CNBC, represents a promising investment opportunity across primary and, increasingly, secondary and tertiary industries. However, many of the countries in the region continue to present challenges and operational uncertainty. The Continent is a fascinating place to operate and this year alone we have supported:
Hedge fund and private equity investments in Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique, Cameroon and the DRC.
Disputes and asset seizures in South Africa, Ghana and Senegal.
Investigations into corruption in the DRC, Guinea, Nigeria and Zambia.
Assess who is really in control. K2 Intelligence has seen the military, shadowy relatives, the mafia, and brother of a president behind commercial partnerships. Few of them worked out terribly well.
- Examine licences and how they were obtained by developing a full paper trail locally, to guard against accepting a scan of a forgery.
- Can your partner legally operate where you would like to go? If not, bribing officials might keep them in situ for a while, but that will quickly become your problem.
- Get on the ground. Proactive local engagement has a significant positive impact and personal relationships are essential.
- Ensure your advisers do the same; don’t let them remote control projects from London. Local interaction equals better results.
- The pressure to bribe can be intense but don’t do it. It’s illegal, it will bite you one day and it’s near-impossible to stop once you start.
- Review independent references (former employees, business partners, litigants), not just those of the counterparty.
- Analyse agents’ contract sizes. You don’t want to rely on a specific local agent, only to learn the hard way that they are out of their depth.
- Be continuously thoughtful about regime stability. Cancelled contracts and expropriation are rarer today, but still happen.
- Understand what you’re not being told by the prospective partner. How do they influence and negotiate? What other interests do they have?
- Where you have a dispute, assess the chances of success in unfamiliar surroundings, or at least the prospects of an elegant exit.
- Familiarise yourself with the competition. Who is the market leader and why? Have they stronger, perhaps suspicious, relationships with people that make things happen?
- Check the assets from different angles with different specialists to be sure you’re actually buying what you think you’re buying.
- Review the management team. What other deals have they been involved in over time? Have any of their prior businesses gone awry? Is there a past pattern of fraud or corruption involving them or the companies they’ve worked for?
- Evaluate internal controls. Does the investment have adequate controls/policies to stop bribery or other insider behaviour that could cause your reputation harm? Does the culture reflect the attitudes taken towards compliance?
- Don’t do this by numbers. Fraud, corruption and ill-informed investments happen everywhere, not just frontier markets. If it’s a big bet, have a proper look at it and don’t just tick the boxes.
(New York, August 12, 2013)—K2 Intelligence, a leading investigative and risk analytics services firm, announced today that Thomas Glocer, former chief executive officer of Thomson Reuters Corp., will join as an investor and member of the firm’s board of directors.
“As a recognized leader in the information services industry, Tom brings significant expertise in technology and global M&A. This perspective is extremely important to us as we grow our tech-powered corporate intelligence business,” said Jeremy M. Kroll, CEO and President of K2 Intelligence. “Tom has taken a strong interest in K2 Intelligence since its development and we are pleased to officially welcome him as a board member.”
“Jules and Jeremy Kroll created the modern global intelligence services business and are now innovating again with the K2 Intelligence platform,” said Mr. Glocer. “The challenge of running a major global enterprise today is that C-suite executives are drowning in a sea of big data, but cannot filter the precise, actionable intelligence they need. K2 Intelligence provides that expert filter and focus, along with a suite of innovative analytical tools. I’m very excited to work closely with the management team to help K2 Intelligence expand its tailored investigative solutions to clients globally.” ”
“As we’ve seen in recent weeks, threats to corporate data are increasingly complex and difficult to detect,” he continued. “No other intelligence firm matches K2 Intelligence’s ability to help companies understand their data, identify internal and external vulnerabilities and prevent fraudulent activity such as insider trading, cybercrime and money laundering.”
Mr. Glocer was formerly chief executive officer of Thomson Reuters Corp., the leading news and professional information provider from April 2008 through December 2011. Thomson Reuters was formed upon the acquisition of Reuters Group PLC, where Mr. Glocer became CEO in 2001 following a series of international executive roles.
Before joining Reuters, Mr. Glocer was a mergers and acquisitions lawyer at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York, Paris and Tokyo. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Merck & Co., Inc., Morgan Stanley, and the Council on Foreign Relations.
Bruce Goslin on Intereconomia TV (Spain). June 26, 2013. Watch the video.
In light of recent corporate news I want to take a moment to discuss some of the latest trends surrounding boards and shareholder activism. Then I want to give you some detail on our Board Advisory Services.
Corporate Boards and Hedge Fund Activism
Increasingly, the boards and executives of public companies find themselves under intense scrutiny by activist shareholders and hedge funds. Stakeholders on both sides, though they seem to have different agendas, are similar in that they all seek to release a company”s untapped potential. The debate is largely over what is best for shareholders. What role can—or should—the activist investor play in improving the value of the firm? Should the focus be on the long-term value of a company or on the current market price?
The Importance of Boards
Even the best run company can find itself at the center of a proxy battle. The ability to effect change and exert influence on the strategic direction and management of a company has made board seats very valuable to activists. With that greater value comes an increasingly contentious process over the selection of directors. In order to effectively manage that process, the C-Suite needs better tools to be able to monitor media for early warning signs of unrest, conduct deeper diligence on nominees and the investors they represent—including past behavior of the investors—and craft a careful strategy around the composition of the board.
Whether a company is defending itself in a proxy battle or proactively evaluating potential board members, a comprehensive strategy is essential to achieving the best outcome for the company and shareholders. Without a carefully planned approach—which includes evaluating the opposition’s board nominees, identifying the vulnerabilities of current board members, charting strategic alternatives and understanding the overall tone set by board change—a board can become a liability rather than an asset.
Good Companies, Bad Board Strategies
In recent years, K2 Intelligence has been involved in all aspects of proxy battles. We have worked for management to create plans to defend their boards. We have helped companies get ahead of the problem by monitoring media before adversaries appear; vetting and investigating current and proposed directors; and providing strategy and support for dealing with a potentially antagonistic board member based on previous behavior.
For outside counsel, we have evaluated claims raised by shareholders and developed persuasive factual responses to their concerns.
In short, we identify potential risk, separate fact from fiction and unlock opportunities and develop strategies for companies around their board of directors, to ensure that this great asset remains a strong point.
Jeremy M. Kroll
President and CEO
K2 Intelligence, LLC