Business 'spies' defect from US

William Raynor reports on moves by accountancy firms to recruit senior corporate investigators

At least two of the "Big Six" accountancy firms - Coopers & Lybrand and Deloitte & Touche - are moving into what one of them calls "business intelligence", hitherto the preserve of corporate investigation companies such as Kroll Associates and Control Risks.

In London, this will be formalised tomorrow when Emma Codd, the firm's first "head of business intelligence services" starts work at Deloitte's. Ms Codd, a graduate but not a professional accountant, first worked at the Kroll office in Mayfair and, with a partner, subsequently set up a small investigative firm that they sold to Control Risks.

As a consultant at Control Risks, she was responsible for managing the surveillance which, in catching a senior Co-op executive in the act of handing over confidential information, led to the collapse of Andrew Regan's hostile bid for CWS.

At Deloitte Touche, Miss Codd will be responsible to Alan Bray, partner in forensic services, and will concentrate on providing clients with due diligence, assistance in mergers and acquisitions and the management of "corporate crisis". "On the due diligence front," he said, "big business will increasingly look for firms which can match their global coverage." Companies like Kroll, he argued, were too small to do that.

Meanwhile, Coopers & Lybrand has head-hunted one of the senior investigators in Kroll's Los Angeles office, Steve Vale. Mr Vale has been accompanied by several former colleagues in Kroll, one of whom, Mary Hertzog, was a managing director at its New York headquarters. "There's a nice complement of accounting and investigative skills in this," said Ted Martens, Coopers' litigation and claims partner in New York, "and I see it developing."

Price Waterhouse has recruited a team of six investigators from Decision Strategies, a New York company specialising in corporate intelligence and itself a Kroll "spin-off'.

At Kroll headquarters, the implications are clearly regarded as serious. Kroll is suing Coopers in the US. "We are not suing for the return of Steve Vale," said Kroll chief operating officer Mike Cherkasky, "but for breach of agreement and loss of intellectual property."

Somewhat ironically, in view of subsequent developments, the agreement concerned was reached towards the end of last year when protracted negotiations for Kroll's takeover by the $2bn US information giant Equifax appeared to be stalled and several of the Big Six were reported to be showing interest in buying the company.

Kroll is now alleging that Coopers has breached the terms agreed then for it to come in and inspect them.

In spite of persistent - and as yet unsubstantiated - rumours that the Equifax deal, announced earlier this year, has been foundering on the rocks of due diligence, Mr Cherkasky said that it had received regulatory approval.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Java Developer - Hertfordshire - £47,000 + bonus + benefits

£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...

Ashdown Group: Direct Marketing Manager - B2C, Financial Services - Slough

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity h...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer - North West London - £47,000 + bonus + benefits

£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...

Selby Jennings: Corporate Communications & Marketing Specialist – Geneva

120,000 - 150,000 chf + bonus: Selby Jennings: A leading Swiss Private Banking...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum
France's Front National and the fear of a ‘gay lobby’ around Marine Le Pen

Front National fear of ‘gay lobby’

Marine Le Pen appoints Sébastien Chenu as cultural adviser