Millbank Solutions appoints new Head of Intelligence

Headshot

Millbank Solutions has announced that Kat Caudrelier will oversee their global intelligence and due diligence functions.

‘Kat brings a vast amount of information analysis experience from successful careers in both the public and private sectors. Her skill set makes her ideally suited to Millbank Solutions and she will play a key strategic role in ensuring the delivery of credible and timely corporate due diligence and intelligence services to our clients and partners’ said Michael George, the Managing Director of Millbank Solutions.

‘The provision of intelligence products to our clients means they are able to inform their strategic decision-making processes. They are a vital tool for any C-suite executives. Having Kat overseeing not only the provision of such information but also our own internal processes is fantastic and will certainly add value to our service delivery. We have worked together in the past and I know she will take our already high standards to another level’.

Millbank Solutions is based in the northeast of England and provides leading, global corporate intelligence, risk management and investigation services across numerous industries, including legal, financial, pharmaceutical, and manufacturing.

Kat will also be remaining in post as CEO of her own business Translive Global which is a translation, transcription and interpretation company. This collaboration means Millbank Solutions can now provide services and documentation globally, without compromise due to language or cultural barriers.

‘I am delighted to be joining the team at Millbank Solutions. Friends and former colleagues who have used their services have always given glowing reports on their skills and expertise, so it is a privilege to be joining a company with individuals of such calibre. I look forward to getting my teeth into the role and helping Millbank Solutions to expand its business’ Kat commented.

If you would like to discuss the services provided by Millbank Solutions, contact them via their website here, via email at enquiries@millbanksolutions.co.uk or by phone on +44 (0)208 191 9979 (London) / +44 (0)191 909 7007 (Durham)

Use Your Intelligence

Two people at a screen

Surprise has often been declared when we speak about the niche areas in which we as a company operate, our corporate intelligence services being a perfect example. After all, why would you even consider that tactics and techniques used by operatives from the Police and Security Services could be used to great effect across the business landscape? In fact, our intelligence products are in high demand by many forward-thinking executives across the globe.

Intelligence in the business context is much similar, by definition, to that which is gathered by the various government agencies around the world. It is usable provenance-checked information used to inform the strategic decision-making process and to identify commercial opportunities. It is a resource that has been used for many years, with capabilities improved due to the emergence of new technologies, increased demand for relevant information product and the need for reassurance by invested stakeholders.

The benefits of relevant intelligence product are far-reaching in terms of the potential to increase revenue and accelerate growth. They can include a boost to operational activity, early identification of threat to operations, stakeholder reassurance, competitive advantage, loss avoidance and confirmation of valid opportunities.

To meet the objectives of any intelligence brief, credible companies providing these services utilise a combination of the latest analytical technology and where necessary, human information sources. This approach is essential to ensure the validity of the product, particularly in emerging overseas markets and developing economies. However, the gathering of the required data and information must be done lawfully and ethically. There is a responsibility not only on the company providing the service, but also the client, who must ensure they choose a supplier wisely. Not doing so could result in serious damage to organisational reputation and significant financial loss due to regulatory or criminal penalties.

Fortunately, we are fully sighted on the pitfalls, so you are in safe hands. We have advised and provided services to C-level executives in multi-national companies around the world and to lawyers across the UK in relation to their client’s requirements, such is the thirst for knowledge. All our analysts and operators work ethically and professionally with a keen eye on the ever-changing threat landscape.

‘Intelligence’ isn’t a dirty word. If you’re not utilising credible and relevant services, you could be missing out. To book a free consultation, contact Millbank Solutions at enquiries@millbanksolutions.co.uk or call us on +44 (0)208 191 9979 / +44 (0) 191 909 7007

Corporate Investigation Services

worker on iphone

What are they and when might you need them?

Corporate investigation services could be something you may not even have known to exist, let alone having a requirement to utilise them for your company. But if you suspect or know that something within your organisation has gone wrong, then it can be reassuring to have a firm of credible independent professionals to call on. So what is a corporate investigation, when might you need one and how will it be carried out? Moreover, what services should you expect from any company you might hire and how do you ensure you’re choosing the best one for your requirements?

One of the main responsibilities of the directors of a company is acting prudently to protect that company’s assets, for the benefit of its members as a whole. Directors must act in the best interests of its shareholders and protect their employees. They must also foster the company’s reputation for having high standards when it comes to business conduct. So as a director, if you suspect that there has been wrongdoing somewhere within your company, or there’s a threat from an internal or external source, then it’s your duty to investigate and reduce the risk to all interested parties. Perhaps you’ve seen evidence of theft on the premises, whether that’s financial, physical or of intellectual property. Maybe you are being sued by a former employee or a supplier. You could find that your computer systems have been hacked and the integrity of the data you store has been compromised. You need to get to the bottom of the problem and fast before things get out of hand. For that, you need corporate investigation services. But surely it’s better to keep it all in-house, rather than employ one of the corporate investigation companies on the market? Not necessarily. There are advantages to using independent corporate investigations firms to run the enquiry. Firstly, it prevents later accusations of conflicts of interest. Secondly, it shows that the matter is being taken seriously; this is reassuring to stakeholders who have an interest in the success of the company, and it’s a deterrent to anyone considering malfeasance in the future. Thirdly, professional corporate investigation specialists already have the skills and experience necessary to carry out such enquiries in a fast and efficient manner. After all, it’s in everyone’s interests to have the matter resolved as quickly as possible before the situation worsens and the company’s reputation is damaged beyond repair.

Why else should insider threat management be handled by the experts and how do they do it?

Companies with expertise in dealing with external risks or insider threat management have access to fully trained, experienced investigators. These individuals are proficient at examining corporate records and data to uncover discrepancies and they have the skills required to conduct interviews with staff members. They can closely analyse internal and external communications, whether on paper or a computer network and as new faces to the company they’re hired by, they can even carry out discreet enquiries to source information on a potential or actual threat to the business’ well-being. So what will the investigators be looking for when you hire them to assist your company? Essentially, four main areas need addressing. Firstly, analysing the nature of the threat: what has happened here? Secondly, they will look for who was responsible. Thirdly, they will uncover why the issue was allowed to happen and how it could have been prevented. And fourthly, they will determine the extent to which the incident has put the company at risk. A good corporate investigations service will also produce a report that offers a risk assessment detailing any other areas of vulnerability their operators have identified during their enquiries.

Whether you require a legal, a libel or a cyber investigation, look for expertise

The trick to dealing with a problem is to nip it in the bud as early as possible. Ironically, you will need to make a decision on which investigations firm to use at what is already a difficult and stressful time for your company. It’s easy to just pick the first name off the Internet to get the matter resolved as soon as you can. But like any important decision within your business, you should do as much research and due diligence as you can into the firm you’re thinking of hiring before you part with any money. So what should you look for? The first factor is obviously experience. You want the individuals you are trusting your firm’s reputation with to have the necessary background and skills. The best investigators have a police or intelligence services background. They’ll have a firm grasp of proper investigative techniques and rules like evidence gathering, and this will prove essential if the case ever has to go to court. Next, ensure the company has the right resources. A firm with plenty of background researchers, state-of-the-art analytical technology and up-to-date equipment, for instance, will be able to resolve your problem faster and with better information than a one-man-band. And finally, ask for relevant experience. If you need a cyber investigation into suspected embezzlement or a case of hacking or internet fraud for example, then you require a cyber investigation company or one that includes that speciality in its menu of services; we are one such company.

Corporate investigation services with expertise and discretion from Millbank Solutions

In this article, we’ve only touched on the basics of what corporate investigation services can provide. But if you think you need help with wrongdoing within your company or a threat from an external source, Millbank Solutions can offer discreet, expert and professional help. Take a look at the range of services we provide on our website at millbanksolutions.co.uk, and if you’re ready to speak to us, you can call us on +44 (0) 191 909 7007. Remember, the faster you act to resolve the problem, the better it will be for your organisation as a whole. Get in touch today.

Private Investigation Management

MD of Millbank Solutions, Mike George, explains why managing client’s expectations is important for credible independent private and corporate investigators.

Several private investigation cases are being highlighted in the press and on social media at the moment, which seems to indicate that breaches of privacy and data protection regulations have taken place across Europe. I have been following with great interest, in particular, the ‘spying scandal’ and the ongoing legal case surrounding the investigation and surveillance of a top executive at Credit Suisse. I won’t comment on the tactics employed in this case due to the ongoing investigation, however, I think it is perhaps timely to give an opinion on how client’s expectations should be managed in what is a generally unregulated industry.

At Millbank Solutions all of our investigators and surveillance operatives are former police detectives or intelligence officers with a sound knowledge of how the various laws which affect privacy and human rights, can also affect the meeting of a client’s expectations and the outcome of a case. They have undergone extensive training over many years and carry their knowledge into the corporate world. However, there are investigators out there with little to no experience in an operational environment and they are allowed to operate without legal guidance or any form of mentoring. This will eventually cause issues not only for themselves and their company but for their client, as it means there is massive potential for reputational damage. Due to lack of experience, many will happily accept a client’s unrealistic demands without thought of how they will be met, perhaps due to the prospect of being able to issue that longed for high-value invoice. Now is the time for the reputable investigator to be strong, as it is now that the problems will begin!

Any good investigator knows their strengths and where their limitations lay. For example, I have known people who excel at interviewing, but by their admission, act like Inspector Clouseau when asked to carry out tradecraft. So, those without any credible surveillance training for example really should refrain from telling their client they can meet their expectations around the following of an individual unless, of course, they intend to hire a reputable team (This would be a good time to mention to anyone thinking of hiring someone to do surveillance, that it can’t be done effectively with one person and they are highly likely to be compromised. Check first; you get what you pay for).

No alt text provided for this image

From the outset, the meeting of only realistic, necessary and proportionate objectives should be embarked upon by the investigation team with rationale recorded at both ends. For example, does the following of an individual to a supermarket really take you any further in terms of meeting objectives in an online fraud enquiry? Does the activity of the subject at home on an evening keep you within the scope of the investigation or is it irrelevant? Online investigation still catches out many investigators, falling foul of the fact that privacy laws and data regulation apply there too. Any investigation must be planned with due consideration to the laws of the land in which it will take place.

I mentioned these basic points as someone who would like to see regulation of private investigation and surveillance in the UK. It will no doubt be overly bureaucratic initially if invoked, but it will protect all parties where they now work unguarded. In my opinion, being a member of an investigators network doesn’t go far enough in terms of being an acceptable credential for credible investigators. A method of mentoring and continuous assessment is required operationally, however, the governance and oversight is a far bigger and much more costly issue. Current licensing arrangements are not fit for purpose in the case of investigators and we must work to find a resolution at the earliest opportunity.

Until then at Millbank Solutions, we will continue to work with integrity and in the principles of current investigatory powers legislation regardless of the client (although we are not obliged to do so unless for a public body). We follow updates regarding relevant cases at court and ensure we hire only the best people for the job; square pegs in square holes. We will say ‘no’ to clients and have done recently, explaining that what is often witnessed on a TV drama, cannot be legally replicated in the real world.

Mike George

MD Millbank Solutions

Millbank Solutions is a security risk management, corporate intelligence and investigations company based in the UK.

Dan the solution as specialist security company looks to grow

A specialist security and risk management company has announced a key appointment as it continues to grow.

Millbank Solutions, which was launched by Michael George two years ago, has confirmed Dan Bettison has joined the company as Director of Operations.

Dan brings a wealth of experience to the role, following a 22-year career in the police force and Michael believes it will enhance the quality of service offered to clients.

Michael said: “I am absolutely delighted we have been able to secure Dan as our new Director of Operations.

“He comes to us with a wealth of experience following a hugely successful police career. Dan will not only have a strategic role in the development of Millbank Solutions, but he will also manage ongoing and forthcoming contracts, ensuring we continue to deliver the highest level of service to our clients. I wish him every success in the role.”

Millbank Solutions, which is based in County Durham, provides risk management, security, investigative and intelligence services across numerous industries including engineering and manufacturing, legal, maritime, oil and gas, banking and education.

Dan said: “I am very much looking forward to bringing my expertise and experience to Millbank Solutions and working with Mike to help the company tap into new markets and broaden the spectrum of services we are able to offer our clients.”