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News

Announcing the appointment of Alex Gaft as ACi Advisor

The ACi is excited to announce the appointment of Alex Gaft as ACi Advisory Panel Member. As a seasoned corporate investigations professional, Alex will provide the ACi with advice on corporate investigations management, cyber fraud, networking, and will contribute to the ACi’s key projects (including training, investigation standards, and knowledge bank).   

Alex has over 20 years of professional investigation experience at both national and international levels, within the public and private sectors.  Alex started his career in 2001 as an investigator with the Israeli National Police. From 2010 to 2012, Alex worked as a Regional Head of Forensic Audit for ArcelorMittal, covering CIS and based in Ukraine. In 2012 Alex joined ENRC in London as Group Head of Investigations and between 2014 and 2018 led Corporate investigations team, covering 7 countries in CIS, for Veon, based in Amsterdam. In 2018 Alex returned to Israel and worked in Cyber Security and Cyber Fraud prevention. Since January 2020 Alex is heading Forensic Services team for BDO. He holds an MBA and is a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), Certified Information systems Auditor (CISA), and is Certified in Financial Crime Prevention.  

Speaking of the appointment, ACi’s Executive Director, Mary Eastwood Jones, said: 

‘Alex has been a very proactive ACi supporter for some time- in fact, he introduced me to the ACi community.  Alex is a highly skilled and talented subject matter expert, networker, and horizon scanner. He really has his finger on the pulse of the key emerging issues of importance to corporate investigators, and we are excited to be working with him for the benefit of our community.’  

Please join us in welcoming Alex as an official member of our Advisory Panel.  

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News

Wishing you a very happy New Year

As we launch into 2022, ACi wishes all our members and supports a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year ahead.

We are working hard to bring you more innovative training, networking and education events this year. While the Pandemic continues to disrupt the usual working practices of investigators, our community is continuing to adapt and evolve, learn new skills and tackle investigations challenges in new ways.

ACi is here to support its members and we appreciate the commitment of our members and our sponsors to help grow our community and to improve investigations standards. Watch this space for news of our upcoming events – to be announced very soon!

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Members News Research

ACi launches ‘Pick a Project’ Initiative

The ACi is working on a number of trailblazing projects to champion the role of corporate investigators. These are all reliant on our members’ insights, ideas, and subject matter expertise.

We recognise the demands of your ‘day’ jobs, but we greatly appreciate any time contribution you can give us over the coming year. Where possible, we try to make the engagement as simple as possible for you through a short online survey or invitation to send us your thoughts via email so you can contribute at a time that is convenient for you. Some projects will also include an invitation to a focus or working group. Please take a look at the list of projects below and register your interest. We hope to have as much involvement as possible from around the globe.  Thank you in advance.  

  • Corporate Investigations Typology

Project runs to 11 February 2022

How many different types of investigation do you conduct or are you involved in as a corporate investigator?

From investigations into fraud, bribery and financial malpractice, to security, to bullying, harassment, sexual abuse and exploitation, to ESG concerns, to cyber enabled fraud, the breadth of matters being investigated by corporate investigators is expanding.

Help us map out our constellation of investigation types. The Typology map will be made available as an awareness raising graphic and can be adaptable for in-house use when considering incident classifications.

Please click the button below to register your interest.

  • Education Working Group

Ongoing

What does the gold standard in corporate investigation training look like to you?

Join our working groups and/or take part in our online survey in 2022 to help us enhance our Foundations in Corporate Investigations training and more advanced specialist modules as we develop a pathway to certification.

We are always looking for subject matter experts to peer review educational content, so please register your interest.

Please click the button below to register your interest.

  • Core Investigation Standards and Principles

Ongoing

As the leading international authoritative voice on corporate investigations, the ACi is developing a code of ethics and a set of core standards and principles to guide corporate investigators and their functions. We recognise that many of our members will have developed their own in house set of principle to guide case intake, planning, interviews, evidence collection, analysis and reporting. We aim to draw on collective expertise and our extensive research in this area.

Please click the button below to register your interest.

Expression of Interest

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News

Merry Christmas

On behalf of the ACi Executive Committee and all the staff we would like to wish our members celebrating a merry Christmas and a prosperous and healthy New Year. We will be bringing you more webinars, training and networking events in the very near future!

We rely on our members’ input, ideas and perspectives so please get involved in one of our many projects, from education and certification pathway, investigation typology, to practitioner series. Please look out for our ‘Pick a Project’ initiative.

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News

Boost for Marketing Team

ACi is delighted to announce the appointment of Ellie Burden as Marketing Assistant.

Ellie is a recent English Language and Linguistics graduate from the University of Sussex. She has joined the wider marketing team in a newly created role. Ellie will help create and share content across the ACi’s social media channels, assist in the development of new programmes for members, add content to the ACi website and facilitate meetings and events. She joins us, with effect from November 2021, on a part-time basis as she looks to take her first steps in marketing.

ACi’s Executive Director Mary Eastwood Jones said,

‘We warmly welcome Ellie to the ACi community. I am energised by her curiosity and enthusiasm to learn about the world of corporate investigators. On her first day, we talked about some of the core principles and qualities that investigators share. With her inquisitive nature and personal values, Ellie fits right in. We are delighted to have her on board, sharing her perspectives and applying her skills to support our community. Please do join us in welcoming her, and do reach out to Ellie to say hello.’

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News

Mary Eastwood Jones joins the ACi as Executive Director

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Mary Eastwood Jones to the Executive Committee in the role of Executive Director.  Mary ​has over two decades of experience as an Investigations, Whistleblowing and Ethics specialist across the public, private, charitable and humanitarian sectors. With her extensive investigations experience, Mary will be leading several strategic initiatives for the ACi and will be a mentor for staff.

“We are delighted to welcome Mary to the team. She has joined the ACi in a key leadership role to help us deliver some exciting projects that will benefit the investigations community,” Steve Young, CEO, ACi said. “Mary has incredible energy and passion for investigations and I, along with my colleagues, look forward to working with Mary at this juncture in our history. 2022 will be an exciting year for the ACi as we return to face-to-face events for the corporate investigations community throughout the world.”

Mary started her career in criminology research focusing on crime reduction, social inclusion and ethical compliance for a number of UK agencies, including the Ministry of Justice, Youth Justice Board, Home Office, and UK police forces, as well as charities. She then worked in an international NGO as Fraud and Corruption Team lead and most recently as Head of Investigations at the world’s largest university publisher. She is a certified fraud examiner and an investigator with significant experience in fraud, bribery and corruption risk management and prevention of sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse. She has successfully set up and managed internal global ‘whistleblowing’ channels, investigations functions and ethics programmes, and has conducted hundreds of complex global investigations across cultures and languages in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas, often in hardship settings. 

Mary commented, “I am excited to contribute to the vision of the ACi, a global not-for-profit with a mission to recognise, develop, and support the corporate investigations profession and our diverse community. I am passionate and fastidious about this mission, and in particular I truly believe that those in our profession should have the skills and support to investigate without fear, favour or fuss- to the highest professional standards.  As someone who has drawn great insights from the ACi community, I am honoured to pay it forward in this role.”

Read Mary’s bio here.

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Research

Swiss Investigations Survey Results

How mature is your in-house investigation function and what can you do to increase your capabilities? Together with Deloitte, we conducted a survey of Swiss in-house investigation functions to analyse the status quo. Deloitte Forensics Partner Nic Carrington met with the CEO of the ACi Steve Young and the CAO of the ACi Katie Hodson to discuss the key findings. Watch the video here.

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ACi Training

Whistleblowing Course launch

Join our three-module course this September

Whistleblowing investigation programmes: How to make sure you are identifying and responding effectively to employee concerns.

Never has it been more important to listen to employees.  A whistleblowing or speak up programme can be a vital tool in understanding what is happening in your company, identifying misconduct and improving risk management.  Get it right by investigating allegations quickly and effectively, and you provide confidence to employees, the board and other key stakeholders.  Get it wrong and it can create an atmosphere of mistrust and lack of transparency.

Join our whistleblowing training sessions to understand recent and upcoming changes in legislation, how to practically improve your whistleblowing investigation programme and how to make the most of data to measure the effectiveness of your whistleblowing programme and identify key risk areas.

The modules take place online on the 29th of September, 6th of October and 13th of October. For all the details see our course page.

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Articles

Recolección y tratamiento de la información en una Investigación Corporativa

Una empresa experimenta el robo de una importante cantidad de productos en el interior de uno de sus almacenes, lo que impide que esos productos estén en el mercado en el momento que se requería a fin de garantizar el 15% de las ventas del mes en que ocurrieron estos hechos. Esta situación, como es de suponer, preocupa de sobremanera a la Alta Dirección de la compañía quienes ordenan que se haga una investigación exhaustiva a fin de conocer qué falló, cómo ocurrieron los hechos y quienes son las personas involucradas.

El caso descrito, es una situación muy común en muchas empresas y ante ello una investigación profunda, detallada e imparcial puede contribuir con dilucidar las circunstancias en que se produjeron los hechos negativos, lo que permite tomar medidas correctivas para que situaciones similares no se presenten en el futuro y para ello, la forma en que se recolecta y sobretodo se trata la información durante el desarrollo del proceso investigativo es vital para lograr este cometido.

Durante una investigación, la persona a cargo de llevarla a cabo, debe tener la suficiente capacidad para identificar la información que tenga directa relación con el hecho a investigar, recurrir a las fuentes apropiadas para obtenerla y tratarla de forma adecuada para evitar que personas ajenas puedan acceder a ella y afectarla.

Dado que la información es el insumo principal de una investigación, el investigador para poder obtenerla puede recurrir a dos tipos de fuentes:

  • Fuentes internas: Son todos los recursos dentro de la empresa a los que el investigador puede recurrir para obtener información. Por ejemplo:
    • Entrevistas a empleados, contratistas y demás personas que se encuentren dentro de las instalaciones que puedan aportar información relevante para la investigación.
    • Revisión de reportes, informes, políticas, procedimientos y cualquier otro documento físico o digital que acredite pre existencia de activos, actividades realizadas, movimientos financieros, auditorías e investigaciones pasadas, entre otros.
    • Revisión de accesos a sistemas informáticos, sistemas de seguridad electrónica (control de accesos y CCTV).
  • Fuentes externas: Son todos los recursos fuera de la empresa a los que el investigador puede recurrir para obtener información. Por ejemplo:
    • Entrevistas con personal de empresas contratistas, proveedores, ex empleados y otras personas que tengan vínculo con la empresa que el investigador considere puedan aportar información relevante para la investigación.
    • Reportes de antecedentes criminales, financieros, laborales, de afiliación y otros de personas presuntamente involucradas.
    • Reportes de transacciones comerciales con proveedores
    • Reportes periodísticos, información de redes sociales, publicaciones de entidades públicas y privadas.

La mayoría de la información relevante en una investigación corporativa, proviene de fuentes internas, por lo que el investigador debe analizar el objeto de la investigación (qué se está investigando) para determinar a cuáles fuentes recurrir y poder obtener la información necesaria de forma minuciosa.

Una vez obtenida la información proveniente de una o ambas fuentes, el investigador debe evaluarla y procesarla a fin de priorizar aquella que se ajusta a los hechos investigados para asegurar relevancia y permita dar la ruta a seguir para construir la hipótesis que dará forma al proceso investigativo.

El éxito de una investigación depende en mayor medida, de la forma en que se obtiene la información y de cómo se la protege, siendo este último un importante aspecto que comúnmente no es tomado en cuenta, debido a que durante el desarrollo del proceso suele haber rumores, solicitudes anticipadas de los avances, que pueden afectar la reputación de las personas que brindaron información y como consecuencia de ello dañar el futuro de la investigación. Con la finalidad de proteger la información crítica, el investigador debe:

  • Identificar situaciones en cómo la información puede ser afectada: pérdida de documentos recolectados en sus distintos formatos (físico o digital), falsos y/ mal intencionados comentarios, etc.
  • Identificar quiénes tienen interés en afectar el curso de la investigación: infractores y personas allegadas a ellos, testigos que no quieren comprometer su participación, etc.
  • Desarrollar e implementar medidas para proteger la información: contar con elementos físicos para resguardar la documentación, limitar las entrevistas y conversaciones sobre la investigación en espacios abiertos, destruir documentos sensibles que no serán utilizados, etc.

Recolectar información de forma ética, ordenada, minuciosa, consistente, así como asegurar su integridad y confidencialidad son elementos clave que los investigadores deben tomar en cuenta para dilucidar los hechos materia de una investigación corporativa de forma efectiva y que con ello pueda contribuir con el Sistema de Gestión de Riesgos de la compañía a través de la reducción de la probabilidad de ocurrencia de futuras situaciones similares y del impacto en su reputación.

Néstor Garrido Aranda

Profesional de Seguridad Corporativa con amplia experiencia en Gestión de Riesgos, Manejo de Crisis Empresariales, Seguridad de Productos, Investigaciones de Compliance e Ilícitos Corporativos. Es Diplomado en Salud Ocupacional y Riesgos Laborales por la Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola, Certificado en ISO 31000 Lead Risk Manager por Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB) y estudios en Manejo de Crisis Empresariales en Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas (UPC), Gerencia de Riesgos bajo el estándar ISO 31000 por la Universidad de Lima. Es LATAM Global Liaison in ASIS International Investigations Council, miembro en Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE – USA) y Colaborador en las Revistas Seguridad en América (México) y Cuadernos de Seguridad (España)

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News

Asia Pacific Investigations Capability Survey launch

In cooperation with Deloitte we are pleased to share the key findings of our “Asia Pacific investigations capability survey – Are you prepared for the new normal?”

Join us on 15th April 2021 at 11.30am Singapore for an interesting panel discussion with leading corporate investigators on what challenges they face, how these challenges are met, and best practices of this vitally important function within an organisation.

Register