WEBINAR RECORDING | ‘Remote work & other trends shaping workplace cultures’

‘Remote work & other trends shaping workplace cultures’ with Nilofar A. Gardezi

Free Webinar | 31 August 2022 | 7 am – 8 am GMT 

CRI® Group hosted a free webinar on August 31st. Our intention was to be able to provide resources on workplace cultures in organisations around the globe that will aid them in expansion and an positive employee environment. Take advantage of this free recording on employee wellness, remote work, pre-employment screening and workplace cultures.

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The live training session was conducted by senior certified HR professional and member of CRI’s expert team, Nilofar A. Gardezi​. 

Workplace trends are dictating major shifts and becoming new norms in the workplace. These trends are expected to grow in the coming years. Examples of this include hybrid work, employee wellness, and ongoing education. Adapting to workplace trends will help employers improve company culture, boost employee retention and defeat workplace complacency. This will help companies stay competitive within the industry and remain relevant in the wider world.

With over nine years of experience in HR, Nilofar A. Gardezi​ is a HRBP & an Associate Director with the CRI Group. She is a gold-certified Trainer from DWE with a Certification in Psychology and serves as a Certified Professional Counsellor. She has worked with renowned organisations like Attock Group, British Council and Standard Chartered Bank.

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Struggling with employee screening?

Get answers to frequently asked questions about background checks / screening cost,  guidelines, check references etc. This eBook is a compilation of all of the background screening related questions you ever needed answers to:

  • Does a candidate have to give consent to process a background check / screening?
  • How long does it take to conduct a background check?
  • When should I conduct pre-employment checks?
  • How often should I screen employees?
  • How to collect references and what to ask?
  • How much does it cost to conduct a background checks?
  • What is he difference between employment history verification and employment reference?
  • How do I check on entitlement to work?
  • How to conduct identity checks?
  • What will a financial regulatory check show?
  • Is it possible to identify conflict of interest during checks?
  • What is a bankruptcy check?
  • What about directorships and shareholding search?
  • Can I have access to a criminal watch list?
  • Anti-money laundering check?
  • Can we conduct FACIS (fraud and abuse control information system) searches?
  • … and MORE!

Taken as a whole, is the perfect primer for any HR professional, business leader and companies looking to avoid employee background screening risks. It provides the tools and knowledge needed to make the right decisions.

Download your “Employee Background Screening FAQ” FREE ebook now!

The CRI® Group has been safeguarding businesses from fraud, bribery and corruption since 1990. We are a global company based in London, United Kingdom. Our experts and resources are located in key regional marketplaces. These are across the Asia Pacific, South Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, North and South America. Our global team can support your organisation anywhere in the world. ​For more details about the CRI® Group or to schedule a meeting with us, click here.

 

2022 Investigations & White-Collar Crime POWER PLAYERS Issue Is Out Now!

2022 Investigations & White-Collar Crime

  • 2022 Investigations & White-Collar Crime Power Players issue is out. Corporate Research and Investigations Limited were featured in this year Financier Worldwide’s Power Players issue.
  • In this edition, CRI® Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Zafar Anjum, talks about his career’s achievements, what the organisation strives to demonstrate to clients and how he sees the investigations a white-collar crime market shaping up over the coming months and all the exciting trends or developments on the horizon.
  • Having dedicated his career to background investigation, fraud prevention, protective integrity, security and compliance, Zafar Anjum is a distinguished and highly respected professional in his field.

As CEO at CRI®, Zafar uses his extensive knowledge and expertise in creating stable and secure networks across challenging global markets. For organisations needing comprehensive project management, security, safeguard testing, background investigations and real-time compliance applications, Anjum is the assurance expert of choice for industry professionals. Such expertise is increasingly important as a result of COVID-19 – with a long list of countries worldwide still facing significant economic disruption, insecurity and suffering, which has created an increased risk of bribery and corruption. News in the past years showed that many governments began to implement measures to combat these implications from the global pandemic:

Kenyan Anti-bribery and Anti-Corruption laws

“In 2020, it was reported [by Global Compliance News] that the Kenyan Government is in the process of implementing harsher corruption and bribery laws in an attempt to curb the current statistics within the country. The Kenyan Government is concerned with preventing bribery and corruption, perhaps to ensure the appropriate allocation of resources in these unprecedented times. A proposed amendment to the Bribery Act, which is currently being tabled in Parliament, seeks to allow for the imposition of a fine amounting to KSh 5 million (circa USD 46,939) or for a period of imprisonment not exceeding ten years, where an individual is aware of, or suspects bribery taking place and fails to report it.”

US Abuse of Power Prevention Act

In 2020, the House Judiciary Committee held a mark-up of a new bill, the Abuse of the Pardon Prevention Act, as US congress aims to eliminate the tolerance of alleged corruption and bribery undertaken by the current or former presidents. “Section Three of the bill amends the federal bribery statute to make clear that a (former) president can be prosecuted for accepting a bribe in exchange for a pardon… The House also introduced a related bill; the No President is Above the Law Act.”

French Compliance Legislation

The French government has also been working on implementing anti-bribery and anti-corruption legislation in 2020 for the first time since 2016 adapted and improved their white-collar crime standards. As stated in a Global Investigations Review by Lexology, “in anti-bribery compliance, in particular, the recently created French Anticorruption Agency (AFA) keeps building on Sapin II by providing guidance on specific topics, auditing compliance programmes and for the first time… bringing cases in front of its sanctions board.”

Against this backdrop, Financier Worldwide turns to come of the leading lights in their field (including our CEO), who share their stories. A pre-release version of “POWER PLAYERS Investigations & White-Collar Crime 2022 – Exceptional Experts” is now available to view. Please click here to access the file.

The Security Of Your Company Depends On Effective Risk Management

Background investigations are critical to any company’s success because working with qualified, honest and hard-working employees and other businesses is integral to thriving in the business community. What you don’t know can hurt you, and the simple act of one bad decision can result in an unprecedented loss for your company. 

From vendor and third-party screening to employment screening, CRI® Group recommends background investigations as critical proactive measures to help keep your business safe. An effective background screening investigation will help screen for bad apples that can cause havoc down the road. Because we maintain a diverse talent base comprised of multilingual and multi-cultural professionals, CRI® can traverse obstacles that often impede international background investigations. That’s why we are frequently contracted by our competitors to conduct background investigations in geographic regions not serviced or accessible by larger investigative firms. Contact CRI® Group to learn more about its 3PRM-Certified™ third-party risk management strategy program and discover an effective and proactive approach to mitigating the risks associated with corruption, bribery, financial crimes and other dangerous risks posed by third-party partnerships.

Who is CRI® Group?

Based in London, CRI® Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceTPRMDue DiligenceCompliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background-screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI® Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI® Group launched Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body that provides education and certification services for individuals and organisations on a wide range of disciplines and ISO standards, including ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management- GuidelinesISO 37000:2021 Governance of OrganisationsISO 37002:2021 Whistleblowing Management SystemISO 37301:2021 (formerly ISO 19600) Compliance Management system (CMS)Anti-Money Laundering (AML); and ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems ABMS. ABAC® offers a complete suite of solutions designed to help organisations mitigate the internal and external risks associated with operating in multi-jurisdiction and multi-cultural environments while assisting in developing frameworks for strategic compliance programs. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.

ABAC® is accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS CB number: 10613) against ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015 Conformity assessment — Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of the scheme’s management systems of ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems (ABMS). This makes ABAC® Certification the leading accredited certification body specialising in global anti-bribery and anti-corruption, risk and compliance management system standards. ABAC® experts audit any existing compliance and anti-bribery anti-corruption management systems to assess effectiveness and vulnerabilities while ensuring your organisation complies with Internal Standards, FCPA, UK Bribery Act, Anti-Money Laundering regulations, and all other global, regional and local regulations while maintaining a competitive edge in the world marketplace.

If you are seeking to validate or expand your existing compliance frameworks to maintain a competitive edge in the world marketplace, ABAC® can help you. Our experts audit your existing compliance and anti-bribery anti-corruption management systems to assess effectiveness and vulnerabilities while ensuring your organisation complies with Internal Standards, FCPA rules, UK Bribery Act laws, Anti-Money Laundering regulations, and all other global, regional and local regulations.

Let’s talk

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Stop Gender Based Violence: Incorporate Risk Assessment Into Your Due Diligence Process

Gender Based Violence: Incorporate Risk Assessment Into Your Due Diligence Process

Gender based violence is constantly on the rise – research by the UN Women, “The economic costs of violence against women” suggests that the cost of violence against women is 2% of global GDP, equivalent to US$1.5 trillion – incorporating gender-based violence into risk and mitigation analyses is a must. The company and country-level economic costs of violence include losses in productivity and increases in health and legal costs according to UN Women, “Ending violence against women

Gender-based violence is known to increase in emergency situations, and the global COVID-19 pandemic has increased the urgency across the globe. During this global pandemic with long-lasting effects, the rising rates of violence are impacting every country and sector. Incorporating an analysis of gender-based violence can help to mitigate the risks of a future that looks very different than it did even three months ago.

UNICEF has launched the 2022 Covid-19 Diligence Tool Criterion. This tool equips investors to understand the risk their investments are exposed to because of gender-based violence and to incorporate that risk assessment into the due diligence process.

Due diligence is a standard process that all investors undertake when deciding whether and how to invest in a company. This tool is designed to align with standard diligence processes for direct private investments. It also offers recommendations and tools that investors can use to mitigate the risks of violence. The risk assessment is also relevant to public investors at the sector and market levels.

Covid-19 Diligence Tool Criterion highlights the areas of focus in due diligence to determine a company’s exposure to risks created by gender-based violence in the company. This tool provides you with company-level due diligence questions that can help you mitigate any risk:

  • Is the company leadership, including the board, aware of potential regulatory changes?
  • Have any policies been reviewed or changed in response to the pandemic?
  • How has the company responded during the crisis? Have disaster mitigations been measured, effective, and gender-balanced?

This tool is one component of a broader global effort to ensure the right to live free of violence and toward greater gender equality. Download the report now.

The mere process of asking questions about gender-based violence creates an impact and could result in improved practices and business.

Staying one step ahead of any critical risk to your organisation is part of being an effective business leader. Contact us today to get started on implementing a robust program that will serve you well for years to come. Get your FREE QUOTE now!

Let’s Talk!

Don’t leave hiring to chance. Take a proactive stance with the highest level of background screening as a part of your essential corporate strategy. Contact us today to learn more about our full range of services to help your organisation stay protected.

GET A FREE QUOTE

Who is CRI® Group?

Based in London, CRI® Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceTPRMDue DiligenceCompliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background-screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI® Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI® Group launched Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body that provides education and certification services for individuals and organisations on a wide range of disciplines and ISO standards, including ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management- GuidelinesISO 37000:2021 Governance of OrganisationsISO 37002:2021 Whistleblowing Management SystemISO 37301:2021 (formerly ISO 19600) Compliance Management system (CMS)Anti-Money Laundering (AML); and ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems ABMS. ABAC® offers a complete suite of solutions designed to help organisations mitigate the internal and external risks associated with operating in multi-jurisdiction and multi-cultural environments while assisting in developing frameworks for strategic compliance programs. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.

Meet the CEO

Zafar I. Anjum is Group Chief Executive Officer of CRI® Group (www.crigroup.com), a global supplier of investigative, forensic accounting, business due to diligence and employee background screening services for some of the world’s leading business organizations. Headquartered in London (with a significant presence throughout the region) and licensed by the Dubai International Financial Centre-DIFC, the Qatar Financial Center – QFC, and the Abu Dhabi Global Market-ADGM, CRI® Group safeguard businesses by establishing the legal compliance, financial viability, and integrity levels of outside partners, suppliers and customers seeking to affiliate with your business. CRI® Group maintains offices in UAE, Pakistan, Qatar, Singapore, Malaysia, Brazil, China, the USA, and the United Kingdom.

Contact CRI® Group to learn more about its 3PRM-Certified™ third-party risk management strategy program and discover an effective and proactive approach to mitigating the risks associated with corruption, bribery, financial crimes and other dangerous risks posed by third-party partnerships.

 

Zafar Anjum, MSc, MS, CFE, CII, MICA, Int. Dip. (Fin. Crime) | CRI® Group Chief Executive Officer

37th Floor, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AA United Kingdom

t: +44 207 8681415 | m: +44 7588 454959 | e: zanjum@crigroup.com

Happy holidays!

As we move into 2022 and seek new opportunities, know that CRI® is here, as your partner, to help you by establishing the legal compliance, financial viability, and integrity levels of outside partners, suppliers, employees and customers seeking to affiliate with your business. We are working closely with our internal teams to ensure your 2022 business goals are met, and we are continuing to support you in the manner you are accustomed to and fully deserve.

2021 has been filled with a multitude of victories. As 2021 draws to a close, I want to take the opportunity to look back on a year that turned out much differently than anyone could have imagined. Over this past year, we have added staff, new clients and new services, 2021 saw an expansion in our service capabilities with our 3PRM™- Certified solution, Anti-Money Laundering Advisory services and BS 7858:2019 Screening investigations solutions (CRI® is the only BS 7858 certified background screening services provider in the UAE and across the Middle East); in addition to announcing the opening of our new offices in Turkey (Corporate Research and Investigations Danışmanlık Hizmetleri Limited Şirketi). For more, we have released our end of year open letter talking about our projects and accomplishments across all regions. 

While it was challenging in many ways, it also showed how strong we are as a company – even in the most challenging times. And the success of the CRI® is based on the relationships we have built over the years, and we really wouldn’t be where we are without you. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with and for you, and this past year has been a pleasure. 

As the end of the year approaches, we know there will be many challenges ahead. But we are so excited we all that 2022 has in store for us – enthusiasm and anticipation are building around new opportunities in all our locations worldwide. Stay tuned for more details in the new year.

Both on behalf of our entire CRI® Group, as well as personally, I hope that when you’re celebrating the holidays with friends and family, you look back on the year with the same sense of accomplishment that we all should feel and thank you for your continued trust in us.

Best,

Zafar I. Anjum

MSc, MS, LLM, CFE, CII, CIS, Int. Dip. (Fin. Crime), MICA, MIPI, MAB
Group Chief Executive Officer

(Certified Fraud Examiner)
(Certified International Investigator)
(MSc Counter Fraud and Counter Corruption Studies, University of Portsmouth UK)
(Master of Fraud and Financial Crime – CSU Australia)
LL.M Legal Practice (Intellectual Property)

t: +44 7588 454959 | e: zanjum@CRIgroup.com | LinkedIn

 

CRI® Opens Office in Turkey

CRI® Group Opens Office in Turkey

Corporate Research and Investigations Limited (CRI® Group), a global leader in Risk Management and Compliance solutions, announced today the opening of its offices in Turkey (Corporate Research and Investigations Danışmanlık Hizmetleri Limited Şirketi). CRI® Group has been safeguarding businesses from fraud, bribery and corruption since 1990. CRI® protects businesses by establishing the legal compliance, financial viability, and integrity levels of outside partners, suppliers and customers seeking to affiliate with your business.

Based in London, CRI® Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk Management, Employee Background Screening, Business Intelligence, Due Diligence, Compliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background-screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are, we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. Our global team can support your organisation anywhere in the world.

Zafar Anjum, Group CEO at CRI®, said: “The ability to effectively pre-empt fraud and corruption by mitigating internal and external risks to prevent these issues can save corporations from immense potential losses and reputation damage. Our services such as DueDiligence360™, 3PRM™ and EmploySmart™ can significantly help organisations deal with bribery and corruption, third-party risk management, noncompliance with the regional and international regulatory framework and malpractice. CRI® Group’s expertise will enhance the diverse pool of business support services available within Turkey.”

“Today’s business climate dictates an increasing demand of international business organisations for proactive measures designed to reduce bribery and corruption, particularly in the financial, government and multi-national business sectors,” Anjum further said. “CRI Group’s worldwide network of multi-disciplined subject specialists and analysts help organisations prevent and deter bribery and corruption, third-party malfeasance, threats and corruption risks while ensuring our clients conform to the local and international regulatory framework. The establishment of our offices in Turkey gives us the platform to expand further and enhance the level of support we offer to the international business community.”

CRI® Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle, and it is a licensed and incorporated entity of the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) and Qatar Financial Center (QFC).

Turkey Office Details:

Altunizade Mahallesi, Kisikli Caddesi, No : 28 , Kat:1-2 34662 Istanbul Turkey

t: +90 544 1000369
e: Istanbul@crigroup.com

Global integrity DueDiligence360™ investigations

CRI® investigators employ a proven, multi-faceted research approach that involves a global array of databases, courts and public record searches, local contacts, industry and media resources, and in-depth web-based research. Our resources include:

  • International business verification
  • Individual business interest search
  • Personal profile on individual subjects
  • Company profile on corporate entities
  • Historical ownership analysis
  • Identification of subsidiaries & connected parties
  • Global/national criminality & regulatory records checks
  • Politically Exposed Person database
  • International digital media research
  • Company background analysis
  • Industry reputational assessment
  • FCPA, UK Anti-Bribery & corruption risk databases
  • Global terrorism checks
  • Global financial regulatory authorities check
  • Money laundering risk database
  • Financial reports
  • Asset tracing
  • Country-specific databases that include litigation checks, law enforcement agencies & capital market regulators.

VIEW DUEDILIGENCE360™ BROCHURE

Ensure a safe work environment for all with EmploySmart™

EmploySmart™ can be tailored into specific screening packages to meet the requirements of each specific position within your company. We are a leading worldwide provider, specialising in local and international employee background checks, including pre-employment and post-employment background checks.

CRI® Employee Background Checks are an investigation into a person’s character – inside and outside their professional lives. Some checks you already carry out in-house, such as candidate’s qualifications (documents provided), work history (with a reference check), right to work in the country and even a quick social media presence scan. However, we provide a full in-depth background screening service for candidates and employees at all levels – from senior executives through to shop-floor employees including BS7858 vetting.

  • Address Verification (Physical Verification)
  • Identity Verification
  • Previous Employment Verification
  • Education & Credential Verification
  • Local Language Media Check
  • Credit Verification & Financial History (where publicly available)
  • Compliance & Regulatory Check
  • Civil Litigation Record Check
  • Bankruptcy Record Check
  • International Criminal Record Check
  • Integrity Due Diligence
  • and more.

Our EmploySmart™ is a robust pre-employment background screening service certified for BS7858.

VIEW EMPLOYSMART™ BROCHURE

Third-Party Risk Management solution (TPRM), also known as 3PRM™

The solution includes establishing the legal compliance, financial viability, and integrity levels of outside partners, suppliers, customers, and other sources worldwide seeking potential affiliations with your organisation.

If your organisation requires any of the following within your compliance checklist, then you must consider a third-party risk management solution:

  • Have a lack of visibility or understanding danger of the risks posed by your relationships with many types of third parties?
  • Want greater visibility into third-party performance and risks?
  • Need to improve operational costs, process, efficiencies, and organisational agility associated with your third-party relationships?
  • Need to gain greater control over the related risks?
  • Want to be confident that third parties are compliant with your business’ policies, as well as their own based on government regulations and industry requirements?

VIEW 3PRM™ BROCHURE

Working with us you get…

  • With expertise in domestic and international screening, one of the largest, most experienced and best-trained integrity due diligence teams globally.
  • The ability to manage multiple background checks online
  • Quick turnaround times
  • High-quality searches, backed by numerous checks and quality controls
  • We have a flat structure which means that you will have direct access to senior members of staff throughout the due diligence process.
  • Our multi-lingual teams have conducted assignments on thousands of subjects in over 80 countries, and we’re committed to maintaining and constantly evolving our global network.
  • Our solutions are easily customisable, flexible and we will tailor our scope to address your concerns and risk areas, saving you time and money.
  • Our team of more than 50 full-time analysts is spread across Europe, the Middle East, Asia, North and South America and fully equipped with the local knowledge to serve your needs globally.
  • Our extensive solutions include due diligence, employee pre and post background screening, business intelligence and compliance, facilitating any decision-making across your business no matter what area or department.

Our Mission and Vision

  • CRI® mission is to safeguard the corporate world by detecting and exposing those elements that can cause irreparable harm to a business
  • Stand up against the outside forces that, through corruption, collusion, coercion and fraud, can cause financial, organisational, reputational and legal harm to our global clients
  • Stand out as the preeminent provider of specialised investigative services that enable our clients to exhibit the highest standards of business integrity, ethics and behaviour

Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. We take great care to ensure that our experts are the best at what they do. We pride ourselves on having the most stringent recruitment standards in the industry. Our experience, skilled workforce, technical resources, networking capabilities, internal flexibility and global offices maximise our solution efficacy. Added to that is the fact that our extensive experience gives us the breadth and depth of knowledge needed to make sure that your organisation is protected at all turns, at every corner, and through every deal.

Speak up – report any illegal, unethical, or improper behaviour

If you find yourself in an ethical dilemma or suspect inappropriate or illegal conduct, and you feel uncomfortable reporting through regular communication channels or wish to raise the issue anonymously, use CRI® Group’s Compliance Hotline. The Compliance Hotline is a secure and confidential reporting channel managed by an independent provider. When reporting a concern in good faith, you will be protected by CRI® Group’s Non-Retaliation Policy.

 

2021 Fraud Week: Prevention is key

The 2021 Fraud Week: Prevention is key!

Every year, for one week in November, organisations around the world embrace a movement aimed to minimise and prevent fraud and corruption. International Fraud Awareness Week (“Fraud Week,” for short) is November 14-20, 2021, and CRI® Group has been an enthusiastic Official Supporter since the very beginning of this important campaign.

According to the ACFE, the world’s largest anti-fraud association and founder of Fraud Week, organisations worldwide lose an estimated 5 per cent of their annual revenues to fraud. To make things worse: “A single instance of fraud can be devastating: the median loss per fraud case was $145,000, and more than a fifth of the cases involved losses of at least $1 million.”

But there is good news. For Fraud Week, the ACFE offers some basic steps any organisation can take immediately to lessen their vulnerability to fraud:

  • Be Proactive. Adopt a code of ethics for management and employees. Evaluate your internal controls for effectiveness and identify areas of the business that are vulnerable to fraud. Find out more about what an Ethical code of conduct is and what should it cover?
  • Establish Hiring Procedures. When hiring staff, conduct thorough background investigations. Check educational, credit and employment history (as permitted by law), as well as references. Check out the consequences of neglecting background screening
  • Train Employees in Fraud Prevention. Do workers know the warning signs of fraud? Ensure that staff members know basic fraud prevention techniques, here are some Tips on Identifying and Preventing Employee Fraud
  • Implement a Fraud Hotline. Fraud is still most likely to be detected by a tip. Providing an anonymous reporting system for your employees, contractors and clients will help uncover more fraud. Find out more on how to set up an Ethics & Compliance Hotline.
  • Increase the Perception of Detection. Communicate regularly to staff about anti-fraud policies, ways to report suspicions of misconduct, and the potential consequences (including termination and prosecution) of fraudulent behaviour.

At CRI® Group, our experts are trained to help organisations implement the above measures. Our integrity due diligence and risk management services focus on preventing fraud before it happens, not after the fact, when it is often too late to recover stolen funds and assets.

In one case study, a multinational company engaged in the provision of equipment and supplies used by the medical industry contacted CRI® Group. The client wished to contract with a company and wanted to ensure that there were no regulatory or reputational problems associated with the potential partner, and thus wanted to know their track record, integrity and reputation.

During the course of this integrity due diligence, CRI® Group local operatives focused on whether the company in question was a legitimate business, and sought to identify the key players running operations both in Egypt and Iraq for the company in question. However, questions arose: Research showed no physical locations; the office address was found to be a residential site with no indication of business operations. No commercial relationships in Iraq were evident.

Local operatives further investigated the company’s distribution capabilities in the country, especially to the north and south, as claimed in a questionnaire provided to the client. Yet no information was found from any source to corroborate the company’s claims. Additionally, discreet interviews with local individuals found that no one was aware of the company.

Scepticism was confirmed, CRI® Group discovered that the company’s principal was previously charged with “criminal breach of trust” and there was still a trial proceeding with regional trial courts. Three other civil damages claims against the principal were discovered, with USD $1.2 million claimed in liabilities.

CRI® Group helped the client avoid becoming entangled with a fraudulent business and an alleged criminal – protecting the client from making a bad business deal that could have resulted in severe economic loss and a potentially damaged reputation. 

Our due diligence services can help put any organisation on the right track to being better protected and positioned to prevent and detect fraud – not just during Fraud Awareness Week, but year-round. Contact CRI® Group today.

 

Who is CRI® Group?

Based in London, CRI® Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceDue Diligence and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background-screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI® Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI® Group launched the Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management SystemsISO 37301 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI® Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.

 

 

Tackling corporate fraud in the Middle East

Tackling corporate fraud in the middle east has become even more challenging during the pandemic. ICAEW Insights sat down with our founder and chief executive, Zafar Anjum, to discuss the rising levels of corporate fraud in the middle east during the pandemic.

Find out how CRI® is using AI to investigate wrongdoing; from fake degrees and doctored CVs to false insurance claims and bogus bills, our corporate fraud investigators in the Middle East have seen it all. Zafar told ICAEW his firm was busier than ever as the pandemic triggered a rise in white-collar crime cases across the region.

From its base in London, CRI® has been helping firms in middle east regions like Qatar, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia. Regions where anti-fraud frameworks are still being built out inside the embryonic corporate regulatory regimes that govern the Middle East.

“We’ve seen a lot of insurance fraud claim investigations, fake bills, fake debts and fraudulent certificates designed to cheat insurance companies,” Zafar said. “Covid allowed internal controls to be relaxed; people are working from home, so the usual check and balances are missing.”

Nascent regulatory regime

Last year, PwC research found corporate fraud was on the rise across the region, with nearly half of all local companies reporting at least one occurrence in 12 months. Zafar said the lack of counter-corruption model legislation such as the UK Bribery Act 2010 often meant policing the business areas such as the Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) fell to private companies as the regulator doesn’t have the resources to cover the scale of the problem. 

“In the Middle East, the issues relating to fraud and corruption are of concern because there isn’t the legislation when compared to developed countries. The definition of fraud and fraudulent activities are different across the Middle East,” he said. 

The DIFC was established in 2004 to create a safe and constant upward regulatory environment for companies to do business. One of its aims was to attract investment from London and Wall Street firms and other corporates from both continents. A regulator was created to monitor the market, and the set-up was replicated for the Abu Dhabi and Qatar financial business districts. 

The economic “free zones” have relied on firms themselves to help shape the regulatory framework, Zafar said, which has created a mixture of frameworks as standards are broadly aligned with the UK or US markets.

“It’s not national-level legislation, which carries its own problems. There have been scandals, and a lot of that centres on fraudulent financial statements, investment scams,” Zafar said. “A prevalent problem is vendor/third-party screening and false claims, especially during the bidding process. Some firms exaggerate their capabilities and are not able to deliver.”

Investor scams on the rise

A big part of CRI® Group’s work is analysing financial statements, checking backgrounds, and working with compliance teams to root out bad actors. Zafar said investors scams were also on the rise across the UAE; because the country is ripe for development, some fraudsters had found it easy to prey on foreign victims who are drawn to the opportunities but unwilling to carry out proper due diligence. 

The UAE’s family offices are a driving force of industry, and the name carries significant weight regarding deals. “It’s very risky to invest without carrying out the proper checks, and unfortunately, a lot of people come in blind,” Zafar said.

“Fake property claims are rife. It can be individuals who are targeted or small groups of foreign investors. One case involved a handful of US investors who wanted to invest in some economic and humanitarian projects. They wanted to create jobs, other activities, but fell in with people who weren’t with the families they claim to be a part of.”

Family names are often taken by scammers and used to convince investors to part with their cash fairly frequently, Zafar said. Because many people don’t care about due diligence, it can end up costing millions of dollars,” he said. “It’s so hard to recover the money, to catch the fraudster. If the victims don’t have local consultants or experts, it can be hard to trace back and recover the damages.”

An investor group puts its trust — and its funds — in the hands of an outside business partner without considering a due diligence check on the individual.

Eighteen months into the partnership, the individual has succeeded in fleecing the group of more than $6 million and is still at large. Investigators such as CRI are increasingly turning to artificial intelligence and machine learning tools to help with screening. Zafar said great strides had been made in tackling corruption and bribery.

Public and private investigation partnerships

Databases of politically exposed individuals, or persons with links to crime, on watchlists or have criminal activity linked to their name or accounts are rapidly being populated for use by regulators and private investigators. 

“We’re trying to prove that there is a role for AI in detecting crime and that it can be a part of the investigative process. Machines will scan publicly available databases, criminal cases and the like, and we can check if firms have been blacklisted by authorities such as the Asian Development Bank, IMF or World Bank, which is really helpful.”

In the past, these checks would have to be carried out by hand, one by one. “It’s hard, almost impossible! Name matches are probably the largest problem in the Middle East.

You cannot find a person with the first name Mohammad or last name Khan; you’ll get billions of matches, so we need to develop a database that builds on this with other information. There isn’t a nationwide electoral database in any Middle East region, so you can see how much work still has to be done.”

Credit history, employment checks and previous addresses are a handful of ways the files can be built out, Zafar said, and his team is working on ways to streamline that process. There was no concept of background screening in 2008 when Zafar’s team started, and despite having come a long way, he said they still encounter fraud on a massive scale. However, they still encounter fraud on a huge scale, he said. 

Alarming numbers

“Sometimes applicants try to falsely fill the gap in their CV, which is dangerous because we don’t know if they’ve spent time in jail,” he said. “More common red flags are fake degrees and fake previous employment references. We found one in 20 applications for a job had fake degrees, experience letters, or fake references in some regions. It’s a huge number, and some of the universities were prestigious too, which makes it quite alarming.”

Another big area of focus is auditing gifts and donations passed through a company concerning projects carried out. His team works with companies to ensure their anti-bribery controls are as robust as possible, given the tough penalties on offer. 

“It’s a criminal liability for a company, and the directors will be liable if they don’t have the proper anti-bribery procedures in place,” Zadar said. “Accounts and financial teams are critical to making sure firms have proper internal controls.”

CRI® is also on a mission to stamp out “box-ticking” compliance, which has traditionally been a problem across the Middle East due to the nascent regulatory framework. “If you’re conducting audits, nothing will happen if this is the way; you’ll never spot the problem,” he said. “The role of accountants, whether internal or external, to shape the controls and make sure they are implemented effectively.”

He said bribery through sales commissions, waste for public service, sexual extortion or sextortion as a form of corruption could be rife in some sectors. It was up to companies to ensure money wasn’t being paid outside official channels to staff. 

“We understand it’s a process for some firms who are not used to doing it this way, but we’re here to help,” he said. “Companies need to establish their compliance documentation and make sure it’s up to the standard. The most important areas are due diligence and anti-bribery policies. This should not be a paper-based box-ticking exercise, it has to be implemented, and every employee must know the company believes in zero-tolerance of corruption.” 

Visit ICAEW’s Fraud hub for related articles and case studies, or to see the original article, click here

Meet our CEO

Zafar I. Anjum is Group Chief Executive Officer (t: +44 207 8681415 | m: +44 7588 454959 | e: zanjum@crigroup.com) of CRI® Group, a global supplier of investigative, forensic accounting, business due diligence and employee background screening services for some of the world’s leading business organisations.

Headquartered in London and licensed by the Dubai International Financial Centre-DIFC, the Qatar Financial Center-QFC, and the Abu Dhabi Global Market-ADGM, CRI® Group safeguards businesses by establishing the legal compliance, financial viability, and integrity levels of outside partners, suppliers and customers seeking to affiliate with your business.

CRI® Group maintains offices in UAE, Pakistan, Qatar, Singapore, Malaysia, Brazil, China, Turkey, the USA, and the United Kingdom. Contact CRI® Group to learn more about its 3PRM-Certified™ third-party risk management strategy program and discover an effective and proactive approach to mitigating the risks associated with corruption, bribery, financial crimes and other dangerous risks posed by third-party partnerships.

Who is CRI® Group?

Based in London, CRI® Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk Management, Employee Background Screening, Business IntelligenceDue Diligence, Compliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider.

We have the largest proprietary network of background screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are, we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI® Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI® Group launched the Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems, ISO 37301 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification.

ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training

 

Q&A session with our CEO: United Arab Emirates fighting Fraud and corruption

Middle east corruption is a threat to the world. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a land of complex extremes where fabulous wealth and supercars live right next to staggering poverty. This is generally a recipe for fraud and corruption. However UAE has been talking the right steps towards a fraud free future. This Financier Worldwide Q&A session with our CEO discusses United Arab Emirates role in fighting fraud and corruption. Read the answers to the following questions:

  • To what extent have you seen a notable rise in the level f corporate fraud, bribery and corruption uncovered in United Arab Emirates in recent years?
  • Have there been any legal and regulatory changes implemented in United Arab emirates  designed to combat fraud and corruption? What penalties do companies face for failure comply?
  • Do regulators in United Arab Emirates have sufficient resources to enforce the law in this area? Are they making inroads in this area?
  • If a company finds itself subject to a government investigation or dawn raid, how should it respond?
  • and much more…

Q. To what extent have you seen a notable rise in the level of corporate fraud, bribery and corruption uncovered in United Arab Emirates (UAE) in recent years?

ANJUM: Some recent, high profile cases have affected companies and countries in the Middle East. Embraer’s bribery scandal, involving sales of its aircraft, included officials in Saudi Arabia, among others. Further, there have been suspicions of corruption surrounding the awarding of the 2022 FIFA World Cup to Qatar, suspicious which have been worsened by allegations of human rights abuses involving migrant workers. In general, however, it is still issues like data theft, e-commerce fraud, information security and other high tech threats that pose serious risks to organisations in the Middle East. We live in an increasingly connected world, so while anti-fraud laws and controls in one country may be robust, a company might find itself doing business abroad in a location where laws and enforcement are more lax, and risk is heightened.

Q. Have there been any legal and regulatory changes implemented in UAE designed to combat fraud and corruption? What penalties do companies face for failure to comply?

ANJUM: the UAE has a strong reputation for being tough on corruption, and a new law enhances this stance. The recently approved, and highly anticipated, Anti-Commercial Fraud Law will strengthen protections of intellectual property rights (IPR) and will impose stricter penalties anon counterfeiters. For example, a fraud offence related to counterfeiting could now result in up to 2 years in prison, as well as a fine of up to Dh1m. Overall, corruption is still a low risk for companies operating in the UAE. Laws against corruption are enforced, and they cover bribery, facilitation payments, embezzlement and other types of fraud and abuse. However, when concerning the Middle East as a whole, there are indications that fraud and corruption are the rise, which means we must be ever vigilant in protecting investments throughout the region.

Q. In your opinion, do regulators in UAE have sufficient resources to enforce the law in this area and fight corruption? Are they making inroads in this area?

ANJUM: When considering the Middle East region, there can be no ignoring war-ravaged areas like Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen. It is an understatement to say that countries embroiled in conflicts and crisis usually do not have the resources or manpower to properly prevent and detect fraud. But according to Transparency international’s most recent  Corruption Perceptions Index, a few of the other more stable and affluent countries in the region are experiencing some difficulty preventing fraud, as well. Different factors can contribute to these struggles, be they politics, autocratic leadership, weak laws or judiciary bodies. However, the UAE still ranks as the least corrupt country in the Middle East, and other countries might take heed of the country’s Anti-Commercial Fraud Law and other existing laws, not to mention the UAE’s enforcement measures, as a possible model for future efforts.

Q. If a company finds itself subject to a government fraud and corruption investigation or dawn raid, how should it respond?

ANJUM: A company that finds itself in such as crisis should immediately cooperate with authorities and work quickly to gather the facts. What are the allegations? What is the scope of the investigation? Was the raid expected, or has the company been taken completely by surprise? In the early stages, it is crucial that the company engages in a good-faith effort to be transparent and cooperative. Of course, retaining legal counsel, is a must at this an every stage of an investigation, If an employee or employees have engaged in fraud, the company should support the fact-finding process and let justice run its course. Company leaders should also evaluate their internal controls and ensure that additional fraud or corruption is not occurring under the radar.

Q. What role are whistle-blowers playing in the fight against corporate fraud and corruption? How important is it to train staff to identify and report potentially fraudulent activity?

ANJUM: The statistics on fraud, such as in the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners Report to the Nation on Occupational Fraud & Abuse show that fraud is most often uncovered by tips, more so than audits, surveillance, account reconciliation, document examination and other methods. Accordingly, a company’s own employees are their first line of defence against fraud. But to encourage whistle blowing, two critical measures need to be in place. First, employee should be trained to identify the red flags of fraud, and to know what does, and what does not, constitute fraudulent behaviour. Second, a reporting mechanism should be in place; an anonymous system by which whistle-blowers can submit their tips without fear of retaliation or negative consequences.

Q. What advice can you offer to companies on conducting an internal investigation to follow up on suspicions of fraud or corruption?

ANJUM: In any situation where fraud is suspected, it is crucial that experts be brought in as quickly as possible to help unravel the facts of the case, if the company does not have anti-fraud professional among its staff, It is critical to remember that there are various laws, depending on your country or region, which govern the rules of gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses. Any evidence that is mishandled or collected improperly can negatively impact an investigation and hurt the chances of a resolution. If an investigation is bungled from the start, it is nearly impossible to then ‘wind it back’ and correct mistakes later. Also, if criminal behaviour is suspected, legal authorities should be quickly notified and provided with the company’s findings and reasons for the allegation.

Q. What general steps can companies take to proactively prevent corruption and fraud within their organisation?

ANJUM: Every organisation, large or small, should have a plan in place for preventing and detecting fraud. The first step is to communicate the organisation’s zero-tolerance stance against fraud. An ethical code of conduct, signed by every employee, can be effective in this regard. A fraud risk assessment should be conducted to find vulnerabilities. The company’s hiring policy should include pre- and post-employment background screening. Job responsibilities should include segregation of duties, so that no single employee has too much control over finances or assets. The company should conduct audits and encourage whistle-blowing with an anonymous reporting system. With a comprehensive fraud prevention system in place, business owners can sleep a little easier, knowing that their organisation has reduced risk and increased their ability to prevent and detect fraud.

Speak up – report any illegal, unethical, or improper behaviour

If you find yourself in an ethical dilemma or suspect inappropriate or illegal conduct, and you feel uncomfortable reporting through normal channels of communication, or wish to raise the issue anonymously, use CRI® Group’s Compliance Hotline. The Compliance Hotline is a secure and confidential reporting channel managed by an independent provider. When reporting a concern in good faith, you will be protected by CRI® Group’s Non-Retaliation Policy.

About CRI® Group

Based in London, CRI® Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk Management, Employee Background Screening, Business IntelligenceDue Diligence, Compliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background-screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI® Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI Group launched Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems, ISO 37301 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI® Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.

Meet our CEO

Zafar I. Anjum, is Group Chief Executive Officer of CRI® Group (www.crigroup.com), a global supplier of investigative, forensic accounting, business due diligence and employee background screening services for some of the world’s leading business organisations.  Headquartered in London (with significant presence throughout the region) and licensed by the Dubai International Financial Centre-DIFC, the Qatar Financial Center-QFC, and the Abu Dhabi Global Market-ADGM, CRI® Group safeguards businesses by establishing the legal compliance, financial viability, and integrity levels of outside partners, suppliers and customers seeking to affiliate with your business. CRI® Group maintains offices in UAE, Pakistan, Qatar, Turkey, Singapore, Malaysia, Brazil, China, USA, and the United Kingdom.

Contact CRI® Group to learn more about its 3PRM-Certified™ third-party risk management strategy program and discover an effective and proactive approach to mitigating the risks associated with corruption, bribery, financial crimes and other dangerous risks posed by third-party partnerships.

 

CONTACT INFORMATION

Zafar Anjum, MSc, MS, CFE, CII, MICA, Int. Dip. (Fin. Crime) | CRI Group Chief Executive Officer

37th Floor, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AA United Kingdom

t: +44 207 8681415 | m: +44 7588 454959 | e: zanjum@crigroup.com

 

This Q&A article is based on a 2017 Financier Worldwide interview.

Since 2001, Financier Worldwide has provided valuable information on corporate finance and board-level business issues through its monthly magazine and exclusive website content. As a leading publisher of news and analysis on this dynamic global market, the organisation is recognised as a valued source of intelligence to the corporate, investment and advisory community. More from Financier Worldwide:

Download 2018 annual reviews by Mr. Zafar Anjum, CEO, and Ms. Fatima Farrukh, Compliance professional at CRI® Group.

  • Click here to download the review of UAE (Mr. Zafar Anjum, CEO at CRI® Group)
  • Click here to download the review of UK (Mr. Zafar Anjum, CEO at CRI® Group)
  • Click here to download the review of Pakistan (Ms. Fatima Farrukh, 2018 Compliance professional at CRI® Group)

COVID-19 Prompted Innovative Leadership

As of 3 September 2021, COVID-19 has affected more than million people globally, including 218,580,734 deaths, reported to WHO. The virus has also had severe economic implications, leaving organizations facing a unique set of new challenges that can only be summed up in one word: uncertainty. And the only way to navigate these uncertain times is through effective leadership. Good leaders can deliver on their mission in innovative ways while envisioning a new “normal”. This is critical right now, as COVID-19 has magnified not only societal vulnerabilities but vulnerabilities in business, as well.

Navigating the complexities of the unforeseen COVID-19 crisis has left many businesses struggling. Crisis often fuels innovation, however, and most organizations are stepping up with unique contributions and excellent leadership at a time when it is needed most. Leaders at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic – epidemiologists, data and behavioral scientists, academics, engineers, military logisticians and businesses – are collaborating (probably for the first time) to solve seemingly intractable problems.

These leaders are driving innovation with therapeutic, economic, and community-based solutions that are having a significant impact on the global pandemic. From the creation of multi-million global relief funds to shepherding vaccine development and treatments; from payment deferrals for people and businesses facing financial hardships to digital/telehealth solutions such as Beneficial Business Exchange (a self-service virtual community that matches urgent needs with critical resources); from solving supply chain challenges to creating innovative new products; leaders are adapting and making decisions to help their organizations weather the storm and survive the crisis.

For example, with ventilators in short supply (a critical need during the pandemic), Mercedes stepped up by collaborating with the University College London and clinicians at University College London Hospital to develop the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) ventilator. In South Korea, health authorities, vice-Health Minister Kim Gang-lip, businesses and students joined forces at an early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic. With their combined technological expertise and creative thinking skills, they produced a drive-through COVID-19 test; a body sterilizer that sprays people as they enter halls; and a health tracker app for overseas visitors. These and other innovative solutions have shown how collaboration between leaders is beneficial.

The COVID-19 pandemic has driven technological innovation. With more people working from home, internet and online services have been stretched to the limit. Behind strong leaders at Apple, Google, Amazon and other leading tech giants, companies have responded to fill needs in this new online framework. Web meetings, online shopping and other technological aspects driven by COVID-19 have forced quick adaptation and innovation to meet consumers’ needs and, in some cases, keep the economy going.

The reality is that leaders who push innovation during this crisis are setting their organizations up for better success once the crisis has passed. In fact, history suggests that companies that invest in innovation through a crisis outperform peers during the recovery. This finding came to light during the SARS outbreak and the 2009 financial crisis, among others. Statistics show that companies that maintained a focus on innovation during the 2009 crisis subsequently outperformed the market average by over 30 percent after the crisis resolved. This demonstrated a far-sighted approach with significant benefits beyond just a company’s survival.

Leaders and CEOs have creatively solved problems and inspired others by taking action and making decisions that might typically take months to emerge from the typical treacle of bureaucracy. However, good innovative leadership will continue to emerge, transform and discover new ways to tackle COVID-19 challenges. Resilient leaders can see a crisis as an opportunity to elevate and define their corporate culture; resilient leaders can find clarity by testing every decision against touchstones. Their companies, and the communities and people they serve, are counting on them.

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About us…

Based in London, CRI® Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceDue DiligenceCompliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are, we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI® Group also holds BS102000:2013 and BS7858:2019 Certifications is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI® Group launched the Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management SystemsISO 37301 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI® Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organizations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.

MEET THE CEO

Zafar I. Anjum is Group Chief Executive Officer of CRI® Group (www.crigroup.com), a global supplier of investigative, forensic accounting, business due to diligence and employee background screening services for some of the world’s leading business organizations. Headquartered in London (with a significant presence throughout the region) and licensed by the Dubai International Financial Centre-DIFC, the Qatar Financial Center – QFC, and the Abu Dhabi Global Market-ADGM, CRI® Group safeguard businesses by establishing the legal compliance, financial viability, and integrity levels of outside partners, suppliers and customers seeking to affiliate with your business. CRI® Group maintains offices in UAE, Pakistan, Qatar, Singapore, Malaysia, Brazil, China, the USA, and the United Kingdom.

Contact CRI® Group to learn more about its 3PRM-Certified™ third-party risk management strategy program and discover an effective and proactive approach to mitigating the risks associated with corruption, bribery, financial crimes and other dangerous risks posed by third-party partnerships.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Zafar Anjum, MSc, MS, CFE, CII, MICA, Int. Dip. (Fin. Crime) | CRI® Group Chief Executive Officer

37th Floor, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AA United Kingdom

t: +44 207 8681415 | m: +44 7588 454959 | e: zanjum@crigroup.com

7 Traits of a Resilient Leader

Every successful leader has encountered a challenging scenario at some point in their career. The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, however, has forced leaders to face unforeseen new challenges. With the pandemic’s colossal impact on operations, workforces, profits and supply chains across the globe, all eyes are on leadership to guide their businesses through this crisis. Resilient Leader

Resilient leaders are generally seen as more effective, making them an asset to any business; but what is resilience and how can it be applied to your management skills?

What is Resilience?

Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; it is a further evolution of stress management. This makes it a “no brainer” as to why resilience is such a popular concept in today’s business environment. Many businesses are pushing the concept of resilience as a way of helping workers better cope with the stresses and strains of the modern-day office and unlock their performance potential.

In this article, we look at seven essential qualities that characterise resilient leaders, and how to increase your resilience. In general, resilient leaders:

  1. Show empathy
  2. Are adaptable and able to improvise
  3. Are self-aware and open to feedback
  4. Take calculated risks
  5. Keep a positive attitude
  6. Develop others
  7. Communicate effectively

1. Resilient Leaders Show Empathy

COVID-19 has generated one of the greatest challenges and, simultaneously, one of the greatest opportunities for resilient leaders – at all levels. According to a Gallup U.S poll, six in 10 people are “very” or “somewhat worried” that they or a family member will be exposed to COVID-19 (Gallup, 2020). During this crisis, emotional management is even more crucial than ever. According to studies carried out by Development Dimensions International (DDI), empathy is the most critical leadership skill. Leaders who display compassion, authenticity and vulnerability – and are capable of apologising when they’re wrong and handle criticism without blame – create strong emotional bonds with their teams (DDI, 2020).

The most resilient (and effective) leaders can demonstrate empathy and a high level of emotional intelligence. When your team feels understood, they feel more motivated and more confident to contribute cultivating stronger conversations, ideas and debate. As Mark Cuban shared in a recent interview: “How you treat your employees today will have more impact on your brand in future years than any amount of advertising, any amount of anything you literally could do” (Just Capital, 2020).

2. Resilient Leaders Are Adaptable

With COVID-19 infecting approximately 311,641 people in the UK alone, health officials suggested using hand sanitiser as the easiest way to prevent the spread of the disease. Consequently, these announcements led to panic buying (Euronews, 2020). In this type of situation, a resilient leader should be able to visualise this action as an opportunity – for example, dozens of spirit manufacturers across the UK started to produce hand sanitisers (i.e. BrewDog and Leith Gin). This is a classic example of an instant attitude adjustment – looking at what they can do as opposed to what they can’t (Telegraph, 2020).

When faced with change, resilient leaders can focus on the things within their business that they can still control. Whether impacted by new technologies, environmental challenges or even ethical dilemmas, the modern business landscape is always changing. A resilient leader needs to be flexible and adaptable to succeed. Is flexibility part of your leadership style?

3. Resilient Leaders Are Self-Aware and Coachable

According to Health Care Business Today, self-awareness and coachability are “The Two Most Important Leadership Traits” (Health Care Business Today, 2019). We think so, too. Resilient leaders are self-aware, confident, and most of all, able to recognise their strengths and overcome their weaknesses. Resilient leaders are open to feedback, ask for feedback and are always demonstrating a real effort to improve.

4. Resilient Leaders Take Calculated Risks

Successful leaders earned their success through taking calculated risks. When Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos launched AmazonFresh, he was scrutinised by others because he didn’t choose a successful delivery or supermarket executive to run the venture. Instead, Bezos selected a team that had previously run a web-based food delivery service in the ‘90s (which collapsed after two years in business). Why? Bezos knew that the team had learned from their failure, which made them the perfect choice to succeed with a new project.

Resilient leaders like Bezos take calculated risks while accepting that failure is a by-product of innovation and success. They learn to become comfortable with being uncomfortable, and flourish as the world changes around them.

5. Resilient Leaders Can Keep a Positive Mindset

The impact of COVID-19 is tough to manage. It is vital to have a positive mindset that can influence fellow professionals and raise team morale while maintaining business momentum.

Under the challenging circumstances posed by the COVID-19 crisis, a resilient leader needs to be enthusiastic, offer praise for success, and give credit when it’s due. American psychologist Carol Dweck has stated in her book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” that “a change of mindset must happen before other positive transformation can occur.”

Resiliency is needed when we encounter failure. As a resilient leader, you shouldn’t view failure as final, but as a necessary step to move further along your journey.

6. Resilient Leaders Develop Others

The most resilient leaders are concerned about the development of their teams. Developing others helps everyone to learn from their mistakes. We continue to find that leaders who want and accept honest feedback for themselves are more likely to give productive feedback and coaching to others.

7. Resilient Leaders Communicate Effectively

Effective communication helps teams understand changes, expectations and new directions. This understanding is the key to the success of any team. The most resilient and best leaders always communicate their intentions effectively to others and are willing to help their teams understand a new strategy or direction.

The COVID-19 pandemic is proving to be the ultimate test for business leadership. In times of crisis, only certain individuals can adapt and stand tall amongst the crowd. When it comes to leaders, being able to implement resilience tools and strategies will not only make you a better leader but help the company overall.

 

Who is CRI Group?

Based in London, CRI Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk Management, Employee Background Screening, Business IntelligenceDue Diligence, Compliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background-screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI Group launched Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems, ISO 37301 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.