Benchmark Financial Services and Forensic Investigative Associates created a strategic alliance of pension, financial and law-enforcement experts to provide investigative services to pension funds and the broad investment community, the companies announced today.
The alliance’s aim is to help investors reduce risk by assisting them in uncovering or avoiding wrongdoing and negligence by money managers, consultants, brokers and others in the investment process, while also helping to make sure service providers follow fiduciary standards, investment guidelines and proper custody of assets, Edward Siedle, Benchmark president, said in an interview.
“The end game is to improve performance by reducing risk,” he said.
The two firms would protect investors from risk hidden from them by intention or negligence, Mark Foley, FIA managing director, said in an interview.
The alliance has no clients yet. “We are just starting out and we have interest by some funds and meetings set up,” Mr. Siedle said. The alliance will charge an hourly or project fee, rather than charge on a contingency basis, Mr. Siedle said.
Benchmark conducts money management investigations for pension funds. FIA, a division of T&M Protection Resources, specializes in compliance monitoring, integrity risk management, and fraud and operational due diligence of hedge funds and other alternative investments, according to a joint statement from both firms.
Other key officials in the affiliation include Thomas Sheer, T&M senior adviser and consultant and former assistant director of the FBI in charge of its New York office; Ted Price, T&M senior director and consultant, former deputy director for operations at the CIA and former head of global security at Lehman Brothers; and Joseph Russo, T&M senior vice president of executive protection and a former senior Secret Service officer who lead presidential protection and the credit-card fraud unit in New York City.