Bahrain is no risky business

Published June 29th, 2011 - 01:55 GMT

A risk management company is leading by example by opening a regional office in Bahrain - after declaring the country safe.

US firm K2 Global Consulting's decision to set up base in Manama would be good for business, said its Madrid-based executive managing director Bruce Goslin, who has responsibility for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

"We took a step back and looked at entire Gulf and we think the GCC has a lot of opportunities and potential now and in the future and there is a growing dynamic market for us here," he told the GDN.

"And as we looked at the region and largely because of the good relations we have in Bahrain, we looked at the kingdom as business friendly.

The company's office, at the Bahrain Financial Harbour, has a small team but will soon look to recruit more staff, including locals, said Mr Goslin. It was officially launched at a reception and networking event held at the Capital Club last night.

Mr Goslin said the company had a long history of working with clients in Bahrain and the opening of the office had been planned for over a year.

"The best environment for us is stability, tranquillity and a diversified growing economy."

K2 Global Consulting specialises in due diligence, transaction risk assessment, financial and regulatory investigation, dispute resolution, asset tracing and recovery, reputation management, business intelligence, fraud and corruption work and security consultancy.

Mr Goslin said for most transactions, such as establishing partnerships, acquisitions and entering into joint ventures the failure rate was high and research had shown that up to 70 per cent end up having problems.

He said to prevent such difficulties, companies in Bahrain and around the world often sought K2 Global's help before entering into a business partnership to look at who the person was, what type of track record they had, how well they perform and so on.

K2 Global's expertise was also being sought by companies thinking of investing in a foreign company or buying an asset and wanted to know what kind of track record it had, he added.

"Financial fraud is very prevalent, most companies at one time or another are going to experience a fraud, or significant fraud, of course it depends on the size of your company," said Mr Goslin. "We find low level fraud in companies, but big frauds that destroy companies are done by senior managers, why? Because there are able to control everything and they are the boss, so no-one questions them.

Mr Goslin said with the problems that had been witnessed in the Gulf and Middle East this year companies had sought K2 Global's advice on how to mitigate risk, but there were not always straight forward answers.

He said the risk assessment for each client was calculated differently and it depended on many factors, including the type of business and past experience.

"Six months ago who would have thought the Gulf and Middle East would go through all these changes," said Mr Goslin.

"Then you have Japanese tsunami/earthquake which is another risk that must be managed."

"You have to evaluate it, there is no fast or easy answer to all of this," he concluded.

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