Global Business Turmoil Pushes Expansion of Local Investigative Firm

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Global Business Turmoil Pushes Expansion of Local Investigative Firm;
Smith Brandon International Expands Its Operations to Meet Needs of High-Tech Expansion Abroad
Published By: PR Newswire
March 2, 1998

Smith Brandon International (SBI), a Washington, D.C.-based firm focused on investigative and risk avoidance services to the international business community, has expanded its operations in response to growing demand for its investigative and business intelligence services. SBI has added expertise in information technology (IT) to its staff in Washington, D.C. in response to the tremendous growth in interest and demand for U.S. information technology in the international marketplace.

James Y. Blankner, Jr., has joined Smith Brandon International in response to the globalization of U.S. business and the growing need for U.S. companies to better know their foreign partners. Mr. Blankner, a 23-year veteran of the FBI experienced in operations focused on organized crime, counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism, concluded his career as the Deputy Assistant Director, FBI, responsible for all Information Technology Infrastructure and Engineering R&D. Mr. Blankner will lead SBI initiatives with his unique ability to understand, analyze and mitigate the risks relevant to the introduction of leading-edge technology in foreign markets.

Mr. Blankner has made his interest in assisting U.S. business operations clear: "I know information technology ('IT') and I know investigations. I'm here to help U.S. companies with superior technology introduce it abroad, and help develop the infrastructure of other countries that have expressed a strong interest in IT."

According to Mr. Blankner: "A major factor influencing my decision to retire from the FBI was the opportunity to join a firm that has the ability to merge its unique overseas abilities in the area of business intelligence, due diligence, and risk avoidance, with my background in information technology and investigations, particularly within the high technology area. SBI has that capability and a proven track record in assisting technology-based corporations in expanding in international markets."

Harry (Skip) Brandon, a Founding Partner of Smith Brandon International and also a former Deputy Director of the FBI, noted, "By adding the unique expertise of Jim Blanker, an exceptional investigator and an IT expert, Smith Brandon becomes the first company of our type to enter this market with such a tremendous background and outstanding capability."

According to Brandon, U.S. businesses are going overseas on a daily basis, and no industry has opportunities as broad as those facing U.S. Information Technology companies. As an example, in response to the economic upheavals and business reversals in the Pacific Rim, Brandon noted that there has been an increased interest by Asian countries and businesses in modern technology.

"We are already getting inquiries from U.S. companies in this field as well as from potential Asian clients on how to bring U.S. technology into the region to assist Asian companies and U.S. subsidiaries operating in Asia to enhance their efficiency."

In addition, Brandon, who has special expertise in Latin America through his tenure as Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean Basin, cited equal opportunities in Latin America:

"We believe the ties between North and South America will do nothing but strengthen and grow. At Smith Brandon , working with associates who have lived and worked in Latin America, with language abilities to match, we have a particular expertise in the region. Teamed with my partner, Gene Smith, an attorney, who knows Brazil well from her years of living and working there, we offer a strong combination that can satisfy any requirement for a company doing business just about anywhere in Latin America."

Smith Brandon International operates its investigative and business support services on a global basis. It assists U.S. companies going abroad by doing due diligence investigations on proposed business partners, establishing risk avoidance practices, monitoring foreign operations to ensure compliance with requirements under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and assisting companies in pursuing mergers and acquisitions. Whenever a company is confronted with information requirements or security needs, SBI can help define and resolve the situation and prevent its reoccurrence. SBI operates through a world-wide network of trusted associates drawn from law enforcement, diplomatic and intelligence circles who are located in the target countries of interest to U.S. clients. In addition to experience in Latin America, SBI also has particular experience and expertise in Asia, the Middle East, Western and Central Europe, the countries emerging from the former Soviet Union, and in the U.S.

What Others Are Saying

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DirectorEuropean Hotel Group

“As always, perfect. The client on the project in Taiwan was most pleased.”

DirectorInvestigative Firm

“ definitely helped [our division] and the whole company improve ... so [we] can make better informed decisions regarding our strategy.”

Strategy DirectorMajor Infrastructure Firm

“The reporting you just furnished us has helped us avoid a major mistake in looking at the potential new partner ... we are very pleased.”

VP for ComplianceInternational Construction Company

“Many thanks for your reporting and willingness to talk with us about what it means. You are correct, we do have an issue and we will take corrective action immediately.”

Corporate CounselInternational Pharmaceutical Company
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