Examples of PI firms active in the UK

  • Control Risks

Control Risks is a global risk and strategic consulting firm with more than 35 offices worldwide. Control Risks specializes in political risk, security risk, integrity risk and cyber risk. The company is especially well known for its anti-corruption audits, consultancy and training.

At the time of writing, Control Risks has approximately 3,000 employees and is present in over 100 countries – including the United Kingdom where the company is headquartered. Examples of European cities where the company has an office are London, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam and Copenhagen.

The company is privately owned.

Short facts about Control Risks

Type Corporation
Founded 1975
Headquarter London, United Kingdom
Number of locations 35+ offices
Website controlrisks.com


Control Risk is chiefly focused on political risk, security risk, integrity risk and cyber risk.

Political risk

Assessing political risks at global, regional and country level for businesses and organisations.

In addition to the bespoke services, there are also more general services available, including the subscription services PRIME and Country Risk Forecast.

Security risk

Examples of tasks included under this umbrella are:

  • Threat assessment
  • Travel security
  • Embedded consultancy
  • Security design
  • Executive protection
  • Emergency crisis management
  • Incident response

In 2008, Control Risks formed a joint venture with International SOS to better provide travel security services and advice for business travellers and expats.

Integrity risk

This leg of Control Risk’s work include, among other things, their corruption prevention programs, transaction related due diligence, agent screening and corruption investigations. Control Risk also manage whistle blower hotlines.

Cyber risk

Examples of services provided are Cyber Protect, Cyber Respond and Cyper Threat Intelligence.


Through eDiscovery, Control Risks supports organisations with complex multinational litigation issues.


Founded back in 1975, Control Risks started out as a professional adviser to the insurance industry. It was until a management buyout in 1982 that it became an independent company; until then it was a subsidiary of the insurance broker Hogg Robinson and focused on minimizing Hogg Robinson’s exposure to ransom payouts. Gradually, Control Risks’s scope expanded to include more general crisis management and incident response, and political and security risk analysts were recruited to the company.

  • Hakluyt & Company

Hakluyt & Company is a British strategic intelligence and advisory firm. Since 2011, Hakluyt and Company has been the trading name of the Holdingham Group Limited.

Hakluyt & Company is headquarter in London, UK. There is one office in New York City, USA and another one in Singapore.

The company is privately owned.

Short facts about Hakluyt & Company

Type Private limited company
Predecessor Hakluyt & Company Limited
Founded 1997
Founders Christopher James
Mike Reynolds
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
Website hakluyt.co.uk


The company was founded in 1995 by Christopher James and Mike Reynolds, former officials in the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6).

Christopher James left the company in 2006.

What is Pelorus Research?

Pelorus Research is a trading activity of the Holdingham Group, started in 2011. Pelorus Research carry out research for investment managers. For more information, see pelorus-research.com.

  • Kroll Inc

Kroll Inc is a corporate investigations and risk consulting firm founded in 1972. Throughout the world, Kroll has approximately 2,800 employees.

The core Kroll activities are:

  • Security consulting
  • Background screening
  • Identity protection
  • Ontrack and electronic data recovery

Kroll used to publicly traded on the NASDAQ but is now privately held.


Kroll is headquartered in New York City, USA and has offices in several U.S. states and in Toronoto, Canada. Kroll’s Miami office serves as headquarter for Kroll’s operations in Latin America, where it has offices in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.

Kroll’s office in London, UK serves as headquarter for Kroll’s operations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. In Europe, Kroll has offices in cities such as Paris, Milan, Madrid and Barcelona.

Kroll’s Asian operations are carried out by offices in cities such as Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Mumbai.

Short facts about Kroll




Jules B. Kroll


New York City, United States



Kroll Security Consulting

Kroll offers security consulting through the Kroll Security Group and the Security Engineering & Design division. Among other things, Kroll assesses vulnerability and threats, carry out disaster planning, and conduct physical security investigations. Kroll also help with staffing studies, policy development and procedure development for increased security.

Background screening

Background screening can be very helpful for corporations when it comes to selecting and promoting employees, but is also important when it comes to decisions regarding supplier selection, investments, institutional admissions, partnerships, etc.

Identity protection

Kroll’s Fraud Solution Unit specializes in preventing identity theft, handling identify theft situations and carry out identity restoration work.

In 2003, Kroll entered into a joint marketing agreement with legal service plan provider LegalShield to target the consumer market for identity theft protection.

Electronic Data Recovery etc

Kroll branched into this field chiefly by purchasing Ontrack – a computer forensics, electronic discovery and data recovery company – and Ibas Holdings ASA – a Norwegian-based provider or data recovery, data erasure and computer forensics.

In 2016, Kroll used their Ontrack division to form KrolLDiscovery, a company which now operates independently of Kroll in the field of data recovery.

Examples of famous work by Kroll


Towards the late 1980s, Kroll assisted in the trial of John Fredriksen, a Norwegian-born shipping magnate. In 1985, Norwegian insurance company Gard became suspicious about losses of cargo from tankers controlled by Fredriksen, and a private investigation revealed that heavy oil had been systematically utilized as bunker fuel. After several years of legal wrangling, the case was settled out of court, but Fredriksen still had to pay a fine of 2 million NOK for risking his crew’s lives.


In 1987, attorney Floyd Abrams enlisted the aid of Kroll to find eyewitnesses that could be useful in a prominent First Amendment case concerning New York Newsday’s stories about the so called heroin trail. According to Abrams, he spoke directly to Jules Kroll – then still the CEO of Kroll Associates – and asked him to inquire whether Karaduman was known to be a drug trafficker in Istanbul. Two weeks into the trail, Kroll Inc produced the witness Faraculah Arras.


After the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Kroll was enlisted to revamp security at the WTC.

On September 11, 2001, Kroll employee John. P. O’Neill was killed in the WTC terrorist attacks. O’Neill, who was a former FBI special investigator focused on Al-Qaeda, had been hired by Kroll to head security at the WTC complex just prior to the attacks.


In the wake of the terrorist attack that took place in New York on September 11, 2001, Kroll was hired to handle security at Sears Tower in Chicago.


In 2002, Kroll was given the responsibility of restructuring Enron.

Kroll’s background

The company was founded by Jules B. Kroll in 1972. In the early days, Kroll Inc served as a consultant to corporate purchasing departments and helped its clients by uncovering kickbacks, fraud and other types of corruption.

In the 1980s, Kroll Inc widened its offerings to include investigative work in the financial sector, after being approached by corporations in New York City that needed help with due diligence and similar investigations regarding suitors, potential investors and takeover targets. Kroll carved out a niche for themselves within this field by being exceptionally good at uncovering potentially damaging issues such as suspicious businesses practises, integrity issues, ties to disreputable organisations or individuals, and other problems that could lead to corporate malfeasance.

With this background in investigative pursuits, it was only natural for Kroll to start offering services such as drug testing and market intelligence in the 1990s. They also began fronting their forensic account skills more to potential customers.

As computers and digital databases became more and more crucial to corporations in and outside the U.S., Kroll started aiding their clients with the technical skills required for complex electronic data recovery, electronic discovery and computer forensics.

In 2001, Kroll started offering personal security services and global crisis management to high-net-worth individual holders of A.I.G. policies. This was the result of a closer partnership between Kroll and insurance company A.I.G.

Ownership, mergers, acquisitions, etc

In 1997, Kroll merged with O’Gara-Hess & Eisenhardt – a vehicle armoring company. The newly formed entity was named The Kroll-O’Gara Company and listed on NASDAQ as KROG.

Schiff & Associates Inc, a company specializing in security engineering, was acquired in 1998, setting of a series of name changes where The Kroll-O’Gara Company became Kroll Schiff & Associates, then Kroll Security Services Group, and the finally Kroll Security Group.

In 2001, Kroll expanded its working relationship with the insurance company A.I.G, a company that had been holding a minority stake in Kroll for many years.

O’Gara was sold in 2001, prompting yet another name change – this time back to just Kroll Inc (NASDAQ: KROL).

Kroll was acquired by Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC) in 2004 and subsequently started selling off its subsidiaries to focus on its core business lines.

Altegrity Inc acquired Kroll in 2010, only to declare bankruptcy five years later, causing Kroll to be snapped up by Corporate Risk Holdings LLC.

Jules Kroll leaves

Jules Kroll left Kroll Inc in 2008 and unsuccessfully tried to buy the company back from MMC. In a response to the failed bid, Jules Kroll launched Kroll Bond Ratings, K2 Global Consulting and K2 Intelligence together with his son Jeremy.

  • The Lady Detective Agency

The Lady Detective Agency is headquartered in Manchester, United Kingdom, with offices in London, Cambridge and Birmingham as well. There is also a USA office in Orlando, Florida.

The company is privately owned.

Examples of services offered by The Lady Detective Agency

  • Surveillance
  • Background checks
  • Online dating background checks
  • Faithfulness testing (online and/or offline)
  • Fraud investigation
  • Child maintenance fraud investigation
  • Missing people
  • Finding abducted children

Web site


Investing in security companies

All of the securities company above is privately owned. If you want to invest in the security industry then I recommend that you invest in Securitas AB. A Swedish security company that is active in most of Europe including the UK as well as in the US. They have more than 300 000 employees and is listed on the NASDAQ.  Securitas AB is a mature low risk stock.  If you are a day trader that prefer a more volatile option then you will find a large selection of options and CFD:s based on Securitas AB.   You can use any stock broker to buy stocks in Securitas AB. Most brokers will also offer options based on the stock.  If you want to trade with CFD certificates based on Securitas AB than you will have to register an account with a CFD broker such as IQ option or IQ index.   You can find a list of the best brokers here.

Securitas AB owns the famous American security agency Pinkerton. Pinkerton has played a very important role in the US history.