J.S. Held bolts on 30-strong investigations team from BRG

18 May 2021 Consulting.us 3 min. read

The Berkeley Research Group (BRG) has sold off its non-US global investigations assets to fellow specialist consultancy J.S. Held, with more than 30 experts to cross worldwide.

The acquisition of parts of BRG’s service line will see investigative experts and support staff join J.S. Held around the world, including in Miami, London, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Singapore, Tokyo, Mexico City, and Panama. Among them will be former BRG Latin America managing director Frank Holder, who has been appointed J.S. Held’s new chief operating officer.

Founded in 1974, J.S. Held provides specialized technical and forensics advisory services to a wide array of industries, including the construction, education, healthcare, hospitality, real estate, and energy and resources sectors among others. Headquartered in Jericho, NY (Long Island), J.S. Held boasts over 100 offices with a headcount of more than 1,000 employees worldwide.

J.S. Held bolts on 30-strong investigations team from BRG

Recently, the firm has quietly embarked on a mini acquisition spree. Since the beginning of last year, J.S. Held has picked up no less than a dozen companies of various shapes and sizes, now including BRG’s non-US global investigations assets.

While no sum has been disclosed for the transaction, a BRG press release stated that there would be a brief transition period in certain jurisdictions before engagements and personnel are transferred to J.S. Held.

“We’re constantly looking for ways to best position our business and deploy resources in a way that focuses BRG’s offerings for our clients and for growth,” said BRG principal executive officer Tri MacDonald, who was appointed to the role at the beginning of this year. “At this juncture of our growth and development, following on our strongest-ever quarter, we are pleased to have taken a step to align our business for the next decade of success.”

Meanwhile, Frank Holder, BRG’s former Chair of Global Investigations and a past senior executive with FTI Consulting and Kroll, will now serve as COO at J.S. Held. “Frank will be instrumental in our continued, strategic organizational development,” said the firm’s CEO Jon Held. “We are excited to have his leadership at this stage in our growth, and his incredible experience and knowledge will greatly benefit our company as well as our clients.”

In addition to Holder, Stuart Witchell, BRG’s Asia-Pacific co-leader and regional head of its global investigations and strategic intelligence practice, will also ultimately transition to J.S. Held, bringing more than 25 years of investigations and risk management experience. Prior to BRG, Witchell spent more than a decade as a risk & investigations leader with FTI Consulting in Asia, before which he established the risk mitigation division of PwC in Japan.

“J.S. Held’s new Global Investigations Practice will handle investigative and security consulting assignments throughout the world including large-scale internal fraud and public corruption investigations, litigation support, political risk, and business intelligence matters,” the firm stated, with the new team holding expertise in consumer goods, education, energy, financial services, healthcare, legal, manufacturing, mining, and pharmaceutical among other areas.