- Thomas Smith
Don't lie to your doctor
There’s a classic piece of advice – don’t lie to your doctor or your lawyer. Really, you shouldn’t lie to your private investigator either, but we spot that sort of thing fairly quickly. More importantly, you shouldn’t ignore your investigator’s reports, especially of the due diligence variety. After all, you paid for them.
This article provides a beautiful example of what happens when you ignore things you shouldn’t (read it, it’s short). I don’t know what poor, harassed investigative firm provided the research on Evelin Banev, but I can tell you anyone in my business has seen this movie about a thousand times before – and heard a variation of the wonderful line: “After the homicide we have decided to continue the business relationships. The said (short and imprecise) article linking the murder to Spanish cocaine...has not been confirmed.”
Credit Suisse has had a bad couple of years from a media relations perspective. This suggests that things aren’t going to be getting any easier for them anytime soon.
To some extent, media animus is a cost of doing business in certain industries (private banking is one of them), and businesses budget for and try to control it as much as possible. Countering media animus that originates with a rival or a competitor is one of the things that corporate investigators help our clients with, so I like to think we take a balanced view of bad press in my business.
Still, you shouldn’t open the door to it. Yes, it’s true that you can’t believe everything you read about your clients in a newspaper, as the unidentified banker quoted above was trying to say. But when the allegations involve drug trafficking and homicide, it’s probably worth a closer look. Maybe even reaching out to a firm like ours to investigate the issue.