Kroll is a global risk consulting company headquartered in New York. Since its founding in 1972 by Jules B. Kroll, the company has expanded beyond private investigation and security services into all areas of corporate risk mitigation including background screening, business intelligence, market intelligence, forensic accounting, electronic discovery, and data recovery, among others. It is a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies.


Kroll began its trademark line of investigative work in the financial sector in the 1980s, when corporations in New York City approached Kroll to profile investors, suitors and takeover targets, with special attention to any perceived connections to disreputable organizations, suspicious business practices, personality and integrity issues, or any kind of corporate malfeasance. Kroll developed a name for itself as Wall Street's premier "private eye".
In the 1990s, Kroll went beyond its traditional business intelligence and investigations work, as a growing client base with considerable activity in mergers and acquisitions allowed Kroll to acquire other firms specializing in forensic accounting, background screening, drug testing, electronic data recovery and market intelligence.
In December 1998, Kroll acquired Schiff & Associates, Inc., a small security engineering and consulting firm based in Bastrop, Texas just outside Austin. The name was changed to Kroll Schiff & Associates then Kroll Security Services Group and finally to Kroll Security Group, which is what it is known as today.
In 2002, Kroll acquired Kelly McCann's firm Crucible. In September 2008, Crucible was acquired by its management and now operates privately.
Kroll was itself acquired by professional services firm Marsh & McLennan Companies in July 2004. Lead on the Marsh side as chairman and CEO was Jeffrey W. Greenberg, the son of AIG CEO Maurice R. Greenberg, but he had to resign from his posts at Marsh on October 25, 2004 in favour of Michael G. Cherkasky, who was formerly with Kroll.

Geographic reach

Kroll is headquartered in New York City, and has important offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, Eden Prairie, San Francisco, Dallas, Miami, and Washington DC. The Miami office serves as the headquarters for Kroll's operations in Latin America, where it also has offices in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Colombia.
The Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region is one of Kroll's most important. Kroll's EMEA headquarters are in London, and the company has a strong presence in Spain, with offices in Madrid and Barcelona. The EMEA region is supported by offices in Paris and Milan, while Kroll's office in Dubai provides risk consultancy services in the Gulf.
Kroll's Asian operations are carried out by offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Mumbai, Beijing, Singapore and Tokyo.

Range of operations

Kroll maintains various lines of business, and there are plans to further integrate them. Kroll's parent company MMC is reportedly staving off Kroll's business lines which it does not consider to be "core Kroll", or consistent with MMC's other operating companies (which include Marsh, a risk brokerage, or the management consultancy Oliver Wyman). The following are core Kroll activities:

Business Intelligence and Investigations

Kroll's traditional business of delving into the backgrounds of companies and individuals has been strengthened by an active forensic accountancy division, and a larger group focused on financial investigations. Kroll's success at BI&I has seen numerous "copycat" companies spring up, offering similar services to Kroll and following a similar marketing "risk consulting" moniker. Many of these "risk consultancies" are headed by former Kroll directors.

Ontrack and Electronic Data Recovery

Kroll acquired a computer forensics, electronic discovery, and data recovery company named Ontrack, which has revolutionized Kroll's business operations. Kroll Ontrack has patented technologies and capabilities in recovering seemingly deleted files, including internet-based information cleared from the cache. In addition, Kroll Ontrack is the leading provider of legal technologies, with operations in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. Kroll Ontrack's technology is expanding in-house, amplifying Kroll's capacities in its other divisions.

Background Screening

Kroll's Background Screening division provides comprehensive screening services that help organizations mitigate risks and make informed decisions in critical areas such as employment, supplier selection, investment placement and institutional admissions. From traditional background checks to specialized searches, Krolls services are tailored to meet the needs of its diverse clientele whose organizations span myriad industry sectors. Kroll's Background Screening division also includes the Kroll Fraud Solutions unit, which specializes in identity theft protection and identity restoration services.

Security Consulting

Kroll offers consulting services through Kroll Security Group, it's Security Consulting and Security Engineering & Design division. These services include Threat Assessments, Vulnerability Assessments, Physical Security Surveys, Security Master Planning, Policy and Procedure Development, Staffing Studies, etc.

Historical cases

The Heroin Trail case

In 1987, in the prominent First Amendment case over The Heroin Trail stories in New York Newsday, attorney Floyd Abrams enlisted Kroll's help to find an eyewitness: "But was it conceivable that we could come up with an eyewitness who could be of help? I called Jules Kroll, the CEO of Kroll Associates, the nation's most acclaimed investigative firm, to ask him if he could inquire, through the extensive range of former law enforcement officials employed by him, whether Karaduman was known to be a drug trafficker in Istanbul."[1] Kroll came through: two weeks into the trial the firm produced Faraculah Arras, who was prepared to testify he was involved in one of Karaduman's drug deals. "I was stunned," recalled Abrams.
Abrams used Kroll again in 1998 to investigate claims by CNN's Newsstand documentary that sarin nerve gas had been used in Vietnam in 1970 as part of Operation Tailwind.[2]

WTC & Sears Tower security

Kroll were responsible for revamping security at the World Trade Center after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.[3] They also took on responsibility for security at Chicago's Sears Tower following the September 11, 2001 attacks.[4]

Other products - Identity Theft Shield

Kroll entered into a joint marketing agreement with legal service plan provider Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. in 2003, to distribute an identity theft product to consumers, called the Identity Theft Shield, the first time Kroll offered a service to individuals.[5] As of June 30, 2006, Kroll had over 560,000 customers, according to Pre-Paid Legal's quarterly report.[6] In addition to the Pre-Paid Legal subscribers, Kroll's Identity Theft Shield serves about 500,000 other consumers.

Similar Companies


  1. ^ Abrams, Floyd (2005). Speaking Freely: Trials of the First Amendment. Viking Press. pp. 124137. ISBN 0670033758.
  2. ^ Robin Pogrenbin and Felicity Barringer (July 3, 1998). "CNN Retracts Report That U.S. Used Nerve Gas". The New York Times.
  3. ^ Douglas Frantz (September 1, 1994). "A Midlife Crisis at Kroll Associates". The New York Times.
  4. ^ "About Us > History > Notable Cases".
  5. ^ "Pre-Paid Legal Services To Add Identity Theft Benefits Provided By Kroll Background America". 2003. Retrieved 2008-04-03.
  6. ^ "Commission File Number: 001-09293, PRE-PAID LEGAL SERVICES, INC.". United States Securities and Exchange Commission. 2006. Retrieved 2007-07-04.

External links