Global forensics accounting firm expands in Miami

News, Crain's MiamiJune 2016

Insurance

As more companies understand the benefits of forensic accountants, RGL Forensic's business has grown—particularly in Latin America, where companies face turbulent economic markets and increased risks of fraud.

As appeared in Crain's Miami, June 29, 2016.

By: Nicole Martinez

As more companies understand the benefits of forensic accountants, RGL Forensic's business has grown—particularly in Latin America, where companies face turbulent economic markets and increased risks of fraud.

To meet that demand, RGL has announced the opening of a new Miami office, to serve as a hub for Latin American companies doing business in the region. Located at 9130 S. Dadeland Blvd., RGL’s Miami office is the latest addition to the global financial investigations firm, which has operations in the United States, Australia, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

"In the next couple of weeks, we'll be announcing two new offices in Florida," said RGL CEO Angela McPhee. "So we’re really looking at growing in the domestic market, particularly in offering services to major law firms or corporations currently evaluating the benefits of mergers and acquisitions."

RGL has tapped Carlos Rivera to lead the Miami office, where he'll be working in tandem with RGL's on-the-ground office in Santiago. According to Rivera, the timing is especially right for an RGL presence in Miami, a city that's become pivotal for global companies doing business in Latin America.

"About two to four years ago we saw a bit of an exodus in forensic accounting clients moving to countries like Colombia and Brazil," said Rivera. "Now Miami has reasserted itself as one of the main hubs for Latin America, especially considering that many insurers are emerging or acquiring other companies and a lot of them are establishing themselves in Miami in order to serve Latin America."

Before joining RGL, Rivera spent 10 years reviewing, analyzing and measuring claims for international insurance companies and businesses based primarily in Latin America and the Caribbean. He noted that his background in serving Latin American companies gives him valuable experience not just with the region but with typical policies U.S. companies might face.

"When it comes to policy evaluation, there are a lot of similarities between Latin American policies and domestic policies because they’re either written out of the United States or they’re out of London, so a lot of the work is very similar," Rivera said.

Founded in 1997, RGL takes a one-firm approach to serving its clients, which gives them access to the company’s global resources and information database. And while forensic accounting has traditionally been rooted in helping insurers determine the financial ramifications of major claims, the practice has evolved over time.

"Usually, a forensic accountant might be brought in after a disaster has taken place," said MacPhee, whose company has helped clients tackle the ramifications of such events as Hurricane Katrina, a nationwide product recall and a tsunami in Japan. "However, more and more financial institutions are taking a more proactive approach to combat issues like fraud or internal corruption."

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