Latin America has long presented international investors with a diverse – and frustrating – mix of risk and opportunity. In recent years, the region has attracted headlines for the wrong reasons. Central America has struggled with persistently high levels of crime and militancy, and political upheaval in Venezuela has led to international condemnation, US sanctions and hardship for millions of ordinary citizens. Alongside all of this, Brazil has been enveloped by the region’s largest ever corruption scandal, the reverberations of which have reached the highest echelons of the country’s business and political leadership.
However, the region is turning a corner, and as commodities prices show signs of a modest recovery, so too do many economies across Latin America. Perhaps more significantly, Brazil is leading the region in efforts to introduce a more transparent business climate which promises to significantly boost the country’s investment potential in the medium to long term. These developments have left many hoping that Brazil’s potential as a key BRIC building block may yet be realised.
S-RM has an excellent track record of delivering complex business intelligence and risk consultancy work across the Americas and the Caribbean. The company’s projects in the region are handled by our New York and Rio de Janeiro-based teams, comprising Spanish and Portuguese speakers who specialise in helping clients understand and mitigate operational, regulatory and reputational risk in the region.
The team also maintains a wide network of contacts from whom they draw insights to complement their own in-house analysis. This network is boosted by S-RM’s crisis management consultants, who are based in key locations including Mexico, the Dominican Republic and southern and western US states. The team’s collective expertise enables them to provide high quality, actionable intelligence to clients seeking to make the most of commercial opportunities in Latin America.
Cyber Security, USA
A multinational law firm asked us to perform a review of their cyber security programme to assess their readiness to receive “best-in-class” premiums and coverages for their upcoming cyber insurance policy renewal. We assisted the law firm in understanding their readiness to renew their cyber insurance policy, recommended and prioritised improvements to their cyber security programme, interpreted and made better sense of policy language, and identified opportunities to reduce costs associated with cyber risks. We identified other out-of-scope recommendations, which has led to the firm’s decision to engage in a continued multi-year partnership with S-RM.
Risk Management, Chile and Brazil
We provide ongoing Risk Management services for a global mining company’s local and expatriate personnel in Brazil and Chile. In response to the growing security challenges in Brazil, we assess their residences and advise on hotels for visiting employees. In addition, we equip their employees with security awareness focused on the particular intricacies of Brazil, including defensive and evasive driving training for executives and company drivers.
Risk Management, Colombia
A European-headquartered transport company was concerned about security arrangements surrounding a new operation along the Caribbean coast of Colombia, particularly in relation to the potential unauthorised use of their shipping containers by transnational drug trafficking organisations. We reviewed their on-shore logistics and security set-up, as well as the security of operations within Colombian waters. We assessed local threats and vulnerabilities and made recommendations to correct weaknesses in their local security posture, as well as carrying out vetting and training of local security personnel. In conjunction with this, we carried out detailed research into the reputation of their local partner and their ability to prevent the involvement of organised crime.
Pre-transactional Due Diligence, Brazil
A client in the ports sector was considering acquiring a minority stake in a Brazilian port facility operator. We carried out comprehensive and detailed open source research, which was supplemented by commentary from relevant contacts in Brazil who were familiar with the target company. While the company had a generally positive reputation, we identified limited information in open sources connecting the company with Operation Car Wash, an ongoing wide-ranging investigation led by Brazilian authorities into allegations of bribery and corruption involving public officials and the private sector. As a result of our enquiries with contacts involved in the Car Wash scandal, we were able to make an assessment of the likely impact on the client.