Jules B. Kroll
Jules B. Kroll (born May 18, 1941) invented the modern corporate investigations industry when he founded Kroll, Inc. in 1972. Kroll Inc. was ultimately sold to Marsh & McLennan Companies for $1.9b in 2004. In 2009, Kroll founded two successor firms, Kroll Bond Rating Agency and K2 Intelligence. KBRA is the first independent bond rating agency formed since the credit crisis in 2008. Kroll Bond Rating Agency, a Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization (NRSRO), was established by Jules Kroll to restore trust in credit ratings by establishing new standards for assessing risk and by offering accurate, clear and transparent ratings. K2 Intelligence, run by Kroll's son, Jeremy, continues the family's work in asset recovery, due diligence, litigation support and a broad range of corporate investigations.
Early life and education
Jules Kroll was born in Bayside, Queens. His father ran a printing business that was subject to graft and demands for kickbacks from purchasing agents. Kroll went to college at Cornell University and law school at Georgetown University. At Cornell, he was a member of the Quill and Dagger society.
In 1968, he worked for Robert F. Kennedy's presidential campaign in Queens before becoming an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan. When his father fell ill, Kroll took a leave of absence to run the family business which eventually turned into a three-year odyssey into the bowels of business corruption.
The experience gave Kroll the idea for starting the predecessor firm to Kroll, Inc. where Kroll made agreements with companies that did large quantities of printing. Kroll would keep a percentage of any savings he could find through routing out corruption. A deal with Marvel Comics proved so profitable to both sides that Marvel switched to paying a retainer.
Kroll moved from printing into investigations by hiring former detectives and branching out into banking and warehousing industries. Eventually law firms like Skadden, Arps and investment banks became major clients. In 1982, Drexel Burnham Lambert hired Kroll to perform due diligence on persons and companies Drexel was underwriting. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 also generated new lines of business in auditing and compliance around the world. Kroll Inc. opened offices in Paris, Moscow, São Paulo, Tokyo, Singapore and Manila. The firm provided political risk and executive protection services abroad.
Eventually, Kroll began tracing assets. It first helped Nokia and Motorola find $2.7 billion that had been invested with the Uzan family in Turkey. By 1991, the Krolls had been hired by the government of Kuwait to trace Saddam Hussein's holdings in corporations around the world, including Hachette in France. Kroll also traced the assets of Jean-Claude Duvalier and Ferdinand Marcos.
K2 Intelligence and Kroll Bond Rating Agency
In June 2008, Kroll left Kroll, Inc. He tried to buy Kroll Inc. back from MMC. When that bid failed, he launched in 2010 Kroll Bond Ratings and K2 Global Consulting with his son Jeremy. In 2012, K2 Global became K2 Intelligence
In 2009, Kroll started Kroll Bond Rating Agency with capital from Jeff Keswin, Michael Price, Frederick R. Adler, William L. Mack and James Robinson III; Bessemer Venture Partners RRE Ventures and New Markets Venture Partners also invested $24 million.
Kroll and his son Jeremy also founded K2 Intelligence in 2009. K2 Intelligence has offices in New York, London, Madrid and Bahrain. In 2010, K2 Global Consulting was retained by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany to study the theft of $42.5m from the organization. K2 concluded its work for the Conference shortly thereafter.
- Neumann, Jeanette (August 15, 2012). "Kroll Rates Attention, But Travels Old Path". Wall Street Journal.
- Finnegan, William (October 19, 2009). "The Secret Keeper". The New Yorker.
- Fabrikant, Geraldine (August 28, 2009). "Corporate Sleuth Plans to Start Credit Rating Firm". The New York Times.
- Morrissey, Jane (February 26, 2011). "A Corporate Sleuth Tries the Credit Rating Field". The New York Times.
- "Father & Son Detective Duo". Fortune. December 1, 2010. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
- Barshad, Amos (2009-10-29). "Cavemen Alumnus Nick Kroll on His New Show, The League". Vulture.com. Retrieved 13 June 2012.