There are many things to consider when investing in an unfamiliar market. Aside from the generic commercial issues, there are certain regions that require extra caution and focus. UK headquartered company Control Risks is a global risk consultancy that specialises in helping organisations to manage political, integrity and security risks in complex or even hostile environments. It also publishes an annual document, called RiskMap, a guide to business risk in the year ahead which forecasts the major challenges and opportunities of doing business in some of the world’s most complex environments.
Established in 1975, Control Risks was created as a spin off from the insurance broker Hogg Robinson. Independent since 1980, the company has expanded its range of services from specialist crisis management to also cover political risk analysis, corporate investigations and security consultancy.
“We aim to support our clients though the full life cycle of a project or transaction, helping them to assess and manage key risks they may face,” says Nick Panes, General Manager at Control Risks Mexico. “We focus on security, political and integrity risks for our clients. Perhaps the most obvious area is the security of property, personnel and business assets, including intellectual property. However, understanding the political climate in an overseas market can be just as important, and allows businesses to prepare for and take advantage of political developments and opportunities. Finally, protecting our clients’ integrity, whether it be from corruption or fraud-related risks, ensures that the reputation they have built does not suffer due to issues that might arise in the course of pursuing a new venture.”
Complete global coverage
Control Risks has global headquarters in London, regional headquarters in Dubai, Los Angeles and Singapore, and is staffed by 2,000 people. Over the years, the company has expanded its network of offices, allowing it to provide on-the-ground support across the world for its domestic and multinational clients alike.
Company: Control Risks
Industry: Security & Business Risk
Target Market: Mexico
UKTI Services: Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS)
Having worked in Latin America since its inception, in 1994, Control Risks decided to establish a permanent presence in Mexico City. Initially, the company mostly worked with multi-national organisations, but has since grown its client base to include local firms, including Mexican companies seeking support for their own overseas investments.
“An on-the-ground presence is essential when offering our clients effective support,” says Nick. “When we see that a market has sufficient potential, we look to establish and maintain a physical presence. This has driven our growth over the years. Mexico has proven to be a key location for us, and is a prime example of the transition from supporting inward investment to facilitating outgoing trade.”
As a UK company with a significant overseas presence, Control Risks maintains a working relationship with many British Embassies around the world. It is a member of the British Chamber of Commerce in Mexico, and met the UKTI security team at embassy events.
Control Risks commissioned an Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS) from UKTI to formally launch RiskMap in the Mexican market. In February 2012, UKTI organised a breakfast presentation at the Ambassador’s residence in Mexico City. UKTI worked with the company to identify which organisations would be interested in attending, sent out invitations and helped schedule speakers for the event. Afterwards, UKTI followed up with the attendees, and passed the positive feedback they got to Control Risks. Given this success, in March 2013 the company arranged a similar presentation with UKTI. There are now plans to make this an annual event.
“Both the range and quality of the services we received from UKTI in Mexico were excellent,” says Nick. “UKTI helped us to promote RiskMap and our brand to influential members of the Mexican business community. As a UK company that has expanded overseas, the local British Embassy is always one of our first points of contact. We look forward to building a long term relationship with the UKTI team in Mexico, and with their support look forward to cementing our RiskMap presentation as an annual fixture in Mexico’s business calendar.”
The UK and Mexico
Mexico is the UK’s second largest trading partner in Latin America and there has never been a better time to consider Mexico as a place to do business. Mexico regularly ranks in the top three emerging markets in which to do business, and is the fourteenth largest economy in the world.
Over the past decade, the country has seen economic growth and stable inflation. With its impressive network of Free Trade Agreements (including North America and the EU) and its strategic location in-between the US and Latin America, Mexico has the potential to act as a springboard into the region as well as being an attractive proposition in its own right.
For further information about business opportunities in Mexico, please go to www.ukti.gov.uk/mexico
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