Jarrod Baker
Office:
8 Shenton Way
#12-02
AXA Tower
068811
City:
Singapore
Country:
Singapore
Tel:
+65 6831 7802

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Investigations

Jarrod Baker is a senior managing director in FTI Consulting’s forensic and litigation consulting practice in Singapore where he conducts investigations on behalf of corporates and their legal counsel into complex fraud, serious misconduct and financial crime. His experience includes working on numerous high-profile matters involving US, UK and Australian regulators. Jarrod is also well versed in helping corporates develop, implement and monitor the effectiveness of their anti-corruption compliance frameworks. He is a chartered accountant and currently serves as non-executive director of the Australian affiliate of Transparency International, the global coalition against corruption.

DESCRIBE YOUR CAREER TO DATE.

I was fortunate at a very early stage in my career to join the Australian forensic team of one of what was then the Big Five firms. When I moved to London, I joined the enforcement division of the UK financial regulator working on what is still, to date, their largest investigation. Following this, I took a role at one of the Big Four. To gain an out-of-the-box experience, I then moved to Switzerland to work in an in-house forensic role for a Fortune 100 company and travelled the globe conducting internal investigations and anti-corruption reviews. I returned to Australia and established the forensic practice in the Perth office of a boutique consulting firm before joining FTI Consulting at the beginning of 2015 to do the same in Singapore.

HOW DOES YOUR INTERNATIONAL, REGULATOR AND IN-HOUSE EXPERIENCE HELP YOU IN YOUR ROLE TODAY?

My in-house experience helps me understand the various internal stakeholders in a corporate associated with an investigation and being practical in my interactions with them and the solutions I provide. From working at a regulator, I have an appreciation of what they are looking for in a corporate’s investigatory response to their concerns. I have also worked on many protracted cross-border investigations that have involved assisting corporates respond to regulators, which at times has included appearing before such regulators. This experience equips me well in developing analysis that will assist the client and their legal counsel in demonstrating to a regulator that they have conducted a defendable internal investigation to determine relevant facts.

WHAT TYPES OF INVESTIGATIONS MATTERS DO YOU FIND YOURSELF MOST INVOLVED WITH AT PRESENT?

As well as working with corporates to investigate fraud or misconduct committed by employees and third parties, I have recently worked on some high-profile matters in response to investigations by regulators. I am increasingly engaged by investors to investigate the financial underperformance or other concerns they have with their investments in foreign jurisdictions due to fraud. I have also been assisting a client with a significant asset tracing matter as part of its investigation to recover stolen funds.

WHAT MAKES SOMEONE A SUCCESSFUL INVESTIGATOR?

Someone with an inquiring mind, professional scepticism, attention to detail, that is tenacious, flexible, ethical, personable and above all, has common sense. While being good with numbers is a must for a forensic accountant, writing skills are also key in order to appropriately convey the facts and findings of an investigation.

FRAUD IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY PREVALENT AMONG INVESTORS’ CONCERNS. WHAT CAN THEY DO TO HELP AVOID BEING CAUGHT OUT?

Asia provides tremendous opportunities for investors and companies wanting to do a deal to expand but they must do their homework to avoid coming unstuck due to fraud. Involving forensic accountants in the due diligence process can be invaluable – we can help with further scrutiny of the numbers in the financial statements, be on the lookout for red flags and where necessary, conduct a deeper dive into such red flags.

HOW HAVE ACTIONS BY US REGULATORS AFFECTED COMPANIES IN YOUR JURISDICTION? HOW DO YOU SEE THE REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT IN ASIA EVOLVING IN THE COMING YEARS?

US regulators are as active as ever in scrutinising corporates from the region and we have seen some recent high-profile enforcement actions, not just FCPA-related, involving companies in China and Singapore. There is also the ongoing fallout from the 1MDB issue in Malaysia. With these actions contributing to pressure from the global business community and NGOs, countries in the region are strengthening their local laws that deal with various financial crime concerns. More resources are also being devoted by regulators enforcing these laws. Corporates operating in the region will need to develop an effective compliance programme to mitigate the risks associated with these laws and appropriately respond when potential issues arise. 

WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE?

Each investigation where my work helps the client achieve a satisfactory outcome, especially when the stakes are high. A couple of investigations are memorable given the victims were innocent investors and it was satisfying to see my work contribute to the perpetrators being brought to justice while those duped were compensated.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE LOOKING TO START A CAREER IN INVESTIGATIONS?

Make sure you want to do something that is not necessarily routine as you do not necessarily know what twists and turns your work will take. You also need patience because at times the work can be tedious and take months of analysis before you make any real progress but when it all comes together, it is immensely rewarding. I also recommend grasping the opportunities the career provides – be open to the travel that comes with the work and the variety of experiences it will provide.

Biographies:

Who's Who Legal Consulting Experts: Experts - Investigations - Forensic Accountants

Jarrod Baker is a senior managing director in FTI Consulting's forensic and litigation consulting practice. He has 20 years of professional experience and provides specialist support to clients operating in the Asia Pacific region who face high stakes litigation, complex investigations and regulatory scrutiny.

Having worked across the globe, Jarrod's experience leading multidisciplinary forensic teams has been gained within the Big Four accounting firms as well as time spent working in the enforcement division of the UK Financial Conduct Authority. He was also the in-house forensic accountant and investigator based in the internal audit department of a Fortune 100 manufacturing corporation.

Jarrod has conducted numerous investigations on behalf of corporates and their legal counsel into complex fraud, serious misconduct and financial crime. He is experienced in asset tracing and has been involved in the preparation of expert reports that have resulted in orders for freezing injunctions.

In addition to his work at the UK financial regulator, Jarrod is experienced working on high-profile investigations involving regulators such as the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the US Department of Justice and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. This includes investigating breaches of anti-corruption legislation such as the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctions violations and financial misstatement. Such work has seen him appear before regulators to present findings.

Jarrod is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and also of the Governance Institute of Australia. He currently serves as non-executive director of the Australian affiliate of Transparency International, the global coalition against corruption.

WWL says: Jarrod Baker is widely respected by peers who consider him “a great specialist who is extremely knowledgeable in investigations”.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Consulting Experts which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Consulting Experts: Experts - Investigations - Asset Recovery Experts

Jarrod Baker is a senior managing director in FTI Consulting's forensic and litigation consulting practice. He has 20 years of professional experience and provides specialist support to clients operating in the Asia Pacific region who face high stakes litigation, complex investigations and regulatory scrutiny.

Having worked across the globe, Jarrod's experience leading multidisciplinary forensic teams has been gained within the Big Four accounting firms as well as time spent working in the enforcement division of the UK Financial Conduct Authority. He was also the in-house forensic accountant and investigator based in the internal audit department of a Fortune 100 manufacturing corporation.

Jarrod has conducted numerous investigations on behalf of corporates and their legal counsel into complex fraud, serious misconduct and financial crime. He is experienced in asset tracing and has been involved in the preparation of expert reports that have resulted in orders for freezing injunctions.

In addition to his work at the UK financial regulator, Jarrod is experienced working on high-profile investigations involving regulators such as the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the US Department of Justice and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. This includes investigating breaches of anti-corruption legislation such as the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctions violations and financial misstatement. Such work has seen him appear before regulators to present findings.

Jarrod is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and also of the Governance Institute of Australia. He currently serves as non-executive director of the Australian affiliate of Transparency International, the global coalition against corruption.

WWL says: Jarrod Baker is a highly-regarded expert in Singapore with vast experience in cross-border fund recovery.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Consulting Experts which can be purchased from our Shop.

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