Forensic Risk Alliance, has completed a successful £100 million refinancing with Barings, its second refinancing in twelve months, to support its continued growth and global expansion.
FRA is an award-winning international forensic accounting and data governance consultancy that advises on high-profile corruption and fraud matters, financial crime, complex cross-border disputes, audit defence, environmental regulation, compliance and investigations. FRA was backed by UK private equity house Dunedin in March 2017 and has achieved spectacular growth with revenues increasing threefold between 2016 and 2019 to £88 million.
FRA’s clients span some of the world’s largest companies including Rolls-Royce and Telia as well as leading global law firms. Most recently, it led a global forensic investigation supporting Airbus’ EUR 3.6 billion settlement, the largest ever foreign anti-corruption settlement. FRA provided forensic accounting, data governance technology solutions and compliance support to Airbus in an extremely complex multinational investigation that covered more than a dozen jurisdictions.
The Partner group has grown from 6 to 20 since Dunedin’s investment in March 2017 and the refinancing structure is designed to continue to attract and retain senior talent internationally, as FRA deepens its capabilities and broadens its service offering in a dynamic regulatory and market environment.
The new debt facilities from Barings also gives FRA additional flexibility to pursue opportunities in existing and new markets and strengthen its operations. Recent expansion includes office openings in the Nordics where it worked on the high profile Swedbank anti-money laundering investigation. International growth has also been supported by US office openings in New York, Dallas and Philadelphia. FRA hired 79 new staff last year and over the last two years has more than doubled its headcount since Dunedin’s investment in March 2017 from 113 to 283 in December 2019.
FRA was founded by former bankers Frances McLeod and Toby Duthie and technology specialist Greg Mason in 1999. The Founders have nurtured a culture centred around exceptional client service, international collaboration, diversity and inclusion, which has resulted in a large number of recent awards and recognition from peers, clients and industry leaders.
Mark Ligertwood, Partner of Dunedin who sits on the Board of FRA, commented: “FRA is performing exceptionally well and has worked on some of the most high-profile global anti-corruption cases in the last year, including the Airbus settlement and Swedbank’s anti-money laundering investigation. Dunedin continues to be a supportive partner to the business and we are delighted that Barings was able to deliver an attractive senior debt package on favourable terms to help accelerate its growth ambitions. FRA forecasts continued strong growth given its reputation for excellence against a backdrop of increasing regulatory scrutiny. We expect the business to continue to build on its reputation as a global leader in complex cross-border regulatory investigations.”
Toby Duthie, co-founder of FRA, said: “Over the last three years, with Dunedin’s support, we have built a truly remarkable offering for our clients and have attracted some of the best global talent. From establishing our roots during the holocaust settlements over 20 years’ ago to the recent landmark Airbus settlement, it’s been an incredible journey. The refinancing with Barings enables us to look to the next phase of growth and invest further in our services, people and global footprint, helping to reinforce our position as a market leader.”
Matt Carty, Director for Barings Global Private Finance commented: “FRA has built an excellent reputation over a number of years while delivering strong growth, having worked on a number of the world’s most high-profile regulatory investigations. We are delighted to support the Partners and Dunedin with this refinance and look forward to working with them as they cement FRA’s position as a leader in complex, multi-jurisdictional fraud, bribery and corruption cases globally.”