Financial risk consultation is all about listening and learning, according to Sharon McCarthy, an associate managing director for Kroll's I deal with many inquiries from colleagues who work in the United States, Britain and the Middle East, providing the scope for work we are doing for them. I also spend a bit of time visiting clients who have requested our services, talking through their situations, suggesting ways we might be able to help out and scoping out papers. I brief my team on what we need to find out for the client and mould the team around various staff in Hong Kong. A lot of resources are available inter-company. For example, if I have a client in Hong Kong with an issue on the mainland or in India, I will co-ordinate with inter-office colleagues. There's also an administration component as I'm in the management area. I deal with human resources, strategic planning, training and marketing, which probably takes up about 30 per cent of my time, while the rest is case and client related. People tend to trust what they can read without being able to clarify it. We once had an investigation into an agricultural business on the Indian subcontinent on behalf of a company in Britain, which had looked it up on the internet and asked us to confirm their background research. We found that a particular individual had chosen a name that was very common and had compiled a resume based on individuals with the same name ... and invented an identity. We did some site visits on the proposed agricultural site and found local records which showed he didn't have any right to agricultural plots in the area and wasn't known there. Every client we come across and every problem that we deal with is different. Even if you're working in an industry segment you've already covered, the problem is unique. The most challenging aspect could be the time constraints we have on cases, particularly for financial services clients on a very tight deadline. We need to be well organised, well resourced and very conscious of requirements. I have a law enforcement background and wanted to spend some time in the private sector. I wanted a job where I could use my skills and experience as a detective and case manager in the Australian Federal Police. I also spent some time with the United Nations and in the diplomatic corps. You pick up a certain skill set working in those environments. I also wanted to learn new skills. I've learned about businesses and how they operate and about marketing, things that you don't deal with a lot in the government sector. This is a profession that you can enter at any level. We have people who enter at junior research level and want to work through the organisation. The regional managing director is a perfect example, as he started as an analyst. Diversity is the real key. No one person knows everything about the companies and industries we're dealing with. We have people from all sorts of backgrounds - accounting, financial, legal, law enforcement, the intelligence services and journalism. This covers a lot of good skills in terms of our investigative capacity and investigative mindset. For people wanting to develop a career in financial risk consultancy, it is necessary you are good at your field and find a company where you can fit in. The ability to think creatively and come up with ways to conduct research is equally important, coupled with a certain level of confidence.