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Pension and Law Enforcement Experts Join Forces to Create New Standard of Investment Scrutiny

Benchmark Financial Services and Forensic Investigative Associates in Strategic Business Alliance

August 03, 2009

NEW YORK, NY – August 3, 2009 – Benchmark Financial Services, led by Edward Siedle, a firm that has pioneered money management investigations on behalf of pensions, and Forensic Investigative Associates (FIA) the global investigations and risk management division of T&M Protection Resources (T&M) have announced a strategic alliance to deliver “enhanced integrity” in third party due diligence, as well as investigative services for the investment community. Benchmark has extensive experience and expertise in the investigation and analysis of performance and operational issues connected with the money management industry, while FIA has wide-ranging experience as an Independent Private Sector Inspector General in the field of compliance monitoring and integrity risk management, and has developed a unique approach to fraud and operational due diligence of alternative investments known as the Investor Protection Program.

“I am excited to be working with some of the most experienced law enforcement professionals in the U.S. and a team of financial executives that has practical experience managing billions of dollars, and dealing with the risk management and operational issues of complex financial instruments and trading operations,” said Edward Siedle, Founder and President of Benchmark and a former SEC attorney. “While hedge fund frauds and pay-to-play pension fund scandals have grabbed the major headlines, behind all of these stories is the common theme of a failure of regulatory and third party due diligence.”

Robert Silbering, President of T&M’s FIA division and the former New York City Special Narcotics Prosecutor stated that, “Pension Funds, Erisa Plans, Endowments, Family Offices and Not-for Profit Organizations, which have relied on investment advisors,  audited financial statements, independent administrators and custodians, have experienced often devastating losses from hedge funds and other alternative investment vehicles. Ted Siedle brings 25 years of experience investigating pension fraud, money management abuses and wrongdoing involving securities and pension investment consultants and we are delighted to be working with him.” 

Both Siedle and Silbering agree that the due diligence process today requires a new approach based on investigative expertise and the thoroughness that is a hallmark of the law enforcement community. By combining former senior law enforcement, regulatory and intelligence officials, highly regarded financial professionals and an experienced money management investigator, the FIA-Benchmark affiliation will bring a unique multidisciplinary approach to the due diligence process – an approach that goes well beyond checklists to develop actionable risk management information.

“Investors and fiduciaries that work with us will demonstrate the highest standard of professional care in the due diligence so critical to safeguarding investor funds,” Siedle pledged.

Key members of the FIA-Benchmark team include:

Edward Siedle, a former SEC Attorney and Director of Compliance at Putnam Investments, who is a recognized authority on money management and pensions

Robert Silbering, the former New York City Special Narcotics Prosecutor who pioneered AML investigative techniques as one of America’s most widely respected law enforcement officers

Thomas Sheer, a former Assistant Director in Charge of the Inspection Division of the FBI, who was also Assistant Director in Charge of the NY Office

Ted Price, a former Deputy Director for Operations at the CIA, who was subsequently Head of Global Security at Lehman Brothers and later Chairman of Lehman India

Joseph Russo, a former senior U.S. Secret Service Officer who led presidential protection details and ran the credit card fraud squad in New York City

Thomas Rossetter, a former Special Assistant U.S. Attorney who served as Assistant General Counsel of Prudential Financial, managing investment and insurance litigation

Mark Foley, a former CEO of a multinational emerging markets bank who has established asset management and brokerage businesses along with a team of senior financial executives coming from leading financial institutions.

About T&M Protection Resources, LLC
T&M Protection Resources, LLC, Founded in 1981, is a global provider of premium security and investigative services to leading corporate, institutional and private clients in the United States and throughout the world.  Its capabilities include Security Consulting Services, Executive Protection, Security Officer Services, Explosive Detection, Technical Security Solutions, Data Forensics and Global Investigations and Risk Management through its Forensic Investigative Associates (FIA) division. Employing over 5,000 security professionals, T&M is a recognized leader in the security industry with headquarters in New York, a network of affiliations with domestic and international security organizations, and T&M’s own security services and technology companies in Israel.
Contact: Robert Silbering, President
Forensic Investigative Associates
(212) 661-7510

About Benchmark Financial Services
Benchmark specializes in the investigation and analysis of pension, securities and money management matters. Founded in 1999, Benchmark has completed numerous investigative assignments for state, county and municipal pension funds, union pension plans, institutional and private investors. Benchmark’s founder and CEO, Edward Siedle, is a former SEC attorney and a nationally recognized authority who has testified before the Senate Banking Committee and other governmental and regulatory bodies. He lectures widely and has appeared on CNBC, Wall Street Week, and Bloomberg News.
Contact: Edward Siedle, President
Benchmark Financial Services
(561) 202-0919