Intelligence: An Intangible Asset

Updated: May 7, 2019


Intelligence is an intangible asset and is comparable to research & development (R&D). Work is undertaken to achieve a desired outcome that will change or improve the way business is conducted.

Approaching an intelligence project requires an expertise in the intelligence gathering disciplines as well as meticulous analytical skills. Specialists in the intelligence industry range from private detectives to international law firms each with their advantages and disadvantages. Inherently, the reliability, results and price can vary substantially; trust becomes a key element of the business.

To highlight the intangible nature of intelligence, we classify the sector into three categories;

  1. Actionable Intelligence: Intelligence projects that investigate a hypothesis often based on allegations or rumours. This includes investigations into potential frauds, suspected embezzlements, alleged monopolies or supposed money laundering.

  2. Direct Intelligence: Intelligence projects directed at a known objective. For example, a global asset trace to recover a debt, intelligence ahead of a negotiation or finding a missing person.

  3. Security Intelligence: Internal mechanisms, procedures and systems that allow a firm to mitigate their exposure to criminal, cyber, reputational, legal and political risks.

The three categories above allow us to outline how intelligence can noticeably improve revenues and avoid substantial losses.

1. MAKE: Generate Sustainable Revenues

Intelligence can make you money: Aligning your commercial objectives with environmental, social or philanthropical causes allows your firm to generate sustainable revenues, improve your public image and capture markets from corrupt or dishonest competitors.

Investigating allegations of corruption, illegal waste disposals, money laundering or other criminal activity about a competitor will remove toxic behaviour from your industry. Simultaneously, implementing a system of best-practices and anti-corruption initiatives will position your firm at the top of a sustainable market.

Commissioning investigations sponsors the fight against one of the world’s leading problems: Corruption.

All investigations must be conducted legally, proportionally and efficiently to ensure an added value to the client, support for the public image and admissibility in court when necessary.

2. RECOVER: Manage Losses & Claim Value

Intelligence will recover your losses: Direct Intelligence is focused on recovering what is rightfully yours. Global Asset Traces are an effective way to claim outstanding amounts against physical assets in different jurisdictions. Asset Traces are an indispensable tool for lenders and can also be valuable for suspected false bankruptcy claims.

Intelligence will improve value: Claiming value is done through informed negotiations before the deal. Negotiation Intelligence is designed to increase your bargaining power, preparing your negotiation and analysing the results. Our Negotiation Intelligence draws from multiple intelligence gathering disciplines as well as key elements from the Harvard Business School’s Negotiation Project. Psycholinguistics plays an important role in understanding the counter-part.

3. SAVE: Mitigating Risk & Avoiding Losses

Intelligence will save you money: Mitigating risks and avoiding losses is central to security intelligence. Protecting one’s business and making informed decisions avoids substantial losses from criminal, cyber, legal, reputational or political exposures. According to a report from Radware, the average cost of a cyberattack now exceeds $1million and is growing[1]. A Refinitiv survey, in 2018, found that 47% of their respondents had confirmed being a victim of a financial crime in the last 12 months[2]. While International Investment estimates financial crimes costs the global economy $2.4 trillion each year[3].

Proactive action in implementing a security system will mitigate the exposure to the above risks. Proactiveness allows for a controlled and reasonable decision to be concluded before any potential attacks. Unfortunately, senior management seldom take the necessary action until they are a victim of a substantial attack. Reaction to an attack is always far more expensive; financially, emotionally and reputationally.

Insurance becomes essential; however, it must be the last resort. A client’s trust will not be rebuilt if your firm has lost their money or data. Mitigation should be the priority to allow your firm to lower the risk of exposure, which in turn should lower the insurance premiums and minimise operational disruptions.

Working efficiently with intelligence creates a reputation of vigour which in turn acts as a future deterrent. Intelligence is an intangible asset.

About ROKH

ROKH is an Intelligence Firm based in Geneva, Switzerland. The firm prides itself in being fully regulated, licenced and certified. Our team of highly qualified and experienced officers have a successful track record that drives our reputation. ROKH’s mission is to provide quality intelligence to allow our clients to claim value, recover monies and mitigate risks.

Feel free to contact us for a quote on intelligence solutions: or visit our website for more information (

David Mackenzie MBA

Founder of ROKH




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