CFE Navigates Cultural, Ethical and Investigative Challenges


Andy Egloff, CFE
Fraud Investigations Manager EMEA, Dow Europe GmbH
Horgen, Switzerland

No day is like another for Andy Egloff, CFE and Fraud Investigations Manager for Dow Europe. As the investigations manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Egloff faces more than just the usual challenges of fraud's improving technology and evolving trends. "I am confronted with many different cultural, ethical and investigative challenges," Egloff said. "It's not just about conducting research, reviewing data and documents, and making investigative decisions. It is also about keeping ethics and compliance committees informed, consulting with legal counsel, involving human resources, communicating with relevant stakeholders and coordinating with outside agencies and authorities."

What made you decide to become a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)?

It was by coincidence that I became a fraud and corruption fighter. I spent the first decade of my career in the financial sector, assisting customers in investing money rather than tracing assets. It was my exposure to insurance fraud cases and experience in risk assessment that triggered my interest in fraud examination. It eventually allowed me to transition into audit and, more specifically, anti-corruption and financial investigation. It is the combination of a challenging, interesting, diverse but also very rewarding work by being able to reduce the detrimental if not devastating effects of fraud and corruption that led me to pursue my career in this profession.

What trends are you currently seeing in fraud investigations? Do you see any trends specific to your region?

Crime has – unfortunately – gone global. In my view, the primary differences in diverse regions are the different cultures and value systems, not so much the modi operandi, although the state of technological development can make a difference.

Fraud and financial crimes are becoming more and more complex – as far as the schemes, the tools, but also the legal challenges (e.g. data protection and privacy laws in different jurisdictions) are concerned. In particular the risk of high-tech crimes is constantly increasing. One of the challenges associated with this trend is that today a large set of skills is needed including specialists with legal, accounting, information technology, fraud examination, law enforcement and other backgrounds to successfully detect but also prevent fraud. This requires a team approach, often across borders.

What were some of the more challenging tasks you've faced as a CFE?

There are many challenges a CFE faces every day. However, in my experience, it is often less the task itself but more the constraints and surrounding circumstances that can be challenging. Managing expectations of stakeholders, management and whistleblowers can be far more challenging than the investigation itself. The other challenges are resources. With appropriate resources – be those financial or human – almost any financial investigation can lead to good results, but resource constraints and cost/benefit considerations can jeopardize investigations. Also time constraints, often in combination with scarce resources, create challenges. Lastly, legal and political challenges in the form of restricting requirements or conflicting interests can hamper investigative progress.

Read Andy's full profile here.