23/07/01 Kroll Risk Consulting
Mr. Norman Pearlstine
Time & Life Building
New YorkNY 10020-1393
Dear Mr. Pearlstine:
I refer to the article by Richard Behar published in Fortune in June of Last Year entitled “Capitalism in a Cold Climate.”
The background to the article is that Kroll Associates introduced Mr. Behar to Messrs. Simon and David Reuben in late 1999. I have personally and professionally known Mr. Behar for a number of years.
At the time of the introduction Kroll Associates was in the process of carrying out a major investigative review of the finances and corporate operations of the Trans-World businesses. The independence, objectivity, and integrity of Kroll Associates were preserved throughout the engagement.
At the outset, following discussion with Mr. Behar, Kroll Associates and the Reubens expected and intended that Fortune would not reach or publish any conclusions until Mr. Behar had the opportunity to read the Kroll Associates’ report. The Kroll Associates report was finalized in December 2000. Kroll Associates contends that Mr. Behar would have written a balanced and accurate article had he had the benefit of Kroll’s final report.
The article contains a suggestion that our investigative report once finalized was unlikely to be positive. Mr. Behar said, “as for Kroll, the agency won’t confirm it, but a positive report seems unlikely.” We do not believe there was any basis on which that statement could have been made particularly as our investigative review was nowhere near completion, we had not stared writing our report and we had not reached any conclusions.
The negative inferences and conclusion concerning the Reubens and their businesses reached or implied by Mr. Behar were not supported by the Kroll Associates’ investigation. In fact, the Kroll Associates’ report found no evidence of illegality or wrong doing on the part of either the Reubens or Trans-World, and concluded that Trans-World was legitimately engaged in the metals trading business. Moreover, Kroll Associates can confirm that it had received the cooperation of Trans-World and the Reubens, without which we could not have obtained our extensive understanding of the Trans-World enterprise.
The Kroll report was prepared under the supervision and with the assistance of several experienced and competent professionals with expertise in the relevant fields. If Mr. Behar had the benefit of our report, he would likely have written a materially different article. Perhaps, unproven assertions would have been given a lesser weight or entirely omitted by Mr. Behar.
I understand that Rubenstein Associates Inc. considers that a meeting with you would be appropriate under the circumstances expressed in the Lovells letter to you. Both Steven Rucker, who has been closely involved with these clients, and I are prepared to attend the proposed meeting.
For further information, please contact
Charles Stewart-Smith on 0207 618 9100