Almsost a year since becoming chief executive of IFIC Forensics, former Crafword & Co counter-fraud boss Bobby Gracey talks to Post about his time in the hot seat.
Was it difficult to move from adjusting to forensics?
It has not been a difficult transition in terms of the client piece. The most difficult bit for me has been the move out of the counter-fraud community into the forensic community.
At the heart of forensics is the capturing of evidence, which is a common thread when you are running a specialist investigations programme.
In the past 12 months, I have been developing a communications strategy to get IFIC as the supplier of choice in the marketplace. I am delighted with the progress that has been made.
What has been your best achievement in your time at IFIC?
The introduction of the first ever forensic customer service charter. The world of science and the world of insurance do not communicate with each other very well.
That has been missing as, when scientists write reports, they think they are writing for other scientists and not for customers. When you strip the academia away you see we are a service provider and we need to get that mentality across.
Charters are very familiar to loss adjusters, who have service level agreements with insurers. For me, just because we are dealing with doctors, it doesn't mean that we shouldn't be supplying a service. Forensics might be a clever investigation but it is just a process.
What others changes are you hoping to make?
We have introduced a new system called Praxis designed in-house. What we now have is an IT platform which allows us to have daily dashboards on our performance. The next part of the build will include an interface which allows clients to interact with us.
We are also working on an app for loss adjusters and a forensic arson checklist app for investigators.
Before I joined there were no service level agreements and for me that was not good enough. We need to change the forensic world before it is forced to change. We need to set the standard and be the pioneers. However, it is still at least 10 years behind the loss adjusting fraternity.
A partnership was recently formed between IFIC and Global Options? What is the crux of this deal?
Global Options is the largest specialist investigations provider in the US. There is a real alignment between forensics and specialist investigations in the arson area.
Through a chance meeting with its president Frank Pinder in Dresden in June we chatted about the international landscape. A few months later he offered me a position on its international board as a non-executive director.
On 1 January, Global Options will land on UK shores. Its model is to have an all-encompassing suite of investigation services, and we will act as its global forensics company.
IFIC is the sponsor of Scottish third tier side Clyde. What has that been like?
It has been a masterstroke. Due to Rangers being relegated IFIC was on the television in front of six million people when they played each other on Sky, with the shirts and on boards around the stadium.
They will get that subliminal message. Also, my five year-old was a mascot and led the teams out.
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