Most people recognise the image of arrows protruding from a circle as the international symbol for chaos. Kenneth Krys, chief executive officer of KRyS Global, hopes that bringing order out of chaos will mean opportunity.
Mr. Krys said his firm, which performs corporate recovery and insolvency services, adopted the logo because clients of its core business — asset recovery — want to be reassured during the liquidation process.
“The first few days [of a liquidation] is absolute chaos,” he said. “You’re trying to find assets; you’re trying to tell creditors that ‘It’s okay, somebody’s in control of things.’ You’ve got people calling all the time going, ‘What happened?’ You’ve got lawyers calling trying to get involved. You’ve got people giving you intelligence. If it’s a big case you’ve got reporters calling. You’ve got regulators. If it’s criminal, you’ve got police. It’s just chaos.”
The firm recently changed its brand from Krys & Associates (BVI) to unify its Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Bahamas and Bermuda offices. Though most of the firm’s business comes from referrals from VI lawyers, he said, most of them have to go back to their clients or their firms’ offices in New York or London where the name Krys and Associates was not well known.
“We tried to look at the question of was there a name going forward that would give us the image of a firm that is global, international, being more than just a local firm,” he said.
Mr. Krys said that when he opened the firm four years ago, the timing turned out to be “absolutely right” because it allowed the company to establish itself before the 2008 recession hit.
Global events brought more work for the firm, but not entirely because the recession drove companies into insolvency. The economy caused investors suffering losses to thoroughly check their investments, as they needed cash flow to pay their bills, he explained. In some notable cases, such as the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme, investors soon realised that what they thought was in their bank accounts wasn’t, Mr. Krys said.
“You get a lot of [fraudulent situations] because there’s a guy milking it dry, or there’ll be instances like Madoff. Madoff didn’t arise from the recession, It’s been broke from day one. But again it was liquidity driven, people needing money and saying, ‘I need to know a little more about this operation,’ asking questions and then not getting answers, or not getting answers they were comfortable with,” the CEO said.
KRyS Global currently is trying to recover money for investors in the Fairfield Sentry funds, which acted as feeder funds channeling money to Mr. Madoff.
To grow the 50-member firm, Mr. Krys said his company will potentially be looking at expanding its services and bringing in house information technology and support services the firm currently outsources.
For example, he said that at 75 cents per page for photocopies and thousands of pages of documents needing to be distributed to various parties, costs for those basic tasks can be pricey when outsourced to law firms.
“On some jobs I have photocopying bills that are $50, $75, $100,000 for photocopying. Per month. That’s insane,” he said.
The quest for growth has led the firm to new office space in Commerce House that could accommodate up to 20 VI employees — up from the current nine — an increase that could happen in the future, Mr. Krys said.
He added that though it takes a firm like his several years to finish winding up a company in some cases, he sees a mixed short-term future for the insolvency business itself.
“Right now, we’re looking at the next two to three years as being rather tough,” he said. “There are still companies out there that are going to need to be winded up that we’ll be able to demonstrate our expertise in. And as businesses prosper there’ll be fraud that happens and we’ll be there for that as well.”