Kroll Experts

Marcia R. Berss

Associate Managing Director, Investigations and Disputes

North America

Kroll
Kroll Associates, Inc.
311 South Wacker Drive, Suite 5200
Chicago, IL 60606
USA

Marcia Berss is an Associate Managing Director with Kroll’s Investigations and Disputes practice, based in the Chicago office. Formerly a European Bureau Chief and Senior Editor for Forbes Magazine in London, Marcia provides clients with an uncommon perspective on finance-related matters through her extensive and remarkable experience in journalism and finance. She is an expert on public securities filings, corporate finance, and corporate governance issues, and specializes in assisting clients with matters related to investment securities and financial analysis. Her cases include hostile takeover attack or defense, litigation support, due diligence, Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, proxy fights, and the vetting of officers and directors. In her investigations, Marcia takes the viewpoint of the individual stockholder, examining not just the letter of the law, but also the spirit of the law, providing her clients with key intelligence and information for informed decisions, leverage, and negotiation. She also teaches researchers internally about the nuances of these issues.

Marcia was ranked by Media Guide as one of America’s top financial journalists, describing her as “a consummate business reporter.” She began her career as a Corporate Finance Associate with Warburg Paribas Becker, now part of Merrill Lynch, focusing on initial public offerings, as well as fairness opinions, mergers, private placements, and new business proposals. Marcia was the European Bureau Chief and then Senior Editor for Forbes Magazine in London, where she reported and wrote profiles on companies, evaluated corporate and industry prospects and their performances and strategies, and conducted interviews. As Vice President in Mergers and Acquisitions for Dean Witter Reynolds, she valued targets and sales candidates, developed merger and divestiture concepts, analyzed target and client financial positions, and identified market prospects.

Professional Experience

Due Diligence for a Private Equity Fund

A private equity fund was considering investing in a new company. Marcia uncovered non-public information that showed that the new company’s management team, while at a prior publicly traded company, had engaged in insider trading and bought stock prior to disclosing a takeover bid to the public.

Vetting a Public Company Executive

Marcia investigated a potential public company senior executive who was a former CEO for a NYSE company. She identified that the candidate left his previous position under suspicion and poor stock performance.

Hostile Takeover Defense

When a hostile hedge fund attempted to force a company into a sale, Marcia uncovered the fact that the hedge fund had no experience in attacking companies and a poor investment record. Marcia assisted in investigating the hedge fund’s dissident nominee slate and identified anti-shareholder corporate governance practices by slate members, allowing the client to tailor its defense strategy.

Education and Certifications

  • M.B.A., Finance concentration, University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business
  • B.A., dual degree in Political Science and Journalism, American University