Our History

From the beginning, the Fairfax Group was recognized as the “go to” firm for particularly sensitive and complex investigative, security and crises management problems. One of our first clients, General Electric, retained the Fairfax Group on a trade secret issue that resulted in criminal convictions, a significant civil settlement and front page story in the Wall Street Journal.

From a staff of one, operating in a small basement office in Fairfax, Virginia, the Fairfax Group soon grew to a global presence with 15 domestic and overseas offices. Recruiting from the upper ranks of government and business, the Fairfax Group built a staff of professionals with expertise in virtually every business sector.

By 1995, our Providence, Rhode Island office was managed by the former Governor of Rhode Island. In New York, Stan Lupkin, the former Commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation headed Fairfax operations in New York City. Our personnel came from organizations ranging from KPMG to the CIA, from Scotland Yard to Pfizer.

Governments ranging from India, the Philippines, Chile, Malaysia and Bangladesh have retained the Fairfax Group to work on high level corruption issues, which in some cases led to a change in government.

In 1997, the Fairfax Group merged with Decision Strategies, a firm headquartered in New York City, and led by the former head of the Criminal Division for the United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York. The name of the new company became DSFX. With corporate headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia, DSFX expanded its number of offices and personnel and came to be recognized by industry experts as one of the top three firms in the global risk mitigation business.

On February 14, 2001 DSFX was acquired by one of its clients, SPX, a New York Stock Exchange listed, multibillion dollar, multi-industry company, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, with worldwide operations. Michael Hershman remained as chairman of DSFX within the new corporate structure. Using this new business platform, DSFX grew both organically, and through acquisition, to gain even greater market share.

In late 2006, after having left SPX, Michael Hershman re-established the Fairfax Group, which is once again headquartered in Fairfax County, Virginia, and is now continuing its long history of recognized leadership in risk mitigation.

Today, the Fairfax Group, through its staff and consultants network, has reach in more than 90 countries.

What We Believe

For three decades, clients have trusted the Fairfax Group to help them. Our strong reputation is built on individualized service, creative solutions to complex problems, and a thorough understanding of the needs of business and government. The global nature of today’s business environment, and the ever expanding consequences of wrongdoing, means that successful problem solving must deliver both corrective action in the short term and remediation for long-term, preventive results − and the Fairfax Group is able to deliver both.

Our corporate, governmental and legal clients appreciate not only our problem-solving abilities, but our recognition of their primary objective: to grow their business – or that of their clients – in a way that integrates productivity and good citizenship. Our governmental clients value our ability to bring private-sector know how to help them reach their objectives, discreetly and efficiently.

At the Fairfax Group we believe that the core values for both government and corporate entities are transparency and accountability. In fact, we think these values should apply across the board to businesses, governments and civil society around the world.

Risk management/mitigation begins with understanding the issues and bringing an independent perspective to bear on the problems. Reducing risks, whether they be political, financial or security related, requires an understanding of all the organization’s vulnerabilities, of the local environment(s) where the risks arise, and of the opportunities for turning those risks into business solutions.

Since our inception, the Fairfax Group has promoted compliance and social responsibility as complimentary goals for any organization. And we practice what we teach: our employees are encouraged to promote greater professionalism in our industry, therefore we support organizations like Transparency International, that play key advocacy roles in defining and advancing integrity around the world.

Michael J. Hershman, President & CEO

Michael Hershman is an internationally recognized expert on matters relating to transparency, accountability, governance, litigation and security. The Fairfax Group, founded in 1983, has been retained by governments, corporations, law firms and international financial institutions to assist on matters relating to the conduct of senior-level officials and/or the entities with which they do business.

Mr. Hershman has been called upon repeatedly to respond in times of crisis by governments, public and private companies, law firms and individuals. In high profile controversies, criminal prosecutions and civil litigation, Fairfax has participated in some of the most prominent disputes around the world for the last twenty-eight years. From high profile events, like the Olympics and Super Bowls, to targeted terrorist attacks, Fairfax has responded to provide assistance to individuals and entities facing serious, wide-spread threats against their persons and property. Fairfax has provided litigation support, state-of-the-art digital forensics and security measures, crisis monitoring and response, and advice to corporate boards and executives and governments in the midst of some of the most contentious situations.

In December 2006, for example, Mr. Hershman was appointed as the independent compliance advisor to the board of directors of Siemens AG, a company with more than 400,000 employees. Similarly, The Fairfax Group has assisted governments from India to Chile on ethics matters, and has served as the appointed monitor of companies that have violated laws, rules or regulations.

Mr. Hershman began his career in intelligence and investigations in Europe during the late 1960s as a special agent with U.S. Military Intelligence, specializing in counter-terrorism. After leaving the military, he moved to investigations of government misconduct and financial fraud for the New York State Attorney General’s Office and the Office of the Mayor of New York City.

Later, Mr. Hershman served as a senior staff investigator for the Senate Watergate Committee, and as chief investigator for a joint Presidential and Congressional commission, reviewing state and federal laws on wiretapping and electronic surveillance. After the wiretap commission hearings, Mr. Hershman joined the Federal Election Commission as chief investigator, where he was responsible for audits and investigations of candidates and their campaign committees.

Mr. Hershman then served as deputy staff director for the Subcommittee on International Organizations of the U.S. House of Representatives, which was responsible for legislation and oversight relating to international banks and other U.S. supported international organizations, such as the United Nations.

Immediately prior to founding the Fairfax Group, Mr. Hershman served as deputy auditor general for the Foreign Assistance Program of the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID), where he led investigations and audits of major U.S. funded projects overseas, and was responsible for worldwide security at all foreign AID missions. Mr. Hershman was awarded the Superior Honor Medal for his service at AID.

In 1993, along with Peter Eigen, Mr. Hershman co-founded Transparency International, the largest independent, not-for-profit coalition promoting transparency and accountability in business and in government. For the past 6 years he has served Interpol as a member of the International Group of Experts on Corruption, and for the past 12 years, he has sat on the board of the International Anti-Corruption Conference Committee.

Mr. Hershman is a member of the board of directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, and advises the Chamber on corporate compliance issues. Since 2007, Mr. Hershman has been a member of the board of directors and the executive committee of the Center for International Private Enterprise.

For the past 12 years he has been a member of Interpol’s International Group of Experts on Corruption and now serves as Vice Chairman. He is also on the board of the International Anti-Corruption Conference Committee. He also serves on the Financial Coalition against Child Pornography, a project of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Additionally, he is a member of the Advisory Council of the George Mason University School of Information Technology and Engineering.

Since 2008, he has been named every consecutive year to the Ethisphere Institute’s list of the top 100 most influential people in business ethics worldwide.

Michael Hershman has given hundreds of speeches throughout the world on issues related to transparency and accountability and has provided commentary on ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC and the Fox News Channel as well as countless national radio shows. For five years he was the co-host of the Public Radio Law Show. He has been quoted and published in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the New York Post, the Washington Post, USA Today, the Financial Times, the National Law Journal and other print media.

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