Paul Viollis, Viollis Group International

Paul Viollis

Risk and Security

Editors’ Note

For over three decades, Paul Viollis has dedicated his career to the protection of our country, as well as to the shareholder value of the businesses he has navigated to the pinnacle of their respective vertical markets. On his speaking tours, his hands-on expertise in subject areas of behavioral analysis, leadership development, corporate espionage, extortion/stalking, cyber security, family protection and workplace violence allows him to develop unforeseeable insights. From corporate executives and high-profile individuals to private families, his audiences leave with information that can be easily and expeditiously implemented. This, in concert with his position with television and radio, allows him to share needed solutions with the global community.

Company Brief

Viollis Group International (viollis.com) is a global consultancy centered on validating the integrity and eradicating challenging situations expeditiously. Through a cadre of uniquely trained professionals possessing distinctive skills, their ability to deliver generally unavailable information and challenging solutions to a wide range of matters is both proven and reliable. Regardless of the client demographic, their solutions are reflected in the client’s peace of mind. Their blend of human capital, technological intelligence and scientific investigation allows their partners to deliver solutions to private clients, trusted advisors and corporations.

What was your vision in creating Viollis Group International?

Our industry has withered considerably since we began, despite our original projections, leaving our firm positioned where we are today. My vision was truly global. When I was CEO of Risk Control Strategies, the vision there was much more domestic. As the world became more spontaneous with respect to need and the nature of a client’s desire for instant solutions on a global scale became more apparent, the need to be truly global was evident.

When I created Viollis Group, my intent was to reach back out to people I had worked with over my 38-year career from all different walks of life to come join me.

The vision was also to have a greater depth of technology and technological solutions and investigation, and that’s what we’ve built.

How have the service offerings evolved and what is Viollis Group’s sweet spot?

Information has become the cornerstone of the entire firm. One would think it would be cyber, and that is important. However, when we think about the forensic side of the investigation and when it comes to representing either very wealthy people or very large corporations, the nefarious individuals that are going to target that demographic will most likely not be found.

Cyber is more of a breezeway to the overall intelligence gathering we pride ourselves on. This ranges from in-depth investigative due diligence to the type of information that is available through cyber intelligence. These have enabled us to position ourselves with very large corporations, law firms, private equity firms, venture capital firms, hedge funds, private individuals, personal investors and institutional investors that are looking for information that is not readily available.

We dovetail that with advanced information gathering on what is going on in the world. We garner information on people and entities, validate intentions and peel back the onion so we can clearly crystallize who people should and should not be in business with.

Is your target market primarily large global corporations or high net-worth individuals?

The client is typically the ultra-affluent, including their advisors, and the investor, which is oftentimes one and the same. They are not necessarily the traditional investor but someone looking to be involved in transactions that have international flavor.

Structurally, do you need to have offices and people on the ground?

With Viollis Group, I have learned the value of being mobile and global. I created a business model that surrounded me with the same people that I had used in the past, but with a different structure. We have a retainer-based relationship; they are under contract with us and they work under the same parameters they did before, but they are contractors.

As a result, I can now be more creative with projects and it has also made us run more efficiently. Being truly global, with top-tier assets on the ground instantly available with just a phone call, is what makes our model work.

Is it hard to differentiate among the leading firms in this space?

We accomplish this through the quality of our human assets, even though technology is critical today. It’s about our people. I don’t have anyone on staff with less than 22 years of experience. We bring a lot to bear in this respect.

Clients know information will be gathered in an ethical manner and it will also stand the test of time. This has positioned us well with such professionals as partners at leading law firms and general counsels.

Is it more difficult today to manage risk?

Things have changed considerably. Today, we live in a world with risk that, in many cases, we can’t control. The biggest risk that we’re going to face in the U.S. and globally is Islamic radicalism, and ISIS specifically.

They are playing into the vulnerability of our culture, vis-à-vis social media. We are so wrapped up in the alleged Constitutional right to privacy that we are forgetting that we’re allowing terrorist groups to use social media to communicate, plan, recruit, train and deploy terrorist acts. What we see going on around us is the genesis of this. They will continue to use this methodology. Its smart business for them.

You commit much of your time to commentary on television and radio and to writing articles on key issues. How important is it for you to be at the forefront of thought leadership?

It’s the most important thing I’m doing right now. When I’m called upon to impart information when the world is in crisis and to do it with nothing but pure fact and in a manner that will calm the viewer/listener/reader, that comes with tremendous responsibility.

It’s also important because, as an industry, we need more people who are responsible and intelligent and can clearly articulate the facts that can dispel some of the stereotype that has gone along with law enforcement security professionals.

How important is it to stay objective when there is such partisanship in the media today?

There is nothing more critical to my role than that. I don’t believe in staying on either side of the aisle – I broadcast right down the middle. It’s not about parties, but about what is best for America. People in this country get it and they need to be told the truth. They don’t want it to be sugarcoated. I often get feedback that I’m authentic, and I value that greatly.