Michael Cherkasky, CEO of Kroll Inc.

This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, October 28, 2002, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.

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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Tough times making for very good times oddly enough for my next guest. Kroll Inc. is the world's leading security firm, preparing companies and countries for everything from terrorist threats to financial ones. The company's CEO, Michael Cherkasky, rang today's opening bell at Nasdaq this morning. That's him on the right there at the podium. He joins us now with a view of this scary new world.

Michael, good to see you.


CAVUTO: It is interesting, people now I guess have to be reminded, as if they have to be reminded, that this is very real threat out there and your company helps them with that; right?

CHERKASKY: That is right. It is a scary world, and it is more dangerous. We all venture out more and more. And as the economy becomes more and more global, people need to understand what those threats are and need our help.

CAVUTO: Your stock, if we can show this, is illustrated as global angst, I think it's interesting that when people look at what do you for a living, kind of helping companies and governments remain living, that your business has grown exponentially. What's prompted this concern though with the Jordanian diplomat killed this morning is what countries and/or countries can do to protect their own people, what do they do?

CHERKASKY: Well, first they have assess the risk. You can't go half-cocked. You have to understand not everyone has the same risk. But you need to assess what the risk you have, and then make a thoughtful determination of how you in fact can mitigate that risk.

CAVUTO: How do you mitigate like with the Russian hostage situation over the weekend, how can you mitigate or even plan for something like that?

CHERKASKY: Well, it is obviously difficult to understand exactly what is going to happen but, it is information. First and foremost, the way to mitigate risk is having information about your enemies, and having information inside. Can a company do that? They probably can't. But there can be much better security on entry into stadiums, into buildings, and those are the kind of things that really have to.

CAVUTO: But some of these are random acts of terror, right? The Bali explosions that we're looking at from a couple weeks back, there was no warning ahead of that. It just happened. We knew that there was a good chance that American or European or Western interests would be targeted, but we didn't know the degree which they would be targeted. Do you have your clients then on a full constant state of alert or what?

CHERKASKY: No, you don't. I mean, every time we cross the street there is a risk. You have to keep things in perspective. You know, 250,000 people died last year from car accidents. So we all have to keep it in perspective. And what you have to do is approach this as mitigating a reasonable risk and still live your life.

CAVUTO: Yes, but how do you help companies who have personnel abroad, many of the very volatile regions we just talked about? You can't put them behind armored tanks all the time, what do you?

CHERKASKY: Well, you depend on the individual. First thing you make sure that the people at their workplace, they are safe, making sure that people enter that workplace or approach that workplace, that the building is constructed in a kind of way that in fact protects them.

CAVUTO: Yes. But when it comes to people like Saddam Hussein, businesses avoid Iraq in total. So I mean, what if they start saying, we are retreating from these hot spots period?

CHERKASKY: But we are doing business in Pakistan, and Indonesia. And companies are going continue to do businesses there. They have to understand what the kind of risk and how to in fact harden their sites, how to in fact train their employees to understand that a pattern of activity, going to your car every day at a certain time and then driving off in the same way, they can change those things. There are small things that you can do that makes it, not protected, no one is completely protected, but makes it harder or less likely that you are going to be attacked.

CAVUTO: Michael Cherkasky, thank you very much, the CEO of Kroll, and appreciate your insights.


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