I'm a CFE

Jadon Fox, CFE

Head of fraud control services at Taylor Fry

Jadon Fox, CFE, head of fraud control services at Taylor Fry, has analyzed countless transactions using sophisticated technologies and techniques, but he’s most proud of his relentless pursuit of dreams that live outside of the office. “My wife and I’ve always wanted to live overseas,” says Fox. “So, six years ago we sold our dream house, traveled 9,000 miles from home, settled in Australia where we knew no one and I began a job at Commonwealth Bank.” When he’s not fighting fraud at Taylor Fry, Fox spends time with his family, exploring Australia and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region. He’s even taken up a new sport. “Driven by my inner child and encouraged by my children, who also play, I learned how to play Australian football,” says Fox. “I broke two ribs in a game last year but played two more games that same day. My wife was unimpressed, but there’s no quit in this dad, husband and fraud fighter.”

I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and raised just outside the city in a small town called Pewaukee. I was a typical midwestern kid who loved outdoor activities, from sports to climbing trees and riding my bike to the nearest candy store with my friends.

When I was 13 years old I knew I wanted to be an actuary. I loved math and my school guidance counselor, whose husband was an actuary, suggested actuarial science. I didn’t want to robotically work with actuarial tables — I was hungry for a challenge, so I chose property and casualty.

I started college at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, on an academic scholarship playing football. In my second year, I was injured in a car accident, which ended my football hopes. To make a fresh start, I transferred to the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Each day, I’d park my motorcycle on the same footpath where another student coincidentally parked her motorcycle. We’d exchange pleasantries and have now been married for 15 years. We have three children, and I’ve never been more grateful for the accident.

When I was a junior actuary, I started out as an analyst for Royal & SunAlliance (RSA) and was given what were meant to be fairly non-demanding portfolios. About six months in, my calculations of reserve estimates for a portfolio seemed to increase unexpectedly, and I became concerned I’d made some terrible blunder. After exhausting all my checks, I admitted my dilemma to the boss. He led me to a room where I was quizzed by the chief actuary. At that point, I feared I might be sacked. But all they said after looking over my work was, “That seems reasonable.” I left, relieved and mildly confused, but not for long. It turned out I happened upon crucial data that uncovered the extent RSA was exposed by Enron executives’ systematic accounting fraud. RSA insured Enron for directors’ and officers’ cover. RSA knew it was under scrutiny but hadn’t realized the extent of the exposure. I unwittingly helped them connect the dots. It was a dramatic and extremely enticing introduction to fraud. I was hooked!

Anti-fraud work is about trust, so our role as CFEs is about nurturing relationships. It’s critical to have the right attention and care for your client and their situation.

I first heard about the CFE credential when I worked at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. I’ve found many great benefits from obtaining my CFE, but the two that have had the greatest impact are that it instantly establishes credibility as a fraud fighter, and it connects me to a global network of like-minded professionals. Now that I’ve started a new practice at Taylor Fry, it’s critical to be able to show my skills and experience as an anti-fraud professional.

I worked for awhile at EY as its anti-fraud analytics expert. I identified and designed projects to prevent, detect and manage fraud risk for major businesses and government. I was also responsible for business development and oversaw the forensic data analytics function across Australia and New Zealand. I worked across all industries and throughout the Asia-Pacific region supporting a variety of global fraud, corruption and regulatory investigations from a data and technology perspective. It was a great experience with a great global organization.

One day a friend told me about an opportunity to help expand the practice at Taylor Fry. I was enjoying my role as a director at EY, but the job piqued my interest because of my actuarial background and passion for developing people. From day one, I’ve had to wear many hats including that of entrepreneur, marketer, fraud examiner and analyst.

I’m now building a specialty consulting practice from scratch within Taylor Fry, delivering fraud advisory and technical services using sophisticated analytics capabilities and experience of the Taylor Fry actuaries. It’s a specialist practice, with a focus on partnering to manage the risks of fraud, error, waste and abuse, which I refer to as fraud control.

Anti-fraud work is about trust, so our role as CFEs is about nurturing relationships. It’s critical to have the right attention and care for your client and their situation. No two circumstances are the same, and we should never forget the human aspect of the work, especially when we’re stuck in the data.

Emily Primeaux, CFE, is associate editor of Fraud Magazine. Her email address is: eprimeaux@ACFE.com.