„How do we want to act?“

Business Keeper AG is the provider of a unique electronic whistleblowing system. It helps uncover misconduct and malpractices in organisations and administrations

BKMS® System Graphic: Business Keeper AG

The topic is almost as old as humankind itself. For example, Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote around 2000 years ago: „Every man is worth just so much as the things are worth about which he busies himself.“ But what does this really mean? And do we, as people, still need values at all? Yes, says Kenan Tur, and today perhaps even more than ever. With his company, Business Keeper AG, he has developed a whistleblowing system to combat value infringements and to uncover corrupt practices.

With the aid of the Business Keeper Monitoring System (BKMS® system), employees and suppliers can disclose malpractices and misconduct in companies. The ability to report anonymously protects them from possible reprisals. Companies use the application to prevent financial and reputational damage, and to investigate incidents internally. Sometimes this involves serious white collar crime such as balance sheet falsification, corruption or insider trading.

Authorities such as the Federal Cartel Office or the State Office of Criminal Investigation of Lower Saxony are already successfully using the system. Companies like Deutsche Telekom, Deutsche Bahn, Osram or Merck have recognized the value of the whistleblowing system as well. At present, it is being used in 50 languages worldwide.

A report is submitted by initially filling in a form on a secure online platform. The report is encrypted within the application and sent to the compliance manager of the organisation. To follow up, an anonymous dialogue can be conducted via a secured postbox. „Many whistleblowers surrender their anonymity at some point, when they feel that they can trust the contact person,“ says Kenan Tur. Though now a matter of course in many organisations, this was difficult in the beginning. At first, Kenan Tur’s idea was not well received by companies. Some believe that the system encourages a culture of denunciation. „The first years were really difficult. The companies were very dismissive.“ But then came the scandals at reputable German corporations, on a previously unheard of scale. Suddenly, compliance and business ethics were popular topics, even among the general public. But it is about more for Kenan Tur. He wants to re-establish a lost identification. In the past, many companies were owner-managed. The business owner’s values were also the values of the company – and those of the employees. Today, there are a lot of manager-run companies. The value orientation is usually rather number-based. „For many, only the business transactions count. What counts is profit maximization – at all costs,“ says Kenan Tur, who decided some time ago that he did not want to work in such an environment anymore. After 17 years he left his secure, well-paid job at General Motors and founded Business Keeper AG. „Basically, everything we do revolves around a very simple question: How do we want to act?“

Stefanie Paul
Kluge Köpfe 2014