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Misconduct is inevitable. Scandal is not. ​

Build resilience by

Empowering Integrity. ​

#Ethics  #Leadership  #Governance


Ortus works with organizations to help them overcome crises, reinforce the trust of their stakeholders, and transform the way they do business.

What do you want to learn?
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What is Empowering Integrity?

Beyond fines, penalties, and sanctions, ethical failures can lead to incalculable reputation damage for an organization. 


Empowering Integrity is a framework developed for organizations that need to ensure they have the right structures in place to prevent, detect, and respond to misconduct. It also helps foster an ethical culture and center ethics within the organization's strategy.


Empowering Integrity means embedding ethical conduct throughout the fabric of an organization to build resilience in the face of new challenges lying ahead.


Ortus can help you get there. 

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How can Ortus help?

Ortus provides credible, independent advice, support, and training to leaders and Board members who need to empower integrity in their organizations. 

Our expertise comes directly from landmark cases that have changed the way the world thinks about integrity, compliance, sustainability, and governance. In each of these matters, we have helped companies weather the challenge at hand, address systemic issues, and emerge stronger than before.

Here are some of the ways Ortus can help:

  • Independent reviews and investigations: Ortus undertakes credible, independent reviews and investigations of corporate ethical matters to help leaders gather and understand the facts and underlying issues quickly and thoroughly. 

  • Strategic action plans: Bringing together the perspectives of key stakeholders, Ortus facilitates the development of strategic action plans to respond to ethical crises, identify issues, implement necessary safeguards, and lay the groundwork for effective resolution of legal and regulatory proceedings. 

ESG and Ethical Leadership

Climate. Technology. Inequality. Responding to these disruptive global challenges means reimagining how and why we do business.

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ESG, CEOs, and Corporate Scandal

Ortus CEO José Hernandez spoke with Headspring Executive Development about his experiences at the frontlines of corporate scandals and how leaders can mitigate the risks of misconduct and create value by aligning their companies with stronger ESG purpose. 

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How is Ortus different?

Our work complements the work of legal advisors and corporate functions, ensuring that critical red flags and blind spots are not missed. 

Corporate leaders and Board members reach out to Ortus when their organization needs support delivering on critical ethical commitments. 

How is Ortus' approach different?  

Experience & Credibility >

Ortus has supported companies in connection with some of the most significant corporate ethical matters on record, including three of the largest U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) cases to date. In helping organizations uphold their pre- and post-resolution commitments, Ortus has cultivated significant credibility with regulators and enforcement authorities. 


Clarity & Focus >

In fact-finding and remediation efforts, companies that maintain rigid organizational silos and a constellation of external advisors can be hampered by blind spots, poor coordination, and redundancy. Ortus brings together the input and perspectives of all stakeholders to develop effective roadmaps with clear KPIs — keeping efforts on track and facilitating good governance. 


Strategic Perspective >

Instead of following rote checklists or a "one-size-fits-all" methodology, Ortus' work plan always incorporates a strategic analysis of the wider geopolitical, economic, and cultural contexts — which can be decisive in achieving the best outcome.  


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Spotlight: Fixing a Broken Business
Fixing a Broken Business

Corporate crises result from deep systemic failures: poor judgment by leaders, inadequate structures for oversight, weak culture, and ill-devised strategies. 


Broken Business: Seven Steps to Reform Good Companies Gone Bad

In Broken Business, Ortus CEO José Hernandez presents first-hand stories of corporate ethical failures and redemption to illustrate the practical strategies that business leaders can follow to respond to crises, repair their companies, and emerge stronger than before. 

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Key Questions for Boards

Ortus provides credible, independent advice, support, and training to leaders and Board members who need to empower integrity in their organizations. 

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Governance of Anti-Corruption and Responsible Business: A Framework for Boards of Directors 
Ortus' José Hernandez and Mark Laurie authored this director's primer on anti-corruption compliance published by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada). The white paper outlines important questions that corporate directors should ask to understand how their organization manages misconduct risks. 
People, networks, perspectives

Led by José Hernandez, a globally recognized expert on ethics, leadership, and misconduct, Ortus works with an interdisciplinary network of professionals to help clients empower integrity 


Ortus has its origins in FGI Europe, a consulting firm focused on strategy and crisis management founded in 2008 by José Hernandez — a leading global authority on issues of corporate misconduct and ethical leadership — with former FBI director, Louis J. Freeh.


In 2016, José launched Ortus, a unique firm with a mandate to help leaders empower integrity throughout their organizations. Ortus' core team includes experts in strategy, crisis management, compliance, and governance. Ortus also continues to work in seamless cooperation with Freeh's team on complex matters around the world. 

José R. Hernandez  Ph.D., CA, CPA

Chief Executive Officer

Tel +31 624 321 859

  • LinkedIn
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Since our founding, Ortus has taken a collaborative approach to our work, partnering with other firms and independent experts to ensure that each engagement benefits from the right perspectives, knowledge base, and capacity.


Beyond our core team of integrity, strategy, and governance experts, Ortus maintains a global reach through our broad and interdisciplinary network of professionals around the world. 


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Global Law


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José R. Hernandez  

Chief Executive Officer

Tel +31 624 321 859

A Canadian CPA and former partner of a Big Four accounting firm, José has helped his clients navigate once-in-a-lifetime crises related to fraud, corruption, and money laundering across five continents. José’s work ranges from boardroom strategy to implementation of compliance controls to liaison with prosecutors and regulators. 


He has supported companies in complex enforcement actions involving the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and various national authorities. He has also served as deputy on a major FCPA monitorship.


José also works with governments and the accounting profession as a vocal advocate for policies that promote ethical business, protection of whistleblowers, and the fight against dirty money. Since 2016, he has served on the Government of Canada’s Advisory Committee on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing.


José holds Bachelor of Mathematics and Master of Accounting degrees from the University of Waterloo (Canada). He completed a Ph.D. in Economics and Business Administration at VU Amsterdam, where he is guest faculty. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant (Ontario), Certified Public Accountant (Delaware), and Chartered Financial Analyst.


His approach to improving organizational ethics is documented in the book Broken Business: Seven Steps to Reform Good Companies Gone Bad (Wiley 2018).

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