First Data - Western Union

In 2003, FDC-Western Union faced a major boycott threat and challenge to the proposed acquisition of Concorde, a financial services company who owned the STAR ATM network. Having no community outreach initiative or programs, the Company was, in the terms of Hispanic advocates, “low hanging fruit.”


A protest by Hispanic evangelicals and the original Latino Coalition of Washington DC was scheduled to take place on the steps of the U.S. Dept. of Justice — DOJ having the final say in the proposed acquisition.


Mr. Niehaus was brought in by the First Data Corporation CEO Charles T. Fote to mediate and diffuse the situation.


A negotiation was initiated with Hispanic leaders and the protests were suspended. The key was to establish a collaborative partnership between the Hispanic Community and FDC WU. What resulted was the establishment of an Empowerment Fund. Initiatives were implemented jointly over a 7 year period. These initiatives have been shrouded in an aura of enlightened self interest for both the Community and the Company.


A bond of trust and collaboration was established — a face was put on the Company.


The strategic value of this collaboration has achieved 5 things:

  1. Support and Opportunity for the Company and Community
  2. Corporate Brand Enhancement
  3. Protection against paid activists attacking the Company
  4. Deep rooted legitimate relationships with multinational Community Leaders
  5. An alignment of corporate resources, interfacing with the Hispanic community to achieve corporate objectives
Persian Gulf

The IGS team assisted a publicly traded Energy company whose strategic focus was to expand their operations into three Persian Gulf States. The team set-up travel dates and meetings with most senior individuals related to their business needs. As a result of the meeting a contract was awarded shortly after the conclusion of the trip with one Country and the team has since helped achieve success in one of the other States. The Company now has strong relationships in the region that is helping them to identify additional opportunities for the Company. The IGS team has been asked to help the Company as it identifies other potential markets around the globe in the energy space.



A large U.S. Oil and Gas Company was seeking to expand their Natural gas exploration operations into Hungary and needed assistance with decision makers to address problematic tax issues that hampered development within the Country. IGS team members researched the sensitivities related to the tax and negotiated a policy change that was acceptable politically. The team helped elected officials develop a communications plan as there were entrenched advocacy groups that opposed the change. Within six months the tax issues as well as additional licensing issues were resolved and the client was able to expand exploration operations in the Country. The IGS team continues to monitor the issue and helps develop strategic relationships in the region in coordination with business development plans.