About us

Our mission

Anti-Counterfeiting Strategy Group's (ACSG) sole business focus is to deliver innovative and sustainable brand protection solutions to our clients in a select group of industries and countries. But our efforts go far beyond simple legal maneuvering – whether you are an established brand owner or a start-up, ACSG will be your hands-on partner, embedding with your team and leading the development and implementation of tailored strategies as well as driving all ‘in-the-field’ monitoring and enforcement activities.  The objective is a proactive approach aimed at dramatically reducing the costly and negative impact of counterfeiting and/or negative headlines on your business.

Our people

ACSG brings an extensive and unique skillset of designing and developing business strategies for companies. We have expertise in the subject matter and have an ongoing mandate to establish a 'Brain Trust' of experienced associates and partners in the area of brand protection.

Brad Evans • Managing Director

Founding shareholder and Managing Director of ACSG, Brad is a seasoned veteran with more than 25 years of experience across the business cultures of Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, India, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Thailand, the UK, and the USA.

Brad has held senior roles across continents and industries, beginning with Procter & Gamble (P&G), where his interests in brand protection and strategy methodologies were catalyzed. Following P&G, he then moved into the financial services industry, holding various roles in the Visa Card Products Division and the Electronic Banking Division at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC). After solidifying his big company skill set, Brad sought to explore more entrepreneurial opportunities, first at banking technology solutions supplier Phoenix Interactive Design and then consulting with international strategy execution firm KR Strategy.


  • PhD Candidate - University of Auckland Business School
  • MBA – Ivey Business School/Western University
  • General Management Certificate – Judge Business School/Cambridge
  • BA (Hons) – Wilfrid Laurier University

Winnie Ip • Director

Winnie Ip, founding shareholder and Director, brings 10+ years of experience in operational consulting and program management to ACSG. More specifically, Winnie is the Director of Consulting for Humantech, Inc. an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based company specializing in the deployment of large-scale ergonomics initiatives for Fortune 500 companies across a wide variety of industries. In her role, she manages a team of consulting engineers to deliver complex program management and technical services, including process reviews, high-impact training initiatives, and the establishment of management reporting systems. Also of note, Winnie is fluent in Cantonese and functional in Mandarin.


  • MBA – Ivey Business School/Western University
  • BSc (Hons) – University of Waterloo
  • Certified Professional Ergonomist (CPE)
  • Professional Member of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE)

Matt Strano • Director

Matt Strano, founding shareholder and Director, brings a comprehensive background ranging from TD Bank Financial Group where he held a role of Commercial Analyst to Summit Food Service Distributors where he has progressed to positions of increasing responsibility – currently reporting directly to the President as the company’s General Sales Manager. Most importantly from an ACSG and related client standpoint, Matt has remarkable numerical and analytical skills that, among other things, prove invaluable when building and interpreting models to assess the impact of counterfeiting on client businesses.


  • MBA – Ivey Business School/Western University
  • BA (Hons) – Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Member of the Canadian Association of Foodservice Professionals (CAFP)

Steve Farrer • Advisor

Steve is Managing Director of Corban Consulting (HK) and also an associate of and advisor to ACSG. Over the past 15 years, Steve has held senior roles with a number of U.S. and UK headquartered multi-national corporations. Over this time he has developed an extensive skill set and list of contacts from which ACSG clients will certainly benefit. More specifically, during his time as Vice President with MasterCard International, Steve worked closely with the global and regional legal teams to review and enforce trademark registrations in Asia. Earlier in his career, Steve managed a multi-million dollar contract with a leading global packaged goods company to develop and implement an anti-counterfeiting strategy in China. Also of note, Steve is fluent in Cantonese.

Interestingly, Steve enjoyed a nine year career as an inspector with the Royal Hong Kong Police, in a number of strategic roles, which included leading investigations into complex commercial fraud cases and counterfeit payment instruments. He is also one of the few recipients of the highest gallantry award bestowed in Hong Kong – His Excellency the Governor’s Commendation for Bravery.


  • MBA – Henley Management College
  • BSc (Hons) - The University of Reading
  • Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)
  • Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS)
  • International Institute of Security (IISec)
  • UK Qualified School Teacher

Susheel Gupta • Advisor

Susheel Gupta is currently the Acting Chair of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. Prior to being seconded to the Tribunal, he was a Federal Prosecutor and the Computer Crime Advisor with the Department of Justice.

Susheel also worked closely with the Criminal Law Policy Section, which is responsible for working on the creation of new laws to combat computer crime including the negotiation of international treaties through the G8 and Council of Europe. Some of his other previous projects include working with the U.S. Department of Justice Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section, the FBI and is the Canadian prosecution representative to the National Cybercrime Training Partnership's Computer Crime Expert Group in the United States and a working member of the U.S. Secret Service's New York Electronic Crimes Task Force.

As an advisor to ACSG, Susheel's interest, knowledge, and network of connections in the anti-counterfeiting/piracy and intellectual property rights arena are extensive.


  • LLB - University of Ottawa
  • BA (Hons) - University of Waterloo

Murray Bryant • Advisor

Murray is an associate professor at the Richard Ivey School of Business. He joined the Business School in 1996. Since 1980 he was a member of the Faculty of Management at the University of Toronto, where he taught extensively in degree and non-degree programs. His teaching and research area is accounting, particularly the area of strategic costing for management decision making. He has published articles, monographs and cases in this field, some of which have been international prize winners. He is the recipient of the prestigious OCUFA award, an award for teaching, program innovation, and program leadership for his work as Director of the Executive MBA program from 1992-1996 at the University of Toronto. He previously taught at IMI, Ohio State University, University of Cincinnati, University of Auckland (NZ), University of Otago (NZ), University of Manitoba, Johannes Keppler Universitaet (Austria), and LIMAK Internationale Management Akademie (Austria).


  • BCom, Cantebury
  • MComm, Auckland
  • MA, Ohio State University
  • PhD, Cincinnati
  • Chartered Accountant


In addition to ACSG's own personnel, we use partners to deliver key activities - a brief description of each is provided below.

ACSG works with a preferred Hong Kong headquartered legal firm to handle all trademark review and registration activities. Actions are handled by the partner responsible for the firm's Intellectual Property practice, Information Technology, and e-Commerce practice. A graduate of the University of New South Wales (Australia), he is an active contributor of articles and reports on IP matters. He is also a longstanding member of International Trademark Association (INTA).

Intelligence & Enforcement
ACSG has entered into agreements with two world-class counterfeiting investigation and enforcement specialists. Both firms have the ability to resource activities throughout China and utilize only in-house personnel (work is not sub-contracted). Although this potentially means paying a little more, it is money well spent since the in-house approach significantly reduces the possibility of corruption infecting brand protection efforts. ACSG clients benefit from the experience we bring to anti-counterfeiting efforts via these partners who also work with Adidas, Ralph Lauren, Tiffany, Gucci, and Manchester United FC - just to name a few.

Government Authorities Education/Training
ACSG's best practice research confirms that there are two options when it comes to this critical element of the brand protection strategy - specifically, leveraging QBPC via a general membership and/or using a more hands-on approach and organizing education and training for AIC/TSB and Customs officials. This task is also handled by our Intelligence & Enforcement partners (under ACSG supervision).

Factory Audits
ACSG has identified and partnered with a global compliance solutions provider capable of performing both production number compliance audits as well as factory social compliance/ethical audits for companies who source and/or manufacture goods in China, Taiwan, Korea, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. Their current customer base includes many of the top American, Australian, and British companies.

Executive Security
ACSG has an established connection with the principal of China City Guard (CCG) - see www.cityguard.com.cn/en/ - and organize personal security operatives and related car/driver services provided by CCG as required by senior executives and/or their insurance companies.

We also have connections into a number of anti-counterfeiting technology focused companies, e.g., online rogue website monitoring, security tags, and supply chain protection.

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