Due-diligence

Whether you’re considering a new acquisition, strategic partnership or major investment, the only way to protect your organisation is to first conduct a process of thorough due-diligence.

In supporting you, our singular aim is to instil you with the confidence that you can trust the people and information you are dealing with. By helping to identify the risks and threats to which you are potentially exposed, we can help you manage uncertainty and protect your assets and reputation.

Investigative. If you suspect that your organisation may have been the victim of internal fraud, deception or misappropriation, your first response is crucial.

Prior to calling your lawyers and subsequently the police and/or regulatory authorities, it is crucial that you understand how long, how widespread and how entrenched the activity has been.

Once you do ‘go official’ and inform the authorities, you will have lost the ability to control the situation and the flow of information to the public domain and the impact can be extremely damaging.

Employing highly skilled and discrete investigators to conduct surveillance, IT forensics and accounting forensics, we can establish whether: proper procedures have been followed, if electronic information has been tampered with, if records have been deleted or altered and if necessary, we can also analyse mobile phone records. By discretely ascertaining these facts at an early stage, we can help you to contain the fall-out, recover any misappropriated assets and minimise any collateral and reputational damage.

Pre-Transaction. By undertaking risk analysis and due-diligence investigations prior to an acquisitions or investment, we can identify any adverse legal, financial or operational irregularities.

By identifying these risks in advance, you are more likely to avoid the legal and professional fees which can accompany of a poorly informed decision. Additionally, the information we uncover may also enable you to negotiate concessions during the deal negotiation.

In addition to conducting the standard searches of publicly available records on the company and its directors to identify red flags and ensure that their activities comply with all statutory and regulatory guidelines, we pride ourselves in our ability to delve deeper through the acquisition of human source intelligence. More often than not, it is the information which is not in the public domain which is the most informative.

Post-Transaction. We can provide on-going post-transaction research and advice, as well as both formal and informal monitoring services, to ensure that due Regulatory compliance procedures are adhered to and provide assurance to the directors, shareholders and relevant authorities that a constant watching brief is in place.

Where necessary, we also provide robust compliance enforcement services, ensuring that all parties comply fully with the terms of the agreement, thus minimising the potential risk of corrupt practice.

By employing discreet physical and technical surveillance, we are able to identifying risks at an early stage and enable you to act pre-emptively to minimise any loss.

Enhanced Background Checks. When appointing someone to a position of authority within your company, you need to do so fully informed and with absolute confidence.

High profile cases of CV misrepresentation are all too numerous and the aside from the obvious risk that you appoint an unsuitable, or inadequately qualified candidate, you also increase your exposure to potential misconduct such as internal fraud. Perhaps more damagingly, you are also risking your reputation.

What candidates omit to state on a CV is often more revealing than what they offer. People are rarely wiling to declare criminal convictions, business failures, or disqualification from professional bodies. By engaging us to conduct a comprehensive background check, we will uncover misleading or intentionally deceitful resumes. Our investigative teams gather and analyse information both nationally and internationally and ensure you can hire with confidence.

For very senior appointments, we can also offer a highly bespoke service; utilising human source intelligence and surveillance.

EAM. One of our areas of specialism in the provision of advice to independent investment firms, wealth advisors and External Asset Managers (EAMs), regarding the compliance issues associated with on-boarding new clients.

As EAMs are normally authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) pursuant to the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), or the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD), the legislation for on-boarding new clients must be strictly adhered to.

Specifically, EAMs are required to have strict processes and procedures in place with respect to undertaking sufficient due diligence on their clients and/or investors. These procedures include formal know-your-client (KYC) processes, verifying the source of client funds, risk profiling, implementing internal threat-matrixes, adhering to anti-money laundering regulations and suspicious transaction reporting.

Utilising our knowledge and experience of such issues enables us to provide the requisite intelligence to allow EAMs and their partners to make well informed decisions about potential clients and ultimately, assist with the on-boarding procedures.

Market Entry. Prior to entering a new market, it is vital that you first understand the business, operational and political environment.

This is especially true when seeking to enter emerging markets, where the opportunities almost always come hand-in-hand with considerable risk.

Using mutli-lingual specialists to research and assess the risks and opportunities associated with your market, we can analyse the: operational environment, political dynamic and threats to political stability and security, as well as assessing the levels of corruption associated with operating within the country. We can also map the competitive landscape and if required, identify and assess potential partners.

As ever, it is our focus on human intelligence that provides our competitive advantage and our investigators will engage in-country specialists in your market, as well as well-placed individuals within the relevant regulatory, government and business bodies.

Supply Chain. The aim of supply chain due-diligence is to provide you with assurance you that your operations are conducted in accordance with relevant government policies and in harmony with the societies in which you operate.

By considering recommendations contained in documents such as: the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, relevant ILO Conventions and Recommendations and the ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles Concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy, you can assess your potential exposure to adverse operational, legal, financial and reputational risks.

Our supply chain due-diligence focusses on uncovering unethical business practices. Many governments, especially in emerging markets, simply lack the resource to enforce appropriate governance and compliance. Inadvertently, your company may find itself engaging supply chains which trade in conflict minerals, forced labour, or human trafficking.

Our investigative expertise will ensure that you are able to fully quantify and understand the risks you face.

Counter-Intelligence. Business intelligence and counter-intelligence are two sides of the same coin.

Put simply, business intelligence is the information that enables your decision support and provides a strategic advantage over your competitors and counter-intelligence, is the collective efforts designed to protect this information from unauthorised access; notably by competitors. Failure to protect your intelligence can lead to a loss of intellectual property, severely damage your reputation; especially if the loss involves customer data and inevitably, damage your profitability.

The proliferation of cybercrime has made it much harder to secure sensitive information and there is no way to absolutely guarantee being able to do so. Nevertheless, by adopting a series of straightforward physical and electronic defensive policies, to create a ‘defence in depth’, it is possible to limit the loss incurred by a successful attack.

Utilising our highly trained physical penetration testers and cyber experts, we offer comprehensive penetration testing to assess your defences and identify areas of weakness before they can be exploited. We can then work with you to remediate these and subsequently provide an on-going monitoring service to ensure that your defensive measures evolve to counter the changing threat.