We are regularly asked by professionals about scandals featured in the media and how that pain and embarrassment could have been avoided. To answer, the Interfor team will go back to one of the basics: due diligence. Investigations on an individual or company with a focus on financial resources, competence and reputation are critical before making business decisions. Building trust is vital for any business relationship, but when conducting business outside the country or in a new industry it pays to take precautions.
Enhanced due diligence may cover the legality of the source of investment funds, the transaction or litigation history of a counterparty, and other factual inquiries that may be required to close a deal. Investigations are particularly important if the parties are foreign, or if a proposed venture will operate in parts of the world where business is not adequately protected by contract law, with success heavily dependent on trust and good faith. As all business is global these days, it’s important to know the parties you’re dealing with across the ocean.
Interfor has specialized in foreign and domestic corporate investigations for more than thirty years, performing enhanced due diligence for clients needing comprehensive background information – typically, for new business relationships and prospective partners in mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, venture capital investments or large loan transactions.
Basic Compliance Investigations
Interfor’s basic compliance investigations provide clients with fundamental background checks on parties involved in impending transactions. The scope of the investigations includes verification of the subject’s identity, civil and criminal background checks and name screening on government terrorist and criminal lists.
In addition, we’ve completed nationwide bankruptcy searches, property searches, and reputation inquires. Interfor also conducts analysis of corporate holdings and affiliations, lien and judgments search, and checking if targets of the companies are under investigation by government regulatory agencies.
While we cannot disclose the full details of our work with clients, an example is due diligence we conducted on a hedge fund manager in Russia who garnered a significant amount of coverage in the press. He committed fraud and embezzled 40 million dollars of investors’ money and is subject to an international search warrant. High profile cases aside, there’s plenty of concern in New York on Wall Street. Closer to home, we investigated a hedge fund manager with a pattern of companies he associated with going bankrupt plus numerous SEC violations. Occurrences such as fraud happen regularly. Given substantial funds in many transactions, precautions are necessary.
Enhanced Compliance Investigations
For persons or companies red flagged as a result of Interfor’s basic compliance investigation or for suspicious activity, we recommend an enhanced compliance investigation. This type of due diligence encompasses basic compliance components but adds two important key elements: an on-the-ground investigation and a financial profile of the person or company.
Interfor has offices throughout the world and has confidential sources in most countries. As part of our enhanced compliance investigation, Interfor’s field investigators conduct more comprehensive reputation inquiries using resources and relationships available only at the local level. This includes verification of physical assets listed as collateral or otherwise, and contact with local law enforcement personnel, government and industry sources for inside information. There is no better way to gather intelligence than by working with trusted locals.
Why use an Investigator?
Complex investigations often require techniques and relationships developed via time and experience, plus field work and face-to-face meetings. These tasks cannot be accomplished using a database or search engine – it takes an expert investigator. Additionally, employees and emerging investigation firms don’t have the capabilities and breadth of experience to satisfy the demands of complicated investigations, particularly overseas due diligence.
Institutions should choose an investigative provider carefully, examining its years in operation, existing client base, and obtaining references. Interfor has been in operation for more than 30 years; its New York headquarters alone has investigators totaling more than 100 years of experience. When you are considering a business transaction and need more information on the parties involved, Interfor’s team is happy to walk you through the process.