Due Diligence and Compliance
Today, more than ever, business opportunities and business risks go hand in hand. We help financial, investment, legal and compliance officers find and interpret complex information and develop comprehensive due diligence and compliance reports.
Augustus Hall Limited’s concept of investigative due diligence, providing clients with the intelligence they need to make informed decisions about the companies and people with whom they do business.
We are very much aware of the constantly changing business environment and compliance requirements and Augustus Hall Limited is changing with it as we are now uniquely positioned to support clients across the full spectrum of their needs, with due diligence solutions that run from basic screening through the most complex investigative due diligence.
Under our Due Diligence and Compliance service, we have the following:
Screening & Red Flag Identification
Implementing an effective regulatory compliance process, and mitigating economic and reputational risk starts with knowing who you’re doing business with.
Augustus Hall Limited’s Screening and Red Flag Identification service offer a cost-effective way to deal with the breadth of your existing business relationships and new potential investments and partners. This unique service allows our clients to understand the risk profiles of prospective and current business partners, and to identify areas for further investigation.
These solutions meet a range of business needs: from supporting compliance with AML and KYC regulations, to identifying potential risk factors in the early stages of considering new business relationships and investments.
By applying human intelligence to publicly available data, and so much more, etc.; our solutions efficiently meet the requirements of global companies by confirming if any issues identified pertain to the subject in question. As part of a Screening program, our analysts help prioritize risks to determine if the situation would require Enhanced Due Diligence.
Enhanced Due Diligence
When potential risks with business partners are identified, or when business partners are in high-risk jurisdictions or industries, additional insight and analysis is required into the company and/or the principals’ history, reputation, and personal and professional background.
Our Enhanced Due Diligence Solutions (Level I and Level II research) uncover risk-related information that allows our clients to make confident, well-informed business decisions.
The Enhanced Due Diligence solutions are cost-effective and offer rapid turnaround to meet the needs of evaluating potential investments and business partners, and to meet regulatory compliance requirements (AML, KYC, etc.), particularly in higher risk jurisdictions. Our solutions leverage a potent blend of data, technology and human intelligence, enabling us to develop deep insights as quickly as possible.
Augustus Hall Limited’s Enhanced Due Diligence team is highly skilled in research, observation and inquiry, and includes experienced industry professionals. They unearth hidden information and identify patterns to create detailed portraits of subjects business activities and overall reputation.
Investigative Due Diligence
The risks inherent in today’s financial transactions – including mergers and acquisitions, as well as public offerings, joint ventures, private equity, venture capital, and other investments – are greater than ever.
While these kinds of deals often involve major commitments of capital and other resources, they may be based on expected synergies and anticipated profits – and not on verified business relationships, management experience or financial data. Augustus Hall Limited’s Investigative Due Diligence leverages the most comprehensive set of databases, deepest analysis of public records, and access to an elite network of domestic and international sources to enhance the success of a deal by uncovering potential vulnerabilities.
We examine a whole lot here and the end result is a detailed profile of any issue of concern enabling the client to manage the identified risk by restructuring or repricing the deal, or even exiting from the proposed transaction.
What Should I Know About Investigative Due Diligence?
In a nutshell, an investigative due diligence is an investigation into the sources of details of a company that you are interested in.
It differs from a financial due diligence or an audit in that it does more than just check to see that the numbers add up. Investigative due diligence is obviously important if the numbers don’t add up. However, it is just as important if the numbers do add up. Numbers may add up and still not be real. In fact, the same investigation should be done into the veracity of documentation and process whether there is a suspicion of wrongdoing or not. Normal internal operating processes are implicitly designed to operate on an assumption of truth, so they are not reliable for naturally uncovering falsehoods. Corruption can go on for years unnoticed.
Decisions in international business are often made at arms length. Two companies can agree to create a relationship without really knowing each other, only to find out later that many of the assertions that a decision was made on were not true.
Anyone can make any claim in a presentation. Investigative due diligence is aimed at minimizing this risk.
Investigative due diligence is about determining the truthfulness of financial and accounting numbers, assets, debts, operating abilities, HR, regulatory conformance, legal liabilities, and all the intangibles that affect a company’s performance. What makes a number real or not or a fact real or not is the truthfulness of the source of the number or fact. Investigative due diligence is about looking into those sources to see if they exist, are who they say they are, and if they have the qualities you expect.
Investigative due diligence is real due diligence. If you are doing due diligence, you have to go beyond simply checking boxes. You have to go beyond looking for information and look for actual insight. Whether or not you have accomplished anything through the due diligence process is a question of how you feel about your decision making at the end.
You should feel better about making the decision because you now know what you need to know. You should feel more confident that the information you have is real – and true not half-true.
Not every company who provides due diligence services does real due diligence. It can’t be done by database alone. It can’t be done by searching the internet alone. Real due diligence requires knowledge – local knowledge, business knowledge, industry knowledge. Real due diligence requires thoughtful analysis. This is because a fact is not a fact everywhere and anyone can claim anything. How thoughtful is your due diligence service provider?
Intelligence. Insight. Information is power. If you are doing business, or want to do business, in Nigeria and need help, why hesitate to level the playing field?
Third Party & Vendor Screening
In today’s global business environment, leveraging foreign vendors for critical business operations can yield significant opportunities.
It can also introduce new risks, which go beyond simple reputational concerns. Companies are now held responsible for managing those risks, and must oversee and analyze the quality of their commercial relationships to remove the possibility of risks ranging from bribery and money laundering, to product recall and fraud.
Augustus Hall Limited’s Third Party & Vendor Screening solutions facilitate anti-corruption compliance through a systematic approach to collecting partner data, verifying information, scoring key risks, and applying due diligence as appropriate.
Augustus Hall Limited helps clients to “certify” their partners, to collect key corporate information, and a whole lot more etc. Doing so can help you preserve brand integrity and business continuity, while protecting against lawsuits, fines and other undesirable consequences of a regulatory violation.
Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Screening & Outsourcing
Extending business abroad, raising capital from global investors, and serving global customers all offer the opportunity for significant rewards.
However, these potential rewards also bring with them the regulatory burden of understanding the background, identity and reputation of the people and companies involved. Augustus Hall Limited screens customer’s litigation, regulatory and media records, and identify potential Anti-Money Laundering risks. When warranted, we enhance preliminary research to understand the context around these potential Anti-Money Laundering risks and then, if necessary, assist our clients in flagging and reporting them properly on a timely basis.
We offer this Anti-Money Laundering compliance screening solutions on a consultative and outsourced basis. The advantages of outsourcing Anti-Money Laundering compliance to Augustus Hall Limited are many: clients can leverage the experience of our analysts to assess broader portfolios of customers and investors in a shorter amount of time, with much great flexibility to scale based on need, and at a lower cost than assembling and maintaining an in-house team.
Compliance Policy & Process Consulting
Remaining compliant with a burgeoning array of complex regulations is simply a cost of doing business.
However, validating customers identities and sources of livelihood and preventing fraud in most cases isn’t generally a core competency of the firms that are being asked to do so. In this ever-changing and expanding regulatory environment, with new legislation driving companies to conform to new compliance policies, Augustus Hall Limited is focused on these developments and adapting our due diligence and research capabilities to help clients fulfill these new compliance policy responsibilities.
At Augustus Hall Limited, this is one of our core competencies. We work with clients to establish compliance goals, policies and processes, and then help implement.
Compliance Remediation Services
When there is a change in compliance policy, or concern that diligence or processes may not have been performed to the highest standard in the past, clients may require a remediation (or “look-back”) of historical accounts and client relationships to ensure they conform to current AML, KYC and other compliance policies.
In these cases, clients need to engage experts quickly, to both remediate the sometimes years of history, and create auditable records to address regulators’ concerns.
Augustus Hall Limited knows that this is a huge challenge and one that requires expertise and speed to resolve. Augustus Hall Limited can field a scalable team of experienced resources with tools and processes that allow for remediation of a population of accounts in a cost-effective and rapid manner. Because of our compliance and AML research experience, we’re faster and better than any other firm.
Integrated Due Diligence
When investing in emerging or frontier markets, investors must be prepared for a more complex and changeable operating environment.
Investors are increasingly aware that commercial assessments cannot be accurately made without understanding a whole range of political and reputational factors, particularly in high-risk markets.
In these jurisdictions, being able to fully understand the overlaps between commercial, political, reputational and operational issues are not only key to mitigating risk, it can be fundamental to gaining a competitive advantage.
In Augustus Hall Limited’s experience, market entrants must prioritise the discovery of these links in order to protect themselves against risks such as:
- Conflicts of Interest
- Bribery and Corruption
- Political and Regulatory Instability
As a result, conducting due diligence in the emerging markets requires a new approach.
Traditional due diligence in developed markets is often completed in distinct silos, with a strong focus on risk and less emphasis on transaction intelligence. However, today’s investment environment has quickly rendered this approach insufficient. Investors need to understand the potential impact of the increasingly blurry line between business and government interests.
Recognizing where an isolated piece of information could have a wider relevance, and chasing down those connections, is only really possible where the same team or individual is ultimately responsible for delivery of consolidated commercial and reputational intelligence.
By conducting reputational and commercial due diligence enquiries in parallel, Augustus Hall Limited’s Integrated Due Diligence offering is able to identify and analyse these overlaps to provide insightful intelligence.
The investment environment in emerging markets is often characterised by:
- Infancy of Data Sources
- Scarcity of Information in the Public Domain
- Lack of Transparency, Including Complex Corporate Structures and Governance Frameworks
- Volatility and Opacity of the Regulatory Environment
Augustus Hall Limited’s Integrated Due Diligence method addresses these issues by using information in the public domain as a foundation for its research, and supplementing it with human intelligence. The end result is more detailed transaction intelligence for confident decision making in high-risk situations.
Benefits of Augustus Hall Limited’s Integrated Due Diligence approach over traditional methods:
- Emphasis on primary research resulting in insightful transaction intelligence.
- Discreet interviews conducted with multiple sources to glean the facts.
- Ability to verify, contextualise, corroborate or refute information among a wide range of sources.
- Accurate, current and direct insight into key reputational, commercial and operational issues.
- Ability to analyse and stress test the information gathered against a backdrop of publicly available information and regulatory frameworks.