This article explains how Competitive Intelligence and Corporate Investigations prevented a lousy investment. Competitive Intelligence prevented loss of significant funds. Our investigations showed how an investment opportunity wasn’t what it seemed. This case study shows how our services provided our client peace of mind. And stopped a substantial loss of funds. And most importantly, it kept it’s fantastic reputation within family offices.
You know how sometimes an opportunity comes along. And on the face of it, the investment opportunity looks like a winner. You conduct your own due diligence, and everything looks great. You let your trusted contacts know, and they are really keen. Their money is burning a hole in your pocket want to invest.
What was happening
Our client is a very well connected organisation. They help global Family Offices invest money into infrastructure, businesses and funds. Most deals involve at least £20m and usually north of £100m.
They isolated an excellent opportunity to invest in a Bond managed by a London based PLC. A PLC backed by a well known London fund. Verified and approved by Investment Insurers and a firm of city lawyers. They had just launched the Bond on a major and credible stock exchange backing up their research. They asked us to take a look at the key people offering the opportunity. To assess and provide an unbiased view of the tantalising opportunity.
Our mission was to identify, isolate and analyse the leading key players. Assess the investment opportunity and the risk to their client’s money.
This is what we did
We contacted former and current contacts of the target PLC. Then we conducted deep research, including searching for information within the deep web. Initial sweeps did not indicate any problem with the deal and the people behind it. But we continued and found out that one of the directors had 22 failed businesses. Not just closed businesses. But failed businesses owing money and with many annoyed former customers. There was a deliberate attempt to hide one of the fund directors real name. Revealing who this person was a real eye-opener.
The PLC advisory board had a US citizen with a credible name on it. The trouble is he knew nothing about it.
We spoke to CEOs of the companies they claimed to have worked for only to find they had never heard of them. Of those who did know them, most offered nothing but vitriol against them. Also, one of the Director’s wife was banned from holding office.
It is easy to blame lazy due diligence, but these directors went out of their way to hide their history. And many other investors had fallen for their charms. A regulator even investigated this type of investment. And to be fair on a spreadsheet, the opportunity looked fabulous. So Competitive Intelligence prevented loss.
“If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through”
On reporting the findings, despite backed up with evidence, our client did not want to believe us. They wanted to carry on with the investment. Thankfully, the following day sense prevailed. This reaction is very common. Disbelieve and deniability. The rejection of facts because they want to believe in the deal.
And this is what our client got
- The power of Intelligence. It was not the data that isolated the problems. It was the analysis and the looking at the situation impartially—the whole picture.
- The understanding of the key players’ background and their chequered track record
- The realisation that key players work record mainly was made up. Names were changed to hide their real identity
- The people involved in the deal left many former business partners with stories to tell
- The London Law Firm had been completely duped or perhaps worse, knew what was going on
- An understanding that what looks great on a spreadsheet may not be the reality
- Prevented the investment and loss of at least £25m
- Significantly reduced the risk of future investigations by the regulators
- But most importantly, they protected their most valuable asset – their reputation. Our work actually enhanced our client’s credibility. They were seen to have isolated a problem for little cost. A problem a major law firm failed to see.
And we can do the same for you.
Competitive Intelligence prevented loss of significant funds.
This article showed how Competitive Intelligence and Corporate Investigations prevented a lousy investment. Our investigations showed how an investment opportunity wasn’t what it seemed.
We provided peace of mind. Protected credibility, impartial straight-talking feedback and prevented significant loss of funds. And most importantly, it kept its fantastic reputation within family offices.