How Competitive Intelligence Investigations Prevented Poor Investment

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How Competitive Intelligence and Corporate Investigations Prevented a Lousy Investment

This article explains how Competitive Intelligence and Corporate Investigations prevented a lousy investment and the loss of significant funds. Our investigations showed that 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. Most importantly, it kept its fantastic reputation within family offices. 

You know-how

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, usually north of £100m.

They isolated an excellent opportunity to invest in a Bond managed by a London-based PLC backed by a well-known London fund. The bond was 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, assess it, and provide an unbiased view of the tantalising opportunity.

Our mission

Our mission was to identify, isolate, and analyse the leading key players. We assessed the investment opportunity and the risk to their clients’ 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 on the deep web. Initial sweeps did not indicate any problem with the deal and the people behind it. But we continued and discovered that one of the directors had 22 failed businesses. Not just closed businesses. However, failed businesses owe money and have many annoyed former customers. There was a deliberate attempt to hide one of the fund director’s real name. Revealing this person’s name was a real eye-opener. 

The PLC advisory board had a US citizen with a credible name. 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 knew them, most offered 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 the loss.

 “If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through” 

General Melchett

When we reported the findings, despite providing evidence, our client did not want to believe us. They wanted to continue with the investment. Thankfully, the following day, sense prevailed. This reaction is very common: disbelief 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 the key player’s 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 the loss of significant funds.

This article showed how Competitive Intelligence and Corporate Investigations prevented a lousy investment. Our investigations revealed how an investment opportunity wasn’t what it seemed.

We provided peace of mind, protected credibility, provided impartial, straight-talking feedback, and prevented significant fund loss. Most importantly, it kept its fantastic reputation within family offices. 

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