With 100,000's of projects done lobally, we know what we are doing when it comes to our reports.
Our Methodology is tried and tested and risk based. We check, double check and even triple check some items before release. We have a process and the technology to support it through task management and capacity planning.
We won't share our methodology here, but we will cover a few items where we think we have a strong approach that sets us apart form our competitors.
IntegraWatch® | Compliance Screening database & LexisNexis is used in every report to check and double check sanctions.
Utilising a combination of proprietary and external industry leading risk databases ensures we cast a “wide net” when searching for hits on sanctions and watchlists. The risk associated to you of us missing a watchlist/sanction list is immense. We take steps to make sure this never happens.
Not only do we just check one of our sources for watchlists and sanctions lists, but we also do a second layer check using a competitive system. We think it is important that we take these steps to manage your risks in dealing with sanctioned companies.
English and Local language Media Research is always done on every report using extensive and proprietary methods
Focused research by expertly trained and experienced researchers in both English media and in local languages helps uncover risks that might otherwise go unreported. Our analysts and country experts will conduct highly-targeted English & local language media research, using Open Source Intelligence techniques.
We use some of the following techniques:
- Industry-specific key-words
- Country-specific key-words
- Key words relating to compliance, integrity and business risks
- Open Source functional search strings to identify deleted or hidden posts
Use a comprehensive research methodology, including different browsers and search engines:
- Begin with local media sources
- Move out to regional media sources
- End with global sources in English & the local language
- Cross-reference against English & local language findings
- Determine the validity and reliability of the sources to reduce "hearsay" or "fake" information
Once all available data has been reviewed and translated, our analysts will provide an expert summary with the following considerations:
- Impact to the client based on the industry and jurisdiction of the screened entity/ individual
- The client's risk appetite or requirements
- Necessary mitigation/ remediation steps required
Our analysts will also cross-reference findings with other sources such as litigation databases, reputational intelligence, questionnaires, and corporate registry information to determine if there are any bias or censored details, especially in jurisdictions where there is strong government censorship.
Litigation Database Check
Court records can reveal risks that may go unreported in media and compliance databases and are an important step in the research process. We are committed to the most detailed and insightful reporting possible. This is supplemented by court records, manual searches in courthouses and other proprietary databases.
- Translate, where applicable, local language filings
- Ascertain the number of legal cases involving the subject entity and/ or key principals
- Draft an Overview of the legal case, noting the role of the subject entity/ key principal
- The jurisdiction(s), Plaintiff(s), Defendant(s) and Status/judgement
Most importantly, and different to our competitors, we are also focused on what does the litigation mean to you. How can it relate to you and the business you are doing with this third party.
One of the most valuable sources of insight into the business reputation of companies and individuals is interviews with persons in the local business environment in a position to have an informed opinion of the subject(s). These persons may be local journalists, competitors, former employees, clients, government officials who regulate the subject company industry, and others.
We focus on:
- Overall business reputation in the market
- Allegations/ suggestions of bribery or corruption
- Allegations/ suggestions of anti-competitive behaviour
- Allegations/ suggestions of bid-rigging/ tender impropriety
- Allegations/ suggestions of political connections (including relatives)
- Discrepancies in the information obtained from other sources (such as corporate registry information)
- Identify the relevant in-house expert on: the country; the legal system; the industry; the local language
- Use on-the-ground sources to research and identify potential sources
- Obtain correct and relevant contact details of the sources
- Conduct the enquiries in the local language where necessary
- Collate, translate, analyse, and summarise the conversations into a succinct and relevant format.
Collecting compliance questionnaires from third parties is the easy first step in the compliance process. Thoroughly reviewing and analysing the questionnaire responses is the important next step needed to make the questionnaire process a meaningful compliance exercise. Our Professional Services staff review the questionnaire in two phases:
- First review - analysis and identification of possible integrity or business risks in the information contained
- Second review - during our research of the subject entity, and related key principals, we will try to determine if there are discrepancies contained within the questionnaire and the information we uncover during research
We will also reach out to the client immediately, should there be key information missing or if there are serious discrepancies / potential issues during the first review. Our analysts will provide a brief summary of any discrepancies or issues for easy review by the client.
Compliance Document Review & Compliance Interviews
A review of compliance policies and documentation and interviews of the subject company staff will provide a clear picture of the state of compliance within the target company. This can help assess the “tone from the top” so critical to effective compliance practices.
Our analysts will review the client-provided compliance documentation and measure these against global standards such as the ISO 370001, and to determine:
- Effectiveness of the documentation for the company's size, industry, and jurisdictional operations. For example, does the documentation cover the key risks faced by the company?
- Relevance of the documentation for the company's size, industry, and jurisdictional operations. For example, does the documentation cover unnecessary risks which the company will not face?
- Effective Communication. For example, is the messaging consistent and easy to understand for every employee?
- Are country and industry regulatory requirements being met?
- Clear instructions on the correct and ethical manner of one's conduct
- Clear instructions on how to escalate any issues, including whistleblowing
- Documentation which outlines the process the client should take for improvement
Providing our summary, risk ratings and comparisons
The senior staff members of the Professional Services team will review all related documentation and research findings, before providing a summary of:
- Any items which do not meet expected global compliance standards
- Any items which do not meet expected regional and jurisdictional regulatory requirements
- Whether or not the documentation helps to encourage a culture of compliance
- Whether or not the documentation are simply paper policies.
- Any items which do not meet the client's expectations.
A senior member of the Professional Services team, selected with regard to their country and industry expertise, as well as local language capability, will prepare a list of questions and conduct the interview to determine:
- A suitable range of employees, from junior staff to senior staff members, if a list of interviewees were not provided by the client
- Their overall knowledge of compliance in the workplace, the industry, and the relevant jurisdictions as per the employee's role in the company
- Their knowledge of the company's compliance program/ framework/ policies
- Their understanding and interpretation of the company's compliance policies
- Suggestions of integrity impropriety.