Blackhawk received instructions (via email) from the Head of Risk and Compliance at a major corporation regarding due diligence and open source enquiries on an Australian real estate investment fund run by a Trust. In addition, information was sought concerning three individuals linked to the Trust. Specifically, Blackhawk were asked to include the following in our report:
- A clear and concise executive summary identifying the main findings and conclusions drawn
- A series of short sections on each of the individuals or entities examined
- A longer main body report covering the detail, possibly supported by appendices
Scope of Investigation
The executive summary of the report provides a succinct break down and insights in to the Trust’s structure, management, operations and performance. This included an outline of the Trust’s significant financial undertakings over the years and how the media related to those. We also reported on media articles associated with the Trust in recent times.
Extensive background checks
In regard to the three individual for which additional information was requested, Blackhawk undertook extensive background checks on the individuals. This included discovering media reports, their social media profiles and what light they were held in by those commenting on them in social media and the national and local press. Our research uncovered numerous aspects of the individuals personal lives and particular philanthropic undertakings.
Naturally, as part of our background checks, we are usually able to provide a comprehensive view of an individual’s residential locations, business locations, business associations, directorships, etc., career and educational achievements.
Personal statements obtained
Also, in many cases such as these, Blackhawk is able to uncover aspects of business dealings and financial arrangements that may assist in developing a clearer picture as to how respected or trustworthy the individuals are. In some cases Blackhawk were able to take statements directly from individuals that knew the subjects of interest or had worked with them. This process helps establish a risk profile for those of interest.
Detailed research uncovering financial dealings, disputes and performance
A detailed examination of the fund’s business activities was proved. This investigated and reported on the fund’s legal and financial disputes, and performance, ultimately leading to an orderly wind-up. A full account of the media reports on the Trust and funds was provided, particularly over the period where the fund ran in to difficulties. Investigations also looked at the resulting fall-out of the fund’s collapse had on the reputations of the three specifically identified individuals in the report. Close attention was paid to the reaction of the Australian Securities and Exchange commission (ASIC), who ultimately did not raise any red flags.
Our findings and all research data gathered during our investigations, were detailed and presented in the finished report, amounting to around 50 pages.
We were able to clearly present the table of events and activities, media reports and financial statements, that led to the ultimate winding up of the fund and that the three individuals identified were not complicit in any apparent fraudulent activity, indeed, they held either a positive or neutral rating.