Who Uses Asset Tracing Services
Who is a typical client needing asset tracing? Large corporates – like the FTSE 100 pack – and other big conglomerates are obvious candidates, with 10% of respondents in a recent Economist survey losing 4% of revenue to increasing fraud. But so too are smaller companies and high net-worth individuals.
No firm is immune to fraud
Cross-border trade, long lines of communication, increasingly complex IT infrastructure, high staff turnover doing away with traditional loyalties, and budgetary pressures forcing through expansion into wider, less regulated overseas markets are all helping increase company and individual vulnerability to criminal activity.
Don’t think, either, that you are immune to fraud and the need to trace hidden assets if you are just a small company. Some 25% of SMEs are affected annually and last year losses for small businesses alone totalled £18.9bn, according to Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and internet crime.
A wide variety of clients equals wide experience
At Blackhawk Intelligence, based in London, we have a varied client base, covering most types of trace. Our clients include government departments in the UK and overseas, tax authorities, banks and major finance houses, creditor bodies, insolvency consultants, insurance companies, property conglomerates, and expanding businesses, particularly those moving into new territory overseas. Add in law and accountancy firms, merger and acquisition consultancies, debt collecting agencies, financial advisers and many other businesses either pre-empting a deal with due diligence work or investigating a crime already committed, and you are including a wide spectrum of businesses.
Common reasons for an asset trace
Break down the reasons for an asset trace and they come under certain common headings. Management conflict of interest and vendor, supplier and procurement fraud are among the fastest growing areas of fraud. Corruption, money laundering, regulatory breach, misappropriation of company funds, intellectual property theft, market collusion, information theft (typically inside jobs) and globalisation are all routes offering rich pickings to the unscrupulous and they need to be constantly and carefully monitored.
A bank or finance house or, say, a divorce lawyer may get wind of assets hidden behind a sham company front, in a secret trust disguised by being placed in the names of nominees, or hidden in obscure overseas jurisdictions. But they may also need a specialist investigation agency’s knowledge and skills to negotiate the many unseen obstacles lurking in another country’s unfamiliar legal system.
A typical client may approach Blackhawk Intelligence because a business transaction has gone wrong, fraud or theft has been committed, or they are owed a significant debt. Proliferation of electronic data and information means you have to be on top of IT advances in data management and know exactly what a skilled fraudster can do to hide information. Again it takes constant effort and time and study – another reason for calling in the asset tracing experts.
At a national level, new, more “democratic” governments, particularly in unstable parts of the world, face tracing untold millions of pounds’ worth of currency and other assets spirited away by previous dictators, and this work can go on for years (Hitler’s cash assets are still being traced!).
Many businesses simply don’t have the resources, knowledge or time to chase up fraudsters themselves. They need a specialist investigations agency to do the digging for them.
Why you should avoid “DIY” asset tracing
Resort to investigating yourself and not using sound evidence-gathering techniques and you can:
- inadvertently tip off the person or people under suspicion and they will cover their tracks – and make any subsequent professional trace doubly difficult and expensive;
- pick the wrong person and ruin a perfectly sound working relationship; and
- scupper your chances of winning your case in court by not presenting your evidence in a legally compliant way – thus losing any hope of regaining your assets.
Three key reasons, then, why you might consider approaching us at Blackhawk Intelligence for a reliable, careful and thorough asset tracing service – backed by our own in-house legal department.
To find out more about how our asset tracing service can help your company or to arrange a confidential consultation, please call Blackhawk Intelligence London on +44 (0)20 8108 9317 or contact us by using the link in the sidebar.