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Consultancy Services Due Diligence

The Advisory Bureau, the consultancy arm of Security Watchdog, was engaged by a client looking to acquire a wealth management business.  The business for sale had a multi-million price tag and the client needed to ensure the integrity and reputational profile of its leaders. Having taken a full brief from the client, our research analysts began due diligence research activities on the vendor’s director and three additional shareholders, using open source information and a comprehensive due diligence tool kit.

Our due diligence team quickly identified that the director of the company had previously sat on the board of a pensions firm that had featured heavily in the media due to its high pressure sales practices which included the now banned practice of cold calling and offering “pension liberation schemes” that had been investigated by the Serious Fraud Office. Additionally, research into one of the shareholders confirmed that the individual - although not registered at Companies House - was actually a co-founder of the business. This person had previously been dismissed from a position as an independent financial advisor due to unauthorised money transfers, which eventually ended in their conviction for theft and forgery, and a jail sentence of 3 years. It was also revealed that this subject had also been featured on the television series “Dispatches” over irregularities with another pensions provider, and that they had professional partnerships with a person who had previously appeared amongst Crimestoppers list of most wanted fraudsters, believed to be connected to a string of fraudulent activities and investment scams.  Due to the nature of this information, it is no surprise that the client immediately removed themselves from any further association with the vendor or its principals, thereby preventing future reputational damage and potential loss to their business.

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