Due Diligence

Who really are the shareholders of that company in Mexico or Colombia which wants to open an account at your bank—are they just those individuals who the firm’s CEO has stipulated they are on your background check form? Or has a key partner who is politically-exposed person been omitted from the list?

Is that entrepreneur from Chile or Venezuela who has proposed a promising joint venture with you being truthful when he says he has a flawless litigation and regulatory record? Or does he, in fact, have a past littered with judgments and regulatory resolutions against him?

Is that purported high-net-worth businesswoman from Peru or Panama being honest with you when she claims to own a string of properties, equity investments and offshore assets? Or is it the case that she only has a small, mortgaged apartment?

When individuals and companies from Latin America approach unsuspecting counter-parties abroad, their credentials may initially appear impeccable and sincere.

But first impressions can be deceptive: hidden interests, undeclared litigation records and downright dishonesty turn out to be the case surprisingly frequently.

Businesses need to carry out thorough due diligence to fully identify the backgrounds and the connections of potential partners, suppliers and representatives before embarking on a contractual liaison. (Photo © Alamy)

Meticulous searches of public records

To mitigate such risks, businesses need to carry out thorough due diligence to fully identify the backgrounds and the connections of potential partners, suppliers and representatives before embarking on an acquisition or sealing a contractual relationship.

We regularly provide clients with meticulous searches of public records—either within a single country or across multiple jurisdictions in Latin America—to allow them to establish the real ownership of an entity, identify the existence and gravity of any litigation interest, or the true magnitude of an individual’s supposed wealth.

Often, to provide clients with an additional layer of security, we enhance what’s obtainable on an individual or a company from public records with non-public intelligence to discover any law enforcement interest or criminal links.