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Due Diligence/Know Your Customer
KCS Group Europe
Due diligence should be considered a mandatory step for any Client looking to create transparency around an individual, company, or opportunity. Knowing precisely who they are dealing with, understanding the history, motivations of all involved, and identifying the potential financial or reputational impact, is vital to business confidence and success – but must be identified ahead of time to be of value.
Due diligence is in essence ‘asking the right questions’. When presented with a brief to find any risks, weaknesses, and threats with little idea of where these may lie, it is important to have the capability to offer a full-spectrum service that produces actionable, timely and relevant reporting in which Clients can have confidence, whether financially or reputationally.
KCS Group’s discreet, non-conventional due diligence (DNCDD) is a unique process based on three avenues: open sources to collate all available corporate records, media references and database entries as a foundation, deployment of experienced human assets into the market in question to obtain further unique intelligence, and use of technical means on the dark web to pursue further specialist lines of enquiry. The merging of all three of these avenues offers a holistic and complete view of the risks, weaknesses, and threats that an entity may pose and, as such, is fundamental to the due diligence process. Equal consideration is given to the how, why, and where of intelligence-gathering, just as much as the what.
Cases of pre-emptive DNCDD have included exposing the political connections of a Central Asian banker, digging through 27 layers of shell companies in Iran to prove a link between the Client’s partner and a sanctioned Revolutionary Guard leader, and confirming the political and criminal associations of a Russian oligarch who seemed too clean to be true. All provided results before any deals had been done, saving the Clients considerable financial outlay and ‘face’, as a result.
The bottom line is that properly-conducted due diligence adds undeniable value to a Client’s understanding, whether this be in enhancing transparency and providing reassurance that a deal can move ahead or helping to avoid the Client falling prey to the worst excesses of the criminal element.