Every day, many companies are either entering new markets, expanding to other countries, or even undertaking acquisitions or partnerships. Regardless of the result, these activities are considered to be high risk, so there is a good chance that the reputation, revenue, and operations of the company can be affected.
This is the reason why it’s not good to do things blindly. The good news is that you can hire a corporate intelligence investigations attorney to minimize these risks. Whether it’s bespoke investigations or due diligence, you must remember that this is an investment that can assist you manage risk and have a good oversight on complex matters. This article explains what you need to know about corporate intelligence investigations.
The purpose of corporate intelligence
Many corporate intelligence investigation firms offer crisis management and investigative services once commercial ventures become unsuccessful. Today, the challenges of addressing counterfeit goods, protecting supply chains, and intellectual property theft have fallen mostly because of the rise of corporate intelligence investigators.
No wonder, many corporate intelligence firms have now become great one-stop centers for advice on best practices for registering patents, trademarks, and copyrights. Legal counsel and compliance departments prefer using corporate investigators when there are allegations of corruption and bribery surface.
Respected, capable, and experienced investigators usually work well alongside attorneys to uncover events and look for evidence in internal investigations. It’s worth noting that you should always choose a corporate intelligence investigator who has a strong reputation for handling various investigations.
The investigator needs to closely manage the project to make sure that all information-gathering techniques follow strictly the letter of the law. Besides, the investigation must be done professionally to get reliable results.
While the outcomes are rarely perfect and conclusions can rarely be clear, there are still some better alternatives you can manage risk in many challenging markets. Also, you need to be well-prepared to make bold decisions rather than simply incorporating the perspective of an independent partner.
Businesses that can benefit from corporate intelligence
The good news is that all businesses can usually benefit from corporate intelligence, though the financial services industry is perhaps one specific industry that requires either third-party or in-house intelligence investigators. With high-quality corporate intelligence, most banks and financial institutions may reduce their exposure to the legal risks that come from irresponsible business partners.
For example, there is the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act which is a federal law and prohibits hacking and much other unauthorized access to computer records. So it makes it a crime to get information improperly that is in a financial record.
Keep in mind that it’s not only the financial services companies that need corporate intelligence. Any company that decides to expand overseas can also benefit from it. Ideally, if you want to expand your company into unknown markets, then your company can inadvertently be complicit in taking advantage of poor working conditions or even other unethical standards.
Even if the standards are good, you may have delays in the business processes. This is especially true if you are not aware of the economic and political realities of the new market. Corporate intelligence can let you know of some risks and even investigate known allegations surrounding your company.
Above all, companies that deal with sensitive information, such as health insurance companies or law firms, can also benefit from corporate intelligence. Every worker dealing with sensitive information needs to be subjected to character and background check to make sure you can trust them with that information.
Information corporate intelligence can uncover
Perhaps one of the best services done by corporate intelligence firms is the due diligence investigation. This investigation examines an individual or business, so the investigator aims to uncover background information and create a complete character and behavior profile.
Many businesses usually use due diligence to confirm that their senior managers can perform what they claim they can do. After all, it’s always hard to determine whether the job candidates were dishonest or mistaken.
However, it’s crucial for your company to have the key information about each candidate and bring it up during the interview process before you decide to hire a person. In this way, you can avoid scandals that can damage the reputation of your company.
Investigators are also quite good at e-discovery, too. Law firms tend to gather corporate intelligence to help them in the cases, and companies that are doing investigations do as well. The skill of going through electronic documents need someone who knows where and how data is stored. They should also know how to retrieve this data ethically, and how to organize, analyze, and make it viewable.
As explained earlier, you can sometimes use corporate intelligence to avoid scandals and to make sure that you’re hiring the right individuals. To gather intelligence legally and ethically you need to establish formal procedures for intelligence gathering.
Companies that do good corporate intelligence gathering usually adopt formal guidelines that are focused on how they acquire their information. If you use a general approach, there can be evidence of wrongdoing in the long run, and it’s not worth the risk of the information you finally get. Instead, you can create procedures to track the sources of information and to make sure no user agreements or even privacy policies are violated.
This is the reason why it’s important to rely on experts who understand the law. The laws concerning privacy, data management, and corporate conduct can be complex and may vary by industry. The good thing is that you don’t need to know them because you just need to hire an experienced attorney. You can also hire a third-party investigative firm that does investigations that are ethically and legally aboveboard.
Nowadays, many industries are highly competitive, so it’s not a surprise that most businesses tend to take advantage of what they can get. However, it’s not a good idea to turn this advantage into a liability because you can end up damaging your reputation. When gathering corporate evidence, it’s important to make sure that the corporate intelligence firm and the investigations are beyond reproach.