Not all due diligence is equal. In fact, there are huge differences across the industry. Our research process is unique, and we wanted to show you how we go about getting the answers to your most important business questions.
We take a look under at our due diligence research process, speaking with industry veteran Linda Huang, Senior Vice President, Global Head of Research Operations, about what goes into IntegrityRisk’s work and what makes us different.
You’ve been in the business a long time, Linda. Can you tell us what sets IntegrityRisk’s due diligence research apart?
Quality and responsiveness is integral to everything we do. We provide our clients with insightful analysis, findings presented with proper context, written in a professional manner that aims for conciseness and clarity, while still considering the necessary details and context. Clients rely on us to meet the most aggressive of deadlines for their urgent matters even with a customized scope. We always aim to comprehensively answer our client’s questions and not to pose further questions or leave issues hanging.
The main goal is always to deliver to our clients a product that helps them make the best business decisions for their particular needs.
Can you talk us through the types of due diligence IntegrityRisk offers as a business?
IntegrityRisk offers the full spectrum of customizable due diligence for our clients that ranges from quick-turnaround identification of red flags in the media, internet, and global compliance to deep-dive investigative reporting. Through the development of custom scopes, we work with our clients to understand their ultimate use case, crafting a methodology and scope that best fits their needs.
In addition, we offer clients a specialized capital markets product as well as impact investing due diligence that is focused on ESG issues. Whatever your due diligence needs, we build a plan that aligns with your business goals.
How did you develop your research methodology? What makes it unique?
Our senior executive team has over fifty years of industry experience. We created the due diligence research process that has been replicated by so many others. But we know it’s important to stay involved, that’s why we closely monitor and supervise all research even as the business has grown. We keep the client in mind when researching and writing a report and curate the information found to best suit the customer’s needs.
What makes it unique in the sector is that every report is thoroughly and rigorously researched by a human being who not only identifies the findings, but tells a story from the data through discretion and careful analysis.
How has the process evolved over the years? And how do you make sure it stays updated?
Data never stands still, and there is an influx of new information all the time. We learn about the evolving availability, and limitations, of sources as new databases become available or access to public records changes. We then document the changes to our research process through shared resources and train the team on new strategies to ensure our searches are as comprehensive as possible.
What about the team that drives the research capability?
We have an amazing team based across our Washington DC, New York, and Hong Kong offices. We hire people from all walks of life with specialist language or industry expertise. We encourage them to follow leads and tangents that may provide further insight into our subjects, for better context and understanding of the main findings at hand. Tenacious is an understatement when describing our team of analysts!
Our researchers have inquisitive minds and aren’t happy to just “check a box” and then move onto the next step.
Do you have a specific take on training or is it best to learn on the job?
Training is a two-step process that involves formalized training and learning on the job, retooling an analyst’s “soft skills” to our industry. A variety of research analysts and senior staff conduct training sessions, allowing new hires to hear different perspectives and learn various approaches to research as they start to develop their own research process and writing style. While on-the-job learning will continue throughout every employee’s tenure, this combination of group training and one-on-one feedback and support enables new hires to quickly take on live requests from clients.
How does the team approach global research? What kind of coverage do you offer?
Our experience across the globe is extensive, and we understand the risks specific to major overseas locations. We know the unique realities of certain jurisdictions and can help explain what may seem like a serious matter in a better context — due to political, economic, and cultural factors, for instance — or vice versa.
Our in-house team, which conducts open source, public records research collectively, has more than a dozen languages and, where needed, we supplement other necessary languages via accessing our global, on-the-ground network.
What happens if the desk-based research doesn’t produce answers or if you need some specific industry expertise?
This kind of scenario is quite common, especially in more complex parts of the world such as Russia or Mexico. When necessary, we can call upon our 250-strong network of global consultants to provide additional insight and context regarding subjects in all major regions of the world. Adding rich source information often sheds light on complex issues that would otherwise be difficult to ascertain.
Does tech play a big role in your due diligence process?
Technology plays an important role in due diligence, with innovations such as link analysis and automation taking some of the heavy lifting from the process. In order to maximize technology’s benefits, we believe it is important to also understand its limitations. In the case of the due diligence process, the true benefits are only realized when we combine it with the power of human intelligence. By piecing together a web of raw findings, removing false positives, and reviewing non-English language findings, we can pull together a complete picture to drive insightful decisions.
While technology can never replace the intuition and research abilities of skilled analysts, technology is an integral part of IRI’s research and administrative due diligence process.
What are the three main things clients can expect from IntegrityRisk’s due diligence?
Value, quality, and responsiveness to our clients’ needs are at the heart of everything we do. No matter the circumstances, clients can rely on us to position them ahead of risk.
Contact us today and discover the IntegrityRisk research difference that will power your decision-making.