Located in London, Milan and Zurich, we are a team of experts with a proven track record in the fields of corporate intelligence, investigations and regulatory compliance.
We are specialists in complex, often contentious, and seemingly unsolvable matters. We take rigorously researched yet unconventional paths to produce actionable information and advice that allows our clients to make better decisions and achieve successful outcomes.
Our deep knowledge and experience of the regulatory environment and its expectations enables us to provide innovative solutions to manage our clients’ exposure to financial crime.
We apply the same dedication, coupled with the know-how acquired from decades of experience working on some of the most complex matters in our industry, to every project we do. We see opportunity where others see roadblocks.
WHAT WE DO
We inform our clients’ business activities and strategise ways out of fast-changing or contentious situations.
Finding critical information to support our clients' investment decisions, such as strategic intelligence and enhanced due diligence on investment partners and targets.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Enhanced due diligence on Southern European bank
We were engaged by a prominent UK alternative investment fund to support their due diligence in connection with the acquisition of a financial institution in a Southern European country. Our research identified a number of risk areas – including political exposure, potential links to local organised crime and conflict of interest stemming from self-dealing – that informed our client’s negotiation strategy, helped determine the correct price and led to the establishment, post-acquisition, of new management and procedures at the bank.
Market entry assessment in West Africa
C&F was engaged by a large US investment fund to examine the political, geostrategic and economic implications of China’s investments in an extractive industry of a West African country. We provided detailed stakeholder mapping and on-the-ground intelligence of the current state of affairs and its potential impact on the fund’s investment plans.
Strategic intelligence on beleaguered partner
A Hong Kong based investment fund hired C&F to assess the legal standing of its business partner, a politically exposed Chinese HNWI, who was placed under investigation for fraud and money laundering in a Western European country. Our task was to assess if the client’s partner – an adversary of the current Chinese Communist Party leadership – was targeted by the authorities in the Western European country following political pressures by China. Our investigation concluded that the case against the client’s partner was based on solid evidence and that no political consideration played a part in its initiation.
Strategic intelligence to support an infrastructure project
A leading US investment fund engaged us to garner intelligence in the context of the fund’s ongoing negotiations with the local government for the development of a large-scale infrastructure project in a major European city. Our intelligence gathering and analysis enabled us to accurately map out all relevant stakeholders, understand their position vis à vis the project and pinpoint both objective and subjective roadblocks to its progress. Constant, real-time updates on the evolving situation on the ground allowed the client to be better prepared for key milestones as well as to fine-tune their approach to the negotiations and tweak the development plans accordingly.
Politicised expropriation of an East European asset
C&F was engaged by the UK legal counsel of a HNWI whose investment into an extractive asset in Eastern Europe was de facto misappropriated by the local government. In preparation for international arbitration, our team mapped out the stakeholders involved in the situation and analysed underlying dynamics that motivated the local government’s unfair actions. We also identified hidden corrupt practices at a local commercial court, which enabled inappropriate meddling into the judicial processes by the executive. In addition to providing supporting evidence for our findings, we also authored an extensively researched report on the ways to exercise political influence over the judiciary in the said East European country, which was to be used in the context of the arbitration.
Asset search in the context of a non-performing loan
C&F was engaged by a Moscow-based law firm on behalf on a high-profile technology investor who was considering legal action to recover a non-performing loan to a local IT company. Our mandate was to rapidly identify assets owned outside of Russia by the shareholders of the debtor company. Our thorough research and intelligence gathering efforts identified luxury real estate and other significant assets owned by the shareholders, located across eight jurisdictions and two continents. Through detailed document analysis, we also identified a valuable portfolio of financial investments that the debtor company’s shareholders jointly held in Switzerland. Documentary evidence collected throughout our investigation was ultimately used by our client’s legal counsel to negotiate a beneficial debt settlement agreement.
UHNWI family dispute
We informed the legal strategies of UK and US based team of lawyers acting on behalf of a UHNWI involved in a high-stakes inheritance dispute and concerned about the misappropriation of the family’s assets. Through detailed analysis of the client’s own information about the family’s joint asset holding structures, and meticulous work to cross-reference the client’s information with the findings of our independent research, we managed to identify a new offshore trust structure, set up by certain family members without our client’s knowledge or approval. On the back of this finding, the client’s legal team intervened to prevent the transfer of valuable family assets to the new trust structure.
Financial fraud investigation and evidence submission in the High Court
A leading independent oil trading company engaged us to undertake an internal investigation into fraudulent commercial activities conducted by the director of one of its Central Asian subsidiaries. We performed an exhaustive forensic review and analysis of data and records in the client’s possession to determine the extent of the fraud and to provide a strong evidential platform to support legal action. Our findings were included in an affidavit and a subsequent witness statement which were submitted as evidence in the High Court and resulted in a successful worldwide freezing injunction and various ancillary orders against the rogue employee.
Asset manager sabotaged by former employees
We were engaged to investigate the circumstances surrounding the sudden resignation of several key executives of a Northern European asset management firm following the latter’s acquisition by an international investment fund. We established jurisdiction-specific investigative protocols, forensically acquired all relevant data and reviewed thousands of records using advanced analytics software. Working alongside legal counsel, we helped shape and inform the client’s strategy aimed at minimising losses to the business deriving from solicitation of customers, theft of proprietary data and breach of non-compete provisions.
Internal compliance review of a natural resources’ giant
C&F was appointed by a global natural resources group with widespread operations in high-risk jurisdictions to assist its internal review of the company’s third-party agency and intermediary agreements. Our work ensured that the company’s compliance framework and processes were aligned with international regulations and best practices, and that its international third-party relationships adhered to the organisation’s own strict ethical standards.
Multimillion-dollar fraud at a financial institution
The president of a major European financial institution called in C&F to help recover tens of millions of dollars that had been fraudulently misappropriated from his institution prior to his appointment. Our team of experts combed through vast amounts of internal records, liaised with the relevant regulators and engaged with the global banking partners of the institution to assemble proof of the fraud and collect evidence admissible in court.
Complex international fraud at a global oil major
A multinational oil major, engulfed in a criminal investigation, hired C&F to support the company’s efforts to prove itself a victim of a complex international fraud. Our research combined the retrieval of records from dozens of opaque jurisdictions with careful analysis of relevant financial and accounting flows. On the basis of our work, the client’s legal team was able to present a strong defence narrative to the Public Prosecution showing how a group of company executives misused the company’s resources to – together with an obscure middleman – set up a fraudulent business scheme with serious money laundering ramifications and in potential breach of international sanctions on Iran.
Skilled Person review of financial crime systems and controls
C&F conducted a Skilled Person review under Section 166 of the Financial Services and Markets Act for an electronic money institution. Our review was mandated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). We assessed the effectiveness of the overall financial crime framework, including the related systems and controls. We considered both the design and operational effectiveness of the controls. Our report made recommendations for enhancement, which the firm needed to address in order to avoid further regulatory action. Our recommendations were proportionate to the size of firm and its business model. We worked collaboratively with the firm and FCA, maintaining our independence and objectivity throughout.
AML review of an acquisition target
C&F conducted extensive due diligence for a London-based private equity group on a financial institution it was planning to acquire in Italy. Our regional experts were deployed to perform an onsite review of the bank’s exposure to money-laundering risks, which combined quantitative data analysis with an in-depth check of internal controls, processes and staff. Using C&F’s research, the client was more able to assess the risks attached to the investment.
Expert Witness on AML matters
C&F was appointed as an expert witness on anti-money laundering by a plaintiff in an international arbitration relating to a Baltic country’s banking sector. We conducted a comprehensive review of the effectiveness of the relevant country’s AML/CTF regulatory regime, and stress-tested our client’s internal AML/CTF compliance system and controls. Our report formed a key element of the proceedings.
Compliance audit of distributor’s operations following allegations of possible wrongdoing
A world leading producer of power generation equipment engaged C&F to conduct a compliance audit at one of its main distribution partners operating in Pakistan and throughout the Middle East. Our independent assessment and testing of the adequacy of the relevant internal controls and processes, combined with extensive external research, did not identify any material compliance breaches or reputational issues. This gave our client the confidence and comfort to continue its longstanding commercial relationship with the distributor without putting their own integrity at risk.
Rogue business partner
C&F acted on behalf of a UHNW private investor who found himself a victim of deception and systematic fraud by one of his closest business partners. Our thorough multijurisdictional investigative efforts identified the rogue business partner’s involvement in highly complex illicit financial activity conducted via a network of more than 200 opaque offshore vehicles. In preparation for legal recovery, we traced hundreds of millions of pounds of funds misappropriated from our client to various investments and assets located on four continents.
We were hired by a HNWI who felt unjustly treated by his bank, which denied its services to our client due to unspecified compliance risk concerns. Through an independent investigation of his origins of wealth and business activities, we were able to put together a conclusive narrative that explained our client’s career trajectory and provided accompanying documentary evidence to the bank. This led to a reversal of the bank’s previous decision and reacceptance of our client as its customer.
Our client, a large privately-owned extractive business, believed that it was the target of an aggressive “black PR” campaign orchestrated by an unfair competitor, and aimed at causing devastating damage to our client’s business interests. Our team was tasked with assessing these allegations and finding proof of the competitor’s unfair practices. Our research not only managed to confirm our client’s concerns, but also pieced together extensive evidence of the competitor’s aggression. Consequently, our client was able to successfully press charges against the competitor, and effectively expose the false nature of their allegations.