Trust, But Verify – Why Due Diligence is a Must for Every Business

“Trust, but verify” a quote often attributed to former USA President Ronald Reagan is actually an old Russian proverb; and it is wise advice indeed.

In business, we are fortunate to come into contact with all kinds of people from all walks of life – different nationalities, religions, cultures, professions, genders, etc; and astute and honest professionals will admit that gut feeling does play a role in who they choose to do business with. There are people, companies and brands we instinctively believe in and there are those recommended to us by others whose opinions we have faith in, but time teaches us all that, sadly, we are not always right. Mistakes in whom we trust can be extremely costly for a business and here are just a few real life examples I have come across in the past 10 years which illustrate where businesses might get it wrong:

  1. Employment of a registered sex offender or a wanted criminal.
  2. Importing “fake” branded goods.
  3. Selling to a company in a country your bank won’t accept payments from.
  4. Publicly sponsoring an organisation which is actually laundering money.
  5. Contracting overseas Sales Representatives who are bribing your clients to buy from them.

There are a hundred other instances I could give but these clearly demonstrate why we should actually always verify before we decide to trust.

So how do you know who to trust?

By doing your homework, you will feel much more confident in knowing that your employees, clients, suppliers and business associates are reliable, trustworthy and verified – and it need not be overly expensive. Utilizing a recognized Due Diligence provider will certainly help as they will have access to databases which contain information on known, suspected and sanctioned individuals, companies and countries as well as politically exposed persons. They can also check whether the identity of the individual or company is legitimate (ie; if the name, registered address and identity number match a genuine person or company) and verify their employment/education history or other credentials. A great agency will have access to and knowledge of local court records, be able to conduct bankruptcy checks and search debt collection databases as well as tracing the ultimate beneficiary owners of companies across multiple countries and jurisdictions. From conducting source inquiries (to ascertain a person’s local reputation) to searching adverse media records in several languages, your due diligence provider will either help build a strong foundation for your trust to be built upon, or provide evidence as to why you should perhaps consider alternative partners.

In the Middle East and North Africa, Cedar Rose can carry out in-depth Due Diligence investigations that can help you find the answers you need. We can even provide you API access (system to system) to our database of over 3 million MENA companies and the directors and shareholders behind them – so that you can conduct your own investigations and call on our experienced team of multilingual analysts just when you need extra assistance or boots on the ground.

Cedar Rose has been trusted since 1997. See what some of our clients have to say about us here, view our prices and turnaround times for our standard reports here or contact us if you’d like to discuss a more tailored approach.

You can always read more into what we have to offer and the history of Cedar Rose at our newsroom.


*** The sole purpose of the article above is to generate public discussion, it has no intention to constitute legal advice. ***

Written by Christina Massaad, Managing Director

Sourced image: Linkedin