Physical due diligence, verification & compliance services

Of course you need to be personally involved in any physical due diligence, but you can’t be everywhere at once, whether due to time, security, cost, or logistics concerns. You have your analysts, accountants, lawyers and auditors for financial due diligence and to make sure the paperwork is all in order. But when investing in, purchasing or funding any significant asset, be it a business, building, agricultural property, mine, power plant, nonprofit initiative, or any other valuable undertaking, there is no substitute for eyes and ears on the ground to verify what the documents state.
Your accountants & attorneys handle the financial and legal due diligence. We work with them to conduct the on-site evaluation and physical due diligence to protect your investment.
Our unique on the ground experience, operational acumen & in-house domain expertise in fields like securities, insurance underwriting, real estate valuation / advisory, and research mean you can trust us to gather critical business intelligence—verifying supplier compliance (legal, operational, ethical, sustainability), physical asset inspection & reporting—both pre-investment and on an ongoing basis during operation for compliance and governance.
  • Institutional Investors
  • Asset Managers
  • Investment Banks
  • Private Equity Firms
  • Insurance Underwriters
  • Acquiring Firms (M&A)
  • Law Firms (Acquisitions, Valuation, Litigation Support, M&A, Asset Recovery)
  • Retailers & CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods)
  • Auditors & Accounting Firms
  • Venture Capital Firms
  • High Net Worth Individual Investors & Family Offices
  • Non-Governmental Organizations
  • Government Foreign Aid Donors
  • Government Taxation & Revenue Entities
  • Ethical Organizations (Fair Trade, Sustainable)
  • Real Estate Investment Trusts
  • Corporate Buyers of Outsourced Services
  • Is the mine actually operating?
  • Is anything actually in the warehouse (if so, what)?
  • How are the relations and perceptions in the surrounding community?
  • Does the payroll actually match the employees showing up at the office?
  • Are the families actually receiving the relief aid we sponsored and sent?
  • Are our Fair-Trade agricultural workers actually being treated fairly?
  • Is our site construction actually progressing as reported?
  • The forest resource is supposed to be 63% hardwood. Is it?
  • They describe the hotel investment as 4-star business class. Is it really?
  • We would like to do business with this foreign supplier; how can we monitor compliance?
  • They say the shopping mall has great foot traffic. How many people are really visiting?
  • Why are they really putting the operation up for sale?
  • Corporate security policy doesn’t allow me to travel there, but we still need to inspect the asset.
  • Is my investment in compliance with all covenants?
  • Our investment is holding a site-visit / investor event. I can’t attend but wish I had a proxy.
  • We want to evaluate a location, but don’t want it public that we are considering it.
  • What do their local suppliers say about them?

When required, we work with your experts, or bring in our own experts to assist with inspection for specialized areas such as food safety, engineering, geology, HS&E (Health, Safety & Environmental), and local sources.

We are not private investigators or detectives. We don’t spy on people or follow them around, and we do not investigate individuals. We work ethically and focus on the investment. We do work discretely and confidentially, with a fiduciary duty to you, the client.

Where we work

Our experience, and our work is global. Our services are especially attractive in developing and frontier economies, though many assignments are in global capitals. Much of our work is urban & routine, however we are well equipped to inspect remote, undeveloped, and rural assets.

When we work

Time kills deals. We know that often when an opportunity presents itself, time can be of the essence. We are able to deploy on short notice and report back quickly and thoroughly, so that we never become a bottleneck to an investment opportunity. We also offer arrangements to conduct periodic audits, inspections and reviews when necessary, such as during construction on a capital project, or for Fair-Trade compliance in the agricultural supply chain.

 

 

Protect your capital, protect your reputation, protect your investment, be true to your ethics

Unido Digital's physical due diligence, verification & compliance services provide you with the business intelligence to protect your investment.
Who needs physical due diligence?
Risk is real. We help you manage it.
  • Institutional Investors
  • Asset Managers
  • Investment Banks
  • Private Equity Firms
  • Insurance Underwriters
  • Acquiring Firms (M&A)
  • Law Firms (Acquisitions, Valuation, Litigation Support, M&A, Asset Recovery)
  • Retailers & CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods)
  • Auditors & Accounting Firms
  • Venture Capital Firms
  • HNW Investors & Family Offices
  • Non-Governmental Organizations
  • Government Foreign Aid Donors
  • Government Taxation & Revenue Entities
  • Ethical Organizations (Fair Trade, Sustainable)
  • Real Estate Investment Trusts
  • Corporate Buyers of Outsourced Services

 

Don't wait. Time kills deals
We move quickly so your deal stays on track. Your time is precious. Partner with us to maximize it.

We know that often when an opportunity presents itself, time can be of the essence. We are able to deploy on short notice and report back quickly and thoroughly, so that we never become a bottleneck to an investment opportunity. We also offer arrangements to conduct periodic audits, inspections and reviews when necessary, such as during construction on a capital project, or for Fair-Trade compliance in the agricultural supply chain.

Global Reach, Cost Conscious
Maximize your time by leveraging us when you need us. Spend more of your time on high-value activities, not in the field.

We know that often when an opportunity presents itself, time can be of the essence. We are able to deploy on short notice and report back quickly and thoroughly, so that we never become a bottleneck to an investment opportunity. We also offer arrangements to conduct periodic audits, inspections and reviews when necessary, such as during construction on a capital project, or for Fair-Trade compliance in the agricultural supply chain.

All our work is done discretely and under NDA. In these cases, we either have permission to share, or the client no longer exists

Our own real examples

Scandal Avoidance

We protected our client from fraud & embarrassment

A government entity was about to offer a package of incentives to a foreign direct investor who promised big investments in their country with lots of employment. They contracted with us to do an investigation and we found the company was mired in scandal, with civil litigation and even criminal charges against it and its officers on at least two continents.

Undue Credit

Looking beyond the books

We investigated a foreign local operation owned by an international investor. We went and spoke with several local suppliers. Against the company’s authorization, and unknown to the investor, the local manager had opened commercial lines of credit with several vendors and run them up in the company’s name but sold the supplies and pocketed the money. No financial audit would have uncovered this, as it was completely “off the books” but in the company’s name.

We're the Advance Team

Preparing preliminary work on-location so our client's arrival is efficient & organized

A US client had decided to expand back-office operations into a third country. They hired Unido Digital to conduct preliminary research in the expansion country to narrow down a list of approximately 20 potential sites to a short list of 4. Once this was done, the executives from the client arrived to make a final decision, with unsuitable candidates they had identified in a preliminary search already filtered out of the process.

When Things Don't Smell Right

Ongoing Supply Chain Compliance Can Save Your Business

A US restaurant chain was suffering from sanitary issues with its produce. They had several issues with customer sickness. We visited the foreign farms supplying the produce and found that they had been fertilizing the produce with sewage—human feces. By the time we were involved it was too late. Monitoring and verification could have prevented the financial loss, human suffering, and educated the humble farmers on how to comply with modern sanitary practices.

Don't wait too late!

Our client had a long-time relationship with a BPO provider across the Pacific. Their provider did acceptable work, but no client executives wanted to cross the Pacific for site inspections or meetings. After all, they were getting the job done, right? As it turns out, though they were providing services competently to our client, the BPO’s other big client was a disreputable firm involved in human trafficking. Though our US based client was innocent of wrongdoing, they only found out when their BPO was raided by authorities & the scandal became public news. Our client, an 18-year-old company with more than 500 employees had to shut down within months. 

Recent cases from history

Miniscribe

A simple inspection could have saved millions

This manufacturer of hard disk drives had a big contract with IBM during the initial PC boom. IBM’s sales slowed, and IBM canceled a significant amount of orders for disk drives with Miniscribe. To hide the severity of the cuts, Miniscribe resorted to accounting duplicity, and then to physical fraud. They literally lined the shelves of their warehouses with construction bricks that had been packed into hard drive boxes to dupe investors. A complex scheme was created to fool auditors but an inspector who simply showed up and opened a box would have uncovered the fraud, millions of dollars in losses before.

Theranos

Nobody bothered to look inside the box

Perhaps the most illustrative case ever. Elizabeth Holmes was able to dupe investors, including sophisticated venture capital firms out of billions with a mystical box that supposedly could conduct a myriad of blood tests accurately with a pinprick of blood. It looked good on paper—but that’s the problem. Nobody, not even multibillion-dollar investors like the Walgreens pharmacy chain bothered to look inside the box. Sophisticated investors relied on news reports, PR buzz, and what “everybody else” said. Investors on a site visit were never allowed to see the technology in operation or even to talk to employees. Physical due diligence in this case would have revealed what financial due diligence was not designed to do. Not all fraud is financial, that is why physical due diligence is so important, especially for international, cross-border transactions!

Scalded!

Burned by fraudulent commodity traders

A successful young executive in the US Midwest did extremely well in business. Feeling a social duty and cultural ties to his ancestral country, he wanted to “give back” by investing into the home of his ancestors. His first several transactions, in this case buying and selling specialty coffee by the container load, went very well. Not only did he feel like he was “getting the hang of things,” he felt an ethnic kinship with his counter-parties in the motherland.

To reach the next step, he had to form a syndicate and bring in other investors. Like many transactions, this was too small for the institutional capital markets, but too big for most individual investors. He brought in several other high net worth individuals. A couple of coffee deals went well. Then he had the chance to purchase a literal ship load of coffee. 

As it turns out, there was no coffee and no ship. He had been “sold a bill of goods,” one of the oldest commercial frauds in existence. The papers were in order, but that is all there were: nothing more than papers. Not only did he lose a fortune, his investors suspected him of being part of the fraud and brought criminal charges against him. He was eventually acquitted but had lost his fortune and his reputation.

Protect your capital, protect your investors, protect your repuation!

Unido Digital’s physical due diligence, verification & Compliance services provide you with the business intelligence to protect your investment.
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!