Finance Monthly - August 2022

We have access to bespoke tech tools in addition to global databases and deep web tools, which we use to track/trace and build out the asset puzzles of the targets. We are constantly identifying the lifestyles and behaviours of the individuals we are investigating – whether it’s checking their global movements and identifying foreign property assets or moveable assets such as supercars or yachts. We start with detailed background intelligence research through online data sources. We examine financial information and digital records, such as emails of the targets. By forensically analysing commercial databases, social media platforms and other sources, we obtain an intelligence map. We thereafter conduct covert field enquiries to help complete the profile. In certain overseas jurisdictions, information is hard to identify, however, with the correct strategic legal approach and understanding of data protection laws, in many circumstances restricted data can be legally obtained. We can then turn intelligence gathered into meaningful information and obtain proof that traced assets are connected to the targets and are ultimately recoverable. Sometimes, specialist knowledge is required, such as in the case of superyachts, where our industry expertise enables us to identify the location and ownership of such assets and provide recovery, valuation at the current market rate, and sale of such vessels. What are your top asset tracing tips? Look for specialist insolvency professionals, lawyers and investigators, who will be able to take you through the process and explain potential pitfalls and likely costs. Do not use investigators that are happy to break the law to obtain information. Before instructing your investigators, obtain as much information about the subject as you can – this will assist themwhen undertaking the asset profile. Don’t spend a disproportionate amount of money trying to identify assets. You have to be pragmatic and try to take the emotion out of the situation. Don’t throw good money after bad, if the assets are likely to be in difficult jurisdictions and irrecoverable. No one wants a pyrrhic victory. Look for the low-hanging fruit, such as assets that are in friendly jurisdictions to the one where the claim or debt has arisen. This may provide litigation funders comfort to fund your case, which you will need if you do not have sufficient money to litigate, or if you would prefer to share the risk with others. Try to negotiate using the lowhanging fruit identified at an early stage. Once the other side knows that you have knowledge of some of their assets, you should attempt to get them around the table. You may not need to know everything, as they won’t know all of what you know. If you are not sure, pick up the phone and ask me, I am always happy to give free initial advice. Asset tracing can spearhead investigations in finding additional evidence such as unknown associates and lifestyles which can lead to a greater understanding of the target’s activities. Bank i ng & F i nanc i a l Se r v i ce s 40 Finance Monthly.

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