Due Diligence Online by Cynthia Hetherington

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Learn the tools and resources used by experienced online analysts for finding and vetting information about private companies within the United States. Hetherington will discuss the databases, websites and Internet resources that help locate difficult information on small private companies, their assets, and the people that run them.

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Due Diligence Online by Cynthia Hetherington

  1. 1. Due Diligence Online Smarter Academy Expert Searcher Series
  2. 2. Cynthia is a… • Librarian • Analyst • Investigator • Security Practitioner • Author of: - Business Background Investigators - The Manual to Online Public Records - Web of Deceit - Data2Know.com: Internet & Online Intelligence Newsletter
  3. 3. Due Diligence Online • Online due diligence is the analytical use of public records and information found in databases, open sources, fee-based resources, and Web 2.0 sites
  4. 4. Public Records • Litigation history • Media history • Business & personal affiliations • SEC filings • Corporate records • Regulatory history • Property records • Academic records • Intellectual property • Financial records • Vendor and supplier relationships • Board appointments • Liens, judgments, and UCCs • Subsidiaries and franchises • Physical assets • Political & charitable causes
  5. 5. Online Databases • Most information is available online • Some information may need to be retrieved in hard copy and delivered • There are annual, monthly, or “pay-as-you-go” services
  6. 6. Public Records – Online Limitations • Must be licensed to gain access • Types of records vary widely from state to state • Searches are limited by geography • Online records may be brief abstracts of original records
  7. 7. Public Records – Online Limitations • Source of information must be reliable • Accuracy and currency of data must be verified • Online records may not go back very far • Non-US countries tend to have stronger privacy laws and weaker database systems -There really is no comparison to US public record systems
  8. 8. Online Domestic Fee Sources • Tracersinfo • CLEAR • Accurint • LexisNexis • IRBSearch • LocatePlus • TLO • Experian • Merlindata • Microbilt • Acxiom • USSearch
  9. 9. TLO.com
  10. 10. CLEAR (clear.thomsonreuters.com)
  11. 11. Accurint & IRBsearch
  12. 12. Tracersinfo.com
  13. 13. Other Websites of Interest • BRBPublications • Verifyprolicense • Searchsystems.net • Degreeverify • Intelius • Zabasearch • Pipl • Yasni • Local Courts • State Courts - Check BRBPublications.com • Federal Courts - Pacer.uscourts.gov • Special Courts • Intellectual Property - USPTO.gov
  14. 14. Free Domestic & Foreign Resources • Check out the Web site of your target • Be sure to look at the archives and Zoominfo • The regional library will have localized information and news • Look at any associations your target belongs to • News, News, News! It’s International and comprehensive
  15. 15. Factiva.com
  16. 16. Dialog.com
  17. 17. Nexis.com
  18. 18. Media – Limitations • The news online starts in the late 1970s • You can search in multiple languages; however, do not expect translated news • Each provider is owned by a publisher, so they have biases in their sources
  19. 19. Litigation – Limitations & Bonuses • There may be problems identifying court jurisdiction • Some records exist only at the county level • Investigators may have to search multiple jurisdictions if the subject either lived or acted in multiple locations • Will not include litigation information that has been sealed by the court - Financial information (bankruptcy or divorce) - Psychological state (divorce) - Medical reports (injury or accident litigation)
  20. 20. Financial Information & Assets • Do assets exist, where do they exist, and are they recoverable? • Search for hard assets • Search for asset potential • Noticing more home improvements? • Look for intellectual property
  21. 21. Other Sites of Interest • Professional Directories - CPA, ABA, PI, CFE, Trades • SEC filings - sec.gov/edgar • PhD Directory - disexpress.umi.com/dxweb
  22. 22. Some Steps for Foreign Cases • Learn what is legally available in the country you are searching • The most prevalent open source for foreign searches in the media – check Factiva, LexisNexis, or Dialog for local coverage • Using a trusted investigator in said country, coordinate with them to retrieve the documentation you need
  23. 23. International Fee Sources • Kompass.com • Skyminder.com • Skyminder Credit Reporting • Bureau van Dijk • Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) • Dialog • LexisNexis • TLO – D&B • Accurint – D&B • Companies House - UK
  24. 24. Kompass.com
  25. 25. Skyminder.com (Company & Credit Reports)
  26. 26. Orbis.BVDep.com
  27. 27. DnB.com
  28. 28. Dialog
  29. 29. Companies House http://wck2.companieshouse.gov.uk
  30. 30. Zoominfo
  31. 31. Social Networks • Social Networks are borderless • Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are your first three targets • Find out what is popular in the country or language of your target - htttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_social_networking_websites
  32. 32. THANK YOU Cynthia Hetherington President Hetherington Group Office: 973-706-7525 CH@hetheringtongroup.com

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