SVA have comprehensive expertise and experience in the identification and location of assets and in providing expert advice to clients on recovery of such assets. The majority of our asset search actions are international in nature and can be conducted either overtly or discreetly.
We have successfully aided clients and legal advisors in the identification of many kinds of assets, directly or indirectly owned or controlled by individuals and or corporate entities. Additionally we assist in the design and implementation of strategies for the recovery of misappropriated assets or those assets that are specified in a judgement. We also conduct financial worth inquiries to support corporate decision making in relation to potential litigation.
SVA asset search investigations are most frequently required when they are related to:
- The proceeds of fraud, corruption or other financial misconduct – we locate the proceeds of such illegal activities and assist in attaching them.
- Part of a pre-litigation assessment of assets – to determine if the person or entity under examination has sufficient assets to merit the costs associated with litigation.
- Part of a post-judgement assessment of assets – to locate assets to enforce a judgement.
- Part of financial net worth assessment – to confirm the credibility of claims made by another party.
- Assist in understanding the disposition of company assets in relation to actual or potential liquidations/proceedings.
- Supporting negotiations to recover debts due to a corporate level.
An important point to note is that an asset search is not debt collection. Once the assets have been identified, further actions, often involving court or the legal process, are required to recover misappropriated assets or to secure assets to satisfy a judgement.
The successful identification and recovery of assets necessitates a planned, ordered approach, particularly for international actions and where multiple jurisdictions may be involved. SVA’s methodology is to employ a phased approach, commencing with a comprehensive profile of the purported assets and business activities of the individual(s) under examination, thereafter concentrating on the investigative leads most likely to yield a successful and cost effective outcome.
Commonly the most productive intelligence identifying the type and location of key assets emanates from those who know or are closest to the subject(s) under investigation. Our search will identify and secure factual information — the all-important anecdotal information — which is most likely to provide crucial direction as to where the subject’s assets may be located or may have been transferred to.
Exhaustive investigative research adds to our knowledge of the subject(s) and, in the case of individuals, to family members and close associates or business partners who may control assets that are beneficially owned on behalf on the subject(s).
Where legal access to electronic information has been obtained our data forensic consultants will deploy advanced analytical tools to recover and identify relevant information, such as e-mails, spreadsheets and other salient documentation. This data adds to the scope of information and can be instrumental in identifying the subject’s methodology applied when concealing or obscuring actual ownership and placement of assets.
Field investigators will then physically identify the location and nature of identified assets. Where investigations involve large amounts of data or the information obtained is complex in nature, our analysts utilise sophisticated link chart analysis software to map the relationships between subject(s) and assets.
In the course of our investigation we frequently identify bank accounts, securities accounts and offshore trust structures, although these accounts can often only be accessed via a legal authority. Once these and other potential assets, for example, land, property, shareholdings, vehicles, plant, equipment, club or school debentures, etc. are identified we are then in a position to work with legal counsel to develop and implement a planned approach to further identify assets and assist in their attachment/recovery.