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25 Sep 2023

Seven tips for successful asset recovery

Date: September 25, 2023

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In today’s fast-paced world, protecting a company’s assets is more important than ever.

Whether you’re dealing with fraud, bankruptcy or asset misappropriation, asset recovery is one of the most vital processes in safeguarding business interests.

That said, the road to successful asset recovery can be fraught with challenges, from sourcing reliable information to navigating complicated legal hurdles. In this blog post, we set out seven top tips for successful asset recovery.

1. Start early

Time is of the essence in asset recovery, so the sooner you begin the process, the better. Early action not only allows you to preserve valuable evidence but also maximises the chances of success. Additionally, starting early can give you a strategic advantage, as it may catch the other party off guard, making it more difficult for them to hide or dispose of assets.

2. OSINT is your friend

Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) refers to information that can be gathered from publicly available sources. OSINT can range from newspaper articles and press releases to public records and social media posts. By using OSINT tools and techniques, you can gather useful data without resorting to illegal or unethical practices. These resources can offer a wealth of information, such as identifying involved parties, locating assets and revealing relationships between entities.

3. Consider sources of human intelligence

Human intelligence, or HUMINT, offers valuable insights and information that can’t be obtained from documents or databases alone.

Interviews with former employees, stakeholders or industry insiders can provide crucial leads that can guide your asset recovery process. This form of intelligence can uncover unique perspectives on the situation and possibly reveal hidden assets or fraudulent schemes.

4. Consult the deep web

The deep web is an enormous reservoir of information that isn’t indexed by traditional search engines. It can be a goldmine for asset recovery experts. Specialised search engines and databases can unearth information that would otherwise remain hidden, such as corporate relationships, offshore holdings or hidden accounts. However, navigating the deep web should be done cautiously and legally. Make sure you consult professionals or legal advisors who are familiar with this terrain.

5. Identify the most vulnerable assets

In any organisation, some assets are more susceptible to risks than others. For instance, assets that are easily convertible to cash, such as accounts receivable, are more vulnerable. Some assets may also have a strategic role which is greater than their market value, such as raw materials in a supply chain. Home in on these assets and prioritise them in your asset recovery process. An initial risk assessment can be invaluable in identifying which assets to focus on and how best to protect them.

6. Concentrate on actionable intelligence, not factoids

While it’s tempting to collect as much data as possible, not all information will be helpful to your asset recovery efforts. Focus on gathering actionable intelligence—information that can guide your next steps or support legal actions. Sifting through mountains of irrelevant data can waste time and resources, so always target your research to procure data that will have a tangible impact on your recovery process.

7. Focus on local language resources

In an increasingly globalised world, assets are often held across different jurisdictions and languages. Don’t overlook the value of local language resources. Government databases, local news and public records in the local language can provide critical information that may not be available through English-only sources. Employing bilingual investigators or translators can greatly enhance your asset recovery efforts.

By applying these seven tips, you can improve the chances of a successful asset recovery. Each situation is unique, so flexibility and a multi-pronged approach are key. When in doubt, consulting with legal and financial advisors familiar with asset recovery can offer personalised guidance tailored to your specific circumstances.

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