Africa

Africa

Overview

The foundations of our work began in Africa and it continues to be a cornerstone to our practice, owing to longstanding relationships and decades of experience.

We work alongside our clients to help them make informed decisions, determine commercial or legal strategies, resolve disputes, mediate risks and maximise successful opportunities by sourcing and analysing key strategic – and often undisclosed – intelligence.

Background

Africa Calling

With six of the world’s 12 fastest growing countries and offering the highest rate of return on inflows of FDI compared to other regions (source: UNCTAD), the African continent constitutes a formidable market.

But with substantial proportions of business conducted through offline and informal channels – investors must be aware that it is doubly important to dig beneath the surface in-country.

What We Offer

Clients are provided with critical insights in negotiations, hiring decisions, internal investigations, dispute resolution and asset tracing.

We uncover business risks facing investors in contemporary African markets, including corruption, sanctions, political exposure, and environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

Local Insights

Accessing Reliable Information

Obtaining accurate information is challenging in Africa. Databases are patchy and records often stored in local offices offline; key commercial relationships go unrecorded; and corruption, mismanagement and political exposure are often hidden beneath the surface.

Audere’s in-country capabilities enable us to verify ground reality, obtain documents from digital and non-digital sources, substantiate facts and identify signs of informal transactions.

Corruption Risk

With an average score of 32 on Transparency International’s latest Corruption Perceptions Index, sub-Saharan Africa is the lowest performing region in the world. This heightened risk profile underscores the need for impartial assessment ahead of any investment or transaction.

We screen for political exposure, allegations of money-laundering or kickback schemes, identify anomalies and assess adherence to global, local and internal anti-corruption standards.

Market Insight

Africa’s dynamic and diverse political and economic landscape makes intelligence gathering both challenging but vital.

Whether focused on the extractive sector, financial services or beyond, Audere combines public record research with confidential human source enquiries to access hitherto undisclosed information on the background, reputation and connections of partners, customers, potential employees, competitors and counterparties.

Personal Reputational Checks

Audere uses databases, networks and our investigational expertise to establish and confirm the market standing of individuals and companies.

Milestones

Telecoms

  • Advised a Nordic state-owned telecoms on its market entry in Nigeria.
  • Conducted an independent investigation into the veracity of whistle-blower claims on behalf of legal counsel of an international mobile company.
  • Undertaken sanctions-focused due diligence for a mobile provider entering the Zimbabwean market.

Mining & Natural Resources

  • Identified the UBO of a prospective foreign investor into African state-owned mining entity.
  • Investigated the links, loyalties, allegations of corruption and political relationships of an international oil trader on behalf of a corporate in commercial dispute with the counterparty.
  • Due diligence on board appointees of mining company.

Financial Services

  • Investigation into allegations of a director’s links to illicit trade and money laundering on behalf of an AIM-market Nominated Advisor (NOMAD).
  • Due diligence into individual with linkages to Ghaddafi-era power structures.
  • Varying levels of due diligence (KYC to EDD) on C-suite directors on behalf of UK financial service institutions including identification of source of wealth.

Legal

  • Asset tracing and investigation into the assets held in Morocco by members of an organised criminal group in a high profile case on behalf of UK legal team.
  • Investigation into corruption allegations against an individual in the aviation industry with links to a sub-Saharan government as part of commercial litigation.
  • Due diligence on former business partner of a corporate client in commercial dispute with the Subject including the veracity of claims made in official documentation.

Case Studies

A client commissioned Audere to identify the assets held by a prominent businessman to determine if it was worthwhile initiating arbitration proceedings in order to recoup funds from a failed investment.
Audere investigated the activities of a local agricultural firm in Ethiopia on behalf of an institutional investor in a private equity fund, which had been made aware of human rights abuses via unsubstantiated media reports.
Audere conducted a deep due diligence on prospective supplier to an international airline looking to move from its existing relationship which had been failing to meet the client’s internal compliance standards.