Suitability and Background Investigations
All You Need to Know
Pinnacle Consulting & Advisors' background and suitability team consists of seasoned investigators who have the skills, experience and resources from years of work involving investigations and suitability reviews from government to fortune 500 companies.
Why you should care about suitability reviews.
Part of any good compliance program is the background investigation, and the suitability reviews you either are conducting or should be conducting on your business partners and other entities and individuals your business operations are attached to.
Knowing what you need and how the completed investigation is delivered to you are key components of finding the “who” related to the company you select to conduct the investigations. But understanding the “What, where, how and why” of the investigative process is even more important.
While it is easy to be lured into a “cheap” and “fast” background keep in mind those types of backgrounds are conducted almost entirely by data entry and with very little to no investigative review of any of the findings or how it fits within your specific needs.
What is the difference in using Pinnacle Consulting & Advisors?
The mistake most businesses make is that they assume background checks are a one-size-fits-all, but they are not. It is not hard to run a name, see what comes back in a database and then copy and paste that information into a report, but what about the issues that might arise?
People and entities frequently use different names.
People omit or present false critical information, sometimes by accident and other times deliberately.
People are victims of identity theft.
Litigation histories can speak volumes to show past practices.
Negative news on an entity or person may exist that could impact you or your company.
Pinnacle Consulting & Advisors checks such things as criminal history, litigation history, watch-lists, OFAC, numerous other relevant databases and sources of information on persons and businesses. It is what Pinnacle Consulting & Advisors does after the boxes are checked that matters and makes us unique.
Background checks, just like a due diligence review or a suitability review, need care and focused attention. Investigators need to be trained and experienced in reviewing search returns and validating the information. Sometimes that requires interviews with the subject of the review. Consider if that is that something built into the pricing with your current vendor? It is with Pinnacle Consulting & Advisors.
Pinnacle Consulting & Advisors’ background investigators are not automated machines. We do not cut corners, and we take pride in the fact that we customize our programs for each client so we can focus on what matters most to our clients. This includes being able to alter scope on a case-by-case basis for a client.
To better understand the proper investigative process, we need to understand how due diligence and suitability reviews factor into an investigation.
You have heard the term “Suitability Review,” but what is a suitability review and why does your company need them now?
Today, most people know and understand what a background investigation is and that backgrounds can be legally required for certain types of employment or be role specific. Backgrounds can also become very expensive and are often not performed to a standard most companies require. Communication and ongoing feedback with your background vendor is key to building the custom process you need to get quality investigations. If done correctly, backgrounds can help companies avoid claims related to negligent hiring and, thereby, save organizations hundreds of thousands of dollars in defending litigation.
In addition to background investigations, a lot of companies also know of, or have heard of, suitability reviews. Few, however, have the manpower or experience to conduct such investigations. As a part of any company’s code of conduct and ethics plans, having a standardized suitability review program makes sense; overall, the cost of suitability reviews is lower when you consider this potential damage to your company’s reputation or the cost of avoidable negative repercussions if you can identify early to make better business decisions.
It is critical to your company’s success that you understand what suitability reviews can do for you.
Suitability reviews help guide your company into making better business decisions by giving you actionable information. Suitability reviews help shed light on someone or an entity having a history of questionable financial behavior, having negative civil actions, negative public allegations, abusing a company’s intellectual property and more. Suitability reviews can help mitigate your risks and improve the success rate of your business decisions.
Suitability reviews are not just for individuals but should also be conducted on entities. Suitability reviews on your business partners, vendors and contractors help inform you of possible negative past behavior that could affect whether you want to engage in a business agreement with someone and help guide how a contract is constructed to better shield your company from risk.
As an example, you may have a vendor that supplies your company with the majority of products for you to conduct business. This vendor is shut down overnight by the Department of Justice during an investigation into their foreign ownership related to owners on a sanction list, watch list or foreign government connections. A suitability review could have identified such risks if it had been conducted to avoid your company losing its prime vendor.
A suitability review can help identify such things as company ownership, past litigation histories, conflict of interest situations, and regulatory histories. Suitability reviews on entities you are conducting business with, or considering conducting business with, help you avoid issues surrounding concerns such as money laundering, violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or other regulations. Consider, for a moment, the risk of damage to you or your company’s reputation or the worst-case scenario in which a criminal investigation or civil action on a business partner or vendor flows down to you and your company.
Suitability reviews help educate you as to the past business history of a potential partner or vendor which help you understand such things as reliability, histories of breach of contract claims, questionable financial behavior, or possible integrity issues. It is easy to think that all you must do is look, but do you understand where and how? Do you have the personnel with the training and experience needed to conduct such investigations?
The bulk of the information related to suitability exists in public databases spread around the country and the world. What most companies lack is the ability to, in a timely manner, access all the information and correlate it into a cohesive set of facts and data to be easily digested by you and your business partners to reduce risk and avoid damage to your reputation.
Pinnacle Consulting & Advisors utilizes years of experience in conducting such reviews, both in government investigations and with Fortune 500 companies, to sift through information and present a timely, concise, and easy to understand report for your company to be able to make better business decisions.
Pinnacle Consulting & Advisors leverages seasoned investigators coupled with the one-on-one conversations with our clients to build a quality process to specifically address their concerns. Having an ongoing and open line of communication with our clients allows us to adjust the scope and focus of an investigation to get what is needed for our client.
Our investigators are specialists in investigation and are reliable, experienced, and trained in seeking validation of information, as well as uncovering issues that are relevant to our clients.
Take a critical look at your background check provider and ask yourself if they are merely checking boxes or are they engaged with your company to provide quality over quantity?
Contact us to learn more about our process and to discuss the possibilities of a cost-efficient and workable solution so your company can reduce risk and gain valuable information to be confident with your business decisions.
It is critical to your company’s success that you understand what suitability reviews can do for you and your business. If you're involved in real estate, joint ventures (JV's), material acquisitions (M&A), or other large scale business projects you need to evaluate your suitability process.
One additional option that is relevant in some instances is our RED FLAG check product to help better guide engagement with potential business partners.
RED FLAG reviews are open-source preliminary reviews by experienced and trained investigators on subjects or entities BEFORE you begin initial discussions or spend capital exploring an opportunity.
Red flag reviews are a quick and simple way to take preliminary looks at a situation before time and money are spent on matters or with entities you wish to avoid.
Information is power and you must know what to look for and when. Consider what you may be missing when you do not try and protect yourself and your business.
All Pinnacle Consulting & Advisors employees and investigators have undergone background investigations, suitability reviews, criminal history checks and are licensed by the PILB.
Electronic data is stored on secure encrypted servers that also encrypt all the data "at rest". All access to our data servers is through secure protocols, dual authentication and access is logged to track user access to the data.
Pinnacle Consulting & Advisors operates under a federally complaint Code of Ethics and Business Conduct policy, a Quality Control Plan (QCP) that includes a Security Plan and an Investigative Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to ensure security and provide uniformity for the reviews.
Pinnacle Consulting & Advisors is licensed by the Nevada Private Investigators Licensing Board.
NV PILB License # 2916