Deal integrity is more transparent where credible information is available about an underlying asset, particularly where the asset is critical to deal completion. Ownership or control can be vested in an individual (e.g. direct owner, Trustee or guardian) or a body or entity (e.g. Charity, Trust, Pension fund, Community body, etc.).
For pre-contract due diligence, dispute resolution, insurance purposes, reputation risk or other reason, transparency is often sought on asset ownership or control, to determine whether anything untoward might suggest an improper activity or anomaly in their provenance.
Ownership, control or use
Ownership is not a requirement to have access to, or use of an asset:
Evidence must be obtained to prove ownership of (or rights to) an asset
Audit trail transparency should include: (i) clarity of accountability for asset ownership; and (ii) responsibility for any repairs and/or maintenance that might be needed
Demonstrating legitimacy (or transparency) of ownership or control requires information to be sourced, to evidence an asset's chronology at, or during, a relevant period in time
Source and reliability
Establishing existence, ownership or control may require information to be obtained from various parties. Subject to asset type, provenance requirements might include:
Certificate of Origin (e.g. issued by a reputable source, identifying the 'when', 'how' and 'what' of an asset's validity)
Evidence of sale/disposal (e.g. original or authenticated copies of invoices, purchase orders, valuation certificates, delivery notes and/or conveyancing records, etc.)
Evidence of purchase/acquisition (e.g. original or authenticated copies of purchase orders, instructions to third party agents/intermediares, payments and beneficary details, etc.)
Evidence of repair and/or asset maintenance (e.g. who commissioned and paid for such work to be undertaken, and how costs were paid)
Third party documentation (e.g. survey records/information held by insurance agents or brokers, with asset owner details, value, premiums and/or claims information, etc.)
How we can help you
FCRM assists clients to establish provenance around asset ownership and control, to identify red-flag or anomaly and reduce the risk of financial loss or damage to client reputation.
We assist clients and their advisors to assess risk and test/validate transaparency of asset ownership or control. Where practicable on international enquiries, we utilise a network of specialists who are accustomed to undertaking confidential asset-tracing assignments.