Due Diligence (DD) refers to the process undertaken by an acquiring firm in order to rigorously assess the target company’s business, including, but not limited to its assets, capabilities, financial performance and even its reputation. It is an investigation that provides the acquiring party with a thorough understanding of all stakeholders (partners, shareholders, management,) in order to minimize a company’s exposure to risks before and after M&A transactions.

While traditional Due Diligence focuses mainly on financial and accounting aspects, thus providing a comprehensive view of all the company’s financials, the Due Diligence process has evolved and diversified in order to meet new compliance requirements: Due Diligence can now be used as a means of defense against a charge that a regulation has been violated. Therefore, the scope of potential compliance risks can be extensive and includes such diverse legal topics as anti-corruption regulations, money laundering and the financing of terrorism, bribery, procurement law and even European and national data protection regulations. Due to potentially substantial fines (and, with regard to recent developments, damages claims), antitrust and competition law may be a key issue during a compliance Due Diligence investigation.

The risk-based approach, more so than any other Due Diligence process, requires a preliminary assessment based on publicly accessible information, such as print and online media, commercial registers, specialized databases, and the World Bank’s List of Ineligible Firms & Individuals. A questionnaire may also be sent to third parties to look for gaps or inconsistencies in the information collected in initial internal and external questionnaires.

The next step deals with risk analysis: on the basis of the identified risks, an enhanced Due Diligence should be performed. In the event of potential risks (red or yellow ‘flags’, for example), companies would be advised to conduct in-depth compliance Due Diligence by means of investigations, field surveys and interviews.

If part of the Due Diligence process can be carried out by the companies themselves, it should be noted that performing Due Diligence is time-consuming, tedious, and sometimes expensive as the integration of multiple Due Diligence database subscription services is required.

Therefore, outsourcing Due Diligence and investigations is essential, as a complete and thorough Due Diligence process tailored to the operation is a necessary prerequisite to success.

Our expertise

Due Diligence

Investigation of a legal entity (company, group of companies, administration, association, NGO, etc.) performed in order to examine a business partner’s background and corporate reputation.

Third Party Integrity Due Diligence

Third parties include customers, distributors, intermediaries, first-tier suppliers, and partners for example. A Third-Party Due Diligence is performed in accordance with risks first identified in a risk mapping.

An Integrity Due Diligence covers new partners (onboarding) as well as the monitoring of third parties with whom the company has already established business relationships.

M&A and Anti-Corruption Due Diligence

This form of Due Diligence is carried out through the analysis of key documents, sometimes using data rooms as well as by way of interviews, site visits, media analysis, etc.

An Anti-Corruption Due Diligence is performed both in the pre-acquisition and post-acquisition phases of an M&A transaction.

Background Checks

Third-party risk assessments with respect to physical persons (reputation, reliability, etc.).

Identification and risk assessment of your business partners.


Conduct targeted enquiries and investigations to identify and address the risks facing your business


IKARIAN has established a Department of Investigations dedicated to conducting investigations and Due Diligence with strict respect for legality and in accordance with ethics and best practices.

We are committed to deploying all reasonable means to meet our clients’ requirements and needs.

1 / Knowing what to look for

IKARIAN has demonstrated its ability to respond to the various issues raised by our clients as we know what to look for.

2 / Knowing where to look

IKARIAN has exhaustive knowledge of a multitude of information sources and ensures permanent monitoring of such sources:
• Free and open sources (Internet, Deep Web, social media)
• Paid data base subscriptions
• Professional databases (a legal obligation, access to which is regulated) and fee-based databases (PEP, World check, etc.)
• Other sources (human, thematic / sectoral, etc.).

3 / Knowing how to search

IKARIAN regularly monitors all the information search processes (technical and human). As regards the technical aspects, we constantly use advanced software for searching, processing and formatting information. At the operational level, we use the techniques of elicitation, investigation and contact management. We use contact management, modern investigative techniques and utility elicitation to reduce the uncertainty of these tools.

4 / Respect for laws and ethics

IKARIAN uses only legal and ethical means of collecting data.

5 / Data cross-checking and data validity checking

In order to avoid misunderstandings and to detect rumors and misinformation IKARIAN has implemented efficient internal quality control procedures to check the reliability of its sources and the veracity of the information collected before cross-checking it.. Decision-making must not be affected by any approximation.

6 / Data analysis

IKARIAN’s reports are written and edited by experienced analysts who review every detail. A detailed presentation of the survey, including our recommendations, is made to the client at the end of every mission.

7 / Our professional team

With their background in military intelligence and information gathering, IKARIAN’s investigatory specialists have extensive experience in Due Diligence and worldwide investigations, relying on a well-established network of diverse international contacts. Our experts responsibly and rigorously provide their customers with strategic information necessary to ensure compliance with legal obligations. Our highly-skilled intelligence experts perform unique and high-quality analyses with a degree of accuracy that is unmatched on the market today.


Here are some examples of noteworthy investigations we have performed

A large French postal services Group A large French cement group A Private Equity Company A company providing contract foodservice A French credit insurance group A large French insurer operating internationally
  • Investigations relating to embezzlement by the managers of a subsidiary in Central Africa
  • Investigation of a case of corruption on a contract in Algeria
  • Audit of "special" risks concerning activities (corruption, money laundering, etc.)
  • Investigations into the existence of an organized network of embezzlement by employees
  • Investigation into the probity of a representative in a Gulf country
  • Investigations relating to the allegations of corrupt practices in a North African country
  • Investigations relating to embezzlement by former CEO in a North African country
  • Investigation relating to malfeasance of an IT director in a country of Southern Europe

Examples of Due Diligence and Background Checks

A CAC 40 company in the automotive sector A large French insurer operating internationally A West African International Development Bank An Airport GSE SMB
  • Due Diligence of Agents (Hong Kong, Malaysia).
  • Due Diligence of an Iranian bank
  • Due Diligence of a National Bank in Central Africa
  • Background Check on the leader of a Serbian insurance company pre- acquisition
  • Background Check on a company officer suspected of corruption
  • Third-Party Due Diligence (multiple)
A Real Estate CAC 40 Group A French agro-alimentary Group An international Group of Facility Management An international Group of Facility Management A French credit insurance Group
  • Background Check on a French partner in the context of an investment project
  • Background Check on a German competitor
  • Third-Party Due Diligence
  • Integrity Due Diligence prior to an equity investment in a Swiss company
  • Background Check on a representative in a Gulf country

3 rue de Téhéran
75008 Paris –
Tél. + 33 (0) 6 45 69 18 24
E-mail contact@ikarian.eu