Due diligence background investigations

Don’t rely on a basic background check

People often confuse a due diligence background investigation with other types of background checks, including employment, tenant, and regulatory checks. Unfortunately, this confusion can lead to a false sense of security. For example, some may feel that, since U.S. securities law requires broker-dealers to “fingerprint certain associated persons working in a non-registered capacity who may […]

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Third-party due diligence

Manage risk with third-party due diligence

On February 6th, The New York Times reported that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) fired contractor Tiffany Brown, sole owner and employee of Tribute Contracting LLC. The agency hired Brown’s firm after Hurricane Maria to supply food for hungry residents in Puerto Rico. It appears that, instead of the agreed-upon 18.5 million meals, Brown […]

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Marcy Phelps and Associates

Phelps Research is now Marcy Phelps & Associates

After 18 years in business, I’ve changed the name of my company. It sounds strange, feels different. And now it’s time to move on. Not much else has changed, except the domain name. I haven’t moved in a new direction, and the company still offers due diligence services that inform our clients’ important business decisions. […]

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Celebrating 18 years

Here’s to another 18 years

Eighteen years ago, I started working with my first client. As I was closing in on completing my Masters degree in Library and Information Services, one of my connections from grad school brought me in on a very cool project creating a virtual academic library for online MBA students. This connection contacted me at the […]

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Google alternatives

Even more Google alternatives

Google alternatives still reign as the most popular posts on this blog, so I’ve decided to share some more with you. And since Google eliminates features almost weekly, it’s a good idea to try some specialized search engines to handle what Google can’t. Yippy – Clustering results into topics helps with narrowing your focus and […]

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fruad prevention

Hedge fund fraud – The real story

If ever there was a candidate for the Due Diligence Hall of Shame, this is it. Thanks to investigator Brian Willingham, who posts really good stuff on Twitter, I came across a recent NY Times article that describes the fraud and the outcome, and they’re both shameful. I’ll start with the outcome, and then I’ll […]

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teach not sell

Vendor wish list – teach, don’t sell

In previous posts, I’ve written about my wish list for information vendors. After nearly 18 years in business, I’ve had the opportunity to evaluate and purchase a lot of products, meeting lots of vendors along the way. I’ve also had a chance to notice some trends in the selling process. One nice trend is that […]

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strategy for investigations

Research and investigation rules to live by

I recently attended the OSMOSIS conference in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, an event geared toward open source intelligence professionals (OSINT). In addition to great networking and a beautiful venue, the speakers were some of the best I’ve seen at a professional conference. Even though many of the sessions didn’t exactly coincide with my specialty, there […]

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