When to conduct a due diligence background investigation

Clock and Calendar Pages show concept of time

Lately I’ve been reading a lot about M&A and other deal-making processes. I’m learning who’s involved, what steps need to be taken before signing on the dotted line, and the risks involved at each step. What I find most interesting, though, is that due diligence is usually listed as the step taken just before signing […]

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What I’m reading

Beach reading

As you can see, I’ve been away from blogging. In addition to taking care of our regular clients and working on an exciting new project, I’ve taken an actual vacation – one that didn’t involve firing up my laptop to do “just one thing.” Just some rest and relaxation at our favorite cottage in North […]

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The problem with checklists

Checklist

Checklists are a handy tool, especially in investigations. I use them a lot. They help me remember all the steps that need to be covered, and they’re great for getting back on track after going off script to follow an unexpected lead. But checklists need to be used with caution.  As this news story highlights, […]

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Six myths about asset investigations

US dollar banknotes found under a loose pavement brick

When I talk with clients about conducting an asset search on an individual or a company, whether it’s for due diligence purposes, litigation, or identifying fraud, I frequently come across several misconceptions about how these types of investigations work. Over time, I’ve noticed that these myths tend to fall into six general categories: 1. I […]

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Key takeaways from #AIIP19

AIIP logo

I recently attended the annual conference of the Association of Independent Information Professionals in Philadelphia. This is my 19th consecutive AIIP conference, and I make it my primary conference for the year. While I attend several others, this one is in my calendar, and everything fits in around that. It’s in my budget, too, so […]

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10 small changes for transforming your client reports

Small Steps Big Changes for client reports

I’m currently reading One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way by Robert Maurer, a book about taking small actions to ease into new habits. When we make any sort of change, we tend to aim for a major overhaul, which can be daunting – often preventing us from getting started. Instead, says, […]

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Online database searching: More than just finding

investigative research

As a researcher and investigator – and a former librarian – I’ve done a lot of online database searching. I’ve searched news, market research, public records, engineering documents, you name it. I’ve searched for information on any topic you can imagine, from silicon photonics to Jeff Zucker‘s career. I also teach other researchers and investigators […]

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Questions to ask before starting an investigation

Question mark speech bubble isolated on yellow background.

No matter the type of research or investigations that you do, it’s important to prepare. Before you start your interviews, online searches, surveillance, or whatever it is you do for your clients, you need to take this extra step to ensure success (like a happy client). It’s tempting to jump right in and get started […]

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Online public records: Top investigative challenges and what to do about them

Magnifying glass on laptop

In my experience as a librarian, business researcher, and private investigator, I’ve done a lot of online searching. I’ve reviewed, purchased, used, and taught others how to use all types of online databases. I’ve searched for all kinds of information. But the most challenging type of searching and the one topic that tests my fortitude […]

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Tips for surviving career transitions

Change is a good thing!

I recently had the opportunity to present a webinar, Secrets of a Gumshoe Librarian: Tips for Transforming Your Career and Staying Relevant. It doesn’t matter what you do for a living, you’re probably going through career changes. Maybe your job is changing, because employer and client wants and needs keep changing. Or maybe you’re forced […]

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