Tracing an entity: Multi-jurisdiction corporate intelligence research
27 June 2022
When one of our financial sector clients needed assistance in onboarding a company which they believed to be registered in Kuwait, they turned to Diligencia.
The client had initially searched for the entity using ClarifiedBy.com, Diligencia’s online platform, but their search criteria did not generate any results. They also searched elsewhere online – accessible public domain sources and other established information vendors – but were unsuccessful in finding any reference to the named organisation whatsoever.
With the knowledge of the entity name and reason to believe it was filed at Kuwait’s Ministry of Commerce & Industry (the Kuwaiti company registry), Diligencia’s team of Arabic-speaking analysts began to try and trace the entity concerned.
Their enquiries were based on a combination of thorough public record and open-source research, as well as enquiries with our in-country contacts. Multiple enquiries were made by Diligencia on behalf of the client as it became apparent that there was an issue with identifying the entity.
Based on our exhaustive research and discussions with official registry sources in Kuwait, we were able to establish that the named company did not exist in that jurisdiction. Our sources were able to provide us with four similarly named organisations in Arabic. Diligencia shared these Arabic names with the client along with the English translations, and a list of associated key principals, also in Arabic (the language of filing) and English.
Our source at the Kuwaiti registry advised Diligencia that the subject entity may have changed its name, hence the difficulty in locating it on the company register. We knew from previous research that there might be a shareholding/ownership link to a different entity, which we believed might be in Bahrain.
Diligencia then widened its research to include the Bahrain company registry (Sijilat). Following discussions with an officer at the company registry, several inaccuracies within the registry’s filing came to light. An incorrect name had been filed, which led to the entity being identified as a company, rather than a ‘foundation’, an altogether different legal construct.
The Bahrain company registry had also incorrectly showed the entity in question as being originally incorporated in Kuwait. This reference to Kuwait turned out to be the nationality of the investors behind the foundation. It finally transpired that the foundation was in fact a Swiss registered legal entity and not Kuwaiti, as originally thought.
Diligencia was able to successfully resolve the issue of the apparently ‘missing’ Middle East corporate entity and we were able to explain to our client the reason for the apparent confusion.
Diligencia provides specialist business intelligence and due diligence services based exclusively on primary sources in the Middle East & Africa.