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Your prospective business partner, clients, potential tenants or new board members paint a pretty picture of where they’re coming from and what they can do… but is it accurate? Before you go into business with someone, it is advisable to know their background and be aware of any past events that could damage you or your stakeholders. It is our experience that more than 50% of integrity investigations reveal matters which you, as a client, should know about in order to avoid being unpleasantly surprised by certain events or facts in the future. This does not mean that your future client is designated as unethical, but that you are informed about certain matters which could be relevant in the context of your future business relationship. If necessary, you can make arrangements on the basis of this information and develop a professional, transparent business relationship. There is nothing as annoying in a business relationship as being confronted, after a long time, with annoying events which have never been discussed. This can damage mutual trust, which can then unwittingly lead to new suspicions in other future cases.

Financial institutions, brokers, lawyers and tax specialists, and traders in high-value goods, such as antique dealers or vendors of exclusive boats, cars and aeroplanes, are legally required to evaluate the ethics of potential clients before acceptance. Other market parties, such as multinationals, housing associations and public administrative bodies, recognise the importance of making integrity a subject that is open to discussion, and requiring transparency in the business relationship when entering into important relationships, appointing key officers or taking important decisions.