Eric C. Schwarz My Favourite Tipples from a Due Diligence Specialist
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By Eric C. Schwarz


My Favourite Tipples are shared by Eric C. Schwarz, content quality analyst at Dow Jones. He shares some of his favourite free online resources in the compliance and regulatory field.


Most of our Rutgers University students come from an education or social science background. Some find business research difficult but many will need to conduct business or organisational research in their careers. Projects include conducting a modified "due diligence" background report on a large US listed company, detailing recent issues facing that company and supplying some standard background material. In addition to searching subscription databases such as Factiva and conducting general internet searches, I'm recommending the following free websites:

  • "The One-Stop Resource on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act". This site and the TRACE Compendium together provide a key check to see if the company you're researching has been reported as being involved in bribery allegations, investigations and/or convictions. The Shearman site, from global corporate law firm Shearman & Sterling, currently includes 479 entries (some companies with multiple entries) focusing on the FCPA, and in particular, complaints brought by the US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission. The site can be searched by defendant/keyword or other FCPA-specific fields, or browsed. Each result provides a summary of the FCPA case and, where available, links to the relevant US government documents.

  • The TRACE Compendium (from TRACE International, a non-profit organisation providing Anti-Bribery Compliance support to its members) provides news on reported or alleged bribery from global enforcement agencies. This site also may be searched or browsed using menus listing the reported companies, agencies, types of allegations and other criteria. Reports offer references to background articles and links to publicly available documents such as those from the SEC reporting on the case.

  • SEC EDGAR: The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is the powerful and primary regulator of companies offering securities publicly listed in the United States. Most filings by these companies have been filed electronically since at least 1996, providing annual reports and a wealth of other data about US and global companies offering securities in the US. These documents are widely available through many third-party providers as well as through EDGAR. A search through the SEC's litigation database is another must to get the full picture of any infractions by companies.

  • SEC IAPD: The SEC's Investment Adviser Public Disclosure database provides information on such firms and their representatives. These detailed filings can help unravel the ownership of hedge funds and other private investment vehicles.

  • The Federal Trade Commission offers general information to the public, as well as advisory opinions, enforcement actions against companies, and other news and advice on the tools and laws that protect consumers.

An article in FreePint which I found particularly interesting:

  • In his article Due Diligence - from Business Burden to Business Benefit, Mark Dunn provides a great amount of information on Anti-Bribery and Corruption standards, some of the primary laws enforcing these efforts, and the different levels of research, called "due diligence," that companies should employ to protect themselves from internal and external bribery and corruption.

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