You have often been quoted as having said that we are entering “a new era of corporate transparency”. What exactly does that mean?
It means business decision-making will be conducted in an increasingly transparent manner that incorporates a more holistic, cross-functional approach. As a result of changing attitudes toward risk and general animosity directed at corporate leadership, business stakeholders, customers, and employees are demanding increased transparency across the board. This, coupled with the growing skepticism toward increased regulation and government intervention, has led us to believe that the shift is more likely to be the result of voluntary efforts from businesses at a micro level.
What does this mean for businesses? What steps are they taking?
For businesses, this means the tightening of risk tolerances and a movement away from localized decision-making. The fast-paced, “rubber stamp” decisioning of the boom economy is being replaced by a more methodical and cross-functional approach to assessing potential corporate actions. Actions pertaining to businesses strategy, suppliers, and strategic partnerships will be the result of consensus reached by subject matter experts across multiple disciplines.
As for formal steps, most companies are in the process of rewriting or developing new internal policies and procedures. They have already begun working with both internal and external subject matter experts. Some companies, unfortunately, are struggling to create a cohesive strategy for corporate decision-making. The result: layers of paperwork, reports lost in the shuffle, and no consensus. While there might be some value-added information in these reports, without a formal decisioning process they are merely a costly diversion of time and precious resources.
What costs are we talking about?
Well, pinpointing a specific dollar figure is difficult. There are too many factors, including company size, industry and existing organizational structure. Nevertheless, tightening risk and bringing expert resources to the table can be costly, particularly for smaller and midsized companies. This is especially true if their approach is piecemeal rather than holistic. Regardless, the costs outweigh the consequences of not understanding risk and balancing it appropriately with the potential benefits of a transaction, whether it’s a strategic partnership or new supplier.
Is it possible to have an expert risk advisor that’s actively involved throughout the decision-making process of, let’s say, a new supplier relationship?
Absolutely. That’s why I founded Levatura. We provide due diligence solutions that proactively identify and make clients aware of any potential risks, while working directly with corporate decision-makers as a valued partner and advisor in the decisioning process. This includes direct discussion and groupthink with decision-makers across multiple disciplines before, during and after the investigation. Our clients appreciate the ability to contact us anytime to discuss specific contents of a due diligence report or talk through the potential implications that our findings may have on their business.
Your company’s approach to due diligence and active involvement in the corporate decision-making process is innovative and exciting. Does the same hold true for your approach to marketing?
Sure does. Levatura has embraced the use of social media, including Twitter and Facebook. We see these as necessary vehicles for staying connected with our clients and friends. They enable us to share articles, free tips, commentary on industry events and other relevant content. Further, it helps us to stay on top of the latest trends within the industry, while sharing our passion for due diligence. Conversely, our competitors continue to resist the use of social media, in most cases preferring to market their pedigree and client list.
Well your company is definitely on the cutting-edge of due diligence in this “new era of corporate transparency”. How can our readers get in touch with Levatura to learn more about your services?
Levatura is a Boston-based due diligence firm that specializes in background and risk assessment of corporate vendors/suppliers, strategic partnerships, and executive leadership candidates. Our non-intrusive, fact finding investigative research provides for actionable due diligence reports that proactively identify any potential reputational, regulatory, operational, and financial risks. Levatura works directly with small and midsized businesses as a valued partner and advisor in the corporate decision-making process.
Joseph M. Ciccolo, President & Chief Research Officer
Joseph M. Ciccolo is the Founder, President and Chief Research Officer of Levatura. Mr. Ciccolo’s passion for research and hands-on approach to working with corporate and organizational decision-makers have been instrumental in the development of superior cutting-edge due diligence products and risk analytics. During his professional career, he has completed over 200 due diligence investigations of potential and existing vendors, business partners, and their respective principals.