To be a (business)woman in Saudi Arabia

June 27, 2018

In the week that Saudi Arabia became the last country in the world to permit women to drive, you may be forgiven for thinking that the Gulf is only just waking up to ideas such as women’s rights and equal opportunities.  However, issues that have dominated the Western news agenda in recent times such as […]

The case for consolidation within the UAE

May 29, 2018

Scale. Efficiencies. Strategic fit…some of the reasons often given for a merger, JV or other form of strategic partnership between companies.  The spate of high-profile mergers in the UAE in recent months, particularly amongst government and partially government-owned businesses, suggests that there is another factor in play. Mergers and JVs are of course not new […]

It’s the sources, stupid

April 5, 2018

As some of you will have noticed, this year is Diligencia’s tenth anniversary and in Nouri’s post about the early days of the company he set out one of the guiding principles of how we compile our company information, namely only using official sources. The emphasis we place on authentic company information is still absolutely […]

Diligencia 10 years on – Part 2

March 28, 2018

As I look back over the last ten years I am struck by the fact that the MENA region has seen seismic changes.  Quite apart from the political upheavals, notably the so-called Arab Spring, which at times led to a revolving door of the subjects we were asked to research, the following cases have had […]

Diligencia 10 years on – Part 1

March 26, 2018

10 years ago this month, I founded Diligencia.  I had no particular grand strategy at that stage, and certainly no formal business plan that I could have presented to potential investors, even if there were any.  All I had was a firm belief that there was a need and a demand for high quality business […]

Blockchain and compliance

March 7, 2018

Everybody’s talking about blockchain.  Or to use its less catchy alternative name, distributed ledger technology (DLT).  It’s the latest thing, and everyone wants a part of it – so much so that a company only needs to mention blockchain and its value immediately soars, as happened to the soft drinks company Long Island Iced Tea […]

The Saudi corruption purge in 5 charts and tables

January 19, 2018

Mohammed bin Salman’s crackdown on corruption briefly reappeared on the radar of international media outlets this week with the news that Prince Muteb bin Abdullah, previously head of the Saudi national guard, had been released and that the Riyadh Ritz (pictured) had re-opened after being used as a luxury prison for those detainees with a […]

2017 in review – ClarifiedBy Diligencia (Part 2)

December 29, 2017

In our last post we focused primarily on Saudi Arabia and the impact of its domestic and foreign policy agenda over the course of 2017.  We now turn our attention to another major regional power, a country which has also had an eventful year. Iran 2017 in Iran was a story of two elections – […]

2017 in review – ClarifiedBy Diligencia (Part 1)

December 27, 2017

For a region used to turbulence and conflict, 2017 has been an eventful year for the Middle East by any measure.  The motor behind many of the year’s most eye-catching moments was Saudi Arabia which, under the growing power of crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (pictured), has not only embarked on a radical programme of […]

Sporting passions in MENA – Motorsport

November 16, 2017

In the first of a series of blog posts, Diligencia explores the links between the world of international sport and the MENA region. In 1977 Frank Williams, then owner of a fledgling Formula 1 racing team, took the unusual step at that time of travelling to Saudi Arabia in search of sponsorship.  He returned home […]

ClarifiedBy improvements – a message from Nouri

October 17, 2017

I am writing to let you know about some exciting updates to our ClarifiedBy service.  We have been listening to your feedback over the past weeks and months and are pleased to introduce new improvements to the platform, which we believe will make it even easier to use. Interactive network diagrams – use the sliders to […]

Private family offices: the role of the investment committee

September 11, 2017

When looking at decision-making within private family offices in the MENA region, it is perhaps natural to focus on the Chief Investment Officer (CIO), or equivalent position.  This role is generally taken by an investment professional with many years of experience in the private banking sector or other advisory capacity.  The CIO can often be […]

Diligencia’s ClarifiedBy.com partners with Arachnys

August 29, 2017

We are pleased to announce that ClarifiedBy.com’s proprietary MENA company information is now available to Arachnys customers via its Investigator and D3 platforms. This partnership is designed to enhance Arachnys’ capabilities in the MENA region by placing Diligencia’s trusted and accurate company information alongside the range of other sources that Investigator and D3 carry. Nouri […]

The Independent’s Saudi investor

August 24, 2017

More details about Sultan Mohamed Abuljadayel have gradually been emerging since the announcement on 28 July that he had acquired 30 per cent of Independent Digital News and Media, owner of the Independent digital newspaper.  Based on our own research, Abuljadayel is remarkable largely for his lack of public profile – he has no corporate […]

Announcement of our partnership with LexisNexis

August 7, 2017

We are delighted to announce that Diligencia has entered into a content agreement with LexisNexis, a leading provider of content and technology solutions. Recognising that LexisNexis customers need trusted, reliable company information to take advantage of emerging opportunities—while also mitigating compliance risk—Diligencia was selected by LexisNexis for our content quality. Our company profiles in the […]

Individual shareholder searches – now live on ClarifiedBy.com

February 6, 2017

I am pleased to announce that the individual ‘search for shareholder’ function is now live on ClarifiedBy.com, enabling our subscribers to start with an individual’s name and search for all their corporate interests that we hold on record in the MENA region. Combined with our advanced search filters and our ‘fuzzy search’ tool, this is […]

COMPANIES IN THE NEWS: UAE Exchange Center

January 24, 2017

One of the most prolific outbound UAE investors, UAE Exchange Center is now part of the same network as Travelex, following the latter’s acquisition by well-known UAE entrepreneur BR Shetty at the end of 2016. Click here to download our free ClarifiedBy company snapshot of UAE Exchange Center. UAE Exchange Center (operating under its brand […]

Avoiding the translation pitfalls

December 15, 2016

For anyone who has spent any time trying to research subjects in the MENA region, they will doubtless be aware of the difficulties in confidently identifying target individuals and organisations. Whilst almost all international business affairs are conducted using names in their English form, official registration documentation tends, unsurprisingly, to use exclusively the Arabic or […]

Charitable foundations or conglomerates? – Iran’s bonyad system

November 16, 2016

Bonyads (charitable foundations) are at the centre of Iran’s informal social welfare system. They are significant to Iranians, particularly the retired and war-wounded, as providers of social support. However, they are of further significance, both inside and outside the country, as major players in the Iranian economy. Bonyads may even account for some 30-40% of […]

What are Saham-e Edalat? A glimpse into the process of Iranian ‘cooperativisation’

October 4, 2016

The Justice Shares (saham-e edalat) scheme is one of the more mystifying examples of Iranian government bureaucracy. Designed in the early 2000s by the populist Ahmadinejad government, the scheme was designed to allow the transfer of shares in Iranian state-owned enterprises to low income families, while expediting privatisation, and giving a highly desirable injection of […]