ABOUT US

Dedicated to uncovering critical risks for our clients worldwide

We are an international investigative research and risk advisory firm

Firm Overview

Who We Are

Blackpeak is an international investigative research and risk advisory firm. We specialize in investigative due diligence, business intelligence research, political risk analysis, and investigations and security.

Blackpeak’s founders and managers are professionals from the risk advisory, corporate finance, and investment sectors. We select our analysts from a wide range of professional and academic backgrounds for their persistent curiosity, attention to detail, and analytical ability.

Founded in Asia, the firm now operates from strategic locations in key financial and political centers, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, New York, and Washington DC.

In 2019, Blackpeak was acquired by Acuris, the BC Partners and GIC-backed provider of global data, intelligence, research and analysis.

What We Do

We make our clients more successful by finding and analyzing information that protects them and informs them, whether as part of a transaction or during everyday operations.

We provide whatever risk mitigation services our clients need, from fast and efficient background checks on individuals, to comprehensive risk analyses of businesses, sectors and countries, to meticulous investigations into highly complex frauds. Our carefully edited reports are used by deal teams, compliance heads, security officers, legal counsel, executive management and company boards.

Blackpeak has built its business and reputation by an uncompromising focus on quality, maintaining the highest standards of integrity in how we conduct our work, and treating our clients and staff with the utmost respect.

Key Strengths

Client Commitment

We build and maintain long-term relationships with all our clients, no matter the size of the project. We emphasize transparency, quality and trust with our clients. As a result, our main source of new business is client referrals. We work as one firm and reward collaboration so that your case is assigned to the most experienced team to execute.

Expertise and Diversity

Blackpeak’s founders and managers are professionals from the risk advisory, corporate finance, and investment sectors, where they are sought by clients and media outlets for their expertise. We select our analysts from a wide range of professional and academic backgrounds for their curiosity, persistence and analytical ability. We hire local and cultivate broad networks in all the major financial and political centers.

Proven Track Record

Companies around the world entrust us with their most sensitive and difficult projects. Our clients include hedge funds, private equity firms, law firms, multinational corporations, and international organizations.

At Ease With Complexity

Our clients come to us for analysis and advice rather than simple data gathering. We are relied upon to handle projects that involve complex financial transactions and obscure corporate structures that can range across multiple jurisdictions in multiple languages. Blackpeak’s partners and managers are recognized experts on risk and fraud issues who speak and publish regularly. Our local teams deliver not just information but an understanding of the bigger picture.

Quality Above All

We have built our entire business and company culture around quality. We do more work in-house than any of our competitors because we trust research that we do ourselves. We retain beyond the typical consulting cycle because we know that experience counts. All Blackpeak reports are rigorously reviewed by our in-house editorial team and senior management.

A Culture of Compliance

A risk advisory firm should not be a source of risk. All Blackpeak employees are bound by our Ethics and Compliance policy. We train our staff extensively on anti-bribery and corruption, insider trading, and related industry compliance issues. We understand the local laws and regulations that apply to our work. This includes regulation pertaining to privacy and rules of evidence. Our internal systems and policies are designed to secure your data and have passed audits by the world’s largest financial firms.

Meet Our Team


Managing Partners

A Co-Founder of Blackpeak, Jack has worked in leadership roles in the risk advisory sector for over 20 years. Jack oversees major risk projects throughout Asia, and his expertise includes complex due diligence, fraud investigations and intellectual property protection. His work covers many sectors, including energy, infrastructure, logistics and telecommunications. His clients include Fortune 500 companies, Asian conglomerates, global financial institutions and sovereign wealth funds.

Jack started his career in 1995, moving to Hong Kong and pioneering complex risk research. By 2001 he was head of Asia’s largest risk and investigations firm. His career eventually led him to establish Blackpeak, together with some of Asia’s leading risk experts and investment advisors.

He now co-leads Blackpeak’s global growth strategy, even while being actively involved with client and project work on a daily basis.

Jack is frequently interviewed by international media on risk issues in Asia, including by the New York Times, Reuters, 60 Minutes and Forbes.

Christopher Leahy

Co-Founder
+65 6521 7051
cleahy@blackpeakgroup.com

A Co-Founder of Blackpeak, Chris has more than 25 years of leadership experience in risk advisory, banking, and finance in the Asia–Pacific region. Based in Singapore, Chris has led risk projects across the region. He has extensive industry knowledge and contacts within the financial and corporate communities in Asia, gained from his various leadership roles in the finance industry.

As the head of Blackpeak’s Southeast Asia business, Chris manages complex due diligence, investigations, business intelligence and dispute cases in the region. In addition to client and project work, Chris oversees Blackpeak’s growth and strategic initiatives together with the other partners.

Prior to founding Blackpeak, Chris was the Asia–Pacific head of Kroll, the global risk advisory business, and built the firm’s Southeast Asia practice. He was also the former head of investment banking in Asia for Crosby and, prior to that, was an executive director of BNP Peregrine Capital. Chris is an authority on corporate governance in Asia and has been a member of the secretariat of the Asian Corporate Governance Association since 2004.

International media (including the BBC, Reuters, the Strait Times and the Asian Venture Capital Journal) frequently invite Chris to comment on market and regional issues in Asia. Chris is a highly sought-after as a speaker at conferences and trainings, and as a contributor to industry-related articles and publications.


Management Team

Alexander Nasr

Director
anasr@blackpeakgroup.com

A Director at Blackpeak’s Hong Kong office, Alex has over nine years of Asia-Pacific research, analysis and project management experience. Alex’s work in recent years has focused on complex corporate fraud, corruption and litigation support investigations. Alex is also experienced in a range of other matters, including digital forensics/e-discovery, complex pre-transaction due diligence, targeted political risk investigations and business intelligence research. He holds the GIAC Certified Forensic Examiner (GCFE) qualification in digital forensics and is a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE).

Prior to joining Blackpeak, Alex was an associate managing director at the Hong Kong office of a US-based investigations firm. He previously worked in project management and senior analyst roles for an international investigations firm, and as a crisis management analyst for an international investment bank.

Alex is fluent in Mandarin and English. He holds an LLM degree from Tsinghua University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Waterloo. Originally from Canada, Alex has lived and worked in greater China in various capacities since 2005.

Antoine Cadot-Wood

Associate Director & Head of New York Office
acadotwood@blackpeakgroup.com

Antoine is an Associate Director and Head of Blackpeak’s New York office, where he leads the development of the company’s research capabilities in the Americas and Europe. He also undertakes due diligence, litigation support and business intelligence research for banking, legal, hedge fund and corporate clients.

Antoine previously spent three years in Blackpeak’s Shanghai office, where he executed due diligence, corporate investigation and business intelligence projects throughout the Asia–Pacific region, Europe and the Americas. He also leads Blackpeak’s editorial team, which ensures the quality and consistency of the firm’s reports.

Antoine holds a joint MA in International Studies from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and Nanjing University, and a BA in East Asian Studies from Wesleyan University. He is a Certified Fraud Examiner. Antoine is fluent in English, Mandarin Chinese and French.

Charles Chia

Associate Director
cchia@blackpeakgroup.com

Charles is an Associate Director at Blackpeak’s Singapore office, where he leads and executes complex due diligence assignments and investigations across South and Southeast Asia, Oceania, and Europe. Charles has experience conducting asset searches, corporate investigations, and due diligence. He has completed more than 200 projects at Blackpeak.

Prior to joining Blackpeak, Charles was a consultant at a risk management company. He served his National Service as an assistant investigation officer in the Special Investigation Branch of the Singapore Armed Forces Military Police Command.

Charles graduated from Monash University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a dual major in politics. He holds a private investigator license in Singapore. He is fluent in English and Mandarin Chinese.

Daniel Chinoy

Director
dchinoy@blackpeakgroup.com

Daniel oversees the execution of complex research projects for investor clients from Blackpeak’s Hong Kong office. Before joining Blackpeak, he spent nearly five years at a large hedge fund, where he was responsible for managing business intelligence, political analysis, and due diligence work. This included in-depth and targeted company, sector, and country research that helped drive valuations and decision-making in high-profile activist and special situations investments across Asia.

Before that, Daniel was based in Beijing, where he led the day-to-day delivery of Northeast Asia-focused political and policy analysis and consulting work for a global risk consultancy. Daniel has a BA in History from Columbia University. He grew up in Beijing, Hong Kong, and Taiwan and speaks and reads Mandarin Chinese.

David Suzuki

Head of Global Japan & Korea Practice
dsuzuki@blackpeakgroup.com

David is Head of Blackpeak’s Global Japan and Korea Practice and leads the firm’s Tokyo office. David advises Japanese and Korean multinational corporations on operational risk issues abroad, often at the executive and board levels.

David has cultivated a pioneering human source network of former senior officers of the ground and naval special and regular forces of the US, the UK, Japan, China, Pakistan, India and Nigeria. He is regularly called upon by multinational corporations for insights into current geopolitical issues and critical security risks.

Over a career spanning 20 years, David also served as a Hong Kong Government criminal prosecution witness (copyright piracy), and founded and ran his own risk consulting firm specializing in the Asia–Pacific region. David’s work has been widely featured in the Japanese and international press, including the Financial Times, Forbes, Bloomberg, Nikkei Asian Review and NHK.

David is a Canadian of Japanese descent. He holds a BA in History from the University of British Columbia, and is fully bilingual in Japanese and English.

Li Chen

Associate Director
lchen@blackpeakgroup.com

Li is an Associate Director at Blackpeak’s Beijing office, where she works with the Greater China team on commercial and reputational due diligence and business intelligence projects 

Prior to joining Blackpeak, Li worked as a research assistant at the University of Chicago, conducting research on China’s domestic policy and its political economic dynamics. Before that, Li was a graduate research and data associate at the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, and interned at the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and Oxfam Hong Kong.  

Li holds an MA in International Relations with a concentration in International Security from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor of Laws degree in International Politics from Renmin University of China. She is fluent in English and Mandarin Chinese. 

Lionel Yan

Associate Director
lyan@blackpeakgroup.com

Lionel is an Associate Director at Blackpeak. Based in Shanghai, he conducts intellectual property infringement, unfair competition, internal fraud, and due diligence investigations for corporate clients. 

Lionel has been an investigator for almost 10 years and has worked on over 400 cases. His areas of expertise include developing sources, fraud interviews, site visits, external surveillance, evidence collection, notarization, and coordinating with law enforcement.  

Prior to Blackpeak, Lionel was a senior investigator at the Japan External Trade Organization’s intellectual property agency. Lionel graduated from Shanghai University with a degree in Law and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and Shanghainese. 

Michiharu Honda

Associate Director
mhonda@blackpeakgroup.com

Michiharu is an Associate Director at Blackpeak and is based in the firm’s Tokyo office. He is Head of Government Affairs for the firm’s global Japan practice. Michiharu also manages complex due diligence and business intelligence assignments that involve analyzing the interplay between private and sovereign stakeholders in business in Japan.

Michiharu spent more than 30 years cultivating an extensive network of knowledgeable and influential sources in both the National Diet of Japan and Japan’s central ministries. He spent the bulk of his career in journalism with the Yomiuri, the world’s largest circulation broadsheet daily, and served as the paper’s bureau chief in Phnom Penh from 1997 and then in Jakarta until 2002. After leaving journalism in 2009, Michiharu became a legislative and policy affairs secretary to members of both the Lower and Upper Houses of the National Diet of Japan. In November 2011, the Ministry of Defense of Japan appointed Michiharu as an English specialist in the Ground Self Defense Force (GSDF) Reserve Unit, where he provides linguistic support for the GSDF’s joint operations with the US Marine Corps and the US Army.

Michiharu holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Vermont and an MA from Sophia University in Japan. He is fluent in Japanese and English.

Natalie Kwan

Director of Research
+852 3758 2143
nkwan@blackpeakgroup.com

Natalie is Director of Research at Blackpeak, leading the development of the firm’s research methods and the training of Blackpeak investigators. Based in Hong Kong, Natalie also leads due diligence, asset search and ownership analysis projects all over the world, including in many unusual and difficult-to-research jurisdictions.

Natalie previously worked as an analyst at another global risk advisory firm, conducting business intelligence and due diligence research as well as corporate investigations in Southeast Asia.

Natalie is a Certified Fraud Examiner and has conducted several trainings on due diligence techniques, including for the Hong Kong Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. She holds a BA and MSt in Modern History from the University of Oxford and speaks fluently Cantonese, English and French.

Nicholas Bryan-Brown

Co-Founder & Head of Legal and Compliance
nbryanbrown@blackpeakgroup.com

A Co-Founder of Blackpeak, Nick leads the firm’s legal, compliance and company secretarial functions.

Nick is a former investment banker, investor and lawyer with more than 25 years’ finance experience, much of it in Asia. He is a former co-head of Investment Banking for the Asia Pacific region for HSBC. Nick has extensive experience in advising companies on regulatory and compliance matters as well as M&A, restructuring and capital raising.

He graduated in law from London University and then attended the Inns of Court School of Law.

Qi Zha

Associate Director
qzha@blackpeakgroup.com

Qi is an Associate Director at Blackpeak’s Shanghai office, where she works with the Greater China team on investigative due diligence, fraud investigation, litigation support, and business intelligence cases. Qi has experience conducting due diligence and complex litigation support projects for law firms and corporate clients.  

Prior to joining Blackpeak, Qi interned as a researcher at the University of Michigan Finance Office, the Douglas Center (a Chicago-based non-profit organization) and the Ministry of Land and Resources of the PRC. 

Qi holds a Master of Public Policy degree with a concentration in International Finance and Trade from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Management in Land Management and Real Estate Economics from Renmin University of China. She is fluent in English and Mandarin Chinese. 

Rika Takase

Associate Director
rtakase@blackpeakgroup.com

Rika Takase is an Associate Director at Blackpeak. She is chief of staff of the firm’s Tokyo office and manages the Tokyo office’s engagements both domestically and overseas. Rika also assists the office head in shaping strategy for the firm’s global Japan and Korea practice.

Prior to joining Blackpeak, Rika worked at a Japanese strategy consulting firm specializing in M&A projects for global Japanese companies.

Rika holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Sophia University in Japan. A Japanese national born in the United States, Rika is fully bilingual in Japanese and English.

Rikwan Putra

Associate Director
rputra@blackpeakgroup.com

An Associate Director based in Singapore, Rikwan leads and executes complex due diligence and asset search assignments across South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Oceania, with a particular expertise in Indonesian cases. Rikwan has completed more than 150 risk advisory projects at Blackpeak. He has conducted investigative due diligence on private and public companies as well as family-owned conglomerates across various industries, including oil and gas, mining, plantation, power generation, property, chemicals, shipping and financial services. He has also actively participated in the development of research resources in difficult-to-research jurisdictions.

Prior to joining Blackpeak, Rikwan worked at a political risk advisory firm, where he assessed reputational, regulatory and political risks of companies in Southeast Asia. He also worked at a prominent bank in Singapore, during which he was involved in an ad-hoc research projects on infrastructure companies in Indonesia. He also carried out market entry research on the education sector in Indonesia for a boutique management consulting firm in Singapore.

Rikwan graduated from the National University of Singapore with a double major in applied mathematics and economics. He is fluent in English and Indonesian.

Sean Chen

Director of Strategy
schen@blackpeakgroup.com

Sean is Director of Strategy at Blackpeak and works with the founding partners on the development and execution of key strategic and operational initiatives at the firm. Currently based in Hong Kong, Sean has extensive experience managing complex business intelligence research and investigative due diligence projects for financial services, legal and corporate clients. He has particular expertise with bespoke research into publicly listed companies, including designing and implementing creative investigative methodologies to address questions on strategy and performance, leadership decision making, fraud and corruption, regulatory concerns and other risks.

Sean previously spent five years working in mainland China, including time at Blackpeak’s Shanghai office and later relocating to establish and head the company’s office in Beijing. Prior to joining Blackpeak, Sean was a consultant at Control Risks, where he conducted risk assessment projects across North Asia. Before that, he was a China-focused researcher at the Brookings Institution and worked at the law firm Williams & Connolly LLP in Washington, DC.

Sean holds an MSc in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a BA in Foreign Affairs and History from the University of Virginia. He is Taiwanese-American and is fluent in English and Mandarin Chinese.

Susan Wu

Director & Head of Shanghai Office
swu@blackpeakgroup.com

Susan is a Director at Blackpeak and the Head of the firm’s Shanghai office, where she manages complex due diligence cases as well as the Shanghai office’s day-to-day operations. Susan also leads Blackpeak’s work for Chinese clients on both domestic and overseas projects. She has completed over 400 risk advisory assignments, including pre- and post-investment due diligence projects, business intelligence research, and fraud and intellectual property investigations.

Prior to joining Blackpeak, Susan worked for another global risk advisory firm, where she completed a number of due diligence projects for M&A clients, complex fraud investigations for multinational firms, and litigation support projects for international law firms. She also conducted in-depth pre-employment background checks for domestic and overseas companies.

Susan holds a BA in English Literature from Shanghai International Studies University, and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese, English, and Shanghainese.

Thomas Pellman

Director & Head of Americas
tpellman@blackpeakgroup.com

Thomas is Director and Head of Blackpeak’s Americas business. He previously worked for the firm in Beijing and California, managing diligence and corporate investigation projects, and developing new business with US-based clients. He lived in China for over a decade and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

Prior to joining Blackpeak, Thomas worked at Vestas A/S, the world’s largest wind power company for four years, leading intelligence analysis across Asia Pacific (17 countries), tracking markets, competitors, customers and policy developments. He also has experience working as a business journalist and editor in China, covering renewable energy and other industries, for China Economic Review and other leading publications.

Thomas holds BAs in Philosophy and Anthropology from Indiana University, where he graduated with highest distinction and Phi Beta Kappa. He passed the Level 1 Chartered Financial Analyst exam in 2013.

Vanessa Capdevielle

Director
vcapdevielle@blackpeakgroup.com

A Director in Blackpeak’s Singapore office, Vanessa manages the Singapore team and works with the founding partners to further expand the business across Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Australia. Vanessa has extensive experience in the risk advisory sector, especially in Southeast Asia, where she has lived for some 14 years.

She has led a broad range of matters in various sectors, including large-scale, cross-border disputes and investigations, problem-solving and investment support, business intelligence, and integrity due diligence. Prior to joining Blackpeak, she worked at an international risk consulting firm in Jakarta and Singapore, and more recently at a global business advisory firm, where she was a Director in Singapore managing Southeast Asian due diligence and investigative projects. Before this, Vanessa worked in Jakarta for a French strategy and risk management consulting firm.

Vanessa holds a Master’s degree in International Relations and another one in Strategic Studies. A Certified Fraud Examiner, she was until recently a board member of the Singapore Chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Vanessa is fluent in English, Indonesian, and French.

Yanhong Xu

Director & Head of Beijing Office
yhxu@blackpeakgroup.com

A Director and Head of Blackpeak’s Beijing office, Yanhong conducts business intelligence and investigative due diligence research for hedge funds, private equity investors, and corporate clients. Yanhong has completed a large number of projects in Greater China and Japan, in sectors ranging from apparels to Chinese medicine. 

Prior to Blackpeak, Yanhong worked as a research fellow at the Pacific Forum, Center for Strategic and International Studies, a leading US-based think tank, with research focus on Chinese overseas investment research and Asia–Pacific foreign policy analysis. Yanhong holds an MA in Asian Studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. A Chinese national who grew up in Japan, she is fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, English and Japanese.  

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