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, screening, 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, Washington DC and London.

In 2019, Blackpeak was acquired by Acuris, a provider of global data, intelligence, research and analysis. Acuris is owned by ION Investment Group, a provider of mission-critical trading and workflow solutions to financial institutions, central banks, governments and corporates.

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.

Our ESG Core

Blackpeak believes that Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors are the single biggest challenge for the global business community now and for at least the next generation. Recent global events are teaching us that existing business models are no longer viable without comprehensive and sustained reforms.

ESG reform has been at the heart of our work since our incorporation in 2011. Across our service and product lines, we identify, investigate, and assess ESG risks our clients face, and advise on strategies to mitigate those risks. We are a market leader in advising international investors and companies in renewable energy initiatives globally.

In partnership with the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), Blackpeak employs a rigorous and scalable ESG framework that identifies actual or potential ESG issues within any corporate ecosystem. Blackpeak licenses and applies the SASB Materiality Map® General Issue Categories in our work.


The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board Foundation is the global leader in setting sustainability disclosure standards that are industry-specific and tied to the concept of materiality to investors. SASB believes that a shared understanding of companies’ sustainability performance enables companies and investors to make informed decisions that drive improved sustainability outcomes, and thereby lead to improved long-term value creation.

We share this belief. Our partnership with SASB helps our clients align financial returns with long-term sustainable value.

ESG Credentials and Culture

Beyond providing ESG-related services, we do our best to reflect these standards in our firm’s culture, policies, operations, and approach to talent development.

Our team members have decades of experience in supply chain and life-cycle assessment, renewable energy, ESG intelligence, ESG reporting, investigative journalism, and policy analysis. Many of our employees have obtained globally-recognized certifications including the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), ACFE’s Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), the International Compliance Associations’ Anti-Money Laundering (AML), and the GIAC Certified Forensic Examiner (GCFE) certifications.

Blackpeak is an established partner of the Asian Corporate Governance Association, Asia’s leading governance reform advocate – of which one of our founders has been a secretariat member since 2004. We have also been an active member of the ESG Community of  the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association.

At Blackpeak, women make up about half of our staff and management team. We train our employees to understand the compliance issues and local regulations that apply to our work. And we conduct periodic, compulsory cybersecurity training sessions for our staff and design our internal systems to ensure that your data are secure.

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 Directors

Jack Clode

Managing Director

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. 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 research and investigations firm. His career eventually led him to establish Blackpeak, together with some of Asia’s leading risk experts and investment advisors.

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

Christopher Leahy

Managing Director

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. Chris has led risk projects all around the region and has extensive industry knowledge and contacts within the financial and corporate communities in Asia.

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 Jack.

Chris was a 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 Straits Times and the Asian Venture Capital Journal) frequently invite Chris to comment on market and regional issues in Asia.

Sean Chen

Managing Director

Sean is Managing Director of Blackpeak and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. Currently based in Hong Kong, Sean works with Blackpeak’s co-founders on the development and execution of key strategic and operational initiatives at the firm.

Sean also has extensive experience managing complex business intelligence research and investigative due diligence projects for hedge funds, institutional investors, investment banks, law firms and corporate clients. He has particular expertise with bespoke research on publicly listed equities, including collecting and analyzing information to address questions on strategy and performance, management decision making, fraud and corruption, political and regulatory risks.

Prior to joining Blackpeak, Sean was a consultant at Control Risks, a researcher at the Brookings Institution, and worked at the law firm Williams & Connolly LLP in Washington, DC. Sean is a graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science and the University of Virginia. He is Taiwanese-American and is fluent in English and Mandarin Chinese.

Management Team

Ada Wang

Associate Director

Ada undertakes business intelligence and investigative due diligence research in Greater China. Ada has extensive experience conducting qualitative and quantitative research in China for academic, NGO, think tank and government audiences.

Prior to joining Blackpeak, Ada was a research assistant at the East–West Center, where she conducted research on US–Asia relations. She also studied US–China political and security issues at the Hudson Institute.

Ada holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy degree from Georgetown University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration from East China University of Science and Technology. A Chinese citizen, she is fluent in English and Mandarin Chinese.

Antoine Cadot-Wood

Director & Head of New York Office

Antoine is a Director in Blackpeak’s Americas business. He leads the development of the firm’s resources and methodology in the Americas, as well as the training of Blackpeak investigators. He has assisted clients with complex due diligence, asset trace, and intellectual property assignments in every region of the world.

Antoine previously spent six years living and working in China, including three years at Blackpeak’s Shanghai office. He relocated to New York in 2018 to support the firm’s rapidly growing Americas practice.

A Certified Fraud Examiner, Antoine holds degrees from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, Nanjing University, and Wesleyan University. He speaks English, Mandarin Chinese, and French.

Ben Lee


Ben conducts due diligence research and corporate investigations in Blackpeak’s Hong Kong office. He has research experience in Hong Kong, mainland China, and Singapore. Ben’s areas of expertise include the private and online education, insurance, and supply chain management sectors.

Before joining Blackpeak, Ben worked at a consulting firm handling business and investor migration cases, including preparing documentation for investments and sources of funding, liaising with high net worth clients, and analyzing the financial status of prospective applicants.

Ben holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Financial Services from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and is fluent in English and Cantonese.

Chris Allen

Senior Director EMEA

Chris leads Blackpeak’s research and diligence business in EMEA and is Global Head of Blackpeak Screening.

Before joining Blackpeak, Chris spent eight years at Goldman Sachs in London, where he was an Executive Director in the bank’s business intelligence group. There, he led the due diligence on high-profile capital markets and private equity transactions, advising global committees on legal, regulatory, and reputational risk. He has extensive experience in navigating issues around bribery and corruption, economic sanctions, and complex reputational considerations.

Earlier in his career, Chris was a manager for a global risk consultancy, where he worked in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and London on due diligence matters and investigations into fraud and corruption.

Chris has a first class degree in Chinese from the University of Leeds and speaks Mandarin Chinese.

David Pruden

Associate Director

A Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), David manages risk research projects for funds and banking clients and has worked on over 400 cases. He specializes in English- and Russian-language due diligence and business intelligence research. He is also the leader of Blackpeak’s global editorial team, helping to ensure the quality and consistency of the firm’s reports to clients.

Prior to Blackpeak, David taught math and English in the United States, Kuwait, and Thailand. Additionally, he provided research support for regular publications and assisted on business consulting projects at a political risk firm in New York. He has research experience in both the private sector and academia in the United States. His areas of expertise include political risk and Russian–Chinese political and economic relations.

David holds a Master’s Degree in Regional Studies – Russia, Eurasia, and Eastern Europe from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Russian and International Studies – Europe from the University of Florida. He is fluent in English and Russian and has professional proficiency in French. David is also knowledgeable about Natural Language Processing (NLP), AI, and Data Science. He primarily uses Python to conduct data analysis and create AI models, and can also program in C++, VBA, and SQL.

Isa Ho

Associate Director

Isa is an Associate Director at Blackpeak and leads the firm’s editorial team, helping to ensure the quality and consistency of reports to clients. Currently based in Shanghai, Isa also has experience conducting in-depth English-language due diligence research for investment bank and hedge fund clients.

Prior to joining Blackpeak, Isa was a Writing & Speaking Fellow at NYU Shanghai, where she provided writing and speaking support to the global student body.

Isa holds a Bachelor’s Degree in literature from the National University of Singapore. She is fluent in both English and Mandarin.

Jacob Li

Associate Director

Jacob is an Associate Director at Blackpeak’s Shanghai office, where he undertakes business intelligence and investigative due diligence research for financial services companies, law firms, and corporate clients in Greater China. Jacob has previously worked in multiple due diligence roles under Acuris, first as an analyst and senior analyst at Capital Profile, where he completed research projects on more than 100 high-net-worth business families in Asia. He later joined Acuris Risk Intelligence as a product manager, and was mainly responsible for managing the team’s screening projects, as well as overseeing ARI’s day-to-day operations in the Shanghai office.

Prior to joining Acuris, Jacob worked as a relationship manager at Standard Chartered Bank in Shanghai and interned in the consulting department of infrastructure and engineering company Louis Berger in Washington DC.

Jacob holds a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from the University of California, San Diego, and a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Qingdao University. Jacob is also a CFA charter holder. He is fluent in Mandarin and English.

Liann Li


Liann conducts business intelligence and investigative due diligence research in Greater China for financial services, corporate and law firm clients.

Prior to joining Blackpeak, Liann interned as a researcher at a global market research and consulting company, conducting quantitative and qualitative market research projects in multiple industries.

Liann holds an Master’s Degree in Marketing from the City University of Hong Kong and a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from East China University of Political Science and Law. She is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and English.

Lionel Yan


Lionel 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.

Mabel Sim

Associate Director

Mabel leads and executes complex due diligence assignments and investigations across South and Southeast Asia, Oceania, and Europe. Mabel has extensive experience managing due diligence assignments as well as complex research projects for corporate clients, financial institutions, and law firms.

Prior to joining Blackpeak, Mabel was a consultant at an international risk consulting firm, where she conducted business intelligence and investigative due diligence projects in Southeast Asia. She was also a consultant at a boutique risk advisory firm where she conducted due diligence assignments in Asia Pacific. Mabel previously served in a Singapore government trade agency.

Mabel graduated from Singapore Management University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science with majors in political science and business law. She is fluent in English and Mandarin Chinese.

Maria Pavlenko

Associate Director

Maria is an Associate Director at Blackpeak’s London office, where she works with the EMEA team on investigative due diligence, business intelligence and litigation support cases. Prior to joining Blackpeak, Maria managed a business intelligence & investigations function of a London-based global strategic risk consultancy where she led complex global and multijurisdictional integrity investigations and due diligence projects. Before this, Maria worked in Scotland for a boutique intelligence-led business advisory where she led Eurasia-focused investigative projects and political risk assignments.

Maria holds a PhD from the University of St Andrews for her thesis on energy security and risk governance in the Arctic as well as a Master’s Degree in Sustainable Energy. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Strategic Management and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science & Languages from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. Maria is fluent in English, Russian and Spanish, and has a working knowledge of French and Ukrainian.

Matthew McCollum

Associate Director

Matthew is an Associate Director at Blackpeak’s Washington DC office where he overseas due diligence and business intelligence research projects for financial, corporate, and law firm clients.

Matthew previously worked at the U.S. Department of the Treasury in their Western Hemisphere office, where he analyzed macroeconomic trends across Latin America. Prior to this, Matthew analyzed political and regulatory risks for clients with interests in Brazil and the Southern Cone at Control Risks.

He holds a Master’s Degree in International Economics and Latin American Studies from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Azusa Pacific University. Originally from California, Matthew is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.

Natalie Kwan

Senior Director of Research

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

Natalie previously worked 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 Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Modern History from the University of Oxford and speaks fluent Cantonese, English and French.

Qi Zha

Associate Director

Qi works with the Americas team on investigative due diligence, fraud investigation, and business intelligence cases. She manages the research team and also supervises pre-transactional due diligence research in the United States.

Previously, Qi worked in Blackpeak’s Shanghai office for almost four years, where she led the research team in Shanghai and managed complex due diligence cases for banking, hedge fund, and corporate clients in Greater China.

Qi is a Certified Fraud Examiner. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor’s Degree in Management from Renmin University of China. She is fluent in English and Mandarin Chinese.

Rikwan Putra

Associate Director

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.

Shawn Xu

Associate Director

Shawn is an Associate Director based in Blackpeak’s Shanghai office. He mainly undertakes business intelligence and investigative due diligence for financial services, law firms, and corporate clients in Greater China:

Prior to joining Blackpeak, Shawn interned as a researcher at a global risk management firm and was responsible for conducting due diligence analysis, anti-corruption investigations, and anti-fraud investigations for international clients in Greater China, South Korea, and Singapore.

Shawn holds a Master’s Degree in International Journalism Studies from Hong Kong Baptist University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Foreign Language and Literature from University of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He is fluent in Mandarin, English and Cantonese.

Susan Wu

Senior Director & Head of Shanghai Office

Susan is a Director at Blackpeak and the Head of the firm’s Shanghai office, where she manages complex due diligence, fraud and conflict-of-interest investigations. 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 Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature from Shanghai International Studies University, and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese, English, and Shanghainese.

Thomas Pellman

Senior Director & Head of Americas

Tom is Senior Director and Head of Americas at Blackpeak. 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, Tom 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.

Tom holds Bachelor’s Degrees 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 and is a Certified Fraud Examiner.

Vanessa Capdevielle

Senior Director & Head of Singapore Office

Vanessa is a Director at Blackpeak. She 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.

Xiaochen Su

Associate Director

Xiaochen is the research team leader of the Blackpeak Tokyo office, where he manages the execution of Japanese research projects. Prior to joining Blackpeak, Xiaochen led the creation of new microfinance and retail operations in rural Tanzania for the US-based nonprofit One Acre Fund. He was also previously involved in international business development and market analyses for the multinational e-commerce firm Lazada Group in Malaysia and the Philippines, as well as for the internet conglomerate Rakuten in Japan.

He received his PhD at the University of Tokyo, where he conducted fieldwork and interview-based research on the Chinese migrant community in the Russian Far East. Xiaochen also has a Master’s Degree in International Political Economy from the London School of Economics and Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Electrical Engineering from Yale University. Having grown up in mainland China, Japan, and the US, Xiaochen is fluent in Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, and English.

Yanhong Xu

Senior Director

Yanhong is a Director and the manager of Blackpeak’s Beijing and Tokyo offices. Yanhong specializes in business intelligence and investigative due diligence research for hedge funds, private equity investors, and corporate clients. She 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 a research focus on Chinese overseas investment research and Asia Pacific foreign policy analysis.

Yanhong holds a Master’s Degree in Asian Studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. A Chinese citizen who grew up in Japan, she is fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, English and Japanese.

Yulingbo Mao

Senior Director

Mao is a Director at Blackpeak and has extensive experience in the fields of business intelligence, due diligence and investigations. Mao has worked – first as a researcher and investigator, and later as a senior case manager – on assignments of varying scale across Asia Pacific, with a focus on greater China. She has assisted numerous financial services, legal, regulatory and corporate clients in making informed decisions related to potential and existing investments, mergers and acquisitions, IPOs and de-listings, senior management and board appointments, market entry, internal investigations, and disputes and litigation.

Prior to joining Blackpeak, Mao worked at a number of leading international corporate intelligence and risk consultancies, as well as in the Business and Client Intelligence Unit of Deutsche Bank.

Mao is a native Mandarin Chinese speaker who is also fluent in English and Cantonese. She holds a Master’s Degree in Finance and a Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion & Textiles from Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Zin Bo Htet

Associate Director

Zin Bo undertakes risk investigations including due diligence, fraud investigations and business intelligence across Southeast Asia. He has experience conducting due diligence and academic research and producing reports for various stakeholders including governments.

Prior to joining Blackpeak, Zin Bo was a research analyst at the Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He also worked as a part-time research assistant at the National Institute of Education and as an independent researcher for a risk management consulting firm while pursuing his master’s degree in Singapore.

Zin Bo holds a Master’s Degree in International Political Economy from Nanyang Technological University and a Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of Yangon. Originally from Myanmar, he is fluent in Burmese and English.