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.

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, Alex has over eight years of Asia Pacific research, analysis and project management experience. His work in recent years has focused on corporate fraud, corruption and digital forensics investigations, litigation support and pre-transaction FCPA due diligence. He also has experience in the conduct and management of a range of other risk management projects including political and security risk as well as business intelligence investigations.

Prior to joining Blackpeak, Alex was a senior consultant with a global risk consulting firm. He also worked as a crisis management analyst with Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong.

Before entering the risk management field, Alex held research assistant roles with foreign policy think tanks ICG and CEIP in Beijing and spent several years as a freelance researcher and Chinese-to-English translator. Alex has been based in Greater China since 2005.

Alex is fluent in English, Mandarin and written Chinese. He holds an LLM from Tsinghua University and a BA from University of Waterloo.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Yanhong Xu

Director & Head of Beijing Office
yhxu@blackpeakgroup.com

An Associate 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 a 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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