Expert Q&A: Anita Broughton on due diligence
Anita Broughton is a Senior Vice President at Haley & Aldrich and has more than 30 years’ experience in environmental site assessment and remediation. She also leads our manufacturing market segment.
How does Haley & Aldrich approach due diligence?
For us it’s more than going through a checklist. While another company might perform due diligence that’s based strictly on the ASTM guidelines, we recognize that the potential risks and liabilities may include other pre-acquisitions considerations. These may be related to future site use, the property location and subsurface conditions, location-specific compliance and permitting requirements, and proximity, availability, and cost of various resources and supply chain considerations. We see our role as a trusted partner, bringing to light the full range of issues attached to a given property. For us it’s about delivering maximum value to our client.
What kinds of issues are beyond the standard approach?
Rather than focus primarily on historical issues, we think ahead and consider additional factors like site constructability, facility management, and any reputational issues that may be present. When engineered risk mitigation is required, we assess whether those measures can be incorporated as part of site construction and development so that separate environmental “line-item” costs are reduced or eliminated downstream. That strategy also provides valuable risk reduction.
What about less tangible issues, like sustainability?
Oh, absolutely. Sustainability and resilience issues can be included in our assessments. For instance, we can consider the suitability of a property for geothermal energy generation and its potential to support a net zero energy strategy, possible water supply constraints, proximity to potential man-made and natural hazards, and potential impacts related to extreme weather conditions.
Seems like a tall order – especially given that due diligence is usually needed pretty quickly, right?
Yes. That’s the essential nature of due diligence: big decisions like go/no go, escrows or sale price adjustments, and project strategy are all based on the due diligence results. And yet timeliness is essential to making the deal happen.
So, how do you accomplish thorough due diligence that’s also timely?
Our clients look to us for very broad AND deep expertise about all of the technical issues. And that’s another way that Haley & Aldrich is unique; our organization is structured to use every bit of expertise we have to help our clients. That’s how we deliver timely answers to these open issues – it’s a lot more efficient to perform a comprehensive assessment when you have experts from different service areas all pitching in.
For more information about Due Diligence, contact Anita Broughton.