"The opportunity for business growth in the Middle East has never been better"- Richard Burt, chairman of Diligence.
Diligence LLC was formed by past members of the CIA and Britain's MI5 Intelligence Services, and is currently headed by Nick Day a former MI5 agent. They have included experts in international law, journalism and intelligence services from post-Cold War which enables them to vet all sorts of future investment projects while providing security advice. More than half of their around 100 employees are former members of an intelligence service. They are related to New Bridge Strategies, sharing addresses and many of the same board members.
Diligence first set up in Baghdad in July 2003. They started by providing payroll protection and delivery, personnel and facilities security, due diligence on potential Iraqi business ventures, training and management of personal security forces, and intelligence briefs.
The success of the business led to the development of the subsidiary, Diligence Middle East, LLC, a partnership with the American company New Bridge Strategies and the Al-Mal Investment Company, a Kuwaiti company chaired by Mohammed Al-Sagar, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Kuwaiti parliament. The new partnership provides clients with a range of services through out the Middle East and especially in Iraq.
Said founder and CEO Mike Baker of the new company, "We are able to provide the highest quality information and security work available in Iraq because we have a core staff of more than 150 Iraqis with local knowledge, operating as full time project managers, security trainers, intelligence officers and security staff. By doing so, we are creating a solid, long-lasting, truly Iraqi company with a vested interest in its own success.”
Diligence is a member of the Private Security Company Association of Iraq.
Bush Administration Connections
- Ed Rogers is vice-chair New Bridge Strategies and Diligence. He is also the co-founder of Barbour, Griffith and Rogers a lobbying firm that was the initial funder of Diligence and shares their floor with New Bridge in their DC office four blocks from the White House. Rogers has served in in the White House under the Reagan Administration, the Bush-Quayle campaign and the Bush 41 administration. Fellow founder of BG&R, Haley Barbour, whose connections to New Bridge raised concerns from his opponents, won Mississippi's governor's race in 2003.
- Joe Allbaugh, the deputy chairman of Diligence, resigned his post as head of FEMA on March 1, 2003, a post granted to him after serving as National Campaign Manager for the Bush-Cheney 2000 election. He left to spend time with his children, but quickly jumped into the start up of New Bridge as bombs began falling on Iraq.
- Former head of the CIA station in Baghdad, Whitley Bruner, is now in the private sector as head of Diligence's operations in Iraq. As well, founder Mike Baker is a former covert operator for the CIA.
- Neil Bush has been paid a $60,000 annual consulting fee by the president of New Bridge, John Howland to aid in the procurement of contracts for companies seeking to do business in Iraq.
Senior Advisory Board
- William H. Webster: former director of the FBI and CIA
- Edward Mathias: managing director of the Carlyle Group
- Arnaud de Borchgrave: former President and CEO of UPI
- John Dooner: chairman and CEO of McCann-Erickson Worldgroup
- Thomas H. Boggs Jr.: chairman Patton Boggs
- Lord Charles Powell: former advisor to Margaret Thatcher and John Major
- Michael Howard: former leader of the Conservative Party, UK
- William Shiebler: asset manager
- Thomas F. McLarty: former President Clinton's Chief of Staff; current president of Kissenger McLarty Associates
- Rockwell Schnabel: founder Trident Capital
- Kurt J. Lauk: founder and president of Globe Capital Partners
- Nick Day:co-founder, chief operations officer
- Marc Triaureau: chief financial officer
- Ed Rogers: vice-chairman
- Joe M. Allbaugh: deputy chairman
- Russ Corn: managing director, London
- Charles Kestenbaum: COO of Diligence Middle East
- Whitley Bruner: director of Iraqi branch
- Jon Greenaway: managing director, Brussels
- Ewan McPhie: senior managing director, Washington DC
- Michael Redman: managing director, Moscow
- Mike Baker: founder, chief executive officer (left company in 2005)
1275 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W, 10th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20004
Phone: (202) 659 6210
Fax (202) 783 4566
Email: washdc AT diligencellc.com
80 SW 8th Street, Suite 2000
Miami, Florida 33130
Fax: (305) 423 7067
Email: miami AT diligencellc.com
46-48 James Street,
London W1U 1EZ
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7935 3234
Fax +44 (0) 20 7935 3983
Email: london AT diligencellc.com
Phone: +88 216 5201 3687
Email: baghdad AT diligencellc.com