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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

What is the GCRD - in a nutshell?

    The Global Compliance Research Directory (GCRD) is a meta-directory on relevant public registers and commercial sources, that can be used for compliance or counterparty research.

Who is behind GCRD?

GCRD international was founded by Dr. Pascal Ditté and works with a network of external experts (contributors).

Years of experience in international consulting, research and security/intellligence.
Before starting GCRD, Pascal Ditté was a Senior Manager at Deloitte, responsible for the Business Intelligence practice within its Forensic & Dispute Services group in Germany. Prior to that, he worked with the Consulting Division of Global Insight (now IHS Globalinsight), a US-based leading provider of industry analysis and global country information. Pascal Ditté also worked with Droege & Comp. Singapore as a part of an International Management Program and has long experience as an intelligence analyst in the area of political, economic and security risk analysis in the Federal German Armed Forces.



Why this directory?

    Compliance research requires expert knowledge from different sectors and very often across countries. For example to identify the beneficial owners of an international structure of shell companies, to research on possible criminal or civil litigations of a business partner or to trace and recover hidden assets of an entity. Knowing relevant information sources in a jurisdiction that can be used are key for complete and consistent research.
    The availability, accessibility, contents and quality of public records and commercial databases differs widely across countries. This is often challenging enough in western countries. And many transactions take place in emerging countries, where the situation is even more difficult. On the other hand, information for Integrity Due Diligence and compliance research is often needed on a short notice and on a global level. But a consistent basis of sources is missing.
    GCRD is a structured and dynamic repository of relevant sources and registers and their characteristics. Key considerations: Which sources are available in a jurisdiction, where and how can information be obtained? Coverage of >30.000 sources in more than 180 jurisdictions - and counting. Helping you to use the full spectrum of available sources. And to turn unstructured and fragmented pieces of information into "intelligence".

What are the benefits of GCRD? Why should GCRD be used?

The use of the GCRD brings the following benefits:

  • Confidentiality
    Given the nature of background research (e.g. for M&A purposes), clients typically want to keep the circle of involved parties (service providers) as small as possible.
    Using the GCRD enables the client to conduct more own research, which keeps more of the investigation work within the company and confidential.
  • Compliance
    Privacy, data protection and other laws are a key concern when conducting background research, which can put the client in high danger of reputation and other risks.
    Using the GCRD and its sources can help the client to make sure that all actions are compliant with the law.
  • Cost efficiency
    When parts of the research can be conducted by the client, there may be no need to hire an information provider from outside.
    This can save costs significantly.
  • Reliability
    Assessing the reliability of an information source can be very difficult for a client, especially when it comes to research in a foreign jurisdiction.
    The use of the GCRD helps to ensure that only highly reliable primary and secondary sources are used in the investigation work.
  • Quality control
    In case that an information provider is engaged, the research processed can be monitored and the results can be assessed.
    GCRD helps to identify the source of information provided, the legality of retrieval process – and it helps to identify if important aspects were left out.
  • Time saving
    Negates the need for time consuming research on the existence of information sources and their contents:
    Immediate overview of available relevant sources in a given country – the contents, access requirements, conditions and costs.
Based on a common methodology, global coverage and regular updates.

Where does the information in this directory come from?

    Database input for GCRD derives from two channels:
  • GCRD Desktop Research.
    Professional desktop research, conducted by GCRD.
  • Direct expert contributions.
    For example via standardized (online-) questionnaires.
The information sources in both channels can be categorized as followed:
  • Public Sector/ Governmental authorities
  • National/ international Organizations
  • Private Sector / Commercial Companies
  • Legal/accounting firm or expert
  • Consulting firms
  • Database / information companies
  • Other service providers
  • Press / Media
  • Internet and Social Media
  • Academics
  • Others

How do you ensure quality of your content?

It is part of the GCRD methodology to document the origin of every piece of information in order to ensure best possible quality and transparency.
Every entry has an electronic 'footnote' with information about source, date of information, last update etc.

This internal quality control helps the client to assess the reliability of a piece of information himself. The client can now make his own decision, maybe referring to the original source document, check if information is contradicting and get back to the source for possible questions.
    This is the decision and responsibilty of the client/user. GCRD is not liable for the information presented in this directory.

What is the update frequency of GCRD information?

GCRD content is usually checked on a regular basis. In addition, reported changes or additional sources can be implemented as they appear.

I have a very specific question or problem - and I do not need an 'encyclodedia in 277 chapters', but just a single piece of information. Can you help me?

Yes, this is possible. Just browse though the database to check if your question is covered.
If the requested information is available, just contact us for a subscription and you will get access to the information behind.

If your desired information is not available yet, you may initiate research for this piece of information. We will schedule our efforts accordingly.

If you have a question that is not covered by our standard research focus, just drop us a line (info[at] or give us a call (+49 (0) 211 1635 2738) and we speak.
We are happy to help with "source/ register intelligence" on sources or registers and information availability in general. But please keep in mind that we do not carry out research on targets (individuals or companies). However, you may find suitable service providers for this in our database or elsewhere.

Who should use the GCRD?

GCRD should always be used when compliance research work is conducted. Client groups are from the industrial, trade, manufacturing and financial sector as well as law firms, consulting companies and many others.

Does the GCRD provide research services about companies or individuals?

No, it does not. GCRD delivers information about relevant sources and the "how-to" to retrieve these documents and contents, if they are publicly available.

What about the costs of GCRD?

The annual fees depend on the number of countries and on the number of licenses. GCRD is a tool for conducting IDD research and thus the pricing is attractive for users to implement it in their own workflow. Compared with the costs that some service providers ask for their work, it is very low.

How can I access the GCRD database?

GCRD is a web-based database solution. No software installation is required.

The information that I am looking for seems to be not included in the directory. What can I do?

It is possible that we have information on your issue available, which is just not included in the database yet.
Please contact us at
We will answer your request as fast as possible and get back to you.
(c) GCRD international Dr. Pascal Ditté