Nicholas Blank is a Managing Director and Head of Nardello & Co.’s Hong Kong office. Nicholas has lived and worked in the Greater China region for more than 20 years, managing a wide variety of investigations, including those pertaining to conflicts of interest, corruption, and intellectual property theft. He is often positioned on the front line of investigations and has particular expertise leading whistleblower-initiated internal investigations that meld human intelligence collection, digital forensics reviews, and overt interviews.
In addition to his expertise in China, Nicholas has extensive on-the-ground experience in Vietnam, India, and South Korea, where he has assisted companies and investors with numerous due diligence, internal compliance, and fraud investigations. He recently undertook inquiries in India to assist a client engaged in a high-stakes activist investor dispute. While in South Korea he led a review that identified multiple employee fraud schemes designed to funnel money from our client’s construction project. Nicholas has experience conducting interviews, managing document reviews, and guiding clients through crisis situations that occur within numerous corporate structures ranging from listed companies to state-owned enterprises (SOEs).
- Nicholas led an investigation on behalf of a transnational public lending institution that revealed that employees of a Vietnamese state-owned enterprise had not disclosed their ownership of several businesses that provided subcontractor services to projects that received loans from our client, in violation of their loan agreement.
- Nicholas oversaw an investigation into unauthorized sales of branded e-cigarettes by a Chinese company’s business partner. In addition to locating the infringer’s manufacturing base, Nicholas’ team obtained e-cigarette samples, identified the seller’s preferred online payment methods, and gathered evidence demonstrating the seller’s monthly and yearly sales figures.
- Nicholas launched an investigation into whistleblower claims that the top manager of a multinational company had been bribing suppliers and passing on the costs through overpriced invoices. Through his work, which included interviews with employees and a digital analysis of the manager’s company-issued computer, Nicholas uncovered evidence that not only corroborated the whistleblower’s claims, but revealed the suspect manager had been pressuring junior staff to participate in the scheme on his behalf.
Just the Facts
- MA, International Economics and International Relations, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)
- BA, History and Philosophy, St. Mary’s College of Maryland
- Coursework in Politics and Economics, Renmin University of China
- Chinese (fluent)
- Japanese (beginner)
- Korean (beginner)
- Certified Fraud Examiner
- Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist
- Physical Security Professional