G3 Good Governance: what is it?

Following up on last week’s pull the records post on Foxitty and tasers and stuff, what if “G3” really refers to G3 Good Governance Group? Here’s the data, on LevelBusiness, which is even better than CompaniesintheUK. There are four names involved, two of which – Hugh Petre and Andries Pienaar – quit the board at the end of April 2010. Petre is on LinkedIn. There’s also one Katharine MacGowan, who doesn’t seem to be anywhere on the web. Hmmm.

And one Mungo Soggot. That’s the kind of name that should be easier to track down, and it turns out that he’s a South African journalist who did some pretty impressive work on corruption and also rocks and early 2000s emerging market GSM weirdness before moving to the UK. Depressingly, it sounds like he’s essentially an exile. His dad was Sir David Soggot, a lawyer, judge, and apartheid resister. Here’s Soggot opining on South African politics.

The same people, plus a couple of others, are also directors of RB4R UK Ltd., created 2 years ago, which has never traded, and Risk Analysis UK Ltd, which has been around for 13 years and is very much a thing. It provides “strategic risk advice, investigations, and litigation support”, and intended to move the litigation and investigation business into a separate company in 2011 (presumably RB4R). Its accounts showed a profit of £2.39 million on a turnover of £12.1 million for 2010-2011. It employs 46 staff and spent about £3 million on salaries. It has about £3 million cash on hand, and paid just under a million pounds in tax.

Despite that, its ultimate owner is in the Isle of Man. However, as you can see from the above, it paid about a third of its profits in corporation tax, which is charged at 28%, and therefore isn’t obviously using this to avoid tax. For what it’s worth, the Manx company record is here.

It may be true that some of the people involved are former spooks – certainly the guy who’s a CB and a former Defence civilian with absolutely no other qualities sounds like one. There’s also an old friend of the blog, Alex Yearsley, who worked there after leaving Global Witness! Cryptome quotes a newspaper article that suggests that the people involved are ex-MI5.

The FT Westminster blog asserts that one Chester Crocker is the chairman of “investigations company G3”, but as we have seen, no Crocker is a director of G3, G3 UK, G3i, or G3 Good Governance. Perhaps they mean the IoM holding company.

I don’t know quite what the upshot of all this is, but it does seem that G3 Good Governance is a thing, unlike the other G3, it doesn’t have any obvious conflicts of interest like the tasers, but it does have spooky directors. Oh, and the press have no idea which company they mean.


  1. Richard J

    A Chester Crocker (resident in Washington DC) was briefly a director of Ashanti Goldfields Company Limited) from 2000-2004, but no other UK cos.

    (Incidentally, and I tried to post this yesterday…, there are two not-so-innocent ways an IoM HoldCo is good from a tax avoidance perspective.

    a) Tax-free exit, particularly for non-doms able to avoid remitting gains to the UK (assuming, which seems to be the case, that Sch 7AC TCGA 1992 acts to prevent s13 TCGA 1992 from applying. Which, I’m sure, was at the front of your mind.)

    b) Routing profits so they never hit the UK in the first place (i.e. third parties engage with the IoM Co which in turn sub-contracts on a cost-plus basis to the UK trading co, or IoM Co strips out profit by means of financing charges, management fees, etc.). The use of an IoM Co versus a Jersey/Guernsey Co is suggestive on this point, as the Isle of Man is in the UK for VAT purposes, unlike the Channel Islands. However, in practice, it’s often a buggeration to run structures like this.

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