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Business leaders and companies are increasingly putting their support behind more transparent company ownership. Why? Because it makes good business sense, creates better markets and will help earn back eroded public trust.

Business can lead the way by opening up on their ownership, requiring transparency of suppliers and partners, making transparency a factor in assessing investments and making their support for global company ownership transparency known publicly.

Explore the commitments leading companies are already making below and join them. With business leading the way, transparent company ownership will soon become standard practice.

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Publish your company ownership and structure

As more and more countries start to implement company ownership registers, leading companies and investors, such as Natura and Unilever are already taking action and making more information on their structures and ownership publicly available.

What can companies do?

Publish your ownership on OpenOwnership. OpenOwnership is the world’s first public global register of beneficial ownership. It collects and connects beneficial ownership datasets and self-disclosed corporate data from around the world, Open Ownership enables companies and investors to see who they are really doing business with. Companies who voluntarily disclose their ownership in this portal distinguish themselves as leaders in transparency and openness. Join business leaders and publish your ownership now on OpenOwnership.org.

What are the benefits?

  1. Being transparent about their ownership means companies can build stronger trust with their investors, foster public trust and grow their licence to operate.
  2. Being transparent about their own ownership means companies can credibly require higher disclosure by anyone wanting to do business with them, building integrity into their supply chains.
  3. With increasing government requirements around transparency, companies can ensure they stay ahead of the curve and ensure compliance with upcoming legislative changes.

Publish your ownership now on OpenOwnership.org

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Call on all governments to implement beneficial ownership transparency

Most governments do not require ownership disclosure, and there is no global system for tracking beneficial ownership, however this situation is changing. Increasingly governments are making strong commitments to transparency and legislation which mandates beneficial ownership transparency. The private sector have played an critical and positive role driving these government commitments and more business voices are needed to continue this momentum. See case studies below for how private sector advocacy has helped drive government commitments in the UK, within the European Union and through thte B20 and click the contact us button to support our advocacy efforts.

What can companies do?

Businesses and investors can publicly support ambitious legislation and their own strong commitment to transparency – using their voice and influence in this way can help move the needle on government action. Join us and commit to publicly support beneficial ownership transparency. We will share invitations to act in the moments where your voice can help make a difference to national and global policy.

What are the benefits?

If business, investors and governments work together to make ownership transparency a new global norm, the systemic changes will provide many macro benefits to business. These include more competitive and stable markets, improved public trust, increased competitiveness in public procurement and efficient delivery of public services.

Governments spend $9.5 trillion a year globally on public works, goods and services. When company ownership is hidden, so too is nepotism, bribery and other forms of corruption in the procurement process. Beneficial ownership transparency helps level the playing field and ensures the best company is responsible for the delivery of often vital infrastructure and services.

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Investigate any person who owns at least 10% of a company through due diligence

It is common practice for companies to identify any person who owns 25% or more of a company they are considering for investment or as a partner. While a step in the right direction, identifying ownership at 25% or higher shares still allows ultimate owners to be hidden, and anonymous shell companies to be used as vehicles to mask nefarious behaviour. One solution is to collect ownership information on any owner with at least 10% stakes in the company ownership.

What can companies and investors do?

Raise the bar on due diligence, and make it a company standard to investigate beneficial ownership down to 10% for all investment, supplier and partnering decisions, helping to create a new standard for global transparency.

What are the benefits?

  1. Better due diligence: Companies who collect beneficial ownership information down to 10% would know who they are really doing business with, keeping their company and investments even safer from illicit activity and decreasing their exposure. Detailed knowledge of who you are dealing with is the best defense against undesirable associations.
  2. Avoid regulatory risk: Global regulators are handing out fines at an increased pace to companies connected to corrupt activities. Companies and investors can avoid reputational and regulatory risks by investigating down to 10%.
  3. Public trust: The most important benefit however, is garnering public trust. Companies and individuals are more likely to do business with an entity that it knows is protecting its investment.

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Require your suppliers to disclose their ownership structure

With supply chains becoming increasingly complex, more geographically diverse and regulated by multiple jurisdictions, taking necessary steps to identify who you’re doing business with is now more critical than ever before. On average, more than 25% of a company’s market value depends on its reputation and Companies entering into contractual agreements with multiple suppliers should require public disclosure of ownership structures to mitigate reputational and regulatory risks.

What can companies and investors do?

Join the growing number of businesses and investors who require suppliers to publicly disclose beneficial ownership as a condition of supply.  

A robust approach to identify the beneficial ownership of third parties should begin with requesting identification and company documents from all partners; carrying out an enhanced due diligence report which ensures up-to-date and auditable compliance for organizations in any jurisdiction; and acquiring previously verified references from banks and monitoring of supply chain agents.

Companies can also ask suppliers to disclose their ownership information via OpenOwnership, the Global Beneficial Ownership Register which allows companies to self submit and publish ownership information for public benefit.

What are the benefits?

  1. Detect supplier risks early: Companies who require suppliers to publicly disclose ownership will benefit from early detection of supplier risks. Helping you better assess and award supplier contracts and preventing disruption to the supply chain, reputational risks or financial damages.
  2. Ask suppliers to publicly disclose ownership: as the below case study shows, a broader range of stakeholders and civil society can help companies to identify potential risks. By widening the reach of beneficial ownership transparency to their own suppliers, companies can help identify risks for other businesses, too.
  3. Comply with legislation: Requiring suppliers disclose their beneficial owners helps companies to ensure they are compliant with legislation such as the UK Modern Slavery Act, UK Bribery Act and FCPA, which all have extra-territorial requirements.

Transparency in supply chains can help build more resilient, responsible and sustainable companies. By working with suppliers who are transparent about their ownership you can monitor and manage risks with full visibility, and make necessary adjustments, without being caught off-guard.