Publish your company ownership and structure
In the wake of public outrage over the Panama Papers, nearly 100 countries have committed to supporting beneficial ownership transparency.
The release of the Papers brought new scrutiny, and dramatically illustrated the problem. It is abundantly clear that anonymous shell companies are used to facilitate money laundering, fraud, terrorism, interference in foreign elections, manipulate tenders and public procurement, and enable criminal enterprises to flourish. Anonymous companies are well known, as part of grand corruption cases and as dead-ends for corruption investigations by law enforcement agencies. As more and more countries start to implement company ownership registers, leading companies, such as Natura and Unilever are already taking action and making more information on their structures and ownership publicly available.
It is fast becoming a global norm to know who owns or controls companies and other legal entities and it’s easy to open up. Join business leaders and publish your ownership now on OpenOwnership.org.
What can you do?
Join the growing movement of companies by publishing your company structure and ownership information on OpenOwnership.org – The Global Beneficial Ownership Register.
Transparency in company ownership ensures a more level playing field by fostering more transparent markets, reducing corruption and ensuring fair competition in which tenders are awarded on the merits, in which the most qualified companies win contracts or have their projects and developments approved.
It allows companies to know who they are doing business with, thereby reducing the risk of fraud, failed investments, and dealings with politically exposed persons, including potential liability under foreign bribery regimes. Transparency in company ownership reduces the costs of due diligence for companies and financial institutions and enables better overall risk management. Beneficial ownership transparency also allows companies to build trust with customers, and with the communities in which they operate.
Companies that are already revealing their company ownership information are ahead of the curve and will be able to build stronger trust with their investors, and also position themselves credibly to require higher disclosure by anyone wanting to do business with them. They can ensure they’ll stay compliant with increasing government requirements around transparency and are fostering public trust and growing their license to operate.
Join the growing movement of companies by making your company structure and ownership information available in open, structured data.
Natura opens up on ownership
In May 2016, Natura Cosmeticos, a Brazilian cosmetics company, published their ownership information in open, structured data. Natura clearly demonstrated their commitment to transparency, and has benefitted from increased trust from consumers, investors, staff and other stakeholders.
Roberta Salvador, then-Director of Legal and Compliance at Natura, explains why this was an important step for the company, “Transparency is one of Natura’s core values. Among our priorities for 2020 is to boost the visibility and transparency of management practices and to ensure integrated reporting of results and impacts. We believe that transparency is what sustains trust over time; it is what allows us to overcome the natural challenges that all relationships are subject to. Consequently, when we faced the opportunity to be more transparent about our company structure, we were profoundly interested in doing so.”
Unilever shines a light on corporate group structure
Unilever, a global fast-moving consumer goods company, took steps this year to disclose more information about the entities within their corporate groupin their 2015 Annual Report and Accounts. They have now made this list – which includes the UK and Dutch parent company ownership shares – available in open, structured data. By doing so, Unilever have distinguished themselves and demonstrated that being transparent about company structures and ownership is possible.