Anyone who has spent time in a KYC group knows the challenges of trying to identify the beneficial owners of companies with complex structures.
Even when new clients are cooperative about providing ownership information during onboarding, there are many cases when there is just no simple way to understand the ownership structure without breaking out the calculator and charting it on paper.
Could there be a better way?
For a long time I have wanted to create a KYC tool that not only helped visualize complicated ownership structures, but also calculated ownership percentages across multiple levels. But since TransparINT’s core focus is building tools focused on negative news and publicly available risk information, and we have had our hands full with our expanding client base, I have not been able to dedicate much time to the idea. Enter Hudson Harriman-Smith; a promising young computer science student from Wesleyan University. Fortunately, we had the opportunity to have Hudson on board this summer as a Web Development Intern, and he has provided the extra bandwidth to take on the project.
Our new and completely free Beneficial Ownership Tool provides a user interface to chart simple or complicated ownership structures. Once the structure is mapped, there is an ownership calculation feature that determines the percentage owned of the target company through each parent company back to the individual owners. This is the approach many KYC groups currently use to calculate ownership percentages to meet the new CDD rules.
How does it work?
To get started creating ownership structures, simply click on the company icon on the center of the page and add parent companies, subsidiaries, or individual owners as necessary from the pop-up form menu. Names and ownership percentages can be added to all nodes in the graph.
Once the structure is complete, click on the target company, and select the “Show advanced ownership relations” button to see how much each of the parent companies own of the target company through their respective subsidiaries.
The calculated percentage will appear in parenthesis next to every parties’ name, allowing users to easily identify which individual owners have the most control.
Free!? Is there a catch?
Nope, no catch. Go nuts with it.
Over the course of my career I have conducted KYC reviews on thousands of companies, and this is a tool that I always wished existed, so I am happy to be in a position where I can help make it a reality for all of the AML/KYC analysts who have to do this work everyday.
We hope that you find it useful, and it makes your job of identifying beneficial ownership a little easier.