Beneficial Ownership Transparency

Over a trillion US dollars in estimated illicit financial flows diverting much needed resources from developing countries, tens of billions in corruption proceeds stashed away by former Heads of State and high level officials of Yemen, Ukraine, Arab Spring and countless other countries; and still others perpetrating fraud, tax evasion, money laundering and myriad of other financial crimes. Corr... view more



The lack of transparency around beneficial ownership of companies, foundations and trusts creates a need for international standards and tools to counter resulting corruption and financial crimes.


Who is a Beneficial Owner?

This presentation explains how beneficial ownership differs from legal ownership, and why transparency matters.


Case Study: Chen Shui-Bian
An actual case illustrating the misuse of legal entities, trust, and bank accounts and involvement of professional financial intermediaries located across multiple jurisdictions, and which required international cooperation to tackle.


Tools for Transparency
Key international standards and tools that can be used to enhance the effectiveness of a country's policy, legal framework and institutional capacity to ensure transparency of beneficial ownership

About the Presenters

Emile van der Does de Willebois

Emile van der Does de Willebois is a Senior Financial Sector Specialist in the Finance and Markets Global Practice of the World Bank and the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR), a partnership of the World Bank and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Emile began his career working for the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague. Subsequently he worked in private practice specializing in banking and securities law. Emile joined the World Bank’s Financial Market Integrity unit in 2004, and plays a vital coordinating role in all aspects of the unit’s work, including country assessments, delivery of technical assistance, and contributions to international standard setting bodies, particularly on the issues of abuse of legal entities, beneficial ownership and the use of non-profit entities for terrorist purposes. Emile has also worked with a number of Arab and other countries in their international stolen assets recovery efforts.

Ji Won Park

Ji Won Park is an attorney with two decades of experience in government, private sector, and civil society organizations in the United States and South Korea. At the Financial Market Integrity Unit of the World Bank and the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR) since 2009, her projects include The Puppet Masters: How the Corrupt Hide Stolen Assets Using Legal Structures and What to Do about It, Left Out of the Bargain: Settlements in Foreign Bribery Cases and Implications for Asset Recovery, and the StAR Asset Recovery Watch cases database. Ms. Park participated in the Financial Action Task Force study, Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Vulnerabilities of Legal Professionals and contributes to StAR’s policy advocacy and technical assistance work in the area of transparency of beneficial ownership. Ms. Park is a graduate of Columbia College and Georgetown University Law Center, where she was a Public Interest Law Scholar.

Francisca Fernando