Understanding corporate ownership structures is a key part of Open Ownership’s mission to drive the global shift towards transparency over who owns and controls corporate vehicles.
We focus on beneficial ownership transparency which shows how natural persons own or control companies and other legal entities or arrangements, such as trusts.
But there are other detailed sources of information on corporate ownership which do not include beneficial ownership information which can be very useful to help understand global corporate structures. One such source is the data collected and openly published by the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF). It was set up by the Financial Stability Board and the G20 in the wake of the 2008 worldwide financial crash to develop a universal Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) that can be applied to any legal entity that engages in financial transactions.
Connect the corporate dots globally with open, standardised and high quality LEI data
Today we are unveiling work to map global corporate ownership data from GLEIF to the Beneficial Ownership Data Standard (BODS) developed by Open Ownership in partnership with Open Data Services. This dataset can be downloaded, analysed and freely reused via https://bods-data.openownership.org/source/gleif and will be refreshed at least on a monthly basis.
GLEIF “enables smarter, less costly and more reliable decisions about who to do business with” by providing “open, standardised and high quality legal entity reference data” to uniquely identify companies. This open data includes its Level 2 Data on who owns whom, revealing data on the direct and ultimate parent companies for entities with an LEI.
The corporate ownership data published by GLEIF is not beneficial ownership data as it does not identify the natural persons at the end of ownership chains, but we have mapped the Level 2 Data to version 0.2 of BODS. We can learn a lot more by layering this data on top of beneficial ownership data sources. As more organisations and jurisdictions adopt or use LEIs, this dataset will become richer and more comprehensive.
You can see how Open Ownership has ingested, mapped and transformed this data in line with BODS on Github. The resulting dataset is published under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication licence.
In the coming months, we will be making more datasets available to analyse and reuse for free via https://bods-data.openownership.org as part of our strategy to ensure more and higher-quality data is available to stakeholders in governments, companies, and civil society.
If you have any questions about this work or the GLEIF dataset, please contact [email protected] to reach the Open Ownership technology team.
More work needed to make France’s beneficial ownership data easy to use
More work is needed to make France’s beneficial ownership data easy to use. With the hope of encouraging collaborative improvements to the register and making it easier for people to use the data, we want to share some of the access and data quality issues we experienced
Published: 02 June 2023