Open Ownership refreshes its visual identity


OpenOwnership · Jul 2020

A strong brand captures the essence of an organization.

Open Ownership’s mission is to increase global transparency about company ownership. Today, we are updating our logo to better reflect this work.

The most notable change is the replacement of the original avatar made up of lines, which represented a beneficial ownership register. Our work creating the Open Ownership Register has proved that linking beneficial ownership data across countries is both possible and useful, and our technical development has created an open-source data standard that can support countries to achieve this. Registers and data standards are tools that work quietly in the background. To the wider public, beneficial ownership is best represented visually.

With that in mind, we are now using an avatar composed of three interconnected circles that represent a simplified and typical beneficial ownership corporate structure: the lower circle as a corporate entity, and the two circles above as its beneficial owners. The circles representing beneficial owners are transparent, reflecting the focus and purpose of our work. These also mirror the initials ‘OO’ for Open Ownership.’

This change coincides with the first public release of BOVS – the Beneficial Ownership Visualisation System – which provides guidelines for visualising corporate structures using circles and arrows. Our new “circles” avatar is a miniature BOVS diagram (though, of course, simplified for the purposes of a logo).

Company ownership is often complex and multi-layered. Visualizing corporate networks broadens the number of people that can intuitively understand how companies and beneficial owners are structured in practice. BOVS is open-source and can be used by governments, companies and citizens to map company ownership structures clearly and consistently, painting a picture that would otherwise be locked in text and data. Fundamentally, it makes beneficial ownership data easier to understand to a wider group of people.

Clarifying company structures like the one below is central to our work, so incorporating BOVS into our logo was important to the team. Alongside a clean and legible font, our aim is that the new logo communicates our drive to make beneficial ownership simple, comprehensible and easy to implement.

BOVS Example Vertical.png

The above shows an example of a BOVS diagram. This describes a situation where:

  • We are interested in who ultimately owns and controls Widgets, Inc.
  • There is a Company that owns 50% of Widgets, Inc., and controls 25% of it (e.g. has 25% of the voting rights). Its name has not been declared, so we label it Anonymous Company B.
  • Amy owns 100% of Anonymous Company B, and therefore owns 50% of Widgets, Inc.
  • Another Person controls 100% of Anonymous Company B, and therefore controls 25% of Widgets, Inc. The name of this other Person has not been declared, so we label them Anonymous Person A.
  • Bob has an interest in Widgets, Inc. via an unknown chain of interests in at least 2 intermediary Entities.
  • Though we lack knowledge about the unknown chain, we know the ultimate result is that Bob owns 50% of Widgets, Inc., and has 75% control of it.

Open Ownership’s name and logo are the property of Open Ownership. You may use it only if you are referencing Open Ownership in your own work relating to beneficial ownership. The logo may not be altered in any way.


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