BOVS

Core Rules

The Core Rules must be followed for all BOVS Diagrams.

They apply whether your diagram represents real or fictional situations, is drawn by hand, generated by a computer, or is professionally designed, and whether it appears digitally or in print.

Core Rules

Key terms

Nodes and Arrows

BOVS diagrams consist of Nodes connected by Arrows.

Definitions

Nodes represent Parties, the participants in beneficial ownership relationships.

Key types of Parties include Persons (private individuals) and Entities (legal constructions, like Companies). Each type of Party has an associated icon.

Vocabulary

The basics

Parties in a BOVS Diagram with icons and labels

Parties are drawn as a circle containing an icon, with a label underneath.

Parties (Nodes)

Arrows connect Parties, representing their interests, which may be ownership or control interests, or both.

Arrows flow from the interested Party to the Entity they are interested in. Each type of interest may also have a strength between 0% and 100%.

Interests (Arrows)

Design options

Diagrams flow either vertically downward, or horizontally.

The direction of flow is from the interested parties toward their objects of interest.

Directionality

Diagrams usually aim to show all the Beneficiaries of a given Entity.

However, you may adopt a different focus.

Focus

Keeping diagrams simple

BOVS Diagram with non-relevant parts diminished

You must show all Parties involved, but may treat only some as relevant.

There are ways to diminish the non-relevant parts of your diagram, to emphasise a point you are making.

Relevance

3 parties in a BOVS Diagram condensed into a Stack

Multiple Parties can be condensed into a single Node, called a Stack, for clarity.

Stacks

How to handle unknowns

Unknown Party shown with an icon containing a question mark

Diagrams visualise both the information we know and the information we’re missing.

Unknowns

Further rules

Ownership and control information must consistently appear on the correct side.

This is called the Chirality rule, and applies chiefly if you are using the Optional Feature for Annotation.

Chirality

You can summarise the interests of multiple Parties as a single figure.

For instance, if two Parties each own 50% of a Company, then together they own 100% of it. Arithmetic rules are provided for more complex cases.

Summarisation

Optional Features

Once you understand the Core Rules, learn how diagrams can be enhanced further with Optional Features.

BOVS Diagram with Annotations

In particular, Annotation allows you to draw Indirect Arrows to summarise interests, and to add labels to Arrows to indicate their nature or strength.