How company data from Orbis helps identify and mitigate regulatory risk


When considering new partnerships, onboarding customers and suppliers, or entering a new market, more certainty is always welcome. Access to the richest, most reliable private company information on the market can help you identify potential regulatory and reputational risks before they can impact your business.

Orbis will be speaking at Fintech Connect 2018. Sign up for Fintech Connect conference tickets here  Use the code FT15 to get 15% off tickets. 

With information on around 300 million companies in all countries, Bureau van Dijk’s Orbis database plays a key role in know-your-customer (KYC) and know-your-supplier (KYS) due diligence. It’s the world’s most powerful comparable data resource on private companies with extensive corporate ownership structures, beneficial owners, politically exposed persons (PEPs) and sanctions information, making it much easier to really know who you’re doing business with.

A clear view of ownership

Identifying companies who are sanctioned is one challenge. But how do you identify companies who are sanctioned because they are remotely linked to sanctioned companies or individuals? Beneficial ownership, which refers to the person or persons who ultimately own or control an asset (such as a property or a company) and benefit from it, can also make understanding a company more difficult. We have provided some clarity in our poster on ownership structures.

According to the Office of Foreign Assets Control’s (OFAC’s) “50% rule”, a company is sanctioned by extension if owned by a sanctioned company or individual through a chain of ownership of 50% or more. You can find these and other compliance terms in our A-Z guide of compliance and ownership terms.

Orbis is the resource for corporate ownership structures and beneficial ownership information. Its corporate trees reveal the ownership of your potential and existing business partners and third-party associates, including the beneficial owners. You can review their corporate group as a whole and check it for adverse news as well as PEPs and sanctions. Orbis can even show indirect links from companies to sanctioned and “sanctioned-by-extension” entities.

How do you know if an entity is sanctioned by extension?

As a result, all companies in the chain are sanctioned by extension. These companies do not appear on any sanctions list—but you could still be fined for trading with them. Orbis can help identify sanctioned-by-extension entities and understand how they relate to one another through chains of ownership.

To the right is a real example from Orbis, also demonstrated in our video on sanctions screening. It shows how a US-registered company is connected to one of 12 “Specially Designated Nationals” (SDNs) from Russia that were added to OFAC’s SDN list in April 2018. Orbis identified 1,300 companies that became sanctioned by extension through their ownership chain to these new SDNs, and 90% of these companies were registered outside of the US.

What makes Orbis such a useful compliance tool?

Having a clear view of ownership helps you to comply with sanctions lists, anti-money laundering legislation and to perform the other crucial due diligence checks that are intrinsic to global business.

With hundreds of search criteria, you can find companies fulfilling very precise profiles using Orbis. The interface helps users search efficiently and interpret data quickly with dashboards that give a clear, intuitive view into ownership information. Bureau van Dijk identifies and integrates new, reliable information sources and standardizes data to make it more comparable and useful. As a result, Orbis turns risk assessment into a series of simple steps and reduces the pain and workload of assessing your third parties.

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