CGIC National CPD Webinar – What is beneficial ownership and why does it matter?
Wednesday, May 26, 2021, at 1:00 pm ET
Moderator: Kim Willey, Bermuda and British Columbia Senior Counsel
Kim Willey, Bermuda and British Columbia Senior Counsel, will lead a discussion on beneficial ownership on Wednesday, May 26th. Identifying the natural person or persons (i.e. the beneficial owners) who control a legal entity is a matter of global concern, both to prevent money-laundering and terrorism financing and to facilitate tax transparency. Tax transparency is even more important given the global health crisis, as governments are under increasing pressure to collect all available tax revenues. For corporate entities, beneficial ownership involves identifying natural persons based on a legal definition and ensuring that information is accurately recorded and updated on an ongoing basis. In Bermuda, a beneficial ownership register has been required for all Bermuda corporate entities (i.e. companies, LLCs, and partnerships) since 2018. Currently, this beneficial register is not publicly accessible, although the Bermuda Government, along with other overseas territories, have committed to make the register public by 2023. In Canada, changes were made in 2019 to the Canada Business Corporations Act requiring Canadian corporations to maintain a register of individuals with significant control, but this register is not yet publicly available. British Columbia introduced a public beneficial ownership register in 2020, but this register is focused only on land ownership transparency. With the pressure for national and international standards increasing, consultations are underway in various jurisdictions on beneficial ownership and a publicly accessible register. The move to an international standard for beneficial ownership and the requirement for public disclosure need to be considered against the growing importance of data protection and privacy legislation. This presentation examines these changes and the implications for governance practitioners.
Christina Swan, FCG, Acc.Dir. SVP, Operations & Business Development, and Chartered Secretary at MultiStrat will also participate as a facilitator during this engaging session.
Kim M. Willey is a corporate mergers and acquisitions lawyer and governance professional with 15+ years of experience advising boards of directors and senior executives of listed companies, including companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange, the London Stock Exchange, and the Toronto Stock Exchange. She is called to the bar in British Columbia (2005) and Bermuda (2011). Kim currently advises as a consultant senior counsel primarily with the Bermuda law firm, ASW Law Limited, and teaches Business Associations Law as an adjunct professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Victoria, and the Faculty of Law, University of British Columbia, Canada. Kim has a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, an LL.B. and M.B.A from the University of Victoria, and a Master’s in Law from Osgoode Hall at York University in Toronto, Canada. Kim’s research is in the area of corporate governance and accountability and focuses on board diversity, sustainable business models, and reducing short-termism in equity capital markets. Kim is the author of “Stock Market Short-Termism Law, Regulation, and Reform” (2019) which includes a forward by Martin Lipton, founding partner of the law firm of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.