Beneficial Ownership Determination and Customer Due Diligence

    /Kenneth  /Bardenspeaker of Training Doyens
    Speaker: Kenneth Barden

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    Duration: 60 Minutes
    Product Code: 50177
    Level: Intermediate


The rise of anonymous companies has frustrated the efforts of law enforcement and financial regulators to track down illicit financial flows and to prevent crime and corruption.  In response, there has been a worldwide effort to increase transparency of ownership and controlling interests in legal entities.  It is now incumbent as part of the due diligence process that a company, especially financial institutions, know who really owns or controls legal entities not in their own name.  Substantial penalties can apply for violations of these new regulations.


As the internet has resulted in an increasing speed at which funds can be transferred, it is now more than ever essential to know who is in real control or ownership of legal entities. Such information is a requisite towards assigning responsibility or legal liability for contractual matters, taxes, and for recourse in the event of illegalities.

Legislation has been pending or adopted in many jurisdictions mandating the verification of beneficial ownership as part of a business’s due diligence process. Failure to follow these requirements can result in drastic penalties to the offender.

The webinar will examine how a business’s due diligence process can identify and verify beneficial ownership and how a company can protect itself against regulatory and legal violations.


  • Due diligence
  • Customer Identification/Know Your Customer
  • Risk Management 
  • Methods and information resources to establish beneficial ownership
  • Identifying key areas of risk
  • Developing a sound beneficial ownership/due diligence policy
  • Implementing the policy throughout the organization
  • What happens when “something goes wrong”
  • Verification and audit of beneficial ownership/due diligence policy and program


The course will expose the learner to the basic requirements of beneficial ownership as part of a customer due diligence program, the importance of a company complying with the law, and various steps a business can take to help it comply with these requirements.


  • Legal staff
  • Upper management
  • Financial and accounting staff
  • Sales and contract managers
  • Risk/Compliance Officers


Kenneth Barden is a Senior Anticorruption and Good Governance Advisor with the Governance and Rule of Law Team at USAID. For many years, Ken was an independent consultant for several international development projects, including ones funded by USAID, the MCC, World Bank, UN, Asian Development Bank and others. Ken served as Team Leader for the USAID-administered MCC Threshold Indonesia Control of Corruption Project in Indonesia, working on anticorruption and judicial reform. Immediately prior to joining USAID, Ken was with the USAID Modernizing Financial Institutions project in the West Bank, where he led implementation of anti-money laundering and anticorruption activities. Ken’s experience includes work in Eastern Europe, Central and Southeastern Asia, Oceania, the Middle East and Africa. He also has over 15 years of experience in municipal government. Ken holds a Juris Doctor from Indiana University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from University of Indianapolis, as well as post-graduate work in Disaster Management from the University of Wisconsin and in International Humanitarian Law from the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR), in Hyderabad, India.

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