We are entering a world where there will be an explosion in the number, speed and complexity of companies, brought about by companies being incorporated by computer programs.
Like the advent of high-frequency trading, this will bring a phenomenon of what we call ‘firefly companies’ – firms that exist for mere hours, minutes, even seconds, and corporate networks that change every day, driven by programmatic company formation.
This blink-and-you-miss-it future has significant consequences:
- Current AML processes become ineffectual and irrelevant
Current processes for anti-money laundering (AML) and anti-corruption were designed for a world of ten years ago. These are already outdated, and will become largely ineffectual in this new world.
- Organised crime gets the upper hand
It will be easier than ever before for organised crime to use legal entities as vehicles for fraud, money laundering and corruption, along with tax and regulatory arbitrage.
- Society will be profoundly impacted
This will undermine the progress that has been made in the past 5 years in AML and business integrity – which will have profound implications for society, the rule of law, and business.
To have any chance of keeping up with the impending challenge, governments, business and civil society need to collaborate on innovative solutions.
They also need access to quality, granular and provenanced data on companies in real-time that can be accessed in one place. Official company data needs to support White Box data not prop up legacy proprietary Black Box providers, as only White Box data provides the trust, transparency, quality and utility needed by our connected data-driven world.
OpenCorporates: Knowledge Partner to the OECD Anti-Corruption & Integrity Forum
This emerging challenge will be the subject of a panel discussion at the OECD Global Anti-Corruption & Integrity Forum on Thursday 26th March, where OpenCorporates has been chosen as a Knowledge Partner. The forum leads the policy debate on integrity and anti-corruption, bringing together leaders from the public and private sectors from over 130 countries.
Influential figures from FATF and The B Team will join Chris Taggart, our CEO & Co-founder, to discuss the problem and potential solutions on a panel entitled “Can anti-money laundering survive in a fireflies world?”.
Chris will be joined by:
- David Lewis, Executive Secretary at The Financial Action Task Force (FATF)
- Robin Hodess, Director, Governance & Transparency at The B Team
Want to learn more?
- OECD Global Anti-Corruption & Integrity Forum
Find out more about this year’s forum
- Fireflies & algorithms the coming explosion of companies
Read OpenCorporates’ paper on the challenge presented by the coming explosion of companies