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Companies today largely do not know who their beneficial owners are

HMT wants to facilitate wider participation in the ownership of public companies, and to remove the current disincentives. 

It will be brilliant if HMT achieves this.  It would be a win/win/win for society, companies and investors, allowing for a broader cross-section of society to benefit, provide companies access to a broader investor base, and helping to increase the liquidity of markets.  The consultation document can be found here.

But and it is a BIG BUT: with many investors hidden within nominee accounts, therefore not appearing on the company register, companies cannot communicate with their potentially broader investor base.

That is why, to HMT’s consultation on the prospectus regime, we have proposed a working party to establish a process that allows companies to identify their beneficial owners.  Our response is here.

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