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BO (Beneficial Owner)

A beneficial owner is the natural person who has the ultimate control over, and thus benefits from, a security, an asset, or a property, even though the legal title or official record of ownership may be in another entity's name. This other entity could be a company, a trust, or a nominee, acting on behalf of the beneficial owner.

The concept of beneficial ownership is especially important in situations where the assets are held in some form of a trust structure or through nominees. For instance, within a trust structure, while the trustees are the legal owners of the assets, they are responsible for administering and overseeing these assets to serve the interest of the beneficial owners, or beneficiaries. The beneficiaries, in turn, are entitled to the advantages or benefits derived from these assets.

The term "beneficial owner" is also significant in the regulatory context, particularly in relation to anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism financing (CTF) regulations. These regulations often require financial institutions to identify the beneficial owners of assets as part of due diligence processes, to prevent the misuse of the financial system.

Therefore, while the beneficial owner may not be the named owner of the asset, they are the individual who ultimately exercises control over the asset and reaps the benefits from it. This could be in the form of income, the power to sell, or use as collateral, among other aspects.

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