What is a UBO?

A UBO (ultimate beneficial owner) is the person or individual behind the transaction. Usually used in relation to the person(s) with a controlling interest of an organisation - ie the real people behind the organisation, generally any person with 20%+ shareholding. It is of particular relevance to the art market where a lack of transparency and secrecy as to the end client is not uncommon, albeit usually for commercial rather than criminal reasons. These common art market practices, for example hiding the identity of the UBO via an intermediary, are the very practices that AML/KYC legislation seeks to eliminate.