News & Events

The Panama Papers — Two Years Later: Will the U.S. Finally Tackle Anonymous Shell Companies?

The Panama Papers — Two Years Later: Will the U.S. Finally Tackle Anonymous Shell Companies?


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Thu, April 19, 2018
4:30 PM – 6:00 PM EDT


OpenGov Hub
1110 Vermont Avenue NW, #500
Washington, DC 20005


Anonymous shell companies make it extremely easy for corrupt and criminal actors both here and around the world, not to mention tax evaders, to hide and launder illicit wealth. From the Panama Papers to the Magnitsky scandal, the world is hearing more and more about this problem. As April marks the two-year anniversary of the release of the Panama Papers, it is important to reflect on what progress has been made to date in the United States to tackle anonymous ownership.

The event will include the launch of a new report by Transparency International, “G20 Leaders or Laggards”, which reviews G20 promises on tackling anonymous companies and will shed light on the status of beneficial ownership transparency in the United States compared to other jurisdictions.

The forum will bring together three speakers who will speak to why tackling anonymous companies is one of the key anti-corruption (and pro-democracy) challenges of our time, the limited progress made to-date in tackling the problem, and the outlook for potential reforms over the next several months.

Snacks and drinks will be provided.

Questions Guiding the Discussion

Why should Americans care about anonymous companies? What have we learned in the last two years that we didn’t already know about the cost and impact of anonymous ownership? Compared to other G20 countries, how well is the U.S. doing to tackle illicit flows and corruption that hide behind anonymously owned companies and trusts? What are some of the success stories in the U.S. or globally? What are the most important steps forward that the U.S. should take to tackle the problem? What is the likelihood of U.S. legislative and administrative action in this area?

  • Maggie Murphy, Senior Global Advocacy Manager at Transparency International
  • Gary Kalman, Executive Director of the FACT Coalition
  • Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA
  • Charles Davidson, Kleptocracy Initiative

Speaker Bios

Charles Davidson is Executive Director of the Kleptocracy Initiative at Hudson Institute, and Publisher of The American Interest since its founding in 2005. Davidson co-founded the think tank Global Financial Integrity in 2006, and was instrumental in founding the FACT Coalition. He is Executive Producer of We’re Not Broke, a documentary about corporate tax avoidance/evasion, that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2012. Until recently he was a vice-chair of the Board of Trustees at Freedom House. Prior to 2005, Davidson spent his career in the information technology industry in various technical and executive positions, segueing into venture capital in 1996. He is a graduate of Bowdoin College (1981) and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business (1988).

Maggie Murphy is Senior Global Advocacy Manager at Transparency International (TI), the global movement against corruption. She leads the organisation’s advocacy efforts targeting international bodies such as the G20, G8 and OECD with a focus on closing loopholes in the international financial system to stem the flow of criminal and corrupt money and is a designated TI spokesperson. Prior to Joining Transparency International, she worked in human rights advocacy roles for Minority Rights Group International and Amnesty International, amongst others on issues ranging from ending torture to increasing political participation of marginalised groups. Maggie has worked in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Rwanda, and Senegal. She holds a BA from Oxford University and an MSc from the London School of Economics.

Gary Kalman is a founding member and executive director of the FACT Coalition in Washington, DC. Gary is also a founding member of Americans for Financial Reform, a coalition of more than 200 organizations, which, in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, led the successful fight for the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform bill. Gary is the recipient of a New Executives Fund Award from the Open Society Institute. He has testified before Congress on several occasions on tax and budget issues and he and his work have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, Fox News, MSNBC and elsewhere.

For more than 20 years, Eric LeCompte has led religious groups to win policies that alleviate poverty, address global conflict and promote human rights.‎ He is the Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network, a development coalition of more than 650 religious groups and US organizations. LeCompte serves on boards of faith-based, development and financial transparency organizations. He is a member of the executive board of the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition. His views on religion, politics and economic issues regularly appear in media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Associated Press, Bloomberg, McClatchy News Service, National Public Radio, Agence-France Presse, Market Place, CNN Money, the Financial Times and The Hill.