Boss Babies: The Children Who Own Hundreds of Luxembourg Corporations

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Key Findings

  • OCCRP and its partners identified 291 minors who own or control significant stakes in Luxembourg companies.
  • They included minors whose parents are oligarchs, criminals, or people with ties to politically influential figures.
  • In many cases, the companies’ owners were younger than the companies themselves.

A one-year-old Mongolian toddler who owns part of a major coal company in the Gobi Desert. An eleven-year-old Azerbaijani profiting from state contracts with Turkmenistan and China. A Russian teenager who counted investments in Canadian and Californian pension systems among her billions of dollars of assets.

These are just a handful of the nearly 300 minors who owned or controlled significant stakes in Luxembourg companies as of 2020, an investigation as part of the OpenLux project has found.

While it is not illegal for children to own companies in Luxembourg, some of the names identified by OCCRP and its partners should have raised red flags. They included minors whose parents are oligarchs, criminals, and people with close ties to politically influential figures. A quarter of them were even younger than the entities they owned.

In 2019, Luxembourg published a register of “ultimate beneficial owners” — the true owners of companies, as opposed to proxies or nominees — for the first time, giving an unprecedented look into who has benefited from the country’s financial secrecy.

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