Introducing company risk by Windward


What’s inside?

    Due diligence processes can be both timely and resource-intensive. Stakeholders need to accurately evaluate the potential costs and threats involved in a transaction or trade, but this can prove difficult without a comprehensive overview of the relevant risk factors. While some organizations may use vessel information or sanctions screening, it’s simply not enough to keep up with the ever-evolving maritime domain. 

    In order to provide a holistic understanding of the maritime threat for any company and organization, stakeholders must evaluate risk from 3 main aspects- the vessel, the cargo and containers, and most importantly the companies and owners that are pulling the strings behind any transaction or activity. Understanding the true ownership risk beyond maritime entities and vessels is a complicated task that requires much more than just screening for 7 levels of maritime ownership. While single data points or events may help provide an initial red flag, stakeholders need to have actionable insights on both current and future threats for effective due diligence. Further, a go/ no go recommendation, in real-time, is critical to streamlining operations.

    What do we do?

    After all, solving a sophisticated problem requires a sophisticated solution. Windward’s mission is to provide the best-in-class maritime AI solution that can predicate and mitigate any maritime risk that can hurt our customers’ business. We do not determine company risk based on screening alone. Instead, we enrich our insights with data from a full beneficiaries list up to (and including) the UBO, a complete vessel ownership structure, behavioral analytics of deceptive shipping practices, and sanction screening. The result is the strongest platform to detect and inform stakeholders of any risk impact of the company in question.

    How do we do it?

    Layer 1: 7 levels of ownership

    Windward collects detailed ownership information from multiple sources, including the top shipbrokers in the market, all of which have direct, continuous interaction with vessels and owners. The company information includes current and historical information regarding 7 levels of ownership – Beneficial Owner, Registered Owner, Commercial Manager, Operator, Commercial Controller, Technical Manager, and ISM Manager – covering over 120,000 vessels and 100,000 companies. Information can include company address, phone number, email, web address, and more. 

    As part of the refining process, the data sources are all vetted for credibility; the quality of the data is then assessed by our proprietary algorithms, followed by additional validation processes. Finally, in case of conflicting data, our models run a multisource comparison and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each data source. 

    Layer 2: Risk indicators

    Based on the ownership and management data, Windward builds multiple risk indicators as part of the companies’ assessment. These include:

    1. List screeningWindward has partnered with LexisNexis to provide automatic list screening of all vessels and companies against 130 blacklists, including major sanctions list (OFAC, OFSI, UN, EU) and other local lists. 
    2. Beneficiaries up to the UBO: Windward partnered with Dun and Bradstreet to reveal the ultimate beneficial owner (UBO) and the beneficial parties, individuals or corporate entities, to support the risk assessment of non-maritime entities. By integrating this data, our platform allows users to access information such as the stakeholder’s address, nationality, legal form, and percentage of control.
    3. Related companies:For each company, Windward reveals its connections to other companies. For example, companies that share certain contact details, companies that often trade vessels with each other, are related in different capacities to the same vessels, etc.
    4. Related vessels: For each company, Windward also surfaces the data and risk of any related vessel, be it a behavioral or a registry risk.

    Layer 3: Company risk

    Based on the above risk indicators, Windward provides a unique risk rating for each maritime company and explanatory information regarding the relevant risk “building block” – from list & registry to ownership or related vessel. 

    This risk score is dependent on the customer’s risk profile and predefined sanctions regimes they follow. Stakeholders can then decide how to proceed.


    This multi-layered approach is how our system is able to ultimately connect the dots between deceptive shipping practices, ownership, and the ultimate beneficiaries of a company to reveal connections to sanctions and exposure to compliance risk. We share these insights and bottom-line recommendations in a comprehensive company risk overview, allowing stakeholders to easily differentiate between naive and suspicious entities and streamline their operations. As a technology partner, we focus on delivering perspective analytics as decision support for your teams. Our vision consists of an extremely simple concept – discover what’s really happening at sea. That’s been our approach from day one, and we bring that same approach as we introduce new solutions to the market. 

    Book a demo to learn more about how company risk can enhance your due diligence process.

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    1. The Journey to Success: Celebrating Windward’s 200th Customer Milestone Jan 11, 2024
    2. Why Windward? Our Senior Maritime Industry Expert tells all Jan 27, 2022
    3. A letter from our founders: Windward is now a public company! Dec 23, 2021