We assist clients with the creation of the most appropriate structures for the holding of international wealth by taking account of tax and estate planning considerations and by securing the advantages of the most appropriate jurisdictions, legislations and practices.
AssetHouse provide a wide range of trust and company services which can be tailored to meet the particular specific or unique requirements of our clients.
Our specialists focus on three main areas:
The creation, management and administration of offshore trusts and ongoing administration.
The incorporation, management and administration of offshore trading companies, private investment companies, protected cell companies, hybrid companies, limited liability companies and captive insurance companies.
AssetHouse provides clients with a selection of international financial centres around the globe. Depending on a client’s requirements, any of the following jurisdictions may be chosen as the structure’s governing law; Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey, Switzerland, the British Virgin Islands, Mauritius and the Seychelles. Each country has its own legislation and this may impose certain duties and obligations on the owners and management of each type of structure.
ISLE OF MAN
The Isle of Man is a self-governing Crown dependent territory, situated in the British Isles but politically not a part of the United Kingdom. Notwithstanding this independence, the United Kingdom does assist with certain matters, including foreign relationships and defence, but it has no general legislative power in the Island and matters such as fiscal policy and economic development are determined by Tynwald, the Island's parliament.
Although the Island has a balanced economy that includes agriculture, fishing and tourism, it is the financial services sector that makes the greatest revenue contribution. This revenue growth has been stimulated by the creation of an appropriate fiscal and legislative structure. The Island's economic progress in the recent past has achieved increased revenue and high levels of employment and the Island's size means that there is ample scope for expansion in this sector in particular. Financial services in the Isle of Man are regulated by the Financial Supervision Commission.
Jersey is the largest and most southerly of the Channel Islands. Originally forming part of the Duchy of Normandy, Jersey has remained a possession of the English Crown since 1066 when William, Duke of Normandy, became King of England. Jersey has remained in allegiance to the monarch since 1066, despite the Crown's loss of continental Normandy in 1204. Charters of successive sovereigns have secured for Jersey its own judiciary and freedom from the process of English courts.
The Government of the United Kingdom respects the autonomy of Jersey in domestic affairs and observes the convention that it does not ordinarily legislate for Jersey on such matters without the Island's consent. The involvement of the United Kingdom in the Island's affairs is generally restricted to matters of defence and foreign affairs.
The States of Jersey is the general legislative body (the Island's parliament) and delegates many administrative matters to various committees, which enjoy the support of a strong civil service. The Royal Court of Jersey is very experienced in the handling of complex international disputes, which are inevitably a feature of such an active finance centre. Financial services business in Jersey is regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission.
Switzerland’s independence and neutrality have long been honoured by the major European powers. It has not been involved in any World War. The political and economic integration of Europe over the past half century, as well as Switzerland’s role in many United Nations and international organisations, have strengthened Switzerland’s ties with its neighbours. Switzerland remains active in the United Nations and international organisations, but retains a strong commitment to neutrality.
It remains therefore a prosperous and stable modern market economy with low unemployment, a highly skilled labour force, and a per capita GDP larger than that of the big western European economies.
Switzerland remains a safe haven for investors; it has maintained bank secrecy, without losing its highly competent effectiveness. Banks and investment funds in Switzerland are supervised by the Swiss Federal Banking Commission.
New Zealand is a safe, stable and secure country which offers considerable benefits to those involved in international tax planning. It is both a member of the British Commonwealth and the OECD.
The New Zealand legal system is very advanced, as is the banking and accounting infrastructure. Together these make New Zealand a very suitable base for international business, and much of its law is based on English common law, which is widely understood in many jurisdictions that have a strong historical link with the United Kingdom. It offers a competitive tax base, complete freedom of financial transaction from a jurisdiction with robust statutory and sovereign protection, free from stigma or prejudice
Guernsey is the second largest of the Channel Islands, situated in the English Channel between Great Britain and France. Along with Jersey, Guernsey and the smaller Channel Islands became part of the Duchy of Normandy in the 10th Century. In 1066 William of Normandy conquered England and joined it to Normandy. In 1204, however, King John of England lost continental Normandy but retained the Channel Islands among his possessions and they have remained possessions of the English Crown ever since.
Guernsey is self-governing with its own parliament (the States of Guernsey), its own laws and it has fiscal independence from the UK. Only foreign affairs and defence are handled by the United Kingdom, although there are arrangements by which Guernsey laws are approved by the English Crown. Financial services business in Guernsey is regulated by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission.
The British Virgin Islands (“BVI”) are a small group of islands in the Caribbean Sea. The BVI offshore services industry enjoys the advantages of having responsibility for its internal self-government, while maintaining the political and economic stability of a British Overseas Territory.
Offshore companies in the BVI are companies incorporated in the BVI under the International Business Companies Act, 1984. They are allowed to operate completely tax free as long as they do not conduct any business locally in the BVI. This makes them a very attractive vehicle for the international business owners looking to collect profits in a tax-friendly environment.
Mauritius, an independent and sovereign nation strategically located in the Indian Ocean, has earned a solid reputation as a world class international financial services hub, providing operational security and commercial flexibility to investors.
The legal system of the Republic of Mauritius derives from both French and English sources. During the French rule (1715 until 1810) the Island's system was governed by the French Napoleonic Code which remained in force under the British rule with subsequent amendments in civil and criminal procedural laws and company law. Mauritius, therefore, enjoys a hybrid legal system combining both the civil and common law practices. Though being a Republic, Mauritius still remains a member of the Commonwealth and the right of appeal to the Privy Council is preserved. Financial services business in Mauritius is regulated by the Mauritius Financial Service Commission.