Helping families define their vision of success
There is a growing need to help families in Asia write the next chapter of their story of entrepreneurial success. As an independent consultancy focusing on helping families to deal with challenges relating to the transfer of wealth, Withers Consulting Group is well positioned to help these families - leveraging on experience and knowledge gained from working with families in Europe and the US.
What it takes to be a leader in the independent trustee space
As more and more private banks exit the fiduciary services space, or reduce the scope of their wealth planning-related services, independent providers like Trident Trust are receiving more business. But where they will stand out is in providing service to clients that meets all of their requirements, and brings real value.
BVI: building on its commitment to Asia
In September 2013 the British Virgin Islands (BVI) opened BVI House Asia, a representative office for the BVI International Financial Centre. 40% of the jurisdiction's financial services business comes from Asia, according to Lorna Smith and Elise Donovan - and the BVI is now focused on deepening and building on its relationship with the region.
Is Malta an emerging centre for wealth structuring?
Malta, a small island state at the heart of the Mediterranean, has quietly emerged as one of Europe's most stable and innovative financial centres. The country's wealth management sector is particularly attractive to high net worth individuals from all corners of the world, says Bruno L'ecuyer, head of business development at FinanceMalta.
Striving to lead the way in offshore structuring
With around 13,000 people employed in financial services, and a long, prosperous history of trusts and other structuring solutions, Jersey clearly remains attractive for offshore wealth structuring - as outlined by Geoff Cook, chief executive officer, Jersey Finance.
Guernsey: are Asian clients missing out?
While the BVI and Cayman seem to be the Coca Colas and Pepsis of the offshore world for Asian clients, Fiona Le Poidevin, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance reveals the ways in which Guernsey might be particularly attractive to wealthy Asians - both in and outside of Asia.
The new age of wealth planning and structuring
Hubbis' 2nd annual Wealth Planning Forum 2013 in Singapore in early November brought together around 280 practitioners for a day of discussion, learning and debate about the changing face of this industry - and the opportunity Asia's maturing wealth presents.
Onshore, offshore and mid-shore structuring
Hong Kong and Singapore have much to offer as centres for structuring. But choosing a jurisdiction comes down to meeting the needs of the client and his or her family, said panel members at Hubbis' Wealth Planning Forum 2013 in Singapore in early November.
Where to start with structuring
To help a client implement an appropriate and suitable wealth plan, it is imperative that he or she discloses certain information to the trustee, declared panel members at Hubbis' Wealth Planning Forum 2013 in Singapore in early November. Yet the trustee also has a duty to educate clients, in order to manage their expectations.
What it takes to serve families in Asia
While the family office model remains in its infancy in Asia, the region's wealthiest are increasingly turning their backs on private banks and embracing the concept of working with independent advisers that can meet the specific needs of their families, said panel members at Hubbis' Wealth Planning Forum 2013 in Singapore in early November.
What global tax transparency means for wealth managers
As more and more countries sign up to FATCA and inter-governmental agreements, clients need to realise that their data will not be kept secret, said panel members at Hubbis' Wealth Planning Forum 2013 in Singapore in early November. While most wealth management firms are not qualified to give tax advice, they should encourage clients to speak to specialists.
Consequences of the rapid pace of regulatory change
As the international regulatory playing field levels out, firms will have no choice but to comply, and the industry will become a fairer place. But the changes are raising a number of concerns among clients relating to the privacy and security of their personal data.
Things to consider when choosing a trustee
According to practitioners, some independent trust companies are better positioned than banks to deliver the right levels of service and advice on succession planning. However, price, brand, reputation, and size continue to be important considerations for clients in Asia.
Knowing the cost of everything but the value of nothing
A major challenge for wealth planning practitioners is getting clients to pay for their services. For this reason, most private banks don't charge for wealth planning advice. But there is only so much they can throw in for free, and often, sending the client to see an external specialist would be in everyone's best interests.
Many countries are promoting themselves as centres for financial, corporate and fiduciary services. When deciding where to set up a particular structure, it is imperative to determine what the client wants to achieve, as well as what their main priorities and concerns are.
Catering to the needs of China's wealthy
China's high net worth individuals are young and mobile. Their investments are also very international. Wealth planners are therefore seeing increased interest among mainland Chinese clients in cross-border structuring for asset holding purposes.
The broader needs of wealthy clients
As the region's wealthy grow even richer, there is a need to provide more holistic advice that addresses the complex needs of the wider family. The question, though, is whether clients are willing to pay.
Indonesia: keeping it in the family
Nisha Singh, senior associate at Berwin Leighton Paisner, explains how Indonesian clients are keen to preserve the family wealth and the family business- and how some are now taking a more proactive approach to achieving these goals.
The need for wealth structuring in Asia
Asia's expanding ranks of high net worth and ultra-high net worth families are increasingly reaching out to specialists for advice on structuring their wealth - for a variety of different reasons.
UK tax announcements impact Asian investors
Asian investors in the region must take note of the UK's Autumn Statement, which could cause them to reconsider what they put in their real estate portfolio.
Ogier partner wins first Hubbis award for professional services
Marcus Leese of Ogier has won the first Hubbis "Excellence in Professional Services Award".
Bringing wealth planning to less mature Asian markets
Nigel Rivers of TMF Group articulates the opportunity that less mature markets like China and Indonesia present to firms offering wealth planning - particularly with regard to the high numbers of Asian families that have members outside of Asia.
Why Singapore is a top choice for structuring
Woon Hum Tan, partner, trust, asset & wealth management at Shook Lin & Bok in Singapore, explains how Singapore is becoming an attractive and viable centre for wealth structuring - both for Asian and European investors. For clients looking to evade taxes, Singapore is not an option. But setting up an offshore structure in Singapore can still offer a number of other attractive benefits.
Why secrecy and lax regulation are long gone
As the world moves towards automatic exchange of information and new standards in terms of transparency, jurisdictions that previously sold themselves on secrecy or lax regulatory standards will cease to exist, says Andrew Miller, partner and head of the global trusts group at Walkers.
Why mainland Chinese are turning to trusts
Katherine Chiu, deputy managing director, Intertrust, articulates the fairly new trend among mainland Chinese for investing in trusts, and describes the opportunity China presents to wealth planners, along with the related challenges.
Weighty consequences for clients with US connections
There are many wealthy individuals in Asia with US citizenship or green card holder status. When thinking about wealth planning and structuring, US tax and information reporting considerations need to be taken into account - but shouldn't become the tail that wags the dog, says Jay Krause, partner and head of wealth planning, Asia, at Withers.
Winners and losers in the world of wealth structuring
The global push for transparency and for reducing international regulatory arbitrage mean that jurisdictions that refuse to play the game will fade from the offshore structuring picture, says Markus Grossmann, managing director at Trident Trust.
Preparing to cater to China's succession planning needs
China's ageing wealthy clearly represent a huge opportunity for firms providing wealth and succession planning services. But not all of these clients are cash-rich, and the nature of the assets in which their wealth is tied up means that more complex structures are required. But the first step is getting them to understand and appreciate the value of such structures, says Markus Grossmann, managing director at Trident Trust.
The rise of 'intelligent onshore' centres
Having a robust legal system and fair application of the law is crucial if a jurisdiction is to serve as a centre for wealth structuring, says Christiaan de Bruyn, director of trust services at Trident Trust in Hong Kong. On top of this, having a network of double tax agreements can be very attractive for clients looking to minimise their tax burden.
The do's and don'ts of international planning
Keith Corbin, executive chairman, Nerine Trust, and Melanie Rihoy, director, Nerine Trust, explain which options are available to clients around wealth preservation and protection - and what clients should think about before setting up a structure.