Independent Wealth Management Forum 2019 HK - Exclusive Insights - James Russell - 2

James Russell of Equiom Group

Oct 28, 2019

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1. In which jurisdictions do Asia’s wealthy prefer to house their structures? Why?

Video transcript

1. In which jurisdictions do Asia’s wealthy prefer to house their structures? Why?

The go-to point at the moment in Asia is always the BVI company. And that's mostly based on the fact that that's what everybody's doing; people here are comfortable with the BVI, there's a whole load of BVI lawyers, several of whom have been in the room today, who are here to provide advice and push clients into that sort of structuring. Is it always the right structure? I'm not sure it is, and I think there are times when the Crown dependencies and another more established trust in corporate services, jurisdictions, perhaps have more to offer, more protections for clients, better legal systems, more stronger case law, more accessible individuals. The BVI is great in a scenario where you want something to be done cheaply, and that is a driver for many clients here, but clients at the top end of the industry are waking up to the fact that maybe cheap isn't best and maybe it's not going to give them the protections that they actually need when it comes down to CRS, opening the books to their structures, to their home jurisdictions. At that point, they may need a jurisdiction with perhaps a little bit more clout, a little bit more management, a little bit more proper administration. And I think that's going to be something that we'll see over the next half decade in this part of the world. And Hong Kong, Singapore should both benefit from that; proper regulated jurisdictions with experienced personnel who know what they're doing and are properly qualified. It's easy to put a negative spin on what's happening here in Asia at the moment, but I think there's positives there if you dig hard enough and go looking for them.

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