Jersey: The State Of Play In Private Client And Trusts Work And Prospects For The Future
Last Updated: 9 May 2017

Sevyn Kalsi is a senior associate in Ogier's top-ranked Private Client and Trusts team, whose practice focuses on advising corporate trustees, settlors and beneficiaries on matters relevant to Jersey trusts and foundations as well as on complex employee reward schemes.

He has been named in the Citywealth Future Leaders List, the Citywealth Leaders List and the eprivateclient "Top 35 under 35" list and is praised in client feedback as an adviser who "provides strong practical advice when dealing with both simple and complex matters".

In this Q&A feature, Sevyn reviews the current state of play in the private client and trusts sphere in Jersey and prospects for the future.

Which parts of your work for HNWIs are currently the most active in Jersey, and where do you see the greatest demand for your services?

At the moment we are seeing instructions from a wide variety of different sources with clients from a diverse range of backgrounds, both domestic and from further afield. Whenever there is economic growth and wealth being created individuals will always look to structure their personal and/ or business affairs in the most efficient and effective manner possible, ranging from simple trusts to more complex corporate and private wealth structures. Of course, to a certain extent, we often find ourselves seeking clarity in various areas where there is some uncertainty (such as the UK non-dom tax changes and the related implications for offshore structures, Brexit and the ramifications of  Donald Trump's election win) however in times of uncertainty we also see a drive towards the safeguarding of wealth. With Ogier's Trusts Advisory Group we are able to provide seamless private client, dispute resolution and corporate advice to our clients and their advisers to enable them to achieve their planning objectives. This, coupled with our firm's expertise in banking, funds and property matters amongst others and our ability to advise across a number of offshore jurisdictions, provides a multi-faceted approach which is what our clients increasingly want.

What do you see as the growth areas for the private wealth industry in Jersey right now?

Given Jersey's status as a well-regulated, reputable and long-established finance centre, Jersey continues to remain a very attractive jurisdiction for those looking to establish structures for philanthropic, succession planning and commercial purposes (amongst others). In addition to the well-trodden path of the Jersey discretionary trust being used for wealth, dynastic and succession planning they can also be used in a wide variety of commercial contexts such as unit trusts or in relation to pension, employee benefit and share incentive schemes. We predict that the use of such trusts will continue to increase, as will the use of Jersey foundations as an alternative in the context of wealth management, structuring and succession planning as well as for philanthropy and wider charitable giving. As clients look to consolidate their existing structures, or indeed when establishing new structures, some are becoming increasingly interested in the use of private trust companies when considering the choice of trustee (as an alternative to having a regulated service provider as the trustee). Although a disadvantage of using a private trust company can sometimes be the cost of establishment, in the majority of cases the added comfort of having a dedicated bespoke trustee for a trust or group of trusts can far outweigh this.

What are the biggest challenges for the industry in Jersey? Is there consolidation in the wealth industry, or growth?

Despite its relative size, Jersey has firmly established itself as one of the world's leading financial centres, with its political and economic stability and modern, robust and comprehensive legal infrastructure and modern judiciary. Jersey's wealth of highly skilled, forward thinking and commercially aware trust, legal, tax, banking and finance specialists has helped to maintain Jersey at the forefront of global finance and private wealth matters, however it is imperative that we, as a jurisdiction, do not become complacent. With the growth of modern technology and the impact that it has on our day to day lives (both in business as well as personally), clients are able and indeed do look further afield when considering jurisdictions for the establishment of new structures or when considering the migration of existing ones. As global wealth is increasing, as will the private wealth industry and Jersey must therefore continue to remain one step ahead of other offshore jurisdictions – many of whom, I am sure, will be keeping a very close eye on developments here.

What is currently driving wealth creation, and where do you see new business coming from?

We live in an entrepreneurial world, and we are seeing clients from all walks of life who come from all corners of the globe. There is no longer (if indeed there ever was) a template profile for a "typical offshore client". Their needs can range from succession planning and corporate structuring to the provision of a stable financial and corporate base for internationally mobile families. Jersey provides a very stable and reputable platform to meet such clients' needs, somewhat sheltered from political and other external forces, which can be very attractive to some by bringing a sense of calm and clarity to a sometimes hectic and uncertain world! Jersey, as a jurisdiction, is also committed to global transparency (as evidenced by being one of the early adopters of the Common Reporting Standard) and, at a local level, this has translated into the use of a proportionate, risk based approach to client due diligence measures and client onboarding. Such measures have been adopted by Ogier and we therefore meet prospective clients with an open mind.

What are your predictions for wealth management in Jersey going forward?

For Ogier, all of the indicators are very positive. In the first half of this year we have recruited three new partners in our private client and trusts teams in Jersey, Guernsey and Cayman – James Campbell has joined our team in Jersey, Gavin Ferguson has joined the Guernsey office, and Anthony Partridge has been recruited in Cayman. That growth – and a continued focus on recruitment at associate level - shows a very positive outlook towards private wealth in Jersey and the wider offshore scene, and a real commitment from Ogier to remain at the forefront of this. In the past, clients based in certain parts of the globe have sometimes made their choice of offshore jurisdiction for planning and structuring matters on timezones– as they want advisers that they can talk to in real time during their working day. Ogier's multi-platform and multi-jurisdictional service enables us to offer, for example, Jersey law advice from our Hong Kong office or BVI advice from our Jersey office, which is a major selling point in that regard. We are also seeing more internationally mobile clients and their advisers who are not tied to a single timezone or location, and Jersey is therefore well-placed to serve their needs.

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