Fiona Le Poidevin, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance,
considers Guernsey a family office centre of
Guernsey's finance industry is well placed to provide the
widest scope of family office (FO) services.
Regarded as a jurisdiction of choice for both wealth management
and investment funds, the island's providers are able to
combine traditional values with modern technology to help clients
manage their wealth effectively, between locations and over
The Island's close proximity to the City of London and
mainland Europe, as well as a convenient time zone, adds to the
Island's appeal. As does the fact that the Island boasts 150
licensed fiduciaries, ranging from multinational organisations to
independent, boutique operations, all specialising in the
preservation of individual and family wealth and the inherently
varied nature of FO structures.
FOs are equally put at ease because of Guernsey's
world-leading standards of regulation. In 2011, the IMF reported
Guernsey as being compliant or largely compliant with 47 out of 49
of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations on
Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Countering the Financing of
Terrorism (CFT) – the highest standard of any jurisdiction so
far assessed. Guernsey was also one of the first places in the
world to regulate trust and corporate services providers.
FO services in Guernsey
Guernsey providers are well versed in the traditional single
family office (SFO) concept of providing management services in
relation to household staff, travel arrangements, property,
payroll, investment programmes, philanthropy coordination and
succession planning, as well as some degree of involvement with a
core family operating business.
However, SFOs are also now expanding into Multi Family Office
(MFO) operations, an increasingly common trend being seen in
Guernsey over recent years.
The MFO can still offer specialised services to a given family
but will do so on a non-exclusive basis and will provide services
to one or more other families (who may even be connected). This
arrangement can deliver economies of scale and opens up the world
of the family office, which was traditionally only available to the
super wealthy, to those with smaller fortunes or an appetite for
more limited and cost effective family office services.
Guernsey's corporate, trust, foundation and limited
partnership structures can be utilised to hold assets of all types
across the globe. In addition, legislation enabling the
establishment of limited liability partnerships under Guernsey law
was introduced in May 2014.
Guernsey is perhaps most well-known for pioneering the Protected
Cell Company (PCC) concept more than 15 years ago. The PCC is now
used across investment fund platforms, captive insurance vehicles
and structured products, while one of the most innovative
applications of the tool is in the field of family wealth planning.
Along with the utilisation of Incorporated Cell Companies (ICCs),
these private cell structures can be used to ring-fence different
assets for different strands of a particular family or simply for
segregation and risk management purposes.
The end of last year saw the establishment of 2-REG, the
Guernsey-based Channel Islands aircraft registry, which with the
nationality mark of '2' followed by four letters, allows
for particularly attractive registration names, such as 2-COOL or
2-PLAY. This development followed the creation of the world's
first image rights law and register just over 18 months ago which
will allow celebrities and corporates to protect and exploit their
image and brand.
These are just a few of the many advantages offered by Guernsey
as it continues to demonstrate its capabilities to evolve its
structures and products to the needs of international clients and
to develop solution based initiatives in partnership with the
financial services industry.
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