Mauritius: The Rise Of Mauritius As A Family Office Destination

Last Updated: 2 October 2019
Article by Jimmy How Saw Keng and Kenny Curpen

Jimmy How Saw Keng and Kenny Curpen highlight how Mauritius provides suitably robust infrastructure to become a destination of choice for affluent individuals wishing to establish a family office.

In line with a diversification strategy underpinning wealth management as a new alley for growth for the Mauritius international financial centre (IFC), the Overseas Family Office licence was announced in the 2016-2017 Budget Speech. Adding to the country's foundation and trust structures, the licence matches the emergence of a growing ultra-high-net-worth segment (net worth of at least USD 30 million), both locally and in the wider region.

Of late, Mauritius has attracted a number of ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs), mainly from France and South Africa, through investments in dedicated up-market real estate associated with residence permits. The beneficial owners of the 20,000 or so global business companies active in the jurisdiction also constitute a potential pool of highly affluent individuals.

However, Mauritius has a keen eye on the African market. The number of multi-millionaires on the continent is growing at a faster pace than anywhere else in the world. Africa as a whole will see its UHNWI segment grow by 31% to reach close to 2,600 individuals by 2023. Countries like Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya are set to be the largest wealth hubs on the continent.

Subsequent to the Budget announcement, amendments in 2016 to the Financial Services Act 2007 introduced both an Overseas Family Office (Single) Licence and an Overseas Family Office (Multiple) Licence. Given the current dynamics of the market, the potential for multi-family offices, with a sharing of administrative costs, might be higher than for single-family offices. As an incentive however, both will benefit from a five year tax holiday under the condition that they meet the substance requirements of the Financial Services Commission. Additionally, each family's asset/estate entrusted to a single or multi-family office should be at least USD five million. Other requirements apply, namely in terms of minimum stated unimpaired capital.

Family offices provide a broad set of services

The classic vehicles to establish a family office are a trust, foundation or limited liability company. Generally, the services provided by a family office are quite broad and fall within the following:

  • Trusteeship services
  • Wealth and estate/succession planning
  • Portfolio management/investment services
  • Fund management and advisory performance monitoring
  • Tax optimisation and structuring
  • Legal services
  • Asset protection
  • Philanthropy and charitable work coordination
  • Family education
  • Dedicated concierge services (real estate management, organisation of private events, yacht and aircraft management, etc.)

Typically, family offices are exclusively for family members and family related trusts, foundations, charities and venture capital companies. As a fast growing wealth management segment around the world, they offer a more personalised service than wealth managers and private banks. Single-family offices usually take the form of a private company managing the investments of ultra-wealthy individuals with net assets worth more than USD 100 million, and their extended family. Multiple-family offices cater to families with net worth between USD 30 million and USD 100 million that do not have the economies of scale to establish single-family offices.

Risk mitigation and confidentiality is paramount to African UHNWIs

In spite of a growing number of affluent individuals, Africa remains prone to geopolitical and currency risks, whilst ease-of-doing-business and economic freedom often lag behind the rest of the world. For the continent's 'nouveaux riches', risk mitigation is top of mind, especially due to the family's assets often being located in their country of residence. Together with the quest for safer jurisdictions, confidentiality comes as a bonus when choosing overseas family offices to manage the family's wealth.

There is no single ideal jurisdiction to house a family office. Depending on the needs of UHNWIs, a host of factors come into play, including:

  • Low taxation
  • No exchange control and free flow of capital
  • Sound legal system
  • Political stability
  • Data protection and confidentiality
  • Qualified workforce
  • Location and proximity

Africa's hub for private wealth?

Mauritius ticks the box on all of the above attributes. In particular, it satisfies the prospective family office client on the two uppermost criteria of risk mitigation and confidentiality. The Mauritius Data Protection Act of 2017 aligns with international benchmarks. Our legal system, a hybrid of English Common Law and French Code Civil, gives predictability to all, from English-speaking as well as French-speaking Africa. There is also no lack of professionals in Mauritius, whether accountants, lawyers or investment specialists.

Location and proximity are practical considerations that may limit our field of traction relative to Africa, the continent closest to us. Indeed, they bear their weight in the decision process on the principle that family office services are highly personalised. As such, they involve frequent face-to-face meetings between the client and the service provider. With regular air connections with Africa set to expand further, Mauritius scores well on the proximity factor too.

It will take some time for Mauritius to be recognised as a family office destination to the same tune as the most established wealth management jurisdictions of this world. However, if its ambition is regional, it will find in Africa ground to grow.

Our family office service is built on long-term personal relationships founded on a deep understanding of what matters to you now, and in the future. We can support your wealth by acting as an outsourced family office or multi-family office. Find out more here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
 
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions