In this ongoing series we will offer a look at how specific industries have utilized the Swiss Trust Company business tool for profit & asset protection.
The client (name withheld) is an owner of a multi-platform merchant banking and development concern. They wish to profit and preserve business opportunity by utilizing an offshore / international vehicle in a prestigious location which will privately provide trust services, financial services, project lending and trading programs for their international clients and business partners.
– Direct Lending
– Portfolio Management
– US Real Estate Investment
– FOREX Trading
The client initially explored buying or licensing a Private International Bank. It quickly became apparent to the client that the time and money which would be spent to gain approval would be considerable without any guarantee.
For example: the average costs for a private bank license will be in the range of US$150,000 in application and attorney’s fees. Plus, if approved, they will need to post a Paid-in -Capital balance likely to be greater than US $1,000,000 which will stay with the Central Bank for the life of the bank. Again, keep in mind that the applicant cannot be guaranteed of approval. It is important to note that most major jurisdictions will not approve bank ownership for individuals who lack considerable banking experience. If not approved, all initial fees will be lost. Finally, the amount of time lost to the client certainly comes into the equation. A conservative estimate of time for the application process is six months, but in reality it will be much longer.
In comparison, the average client will invest US$100,000 to acquire Swiss Trust Company (STC) which is often older lending additional corporate goodwill and credibility. This acquisition is guaranteed, will be finished for a qualified client within five business days, and all capital posted to accounts will be working capital. Thus, funds can be used for investment and not as a posting. The client also retains the right to sell the STC in the future if kept in good standing with all annual fees paid. There is no requirement for ownership to establish residence in Switzerland which again offers maximum flexibility.
By acquiring a 30-year-old Swiss Trust Company, this client was able to save both time and money when compared to alternatives while gaining access to a more prestigious jurisdiction than would be possible with a private bank. The services of a Swiss Administrative & Management firm – with membership to a prestigious Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) recognized by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) – was also included in the turnkey acquisition. This assured that all legal obligations would be met regarding Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and that essentially an in-house compliance department was established providing peace of mind to ownership.
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