What you will find in this edition

  • International Business:
    7 Global Strategies for Asset Protection & Business Solutions

International Business

7 Global Strategies for Asset Protection & Business Solutions

1) Trust Companies

Trust Company is a business entity organized specifically for entering into Fiduciary, Trustee or Agent relationships with individuals or organizations to administer assets.  It may act as a portfolio manager, executor,guardian, trustee, custodian of assets, fiscal agent and paying agent for corporations and governments who have issued bonds and provide services such as estate planning etc. Trust Companies frequently have numerous other financial powers, which are only limited by the jurisdiction in which they are established. Trust Companies are not required to exercise all of the powers that they are granted.

In general, a Trust Company is usually owned by one of three types of structures: an independent partnership, a bank, or a law firm.  It is frequently seen as an effective alternative to bank ownership.  The primary benefits are asset protection (either corporate or personal) and resolution to specific or unique business problems.

Jurisdiction of Preference
– Switzerland

2) Bank Ownership

Bank ownership is not appropriate for every organization because it can be very expensive and time consuming.  Thus, it cannot offer an immediate solution to business needs.  The rewards, however, may be well worth it.   After the tragedy of 9/11, international banking laws and regulations have changed. The bank-chartering process can be an endurance test easily lasting 18-months even in the most accommodating of jurisdictions.  Often the complexity of the application provides not only the ability for extensive due diligence but discourages unqualified applicants from even starting the process.  In effect, this marathon “weeds out” those parties that are not fully committed to bank ownership.

A bank is defined as an organization usually a corporation chartered by a government which does most or all of the following: receives demand deposits and time deposits, honor instruments drawn on them, and pays interest on them; discounts notes, makes loans and invests in securities; collects checks, drafts and notes; certifies depositor’s checks; and issues drafts and cashier’s checks. The bank charter is an agreement that governs the manner in which the bank is regulated and operates. It authorizes the existence of the bank by the agency which is primarily responsible for protecting the public from unsafe banking practices.

Jurisdictions of Preference:
– Cayman Islands
– St Vincent

3) Captive Insurance Companies

Captive Insurance Company is an insurance company that primarily insures the risks of businesses, which are related to it through common ownership usual a parent company.    The entity can be domiciled and licensed in a wide number of jurisdictions both domestically or offshore. It is estimated that about 80% of the Standard and Poor 500 companies own one or more captive insurance companies. Using a captive is commonly accepted risk management technique.

Jurisdictions of Preference:
– Bermuda
– St Vincent
– British Virgin Islands

4) Special Purpose Vehicles

Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) is a financial entity created for the purpose of fulfilling a very specific or temporary objective. It is separated from the sponsoring or parent and may be controlled by several companies working together.  SPVs are typically used by companies to isolate the firm from financial risk.  A company will transfer assets to the entity for management or to finance a large project thereby achieving a narrow set of goals without putting the entire firm at risk.  In certain jurisdictions, specific ownership percentages may be required.

Jurisdictions of Preference: 
– Ireland
– Jersey

5) Asset Protection Trusts

An Asset Protection Trust is a legal structure that splits the beneficial enjoyment of trust assets from their legal ownership. A Trust is simply a contract between the people who wish to protect assets (the Grantor) and the person who will manage the assets (the Trustee) for the benefit of all Beneficiaries which may include the Grantor other individuals.

Jurisdictions of Preference:  
– Cook Islands

6) Foundations

Foundations can trace their origin to approximately 100 years ago in Western Europe.  A Foundation is a separate legal entity, without members or shareholders, and is generally established to reflect the wishes of the founder, who may be an individual or a corporate entity. These wishes are contained within the Foundation’s Deed of Incorporation and Articles of Association. Foundations can be established for a fixed or indefinite period of time and can be used for charitable, commercial or for family purposes.  They are often used for estate planning purposes and as an alternative to Asset Protection Trusts.

Jurisdictions of Preference:  
– Liechtenstein
– Panama

7) Offshore IPOs

Taking a privately held entity public offshore might be an excellent means to solve specific and unique business problems or raise equity for a current subsidiary.  A very detailed process, it needs to be only handled by an experienced firm.

Locations of Preference:  
– Frankfurt Exchange
– Berlin Exchange
– Bermuda


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None of the structures described in this newsletter are tax sheltered vehicles.

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