Isle of Man overhauls its Foundations Act

The parliament of The Isle of Man is set to consider an overhauled Foundations Act, which will allow the jurisdiction to expand its wealth management capabilities and attract new business from high net worth and institutional investors.

Treasury minister Eddie Teare said the Manx Foundation “will be a bespoke product that will provide our financial services industry with an additional tool to open up new business opportunities”.

“The world of wealth management is highly competitive so it is vitally important that Government keeps working in partnership with the private sector to enhance the Island’s offering to international clients.’

The Foundations Act will provide for the establishment of foundations as an alternative to trusts as vehicles for holding assets. Foundations resemble trusts in many respects but also have separate legal personality, like a company. Their existence will be recorded on a public register. Each must have a local registered agent accountable to the authorities.

The legislation has been welcomed by private sector representatives on the island. John Rimmer, a partner at the law firm Appleby, said Trusts form a key part of the Isle of Man’s offering. Foundations offer greater familiarity and comfort for individuals and families from civil law countries, as well as interesting opportunities in commercial legal structures.

Rimmer added: “The Treasury have shown real commitment in bringing this offering to the statute books in response to an initiative from the Isle of Man branch of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. The Foundations Act is another good example of what cooperation between government and private sector can achieve.”

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