Guernsey’s foundation law to attract EM investors from China, Russia and Latin America

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English Channel island Guernsey has presented its new foundation law which, agreed by the Island’s Government and the States of Guernsey, is currently awaiting final ratification by the UK’s Privy Council.

The law is expected to be introduced by the end of this year or the early part of 2013 and following its enactment it will provide Guernsey’s fiduciary sector and its clients with additional choice and flexibility when setting up wealth management structures in the Island.

According to Fiona Le Poidevin (pictured), chief executive of Guernsey Finance, the promotional agency for the Island’s finance industry internationally, the law will allow fiduciary professionals to consider the use of a foundation as well as a trust when adopting wealth structures for their clients, particularly those based in civil law jurisdictions in Europe and emerging markets such as China, Russia and Latin America.

“Guernsey has a very strong heritage in providing trust and corporate services. Now we are adding another item to the menu of options which practitioners in Guernsey can use to best meet the needs of their clients. We expect Guernsey foundations will be particularly attractive to clients in civil law jurisdictions of not just Europe but also further afield in terms of the ‘emerging’ markets of Asia, in particular China, Russia and Latin America,” Le Poidevin said.

The law was presented yesterday in London, during an event attended by about 120 delegates, including legal and tax advisers from London’s private client industry.

“We were one of the first jurisdictions in the world to introduce trust law and the States of Guernsey has recognised, along with our finance industry, that to further develop the expertise and experience built up over many years in the fiduciary sector the Island needed to be able to offer new products,” she said.

Recent figures from the Guernsey Financial Services Commission showed that the total net asset value of funds under management and administration in the island were GBP270.8bn at the end of June 2012.

This represents a decrease of GBP3.6bn year on year but a 20.8% increase compared to 2010.

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