Darren Kelland, Hawksford's Global Head of Private Client Services, explains why Jersey is a potent force in the private family office sector.
Private family offices are increasingly being used by ultra-high net worth (UHNW) families to consolidate a range of wealth management matters – from succession planning and philanthropy to tax compliance and the structuring of trusts and foundations.
For many families, the focus is on protecting and growing wealth as well as putting plans in place to provide for future generations.
That said, because no two families are the same, the services they need from a family office may differ considerably. This is why family offices pride themselves on being able to provide truly tailored services, which could be as broad as helping establish family constitutions, acquiring property or supporting owner-managed businesses.
With the growth of family offices, UHNW families around the world are able to choose a jurisdiction that best suits their needs. For many, that choice is Jersey, which has established itself as one of the most reputable locations for private clients to set up their family office.
If you’re considering a family office, here are five reasons why Jersey is a compelling proposition.
1. An impressive track record
Jersey has long been recognised as a sophisticated and highly regarded international finance centre. It is home to high-calibre fiduciary businesses and has a long and respected history of administering the structures within a family office.
The armoury of long-established products and services available in Jersey include private trust companies, foundations and bespoke trusts, through to protectorship, family investment committees and corporate-based structuring. Jersey’s main trusts legislation, Trusts (Jersey) Law 1984, has been established for decades but is continuously updated to reflect the world we live in and the ever-evolving needs of private clients.
2. A robust regulatory framework
Jersey's robust regulatory framework and court systems are constantly evolving to support and deal with issues that arise in the course of administering a family's affairs. The rigorous systems and protocols in place ensure the island has a strong reputation for the highest regulatory standards, often being considered as a benchmark for good compliance and adaptability.
Global regulation will continue to evolve and will only become more stringent. Jersey has always been an early adopter of regulatory change and remains committed to maintaining its reputation as a compliant jurisdiction. As UHNW families increasingly understand the need for such regulation, there is certainty in knowing that Jersey is at the forefront when it comes to meeting global standards.
3. An advantageous location
Jersey’s location places it perfectly between the time zones of the Americas and Asian markets, which is why it attracts family office business from around the world.
Close proximity to both London and Continental Europe and excellent communication links and infrastructure also help to consolidate why Jersey is a premier location for administering the wealth of UHNW families.
4. A deep pool of professional practitioners
As much as the world changes – sometimes in very unexpected ways – families never remain the same. As they evolve, become increasingly international and have ever-changing requirements, the need for trusted experts becomes all the more critical.
Using Jersey as a base for a private family office allows UHNW families to take advantage of its highly skilled and specialist workforce. All of the skills required by a successful family office – legal, investment, wealth management, tax, corporate governance, succession planning and structuring – are all readily available in Jersey.
What’s more, Jersey advisers naturally work with international partners to provide services to families spread out across the world. The far-reaching footprint of many companies in Jersey means that a seamless international service is very much a reality.
5. Geographic diversification of assets
For many UHNW families, challenges in the countries they live in, as well as broader global geopolitical issues, are driving them to establish private family offices in different jurisdictions to ensure their wealth is geographically diversified and protected. Using Jersey for relocation of wealth and business assets has been accelerating and is something we expect to continue.
Looking ahead it’s likely that the services required by family offices will become increasingly complex and specialised, recognising that each family will have a different focus.
With all of its obvious advantages, Jersey aspires to become the best in the world at helping UHNW clients set up and manage their private family offices, so that their assets are protected now and for future generations.
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