Family Office Developments Driving New Wave of Wealth Management Solutions

By Vistra jersey Limited, PRNE
Sunday, June 19, 2011

ST HELIER, Jersey, June 20, 2011 -

Family office is a term widely used in the wealth management
industry, but historically the Family Office has found itself
limited to overseeing the investments and trusts for a wealthy
family or group of families. Whilst such arrangements are
commonplace in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, new
models of the Family Office concept are now being developed by
local high net worth family groups to address a far broader and
more complex set of needs covering asset protection, succession,
general family management and privacy issues present in the

The traditional Family Office, that typically handles all family
affairs from the employment of household staff to the management of
real estate investments, is becoming increasingly sophisticated and
corporate in its approach. Not only are family offices hiring
senior qualified and experienced tax, legal and investment
practitioners, but many are also adopting collective investment
fund structuring methods perhaps more usually witnessed in the
institutional asset management space.

Family Offices are developing bespoke, complex and diverse
portfolio structures investing in a range of asset classes, from
vanilla equity and fixed income to hedge funds and private equity.
These investment platforms are commonly formed as companies and
trusts but, in recent years, Family Offices are using more publicly
visible collective investment funds vehicles and are allowing third
parties to co-invest. In the GCC, local ‘offshore’ special purpose
companies are being incorporated in these structures to house local
assets alongside internationally located investments and

These developments are partly a product of the increasing demand
for the proper segregation of assets, transparency and good
governance but they also result from a move to drive efficiencies
and reduce costs. In line with such advances, Jersey has reacted
well and continues to innovate. The local regulatory body, the
Jersey Financial Services Commission, has produced new legislation
to enable Family Offices and investment clubs to operate
practically within or, where appropriate, outside the regulatory
framework. Jersey-based service providers are well versed in the
needs of GCC-based clients and, where necessary, can accommodate
Shari’a Law principles and associated accounting methodologies.

Depending on the needs of the Family Office and its co-investor,
Jersey offers a great degree of flexibility. A fund vehicle that is
established for a small number of co-investors (up to a maximum of
15) and, where there is no formal offering of securities, is
regarded as a Very Private Fund. Where a fund is offered to not
more than 50 investors and is not listed, it is treated as a
Private Placement Fund. A collective investment vehicle offered to
eligible investors subscribing greater than US$1m can be classified
as an Unregulated Fund. Shari’a-compliant investment funds have
been formed in Jersey and the expertise exists to deal with the
complexities associated with such investment restrictions.

Collective investment funds in Jersey can be established within
a few days using a variety of vehicles including a Unit Trust,
Public or Private Company, Protected or Incorporated Cell Company
and also a Limited Partnership. Depending on the liquidity profile
of the asset and investor appetite, both open and closed ended
arrangements can be accommodated.

Jersey is an internationally recognised, highly respected and
established trust, company and fund-structuring jurisdiction. With
a strong finance industry populated by the world’s leading
accounting, tax, legal and administration firms, Jersey is well
placed to service the needs of the ever-evolving family office in
the GCC region.

Richard Hughes is Senior Manager at Vistra Jersey Limited,
telephone +44(0)1534-504700

About Vistra Group

Vistra is a leading
independent provider of trust, fiduciary, corporate and fund
services delivering personal and tailored solutions to
international corporations, institutional investors and high net
worth individuals from around the world.

Our clients can benefit from a multi-jurisdictional and personal
approach, delivered by a team of professionals with an in-depth
understanding of the often complex needs of every client. Our
services include company formation and management, fund formation
and administration, trustee services, family office, marine and
aviation and accounting services.

Today Vistra employs around 350 employees in href="">20 offices
covering 18 jurisdictions, with each of our offices providing the
full range of trust, corporate and estate planning solutions.

Today, Vistra is a unique player in the trust and fiduciary
industry, boasting the most balanced geographic reach globally
while always guaranteeing the personal and tailored service that
our clients deserve.

Together, we bring to life the Vistra ethos of “Crossing
Borders, Creating Solutions”.

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Media Contacts:
Guy Stephenson/Jennifer Duffy
Nacelle Ltd


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