Guernsey’s Role as an International Finance Centre

Guernsey, the second largest of the Channel Islands, has a long history of providing fiduciary services, primarily trusts and private limited companies. It is a leading International Finance Centre and enjoys an enviable reputation for the provision of high-quality services in a well-regulated jurisdiction delivered by talented and experienced people. We find out about Aquitaine Group’s services for high net worth individuals.

The Island of Guernsey is tax neutral for non-residents. There are no capital taxes in the Island, and with the exception of income from Guernsey property, income arising to a structure set up by a non-resident is outside the Guernsey tax net.

The trust industry is well established in Guernsey and indeed there is reference to a trust in Court records over 400 years ago. Guernsey codified its trust Law in 1989 and this was updated and expanded in 2007. The law is supported by a wealth of decided cases.

Aquitaine Group Limited was established in 2008 and merged with an existing Guernsey trust company in 2013. It presently employs over 40 people in Guernsey and with its sister company Summit Trust International S.A in Geneva and Cayman, the group has a total of 75 employees.

Aquitaine combines the positive aspects of an institutional trustee, including good corporate governance, a strong compliance culture and a cautious risk approach, with a personalised, professional and high-quality service. We consider ourselves international trustees and travel extensively to meet clients.

The Aquitaine team maintains an international and diverse client base and all relationships are director led. Aquitaine’s Directors all have extensive experience in dealing with high net worth clients and their families and managing extensive and often complex trust and corporate structures. We pride ourselves on offering a bespoke and boutique service tailored to each individual client which has ensured that our client retention rate is exceptionally high and our client base continues to grow year on year. We know our clients, their business goals, family dynamics and personal desires, our emotional intelligence allows us to be a trusted partner as well as an effective trustee.

Private Clients

The types of service that Aquitaine provide for private clients centre around family wealth planning either for estate planning purposes or as part of inter vivos passing of wealth between different branches of families or generations. The trust and company still dominate as the entities of choice for tax and estate planning in the common law jurisdictions. However, Guernsey has enacted legislation allowing for the creation and management of foundations on 8th January 2013.

Aquitaine provide services to each of these vehicles throughout their life cycle and our services typically include the following: –

• The formation, management and administration of trusts including acting as a corporate trustee, or as an enforcer or protector of trusts;
• The formation, management and administration of companies, limited partnerships and other vehicles, including the provision of corporate or individual directors;
• The formation, management and administration of foundations, including acting as Foundation Council members or other officers; and
• The provision of executorship services.

Corporate Clients

Aquitaine provide a wide variety of services to corporate clients including acting as trustee of employee benefit trusts, long term incentive plans and other similar trust structures.

For corporate clients Aquitaine’s range of services extend beyond acting as trustee or corporate administrator and include providing stand-alone accounting, company secretarial and corporate governance services.

Family Office

The fiduciaries at Aquitaine are experienced in working with family offices or providing family office services to wealthy families.

Aquitaine can assist in making introductions to bankers, wealth managers, legal and tax advisers, insurers and professionals in many other disciplines through our extensive network of professional contacts and intermediaries.

Aquitaine does not provide legal advice, tax advice, investment advice, insurance advice or offer banking services. It is only licensed to provide fiduciary services and administration services.

Contact name: Jenny Veillard
Tel: + 44 1481 729944

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