The Cayman Islands: An unique international financial center
If you have some financial expertise, you may know the Cayman Islands (autonomous British Overseas Territory) is one of the most reputed jurisdictions as an international financial center. Among the established offshore financial centers, such as the British Virgin Islands (BVI), Bermuda or Guernsey, the Cayman Islands is famous for its favorable legislation regarding with privacy, asset protection and management. Many fund managers choose the Islands as a location for the registered office of their funds.
Wealthy individuals from all over the world can also enjoy the privacy and the tax neutrality of the Cayman Islands. People from North and South Americas find it very convenient especially because of its geographical vicinity and time zone. You can buy or sell stocks in New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) through the Cayman Islands on a real-time basis.
To open a bank account, Cayman banks may not even require you to visit the Islands. This attitude is very different from that of the Swiss private banks, which recently are very nervous about accepting new clients.
If you are a U.S. taxpayer, it is very possible that any Swiss banks will refuse you as a client. On the other hand, Cayman banks may accept you if you have tax and legal advice from a third party. In addition, the bank will help you to utilize an appropriate fiduciary structure such as an offshore trust or an offshore corporation. Even if you have difficulties in opening an individual account, the bank may open an account for the trust created for you.
Do the riches hold and manage their assets by themselves? No, they don’t (and they should not do that way, either). Most of their assets are held indirectly in the form of trusts, corporations, partnerships, etc. Trust is a product of the common law. In other words, it has been developed principally in the Anglo-Saxon tradition of asset/property management. However, a similar system can be found in continental Europe. It is called the Liechtenstein Foundation or Liechtenstein Family Foundation.
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