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Fiona Le Poidevin, chief executive of Guernsey Finance

Guernsey approves foundations law


The introduction of Guernsey’s foundations law has moved a step closer after the Island’s Parliament, the States of Guernsey, gave its approval to the legislation.

The law, which is expected to be introduced by the end of this year or the early part of 2013, had already been agreed in principle last year and will now be sent for final ratification by the UK’s Privy Council.

Following enactment, the law will provide Guernsey’s fiduciary sector and its clients with additional choice and flexibility when setting up wealth management structures in the Island.

Fiona Le Poidevin, chief executive of Guernsey Finance, the promotional agency for the Island’s finance industry, says: “The foundation is a product our finance industry has been keen to offer clients so we are pleased that the States of Guernsey has passed the law. We will now wait for the UK’s Privy Council to consider the legislation and hope to see foundations enacted locally by the end of the year, or in the early part of 2013.

“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. Introducing the law will allow our 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 further afield in the emerging markets of China, Russia and Latin America where the trust concept is less familiar than in common law countries such as the UK.”

Guernsey Finance is hosting a seminar, titled The Foundations Alternative, on 18 September in the Stevenson Theatre at the British Museum, Great Russell Street. The event, which gets underway at 4pm, will give advisers a practical insight into how foundations can be used and use case studies to illustrate this. Guest speakers at the event will be announced shortly but will consist of both Guernsey and off-Island practitioners.

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