Charitable and philanthropic structures are emerging as a sizeable new stream of business for the legal sector and other professional service providers in Guernsey, says offshore law firm Carey Olsen.
The firm has been involved in setting up a substantial philanthropic foundation holding shares in a client family’s multi-billion dollar, multi-national business and is now working on a similar structure for a Chinese ultra high net worth individual.
Partner Natasha Kapp, speaking at the firm’s autumn trusts conference, explained that Guernsey was chosen for the establishment of the foundation following a long and thorough review of various jurisdictions.
Ms Kapp highlighted the escalation in the commitment among ultra high net worth families to philanthropy. 170 billionaires, including Bill & Melinda Gates and Mark Zuckerberg & Priscilla Chan, have signed up to the Giving Pledge, a commitment by the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to ‘giving back’.
“Guernsey is highly experienced in administering high-value and complex structures. This same wealth of experience and regulatory framework can be applied in administering charitable and philanthropic structures in line with trends and make the island a centre of excellence for charity and philanthropy." Ms Kapp said.
She continued: “Modern philanthropy starts with the hypothesis that business and capital markets can be a tremendous force for positive social change. It recognises that every enterprise impacts society in the course of its business and that philanthropies can make capital available to both non-profit and for-profit entities in a way that furthers philanthropic objectives. Another trend is that entrepreneurs are donating the equity in their businesses to serve as permanent philanthropic capital.”
Ms Kapp also said that increasingly wealthy families and individuals are demanding resources and expertise to be applied to their philanthropy and this "fourth leg of the wealth planning table’ was providing new business opportunities for Guernsey.
“Guernsey is highly experienced in administering high-value and complex structures. This same wealth of experience and regulatory framework can be applied in administering charitable and philanthropic structures in line with trends and make the island a centre of excellence for charity and philanthropy."
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