2018 Global Company Formation Survey
“It is important that the industry is aware of differences in legislation from one year to the next, but also from place to place. The CFS provides a unique reference point, compiled by the sector itself, to do just this”
Christopher Copper-Ind, Brand Editor, International Investment
The definitive guide
to company formation
Welcome to the 26th Company Formation Survey, now re-launched in a new and larger format. International Investment’s 19th ezine is the interactive platform for the definitive guide to company formation in international financial centres around the world.
Compiled with input from government regulators and leading industry professionals, the CFS is an indispensable source detailing corporate services, key legislative developments and policy change – and the most comprehensive survey of its kind.
Estimates put the total number of companies in the world at upwards of 200 million – 50,000 of which are listed on global stock exchanges. Companies and international financial centres have long been subject to high levels of scrutiny, and in many ways the renewed focus on offshore jurisdictions over recent years is nothing new.
International Investment’s Company Formation Survey, apart from being a fundamentally useful tool, is also an interesting gauge of trends across the world of offshore finance. Given the survey includes jurisdictions from around the world, it is particularly important that the industry is aware of differences in legislation from one year to the next, but also from place to place. The CFS provides a unique reference point, compiled by the industry itself, to do just this.
Against a backdrop of an intensifying regulatory climate, many of the jurisdictions listed here have been working together to form partnerships for mutual benefit. In March this year, Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) signed a collaborative agreement to disseminate trends on company registration and related services in real time to promote growth in both jurisdictions.
The sharing of information, especially from jurisdictions to regulatory bodies, remains a central issue for all jurisdictions in 2018. The European Union’s Economic and Financial Affairs Council added three countries to its “tax haven blacklist” – the Bahamas, St Kitts and Nevis and the US Virgin Islands – and deleted three others in March this year, as its efforts to promote greater international transparency continued.
ECOFIN ministers also agreed on new transparency requirements for tax intermediaries, which it said in a statement were designed to prevent corporate tax avoidance through the use of cross-border schemes.
The new EU requirements will mandate that all intermediaries “such as tax advisers, accountants and lawyers” report to the authorities any tax planning schemes that could be considered to be “aggressive”, while EU member states “will be required to share that information automatically, enabling measures to be taken to block harmful arrangements”, ECOFIN said.
An across-the-board trend, closely linked to regulation, is an effort to meet new standards of transparency and information exchange – often a tricky balancing act that needs to take clients’ confidentiality into account. Over 90 countries had signed up to the Common Reporting Standard (CRS, formally known as the Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information), with 50 of these meeting the CRS criteria, set by the OECD, by the end of 2017.
In addition to the CRS, several countries are adopting measures to counter undue secrecy or anonymity regarding company formation and ownership. The G20 is lending its broad support for the CRS and its implementation.
Many international financial centres continue to quietly evolve their existing laws, practices and innovations. It is notable that, in the past 12 months since our last CFS, more than half the entries listed in the pages that follow have updated legislature or plan to do so by June 2018.
Britain has led the way, and since 2016 has required all UK-registered companies to nominate and identify publicly any “person with significant control”. Also as of last year, all EU member states are obliged to appear on a central registry that lists founding directors of every EU-based company.
A listing of some of the biggest
players in offshore financial services
Canada Life International, Canada Life House, Isle of Man Business Park, Douglas, Isle of Man IM2 2QJ
Tel: +44 (0)1624 820200; Fax: +44 (0)1624 820201
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Web: www.canadalifeint.com
Profile: Canada Life International Limited (CLI) established 30 years ago remains one of the leading offshore providers with assets under administration of £14.3bn (as at 31 March 2017). CLI is the only offshore insurer to maintain a five-star AKG Annual Financial strength rating for 14 consecutive years. Through CLI Institutional Limited, institutional and UHNW clients have a level of policyholder protection that isn’t otherwise available in the UK offshore market. In 2015, CLI also completed the acquisition of Legal and General International (Ireland). This has enhanced the choice available to UK investors by providing them with a choice of jurisdictions within one compelling offshore proposition.
Offering: Canada Life International Limited (CLI) offer a wide range of regular and single premium investment bonds, tax and estate planning solutions and whole of life protection solutions. Our investment options include full open architecture, links to over 40 platforms and over 150 discretionary investment managers as well as over 150 internal linked funds. Our team of technical specialists offer more than 200 years of experience in taxation, trusts, estate planning and pensions between them. In addition, we publish and back our service standards with a no quibble, non-performance penalty system.
Generali Worldwide, PO Box 613, Generali House, Hirzel St, St Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Islands GY1 4PA
Tel +44 (0) 1481 712 108; Fax +44 (0) 1481 712 424
Profile: Generali Worldwide is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Generali Group. Founded on the strength of this international presence and wide-ranging expertise, Generali Worldwide specialises in offering life insurance-based wealth management and employee benefit solutions to a global audience, including multinational organisations, international expatriates and local resident populations in licensed territories.
The company’s head office is based in Guernsey, a premier international financial centre, and is a registered insurer under the Insurance Business (Bailiwick of Guernsey) law, 2002 (as amended). It is also an authorised insurer in the Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Hong Kong, Jersey and Singapore.
Offering: A range of individual unit-linked regular and single premium-based savings, retirement and investment plans and an open-architecture portfolio bond along with group retirement and savings products, group life and disability and healthcare products.
Harbour Court, Lord Street, Box 192, Douglas, Isle of Man IM99 1QL
Tel: +44 (0)1624 688 000
e-mail: email@example.com; Web: www.hansard.com
Profile: Hansard International has been providing innovative financial products and services for international clients since 1987 and forms part of Hansard Global plc, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange. We administer assets in excess of US$1bn for over 500 financial advisor businesses with over 40,000 client accounts, in over 155 countries. We are celebrating our 30th anniversary in 2017, and already planning ahead for the next 30 years.
Offering: In the ever-changing landscape of financial services, Hansard International prevails as a steady and constant presence. Whilst other providers around us have changed their name, ownership, identity and focus over the years, Hansard International has remained committed to providing innovative financial products and services for financial advisers and their international clients. This strong heritage, which is coupled with exceptional levels of service and a focus on innovation through the use of technology, makes us an exceptional proposition in our marketplace.
Canella Court, Camana Bay, PO Box 32203, Grand Cayman KY1-1208, Cayman Islands
Tel: +1 (305) 603 1400
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web: www.investors-trust.com; LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/investors-trust
Profile: Investors Trust Assurance SPC (ITA) is an international insurance company licensed and regulated by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority. ITA has gained a leadership position in the international insurance markets by specialising in the provision of investment-linked insurance products and class leading customer service. With service offices established around the world, ITA offers an array of opportunities to its policyholders by providing access to the global financial markets. ITA is constantly innovating and investing in technology giving clients online multi-language (English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese and Russian) access to manage their investment-linked products.
Offering: ITA works with some of the world’s top asset managers under its convenient open architecture platform. It provides clients with greater investment choices and the ability to provide for their families as well as plan for a comfortable retirement. Specialising in medium to long term unit-linked investment products, ITA is proud to offer a range of flexible, tax-efficient products, including regular and single premium annuities, designed to suit various income levels and financial planning needs.
Tel: +44 (0) 1624 655555
e-mail: email@example.com; Web: www.oldmutualinternational.com
Profile: Old Mutual International provides offshore and cross-border investment solutions for both expatriate and local investors across the world. Old Mutual International is the international arm of Old Mutual Wealth, a leading retail investment business encompassing managed investment portfolios, platform services and a range of financial products including tax savings propositions. Old Mutual Wealth is part of Old Mutual Plc, a FTSE 100 group that provides life assurance, asset management, banking and general insurance. Old Mutual is trusted by more than 19.4 million customers across the world and has a total of £394.9bn assets under management (as at 31 December 2016).
Offering: Our award winning propositions, designed around customer needs, are underpinned by a wide choice of investments and online tools, to help advisers monitor and manage the entire investment process for the benefit of their clients. Each proposition is designed to be relevant to the needs of the local market and compliant with the regulatory environment. Because everyone’s needs are different, we don’t sell directly to customers or give advice on our products. Instead we rely on advisers, who understand their clients’ financial goals, to recommend us because of our reputation and the quality of the products we offer.
4th Floor, Rodus Building, Road Reef, Road Town Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Tel: +1 305 443 9610
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web: www.premiertrustglobal.com
Profile: Premier Trust offers a uniquely tailored suite of unit-linked products that grant international investors the opportunity to create a portfolio of investments in a simple and sustainable manner. Premier Trust, part of PA Group’s Life and Investment division, provides clients access to some of the world’s leading fund and asset managers as well as best-in-class custodians. From protecting our clients’ health with worldwide coverage to helping them achieve a successful financial future, PA Group creates financial security road maps for life’s most significant events. For over 18 years, PA Group has guided and protected our clients with comprehensive health and wealth accumulation solutions.
Offering: Our investment products include regular savings and lump sum premium plans with principal protection in multiple currencies (USD, AUD, EUR, GBP), as well as plan options with a broad selection of investment funds and ETFs. With a dedicated administration team and a proprietary online platform, Premier Trust delivers personalised customer service with multi-language support to advisers and clients in over 40 countries. For more information on Premier Trust’s investment solutions, visit www.premiertrustglobal.com.
RL360 House, Cooil Road, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM2 2SP
Tel: +44 (0) 1624 681682
e-mail: email@example.com; Web: www.rl360.com
RL360° is one of the fastest growing international life companies, with offices around the globe and policyholders residing in 170 countries at all points of the compass.
We’re part of International Financial Group Limited (formerly RL360 Group), which has 70,000 policyholders, in excess of US$10 billion assets under management and 335 staff.
Investing with RL360° means choosing a financially strong and uniquely structured company. We have a B+ rating from actuarial consultancy AKG, as well as 4 stars for service. And you can take great confidence from our Isle of Man location, a well-established global financial centre with an outstanding reputation for investor protection and security.
Royalty House, Walpole Avenue,, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 2SL, British Isles
Tel: +44 (0) 1624 643 468 (Telephone calls may be recorded)
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web: www.utmostwealth.com
Profile: With a 25-year heritage, Utmost Wealth Solutions is a provider of award-winning offshore bonds for high-net-worth UK residents. Having recently opened a Dublin office to complement our long-established Isle of Man base, we can now offer a choice of jurisdiction in addition to a range of investment options, including a bond with full discretionary management. Recognising the complex and continually changing financial planning landscape, our highly-respected technical support can help you consider appropriate solutions for your high-net-worth clients. With £12bn funds under management and 36,000 policyholders (31 December 2016), we’re here to make a wealth of difference.
Offering: Flexibility and choice are at the heart of our single premium bonds. Our Isle of Man-based Evolution offers access to a wide range of investment options. The Estate Planning Bond, also Isle of Man-based, is combined with a discounted gift trust and is designed for IHT planning. We also have two Dublin-based life assurance bonds. Selection offers access to a wide range of open architecture investment options, while Delegation provides access to all the investment flexibility offered via a discretionary fund manager. Utmost Trustee Solutions, our in-house trustee service delivers expert support in all trust administration matters