NextGen & Family Wealth Planning

The emergence of a next generation that is set to inherit record levels of wealth and is highly focused on purpose-driven investment is presenting a new wave of challenges and opportunities for wealth managers. How equipped are IFCs to deal with this new cohort of HNWIs and respond to changing priorities in areas such as Philanthropy, ESG Investing and FinTech?


An IFC Of High Integrity

For hundreds of years, Barbados was the jewel in the British crown. As one of its prized Caribbean colonies, producing what would be the current equivalent of billions of British pounds’ worth of sugar, its thriving mono crop agricultural base provided crucial funding for Britain’s industrialisation process.

In the accounts of noted Barbadian historian Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, the Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, in a writing titled On Barbados, the Black Slave Society (8 April 2017), he stated: “By the 1650s, England was grandly celebrating Barbados as its premier global investment. The island had provided impetus for the breakthrough into profitable colonialism the nation had long desired but found irritatingly elusive. Henceforth, the national discourse on trade and economic growth, wealth creation and mercantilism.”

So significant was the island’s trade, it was more than that of the combined English colonies until the early 1700s, when that status was overtaken by geographically larger colonies such as Jamaica.  The estimated value of Barbados was put at £5.5 million in 1730.

Big Debate

Is the EU tax blacklist more political than technical?

Five years on since its inception, how effective has the EU tax blacklist been in tackling tax avoidance?

An Update

Beneficial Ownership Registers

Richard Grasby
Partner, Appleby, Hong Kong, Shanghai

On 22 November 2022, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) declared[i] that the provision of the EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive[ii] (AMLD), whereby Member States must ensure that the information on the beneficial ownership of corporate[iii] entities incorporated within their territory is accessible in all cases to any member of the general public, is invalid.

Previously, the register of beneficial ownership was accessible by a competent authority, a financial intelligence unit, obliged entities[iv] and a person or organisation that demonstrates a legitimate interest.[v] In 2020 the final category, i.e., a “person or organisation that demonstrates a legitimate interest” was expanded to “a member of the public.”

The CJEU stated that:

a fair balance should be sought in particular between the general public interest in the prevention of money laundering …and the data subjects’ fundamental rights.”

The CJEU decided that:

“the general public’s access to information on beneficial ownership…constitutes an interference with the rights guaranteed in Articles 7 and 8 of the Charter [of Fundamental Rights of the European Union].”[vi]


IFCs Bounce Back In The Global Financial Centres Index

Mike Wardle
Chief Executive Officer, Z/Yen Group Limited
Professor Michael Mainelli
Z/Yen Group, London

The Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) developed from research on the competitiveness of financial centres that Z/Yen Group undertook for the City of London in 2005.

Previous research compared a small number of centres, typically just London, Frankfurt, Paris, and New York. Financial centre strength was already widely distributed at that point, and Z/Yen developed the GFCI to offer a dynamic measure of the strength of financial centres across the world. The first edition of the GFCI was published in 2007. In September 2022, Z/Yen published the 32nd edition of the index, which is updated twice a year.

The GFCI is a factor assessment index that combines two distinct sets of data to create a rating for financial centres:

  • Instrumental Factors: Quantitative measures focused on cities and countries provided by a wide range of organisations including the United Nations, OECD, and World Bank. A total of 151 instrumental factors were used in GFCI 32.
  • Financial Centre Assessments: Ratings of the competitiveness of financial centres provided by finance professionals across the world by means of an online questionnaire which has run continuously since 2007. F…


Prioritising The Fight Against Illicit Finance To Tackle Serious Organised Crime

T. Raja Kumar
Financial Action Task Force (FATF)

The world faces a barrage of daunting challenges. From the impact of the war in Ukraine on energy prices and inflation, climate change and the destruction of the environment, to increasing cyber-crime and a host of other vexing issues, governments are being forced to adapt and respond to a series of crises amid an increasingly gloomy global economic outlook.

That is why, more than ever, it is vital for governments and international bodies to work together to support ambitious action that strengthens the sustainability of our societies and economies.

Part of that action needs to be focused on tackling illicit finance. Money laundering sustains illegal activity. It is estimated that two trillion dollars are laundered each year. Organised criminal syndicates, terrorists and corrupt officials launder their illicit profits and enjoy the fruit of their crimes. This cash fuels further serious crime and terrorism, undermines global financial systems, and makes societies less safe and economies less sustainable.

It is vital for national authorities to work together to target the financial flows that allow criminals to get away with their dirty money. By focusing on financial investigations, governments can go after the funds of drugs, weapons, and human traffickers, as well as the perpetrators of other illicit activities. 


Offshore Perceptions: Where Are We Now?

Despite the world’s specialist IFCs demonstrating high levels of regulation, compliance and transparency, their role in international finance is constantly challenged by false narratives and distorted beliefs.

However, the narrative of the ‘clean’ onshore jurisdiction versus the ‘dirty’ offshore jurisdiction is one that is becoming increasingly untenable to support. Through analysis by key practitioners, trade specialists and economists, we consider the disparity between perception and reality in offshore finance and contemplate the future of offshore in an increasingly regulated world.