Guernsey Begins Offering Foundations
Friday, January 11, 2013
The Guernsey Registry began accepting applications for the formation of foundations
on January 9, 2012, following approval of the legislation by the UK Privy
A foundation is an incorporated, self-owning, legal entity which, although
having much in common with a trust, has a distinct legal personality, something
that is more commonly associated with companies. A foundation has similar features
to a trust in that it has a founder who is similar to a settlor, beneficiaries
who have similar rights to those of a discretionary trust, and a foundation
instrument and rules which are similar to a trust deed. Foundations are commonly
used for wealth management, and residents of jurisdictions in the Middle and
Far East are more familiar with foundations than with trusts, which tend not
to exist in their legal systems.
Fiona Le Poidevin, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance, commented:
"It's extremely pleasing to see that Guernsey's foundations legislation
has been approved and the law has now come into force. Commencement of the law
allows our fiduciary professionals to consider the use of a foundation as well
as a trust when adopting wealth structures for their clients. Foundations may
be particularly attractive to those based in civil law jurisdictions in Europe
and further afield in the emerging markets of China, Russia and Latin America
where the foundation concept is more familiar."
"We've been hearing from a number of industry practitioners over the past
few months that there has been a great deal of interest in the Guernsey foundation.
As well as clients looking to set up a foundation, much interest has come from
clients who have foundations currently domiciled in other jurisdictions and
are looking to migrate these to Guernsey."
"We believe Guernsey's expertise in servicing private clients means that
we are especially well placed to administer complex structures due to the heritage
we have in providing trust and corporate services as well as, of course, our
reputation for being a well regulated and transparent international finance