Private Wealth in the spotlight at Guernsey Finance Forum
Trust Corporation International was proud to be one of the silver sponsors of the inaugural Guernsey Finance Private Wealth Forum held in London earlier this month, chaired by Guernsey Finance’s chief executive Dominic Wheatley. Director Lydia Essa was in attendance and reports back on a groundbreaking event for Guernsey.
Guernsey has long been renowned worldwide for its sophisticated and well-established private wealth industry. In the first event of its kind, Guernsey’s leading professionals came together at the Forum with their London peers to look together at the ever-evolving global landscape.
The event was extremely well attended which is testament to Guernsey’s reputation in the London market and the calibre of speakers including Sir John Sawers, former head of the MI6 Intelligence Service, who delivered the keynote speech.
Sir John opened the proceedings with a fascinating overview of the current geopolitical climate, taking the audience through some of the key topical events of recent times from Brexit, to Trump and the ascendance of populist politics in the Western world, the complex dynamics between the East and the West and the relationship between the US and China. With a diverse, international client base (and a significant number of US-connected clients and structures), the issues covered were of great interest and relevance to the Trust Corporation team.
This was followed by an informative panel session which focused on the main risks facing our clients in the current climate and the impact of these on their behaviours and structuring.
A number of interesting themes emerged from these discussions, each of which is wholly consistent with our recent first-hand experience:
- Data being “the new oil”; viewed as the most precious commodity by all of the key players on the world stage. We are certainly seeing cyber and data security swiftly moving up the agenda of our clients and advisory network;
- The relationship between transparency/disclosure and the fundamental right to privacy and the challenge in deciding where the lines are (and should be) drawn;
- The increasing popularity of the “family office” in the UK and the offshore world as clients seek to order their affairs appropriately;
- The questionable sustainability of the relatively benign investment conditions enjoyed by clients in recent years- the traditional 60/40 portfolio which has served investors well over the past 30 years is unlikely to perform in predicted future markets;
- The “flight to quality” in the offshore world and the importance that private clients now place on political stability, robust and well-established court systems and laws and sophisticated advisers.
As promised, the event provided an excellent snapshot of the interesting world within which we are all operating and some invaluable insight into what this means for our clients now and in the longer term.
If any of the issues discussed at the Guernsey Private Wealth Forum are of interest/relevance to you or your clients and you would like to discuss them with us, please contact us on +44 1481 730430.