Interview with Mr Philipp Kieber, Interadvice Anstalt

Why should the UHNWI choose Liechtenstein as a location to set up a trust of family office?

They should choose Liechtenstein because of its wealth of experience in family services over decades. In the past, Liechtenstein was recognized as a tax haven because of its bank secrecy and low tax level. The low tax level is still a location factor but Liechtenstein is more characterised in particular by its stable political and economic environment. It has an excellent infrastructure and is located in the heart of Europe. The Principality is independent, and following the customs treaty with the neighbouring country of Switzerland in the year 1923, it has close administrative and economic ties with Switzerland. In addition, it also has a currency union with Switzerland. Liechtenstein is a member of the United Nations (UN) and of the European Economic Area (EEA), although, like Switzerland, it is not a member of the European Union (EU). In November 2013, an international convention to prevent tax evasion (“OECD/Council of Europe Convention”) was signed. The financial sector of Liechtenstein does understand the needs for UNHWI and can deal with the requirements and needs of the clients.

 

What should the UHNWI consider when deciding between setting up a family trust and using traditional wealth management systems?

When setting up a family trust you should think in long terms. Liechtenstein showed in the past that it is an excellent place for Trusts and Foundations. Nevertheless, it is also a place for traditional wealth management systems. But when you start to think in long terms, you also have to consider succession arrangements which are always very individual matters; our long-standing experience and our own corporate history means we are open to the concerns of our clients and advise and accompany them to safeguard and preserve their life’s work. For such succession arrangements, the Liechtenstein Trust is more suitable than the traditional wealth management system. What makes Liechtenstein the perfect location for asset protection? Those who wish to secure and diversify their assets, in order to achieve long-term asset protection, need to select the financial centre carefully in which the assets are managed. On account of its stable political environment and liberal economic system, EEA membership,
triple-A nation rating, zero government debt and Swiss franc as currency, Liechtenstein offers ideal conditions for long-term asset protection.

 

It has been suggested that price remains a major factor for consideration for clients when choosing a jurisdiction. Do you agree with this statement, and how do you think this will change in the years to come? Are you noticing a shift in emphasis on price to an emphasis on the quality of structures? What other factors should someone looking to incorporate in your jurisdiction consider when choosing a destination?

Prices in Liechtenstein are in a good relation to service and quality. Through its attractive tax law, we are able to compete with other jurisdictions. Liechtenstein had always to convince with quality and an extra benefit for the clients. Local providers are very trustworthy and further, the clients are protected by legal certainty.

 

What measures does Interadvice Anstalt take to ensure their clients receive a dedicated and personal service?

Our company exists since 1922 and we always develop tailored and long-term solutions in a specialised team for international private and business clients. We open our services to a special group of clients and see ourselves as a family service provider for all of our clients. Through our long-standing support of high net worth families, we have broad experience in the family office field. Our corporate history means we are well acquainted with the needs of our clients. In the field of asset management, we work together with domestic banks and asset managers but are of course open for individual solutions.

 

Do you believe cooperation with other international law firms, fiduciary offices, asset managers and consultants is important? How does such cooperation benefit your clients?

It is necessary to cooperate with other companies. We do not cover all need by ourselves especially when it comes to international taxation and law clarifications. Thanks to our cooperation with law firms and fiduciary offices, asset managers and consultants in a wide variety of countries, in addition to our close cooperation with highly qualified companies, we are able to clarify complex questions.

 

Do you agree that as the industry comes under increasing regulatory pressure, international business will gravitate to jurisdictions that are perceived as more transparent?

Regulatory pressure is a fact in the financial industry. Liechtenstein is a jurisdiction which is fully compliant with international regulatory standards but protects the client’s business secrecy.

 

How do the changes to trust regimes in Liechtenstein differ from the rest of Europe?

Liechtenstein has a very attractive tax law and flexible company law. It is possible to set up Foundations and common Law Trusts for asset protection and holding reasons as well as corporations for business activities. Further, the country is an attractive jurisdiction for utilisations of licences and patents. Through its free access to the EU and Switzerland a good basis to invest in the European market.

 

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