There’s no doubt that family offices continue to evolve, with traditional models, where a family’s interests are directed by a single ‘head’ in a small number of jurisdictions with shared objectives, being a thing of the past. Today, a family office is much more global, diverse, and tech-savvy.
As a result, their jurisdictional demands have changed too—and quality international finance centres (IFCs) like Jersey have stood to benefit, thanks to an appreciation that now more than ever, sophistication, expertise and good governance are vital to the sector’s future.
To help us better understand the mindset of today’s family office, over recent months we worked closely with a number of family offices to produce a piece of fieldwork that highlights their personal experiences and offers an insight into their rationale when it comes to jurisdictional decisions.
Whilst all family offices are unique, what became clear was that they share several common aspirations, with wealth preservation, asset protection, philanthropy and privacy consistently at the fore of their minds.
From the families we spoke to, a number of themes came out strongly.
Families pointed consistently to the stability Jersey offers as a key reason for locating in the jurisdiction, whilst the reputational advantages, particularly in terms of attracting investors and pursuing philanthropic objectives, and Jersey’s standing as a well-regulated jurisdiction were also vital.
The availability of specialist expertise and Jersey’s talent pool was also a critical factor, as was the legal environment in terms of ensuring certainty around asset protection and wealth preservation, and the focus Jersey places on confidentiality and professionalism.
Families also valued the ease of doing business in their partner jurisdictions, with Jersey’s infrastructure and approach to technology creating an overwhelmingly positive perception of it being ‘open for business’.
The connectivity Jersey provides, being within easy reach of London and other major hubs, was a positive factor too, whilst, perhaps unsurprisingly for an Island with stunning countryside and coastline, lifestyle was frequently cited as a key reason for a family choosing Jersey.
Understanding the key drivers for jurisdictional selection amongst family office puts Jersey in a really strong position to continue to support family offices and, by drawing on its solid infrastructure, access to specialist advice and ability to offer a wide range of products and services, help them achieve their future ambitions.
With this fieldwork highlighting the increasingly sophisticated and global nature of the modern family office, our teams in key markets, from Robert Moore in London to colleagues in the Gulf region, Africa and Greater China, are using this intelligence to continue to work closely with family offices and illustrate the positive role Jersey can play in helping to meet their wealth preservation, asset protection, philanthropic and privacy concerns.
Find further information about this research and useful resources for families wishing to establish a family office, or an existing family office wishing to redomicile or relocate to Jersey, at jerseyfinance.je/familyoffices