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Switzerland

August 14, 2014

Since the global financial crisis struck in 2008, offshore financial centres (OFCs) have come under sustained attack. As the world’s leading economies struggled to balance their books in the face of massive declines in tax revenue, the lowest fruit was seen to be hanging from the offshore tree.

Since the global financial crisis struck in 2008, offshore financial centres (OFCs) have come under sustained attack. As the world’s leading economies struggled to balance their books in the face of massive declines in tax revenue, the lowest fruit was seen to be hanging from the offshore tree. Estimates of the scale of offshore deposits vary wildly, from Boston Consulting Group’s $8.9 trillion (€6.5 trillion) to Tax Justice Network’s $21 trillion – but clearly it is a very enticing crop.

December 23, 2013

Swiss family-controlled watch business Swatch has come out on top after a bitter legal dispute with luxury jewellery company Tiffany & Co, winning $449.5 million (€328.6 million) in damages.  

Swiss family-controlled watch business Swatch has come out on top after a bitter legal dispute with luxury jewellery company Tiffany & Co, winning $449.5 million (€328.6 million) in damages.

Swatch, controlled by the Hayek family, filed a claim with the Netherlands Arbitration Institute in 2011 over the termination of a contract between the two companies.

The following year Tiffany, a publicly traded company, filed a counter claim.

October 24, 2013

Culture, education and the cost of living are all factors to take into consideration before emigration, but when it comes to tax incentives Switzerland is the top domicile – at least if you’re an entrepreneur.

Culture, education and the cost of living are all factors to take into consideration before emigration, but when it comes to tax incentives Switzerland is the top domicile – at least if you’re an entrepreneur.

According to the Global Opportunities report, released by BDO this week, the UK has the next most appealing tax regime, followed by Monaco.

The report said an entrepreneur should be looking primarily for tax benefits on dividends taken from their personal company, or capital gains realised on the sale of a company.

June 18, 2013

As the clamour for more financial transparency intensifies, offshore financial centres are having to adjust. What does this mean for these centres – and what should family offices know about the changes?

There are many lessons to be learned from the Cyprus fiasco, one of which is that offshore banking is a fragile thing on which to rest your economy these days. The general lack of sympathy for Nicosia also suggests that it is not exactly seen as a worthy pursuit.

June 3, 2013

Switzerland has a foundation for every 650 people, but what is it that makes it such an important centre for them?

Inselspital, one of Switzerland’s leading hospitals, started caring for patients back in the 14th century, making it one of the oldest hospitals in Europe.

May 30, 2013

Swiss banks are coming to terms with a world with less banking secrecy. But are they adapting fast enough to a public that wants more transparency?

It’s hard to know what makes a bank safe from collapse these days. The financial crisis a few years back turned everything on its head. But there are things a bank can do – you would hope – that can help stave off collapse.

April 4, 2013

Thomas Minder runs a third-generation Swiss family business making herbal toothpaste – his commitment to the family business is admirable, but he is more likely to be remembered for starting a revolt against excessive executive pay. 

Thomas Minder runs a third-generation Swiss family business that makes herbal toothpaste. Although Minder’s achievements in nurturing the family business are admirable, to the wider public he’s likely to be known for something a bit more important.

Minder has started a revolt against the excesses of executive pay in Switzerland that might be one of the biggest revolutions to happen in the area in the past few decades.

March 18, 2013

It may be the world's largest watchmaker with revenues of CHF8.1 billion last year (€6.7 billion), but you can't accuse Swatch Group of losing touch with its roots.

It may be the world's largest watchmaker with revenues of CHF8.1 billion last year (€6.7 billion), but you can't accuse Swatch Group of losing touch with its roots.

The family business is very proud of its heritage – indeed, it owes its success to the high-quality clockwork synonymous with the Alpine nation.

So, in a drive to celebrate all things Swiss as part of its 30th birthday celebrations, Swatch has published a Swiss-German version of its 220-page annual report – who says accountancy can't be fun?

March 29, 2012

How much do family offices pay? Few seem to know, but through an extensive survey of the sector in the UK and Switzerland, CampdenFO in association with the executive search firm Sulger Buel & Company reveals just how much offices are compensating their top staff. The numbers make fascinating reading.

If family offices are considered part of the financial services industry, then how much they are paying their senior managers is arguably the least transparent of the entire sector. That of course suits family offices, which for the most part guard their confidentiality more than most other areas of the financial services sector. But things are opening up.

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