The Guernsey office is the headquarters of Virtus Trust group and has been in operation since 2005. Guernsey is a leading international fiduciary centre with over 50 years’ experience of supplying private wealth management services, and also enjoys a mature banking sector represented by over 31 licensed banks with head offices in the US, Europe, USA and Switzerland.
Guernsey is one of the Channel Islands and a U.K. Crown Dependency, which means that it has its own currency, democratic government and tax regime but relies on the UK for defence and foreign affairs.
Guernsey trust law mostly follows UK law and precedents, together with right of appeal to the UK’s Privy Council.
Through our Guernsey office we can provide Private Trust Companies (PTCs), Guernsey Companies, Guernsey Foundations, Limited and General Partnerships, as well as trusteeships for trusts written under laws of other jurisdictions.
Provision and administration of general and limited partnerships as holding/investment vehicles.
Virtus Trust NZ Limited is our New Zealand trust company through which we are able to offer New Zealand trusts as well as companies, partnerships and PTCs.
New Zealand’s international trust, tax and company laws make it an attractive jurisdiction for foreigners seeking robust tax and asset planning.
New Zealand offers additional legitimacy as a member of the OECD. Broadly, it has an international tax regime which only taxes income and profits derived by New Zealand tax residents or on income sourced from New Zealand.
Additionally the jurisdiction offers a large network of double tax agreements and limited disclosure requirements.
New Zealand trust law broadly follows UK law and precedents and also offers right of appeal to the UK Privy Council.
Virtus Trust NZ Limited works with New Zealand trust lawyers to assist clients in establishing and managing New Zealand trusts.
In 2009 the Virtus Trust group obtained a US public trustee licence in the state of South Dakota. To this day, Virtus Trust USA LLC (‘Virtus USA’) is one of very few such US trustees not owned by a US or banking group.
This US capability, when added to those in Guernsey and New Zealand, has provided international families and advisers around the world with an invaluable combination of jurisdictions to address such legislation as FATCA and the US tax code in relation to cross-border planning.
Examples of work where Virtus USA and its sister companies have been able to provide a truly differentiated service include:
- Appointment of a US trustee to foreign trusts (‘Domestication’)
- Creation of non-US (e.g. New Zealand) grantor trusts by non-US grantors with a view to ‘flipping’ to US trusteeship once trust is irrevocable
- US domestic trusts to hold residential property around the world involving occupation by a US beneficiary (US HIRE Act 2010)
- US domestic trusts to buy and hold US commercial real estate
- US trusts to receive income arising from current trusts with non-US trustees (‘decanting’ of DNI)
- Trusts under South Dakota law which are non-US resident for US tax purposes thereby offering a potent alternative to ‘offshore’ jurisdictions for non-US families or where there will be US beneficiaries
- Trusts to hold life insurance policies as effective tax-deferral planning for US persons
Some South Dakota advantages
- Located in probably the most independent and secure country on earth
- Modern trust laws
- No State Income, Capital Gains, Dividends, Interest or Intangible Taxes
- Lowest insurance premium tax
- Unlimited trust duration
- Strong asset protection provisions
Virtus Cayman Limited has a limited trust licence used for administering STAR trusts – (“Special Trusts – Alternative Regime”). For more information, please follow the link: http://www.step.org/star-trusts