Corporate accountability has grown significantly over recent years and never has being a good corporate citizen ever been so important as it is today. Governments are under increasing pressure from their electorates and transnational non-governmental organisations to be more accountable, and businesses are under increasing pressure from their employees to act more responsible not just at home, but globally.
What if a company is engaged on a project seeking to derive benefits from natural resources, or to build infrastructure such as a rail network, road system, transportation system, or provide other significant technology as part of a Government’s investment and fulfilling its national strategy?
Those companies involved in natural resources, particularly extraction, are under significant pressures for accountability, be it ensuring compliance with environmental obligations, managing bribery and corruption, supply chain, delivering benefits into the communities where they operate. The same applies to any international company contracted to fulfil a procurement requirement or significant infrastructure project in any country.
Being engaged in any industrial participation type project, including offset brings with it a host of obligations for many stakeholders – and at the heart of all of this is accountability.
While the mainstream media perception of international financial centres is one of mistrust derived from headline-grabbing investigations such as the Panama Papers, Lux-Leaks as well as well publicised bribery and corruption cases, what if such centres can provide the base where such obligations and accountability can be co-ordinated and managed in accordance with leading governance practices? Through structures where the legal framework is well established with robust, tried and tested case history and following anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (“AML/CFT”) and anti-bribery and corruption (“ABC”) legislation and practice?
A jurisdiction such as Jersey offers all of this. MoneyVal has assessed Jersey as to its compliance with the FATF recommendations and rated it as largely compliant. Additionally, it is on the EU white list for having appropriate economic substance legislation in place, meaning structures administered here have to have a genuine purpose. Further, Jersey is a party to global transparency initiatives such as FATCA and CRS.
Transparency and substance are essential, especially in meeting the broader AML/CFT and ABC challenges.
Well established legislation has long been in Jersey, which supports a variety of structures including Companies, Foundations, Partnerships etc. Such structures lend themselves to being able to take account of the various interests of parties involved in such projects with good corporate governance at the heart of this. Being able to provide a solution that takes account of the project risk and accountability risk is critical. What if such a structure was able to account for the benefit that is to be derived back to the procuring country and possibly indigenous region that could be impacted by it through a charitable foundation set up for this specific purpose?
Jersey has well-established registers in respect of beneficial ownership for the same which are accessible to relevant competent authorities through well-established information gateways add to the meeting the transparency challenge. While not all open to the public, the Companies Registry is public. Further, any such charitable structure has to meet the requirements of the Charities (Jersey) Law, 2014, and be subject to regulation and oversight by the Charities Commissioner, as well as listing on the publicly accessible register of Charities.
Plus, being a tax neutral jurisdiction does not mean no tax is paid. Instead, that tax is paid in the jurisdiction it needs to be.
Having our origins in Jersey, Fiduchi very well understands what it is to be a good corporate citizen. Accountability and responsibility are values that are at the heart of what we do, and we understand what they mean for our clients. Importantly we understand what is required to meet these challenges for international businesses and governments and their agencies. Fiduchi can provide governance structures to international businesses and governmental bodies, including Offset Authorities, Investment Authorities, etc., that will deliver accountability and deliver on ensuring businesses, good corporate citizens.
And, why can we say this? Our team can draw upon more than 25 years in delivering structures for clients, ensuring the highest standards of corporate governance. We also bring regulatory expertise and a proven understanding of the compliance and oversight demands on businesses with obligations to discharge across multiple jurisdictions, including with over 20 of the World’s leading OEMs and leading legal firms.
For entrepreneurs of the 60’s & 70’s, it's time to stop and think about how they wish their legacy business to continue in the future in terms of continuation, capabilities and desire of the next generation to take over the family business.
As future information requirements are identified, so we will look to engage with clients and their advisors as much as we are able, or legislation and regulations allow.
Based on research conducted in November of last year by Hubbis, in conjunction with Jersey Finance, there is an estimated USD 1 trillion due to be passed down in the next decade from older Middle Eastern patriarchs and matriarchs to the younger generation.
Let Fiduchi assist you in meeting your accountability challenge. Our understanding of your needs will ensure that everyone is able to win with the successful delivery of such projects. Through adhering to best practice, openness and all parties being comfortable that each is discharging their responsibilities fully and in the spirit of being good corporate citizens.