Switzerland is, and will remain, one of the world's leading centres for the custodianship and management of private wealth. It is estimated to hold and/or manage about one third of global offshore financial assets for private families. The country's wealth management industry offers what amounts to the best combination of reliable and confidential banking, asset management and trust services available anywhere.
Switzerland's pre-eminence in this field has grown since the 16th Century when, due to its geographical position, political and religious independence, it was the safest location for wealthy families of all origins, from royalty to merchants, to store and preserve wealth for future generations.
Swiss banks and investment institutions remain among the healthiest and best capitalised in the world.
The Federal Government, which is controlled by a robust grass-roots democratic system - maintains and protects these values despite pressure from outside. This is one of the reasons Switzerland has remained independent from the European Union, while entering into double tax treaties worldwide. This provides robust conditions for the protection of properly structured international investors.
While much of the old bank secrecy and numbered accounts have gone, due to stringent anti-money laundering laws, confidentiality is embedded in the culture and other forms of asset protection are still available.
The importance of privacy and banking confidentiality is enshrined in federal law, and remain well protected, as recent case law has proved. For example, discretionary holding structures, in the form of legitimate and properly structured trusts or foundations, are still wholly respected and, provided there is true substance in the structure, are able to resist attacks from foreign tax authorities under tax information exchange agreements.
Financial groups and investment firms, particularly in the private wealth industry, feel very comfortable in Switzerland. Regulation and financial supervision are well adapted to the specific needs of international intermediaries (asset managers, fiduciaries, family offices) wishing to have a presence in Switzerland. Regulated Swiss entities can be structured, by firms like ours, so as to be both inexpensive and highly tax efficient, for clients and professionals alike.
Trading and commercial investment
Switzerland has a large number of tax treaties and offers the degree of confidentiality expected in international business.The country has become a global centre for trading, commerce and investment, in particular in the natural resource, commodity and healthcare industries. Centres such as Geneva, Lausanne, Zurich, Zug, Basel, Neuchatel and Lugano are hosts to some of the world's leading multinational companies in these industries, and also to many smaller family owned private corporations.
With lower corporate tax rates on the horizon, the country having a first class reputation and with well capitalised banks, there has never a better time to establish corporate operations or a part of them in Switzerland.
There are many forms this can take:
Swiss trading companies
‘base’ / ‘auxiliary’ companies
IP/software development companies
These can all provide very useful, tax efficient solutions to international investors seeking a sophisticated and reliable jurisdiction for their commercial operations.
Swiss banking and Wealth Management