First, we listen…
…to our client’s hopes for family continuity:
- That the generations that follow will benefit from their wealth and be protected from its potentially damaging effects.
- Their ambitions for the future of their business and how to best manage succession.
- Their concerns about our world and how they want to contribute to it.
…to our client’s need for aligned and appropriate structures:
- When family members are living in different countries with different tax and regulatory regimes.
- To ensure their affairs are managed as tax efficiently as possible.
- Where they need to be sure that trusts set up years ago are still ‘fit for purpose’.
…to our client’s concerns about risk:
- Exposure to political risk and their plans to relocate their families to more stable places.
- Feeling overwhelmed by the constant requests for disclosure of personal information and increasing regulatory risk.
- Potential third-party attacks and their concerns regarding the robustness of their holding structures.
…to our client’s desire for proper and efficient management:
- When they have concerns about how their affairs are being managed and by whom.
- When opening a simple bank account leads to endless bureaucracy and causes untold frustration.
- Where their affairs have become overly complex with increasingly opaque costs.
Then, we act…
When clients need to deal with a specific, pressing concern that requires urgent attention, we are able to quickly assemble the expertise and resources required – whether financial, legal or familial.
Where a more comprehensive review of their affairs is needed, our Family Assessment and Audit considers the family’s strengths, relationships, risks, structures and administration, all referenced against the family’s current and future goals. We report and recommend the steps to be taken providing the family with a clear roadmap for their future continuity.
Family continuity is always our focus
We connect all the key elements – people, management, assets and structures. We remain ever aware of the broader context, and the delicate web of inter-connected aspects on which successful family continuity depends.
Alongside our colleagues within Mishcon de Reya LLP we provide families with
a holistic view and access to a unique depth of experience, breadth of expertise
and the ability to act at speed.
We have no vested interest in any third-party engagement or in our client’s underlying assets, enabling families to rely on us to offer truly independent and impartial advice. With discretion and flexibility at the heart of everything we do, we provide our clients with the peace
of mind they need to sleep well at night.
Examples of our work
Mr and Mrs C and their two young daughters live in Eastern Europe. Mr C has amassed a large amount of wealth over a relatively short period and Mrs C is the daughter of a very influential political figure in a country noted for political upheaval. In addition to their personal assets, the family have inherited substantial wealth. They travel frequently and widely, often considering the possibility of relocating, mindful of the instability in their own country.
Given their residency and political connections Mr and Mrs C have found it difficult to establish new banking relationships and to properly structure and manage their assets. The couple are keenly aware of their political exposure and the risk that in the event of a change of regime they may find themselves in a personally precarious position and their assets under attack. For this reason, they were anxious to ensure their own mobility and at the same time, establish robust structures through which they might protect the family’s assets.
Through diligently preparing source of wealth packs, MDR Mayfair have been able to help the family successfully establish investment banking relationships in a number of countries. Following a review of their affairs, we recommended and established a Private Trust Company providing a high level of protection, flexibility and tax efficiency. Both these aspects have proved essential as the position in their home country has become untenable. MDR Mayfair now act as their family office dealing with day to day requirements, assisting the family’s immigration and providing a central point of coordination and communication for their network of professional advisors. This has enabled the family to make the transition to a more hospitable jurisdiction while ensuring their assets are well protected, thereby securing the family’s future.
From humble beginnings Mr J (66), who immigrated to the UK from East Africa, has built a large food services business, part of which has recently been sold providing the family with significant investable wealth. The family’s four children continue to work in the remaining family business, from which Mr J is soon hoping to retire. With Mr J firmly in charge, there has been little need to deal with issues of future leadership, succession, accountability or governance. In addition, until now, the family have not had significant liquidity outside of the business. With part of the business now sold and Mr J talking of stepping down, these issues are in sharp focus causing Mr and Mrs J to be concerned about the future of their family and the business.
MDR Mayfair have helped the J family identify a set of ‘soft rules’ enabling them to better navigate between their personal and business relationships. This has allowed the family to deal with future family leadership on the one hand and business succession on the other. Working together, we have agreed governance arrangements designed to promote accountability and trust amongst family members. These include the formation of a family council, a formally constituted company board and a separate family investment committee, all of which help ensure transparency and provide a system of checks and balances. This has been captured in a Family Charter to which all family members are signatories.
Through this process the social fabric of the family has been strengthened and delicate questions resolved. Mr J is now preparing to retire, confident of a frictionless transfer of responsibility and authority to the next generation and of the ongoing prosperity of the business and the family. MDR Mayfair continue to work with Mr J on his estate and legacy plans.