Aqua Published in Jersey Finance-Links with the GCC
Bringing Trust to Qatar
Qatar is one of the one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, as well as one of the most diversified in the GCC. While historically its wealth comes from the export of oil, liquefied natural gas and petro-chemicals, Qatar has in recent years enhanced its international profile by hosting many international sports events and numerous conferences around climate-change and safety. This has helped to put Qatar on the map by raising international awareness of its contribution towards confronting contemporary global concerns. In addition Qatar has launched a strong effort in improving its infrastructure and developing its education and health sectors both for its own citizens as well as the many expats who work in the state.
Qatar has also put great efforts into developing its financial sector with the establishment of the QFC in 2005. Wide consultation with other Jurisdictions contributed and Jersey hosted several delegations so it is good to see a decade later; the favour being returned! The QFC Authority is responsible for leading the expansion of Qatar’s financial services sector and for developing relationships with the regional and global financial community.
While Jersey’s relationship with the GCC is nothing new, and many financial establishments in Jersey, such as ours, have long standing ties to its leading families the specific focus on Qatar is being highlighted by the growing need for Qatari clients, both individuals as well as corporate structures, financial institutions and UHNW families to find stable and established partners for investment and trade. This is where we see Jersey and it strong financial sector being of great assistance to Qatari business.
As one of the banking centres of the world, Jersey boasts many advantages for Qatar, particularly in that it has had a well developed Islamic financial structure in place for many years which works seamlessly with other banking practices. This provides an advantage and puts Jersey companies in a position to assist many Qatari Clients.
Qatar has a very low rate of tax and in making investments outside of the GCC this is one of the considerations that potential Qatari clients are looking for. Jersey offers a tax neutral environment which allows fiscal efficiency to cross boarder investments.
Jersey is globally known as a number one Jurisdiction for trust funds, but it is companies like ours that have taken the simple trust fund concept and grown it in to a more comprehensive structure accommodating a full range of services to support family offices and UHNW families.
Qatar’s UHNW Family Offices may have a different style to ours but handle a variety of business and development interests and are looking to diversify and grow their business outside of the GCC, this is where we see Jersey’s regulated structure being of great assistance to many Qatari clients. Aqua has a proven track record of flexibility, stability and expertise that Qatari family businesses are looking for and need in order to expand their business into the UK and Europe.
Traditionally, UHNW family businesses in Qatar set up family offices outside the region, some for the purpose of security and wanting to invest in politically stable locations, but also simply because the local expertise and legal frameworks to support family offices didn’t exist locally until quite recently.
This has allowed Jersey companies like Aqua Group which t have had a long standing relationship with its clients from the GCC, to set up shop and provide these platforms. This has led to Aqua group being the first Jersey owned entity to achieve a Trust License in the Qatar Financial Centre. Exciting times indeed!
We have a strong focus on working with clients who are entrepreneurial involved in their “family” businesses. We often hold Real Estates as an asset class.. We also set up and administer bespoke fund platforms. We like to think that the reason we work well is because we take the best of Jersey to the rest.
A lot of our clients have a long history of working with Aqua people to design and administer structures that promote some commercial or confidentiality advantage. All of those clients have come to us from existing client and intermediary referral. Working well with families can support this growth if it is coupled with a policy of being clear and transparent in all our
interactions and dealings with our clients.
Aqua has worked with family style businesses for a long time. This requires shared values; the ability to be reactive; the ability to add value; to bring along expertise that will mitigate risk; to improve the longevity and security of the family’s objectives and their businesses. Jersey is therefore ideally placed to make its presence felt.