All change at ATCOM

Election of Chairman and Board

Barrister and Notary Public with Ellul & Co, Marc Ellul, is ATCOM’s new Chairman.

Nick Cruz, who served as its Chairman for three years, stepped down and a new Board was voted in. This is Marc Ellul’s second term as Chairman having previously served between 2011 and 2014.

At a well-attended Annual General Meeting on the 27th June 2017, the membership unanimously elected their new Board for the next twelve months. Marc Ellul was elected as Chairman, Nick Cruz as Deputy Chairman, Subash Malkani as Treasurer, Mark Bridge as Secretary, and Kyra Romano-Scott, Lesley Nuttal, Raquel Moss and Joey Imossi as Board members.

The outgoing Chairman, Nick Cruz, reported that ATCOM had worked hard during the course of the year on many matters including:
Various international exchange of tax information exchange mechanisms namely, FATCA

, CRS and EU Council Directives. ATCOM had sought specialist legal advice on the implementation of these into Gibraltar law and had actively engaged with Government in the drawing up of the relevant regulations. ATCOM had also provided its members with a guidance note, drawn up by its specialist legal adviser

s, on the practical steps required to comply with such mechanisms.

ATCOM engaged with Government on the format of the new tax return which is now required to be filed in respect of all Gibraltar companies. ATCOM was also involved in providing feedback to Government regarding the regulation of practitioners creating and managing Pension Schemes and Foundations.

Very recently, the Chairman and Vice Chairman were consulted by Government on the implementation of the requirement to establish a register of beneficial owners as required by the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive. ATCOM took specialist legal advice and was able to make constructive contributions to issues of potential concern to the industry.

The new Chairman, Marc Ellul, said he would strive to continue ATCOM’s good work over the past year. Apart from the usual matters ATCOM currently deals with, he is keen to focus his chairmanship on education and has already had preliminary discussions with the University of Gibraltar to create a company management course. This is at a very early

stage but the current plan is to have three modules: Gibraltar company law, company administration and regulation/compliance. The aim is to design a Gibraltar-specific course which focuses on our particular laws, procedures and practices.

On behalf of the Board and the members, the new Chairman would like to express his thanks to Nick Cruz for the excellent work he has done for ATCOM over the past three years. He has very ably steered ATCOM through a challenging period and has succeeded in securing the best possible outcomes for the industry.

 

ATCOM Chairman’s Report 27th June 2017

Introduction
The role of ATCOM and its Board is varied and of late rather intense. It is never quiet, just sometimes less busy. Whether it is attendance at GFCC meetings, or project led, it is unending. I cannot express strongly enough the importance of having a good and supportive board and the assistance of those in the GFCC and HMGOG who are very willing to engage in a mutually beneficial rapport. Many of those in the GFSC have also assisted ATCOM greatly. Collectively I believe we deliver to you, the members a voice that influences and shapes our industry and allows us to survive and indeed even prosper in times where the obstacles seem almost insurmountable. Few of us 20 years ago would have predicted that ATCOM members had any sort of future in this regulated and transparent world we live in. Indeed, I suggest that most, if not all would have choked at the thought of doing business with online disclosure and the levels of regulation we need to address.
I want to publicly thank all Board members, and specifically Marc Ellul, my Vice Chairman for tireless support. I also thank the above mentioned third parties and interlocutors. The work we have been involved in has been comprehensive but would include the following:
FATCA CRS DAC
2016/2017 can only be described as a year that has seen seismic change in the way the world does business, with transparency really biting. We may have views whether this is good or bad, an infringement of basic rights to privacy and freedom, or something that should be welcomed.
To some extent it is irrelevant what we may feel, the bottom line is: it is here to stay and this is the world in which we must trade and flourish. For my part, I view transparency as an opportunity given that if nothing else (save perhaps the US who is “special”) the level playing field is here and this is what we as an association and as a jurisdiction have fought for.
The requirements to report differ, depending on the institutions and the structure and assets and manner in which they are held.
It is not for ATCOM to advise or steer and we do not. However given that ultimately the practical implementation of FATCA and CRS DAC is down to the interpretation of the law in the form of the IGA and subsequent Regulations for UK and US FATCA in 2015 and CRS DAC Regulations in 2016, ATCOM has assisted members (wanting to avoid the individual costs of instructing counsel to advise) by seeking advice from the best and most eminent London based QC in the field, namely Philip Baker QC from Field Court Tax Chambers. And so having previously received legal opinions from Mr Baker in April 2014 on the UK IGA, we sought and obtained on the 2nd August 2016 further advice in relation to CRS DAC and what the proper interpretation should be to the relevant regulations in a general sense and in so far as they relate to specific situations including the nominee shareholder or bare trust situations. As in the past we have tried to assist HMGOG in their implementation by sharing our opinions with their advisors and it would be fair to say that considerable time has been invested by me and our Vice Chairman and board in trying to use our resources to assist HMGOG.

Signs

There are signs everywhere these days. Most we ignore because we don’t need advice on navigation although often the name of a street is useful to check we are on the right track. Google street almost eliminates the need. Open the app on your phone stick your earpiece in and follow the voice.

Her Majesty yesterday during the opening of Parliament (with an extended two year stint because of Brexit) also seemed to display a sign or two. Her face, passive

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as always could mean she was concerned about the Duke of Edinburgh being laid low with an infection.  It could be H.M. was hoping her late phone call to Theresa May requesting a shortened ‘Queen’s Speech’ was received and understood. The smile at the end meaning she could get to Ascot in time, as Dennis Skinner said, “for the first race at 2.30pm”.

No the biggest sign and if it was an error it was one ‘Towering’ (get it) fail, came with the outfit she was wearing instead of her usual robes. It was clearly a nod to the EU flag.

 

H.M. has been around a lot, except to Gibraltar since 1954 but that’s another blog. As the Sovereign this would be an unthinkable thing to do and I can only imagine afterwards the ‘dressing down’ her entourage got including several Ladies in Waiting. H.M. has always stayed well away from public political comment and I believe this was just that an error BUT if she fancies making the odd fashion statement something in red and white with a lovely golden key dangling from a castle would look great, especially if she gets an invite to an EU banquet.

Acquarius

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It was a long night …

Last night was the same as any other night unless you like to keep abreast of politics, in which case you had to wait up to the end. Acquarius finally called it a morning when the Tories were nestled on 308 seats, obviously ahead but not with a majority only a few more results to come in. In fact not even close to the majority she had allegedly pre election. The final tally is as follows:

Greens: 1                Lib Dem: 12          Labour: 261            Cons: 318               UKIP: 0

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The SNP also lost several seats dropping from 54 to 34 seats. Plaid Cymru managed 4 seats. However, just 8 seats short of a majority PM May will have her criticisms and her positives. The problem is it all depends on which news channel you watch, what their leaning is and where they get their budgets from?

It is the cyber world amongst that real world I think Labour took to well. They realised very quickly Corbyn was not popular almost toxic. What did they do? They cleverly did what they had already done for the leadership challenge, galvanised young voters, more up on social media and clear unsullied messaging. Neither are they encumbered by history of how things were under previous governments of any persuasion. The Labour party played a blinder, swiftly removing anyone off message, ‘ill’ or those perhaps too ‘red’.  John McDonnell seemed to be doing less interviews in the last few days too as they pushed Corbyn to the fore, his style resonating well with the young who like twitter and its easy to understand 143 characters, why issue policy when a simple slogan sounds good, is easy to chant and ignores any real information or detail?

Theresa May on the other hand looked almost outdated, old fashioned in manner and in policies. She and her advisors clearly forgot that to win an election you have to fight for it, your supporters want you to fight for it and not assume the opposition will eventually screw it up. Even policies that seem on balance fair were not built up before announcement. Social care for example was one achilles heel. The idea was to ensure anyone with over £100,000 in assets could keep at least that much and there would be a cap on the upper limit in terms of paying for Social Care. Sounds awful, you work all your life and you give your family money to the Government to distribute to people on benefit, the badly mismanaged NHS and any other miscreant except your family. At least that was the perception and fear. The media aren’t going to do her job and by the time they got around to reminding people that before this new policy all they would keep was £20,000 it was too late and the trust was gone. She shouts “nothing has changed” after the supposed U turn and Corbyn says “nothing has changed the U turn is Tory spin” brilliant!

Now expect the Labour party to continue with slogan and rhetoric. Corbyn insists they represent the country more, yet clearly relied on the youth vote and the free tuition fee offer to grab that vote. They gained just 29 seats May lost just 12 hardly a ringing endorsement for Labour nor the Tories. That is politics however and if they force her to resign or the DUP fail to shore her up it is going to be a rough ride to avoid being the shortest ever time served as a P.M.

Acquarius.

 

Gibraltar Foundations, the foundation of good fiscal planning.

On April 17th 2017 the Gibraltar government brought in the Private Foundations Act 2017. Oh woweee you may be thinking who cares if your house is detached or semi detached as long as it stands solid without a risk of subsidence? It is about here I think if that is your thought you’d best get a pencil and take notes, there will be questions I’m sure.

A foundation is a fiscal tool that can have either a philanthropic or estate planning purpose. An example of a philanthropic Foundation would be Bill and Melinda Gates’ foundation which offer charitable donations but at the same time are efficient as the donations to the foundation can be tax deductible. However, a private foundation like the Gibraltar Foundations I’m talking about here, unlike charitable foundations do not solicit any public money. This means it can used to protect your future estate planning for your family or anyone else you feel is worthy of part of your estate.

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The Foundations of the Rock are solid and dependable

The details are far too complicated for a simple blog and besides advice should always be sought from experts like those at the Aquarius Trust Group. You can if you want to read more download our brochure on Foundations here. Or if you prefer the personal touch contact Managing Director Oliver Andlaw; email oliver@acquarius.gi or call 00350 200 50418 or Consultant Nick Cruz; email npc@tsnlaw.com or call 00350 200 79423

Enjoy the weekend

Acquarius

What’s in a name?

The Acquarius Trust Group based in Gibraltar were founded some years ago and these IMG_9124days our clients are literally world wide. The recent blog have two of our Directors in Warsaw, we have links and business in most European capitals, Casablanca in Morocco and of course the mother of all capitals if you are British, London.

So why Acquarius? Well simply, Gibraltar is an isthmus with water on three sides the border to Spain covering a piece of land literally only a few metres wide in some places especially prior to WII when the runway was built and some landfill took place. This construction in 1941 saw the runways built on an old racehorse track the ends of the runway to this day are in their original places. One ending on a small sandy beach the other extended by rocks from the tunnels also extended during the war pushes a couple of hundred metres into the Bay of Gibraltar. It is one reason landing on our runway can be a little hairy for the 737’s we regularly get from the UK.

So obviously aquarius is the water sign but why the ‘C’ before the ‘Q’? Well picture the scene. A dimly lit, smoke filled boardroom (in the days people smoked inside). The discussion moved across to marketing and how they would get people to find the company amongst many others, naturally of lesser talent. At this time there was no world wide web, all mail was literally mail, some companies still employed switchboard operators … well not quite that bad but you get the gist. From the gloom a voice was hear asking the question .. “How do people look for companies?” “Telephone books?”  “Yellow pages” came the replies.

IMG_8967So hard though it may seem in this age of twitter, SEO, Facebook, snapchat, instagram, youtube and several other marketing tools … all we needed was to be in the first page or so of the telephone directories. Aquarius was a good start but the ‘Q’ caused a problem adding the ‘C’ kept the word but lifted us 14 places in the alphabet and to the front of the book. As they say .. “Up there for thinking, down there for dancing!”

www.acquarius.gi www.acquariustrust.com or pick up your phone book and flick to page 1.

Acquarius

Travails…

IMG_3828The UK may have voted last year for Brexit but for Gibraltar it has to be business as usual. Forging new contacts, thinking outside our 5 square mile box of business the Acquarius Trust Group are not only London bound they travel as wide as needed to bring advice and ideas to clients new and current.

This week Managing Director Oliver Andlaw and Director Nick Cruz are enjoying the great city of Warsaw in Poland, and its buildings. This photo of the Samsung Tower in Warsaw demonstrates how what was once the ‘eastern bloc’ is now a fully paid up member of  the commercial world and the links go way beyond Europe which in terms of Gibraltar are good news for the future. The other shot also shows a modern city with a backdrop not out of place in Canary Wharf but I assure you it is Warsaw.

No doubt they will also fit in visits to the Chopin Museum, Wilanow Palace, The Marie Curie museum and a few places where you can eat the staple of every polish diet, bread and sausages.

See you soon on our website www.acquarius.gi  or on twitter @acquariustrustg

Acquarius

Run for Wobbles

EYFar be it from us to ‘big up’ another firm in Gibraltar but sometimes there is a good reason. Ernst & Young are having their now annual charity run this year in aid of Wobbles, Gibraltar’s Charity for seriously ill and disabled children.Wobbles Runner403

This years event takes place this coming sunday the 21st May and as per starts in Casemates running through Main street on to Referendum Gates around and back again. There are 3 routes for the 3 man (read women too) relay team. The first person will complete 6 kms, the second 4 kms and the final person will trot 2 kms.

There are entries for corporate, non corporate and family fun teams so everyone is encouraged to join in and run/walk/perambulate for Wobbles.

go to the Ernst & Young facebook group for details and an entry form, enjoy the day everyone watching and taking part.

 

Acquarius