JTC Group, the Jersey-based trust provider, has been granted a trust license in the American state of South Dakota by that State’s financial authority, in what is likely to be seen as a measure of that state’s surprise emergence in recent months as a financial services centre.
In a statement, JTC said it is looking forward to offering “an enhanced range of trust services to its private and corporate clients, particularly those in the Americas and Asia with a US element to their planning needs”.
JTC first established a presence in the US in 2013 with a representative office in Miami, from which it continues to provide corporate, fund and bespoke private client services to its clients. A New York office was added in 2014.
‘trust legislation and fiscal regime’
JTC, formerly known as Jersey Trust Co, said it chose the remote, sparsely-populated state of South Dakota as a trust jurisdiction “because of its trust legislation and fiscal regime, as well as the efficiency of its courts, its location in a convenient time-zone, and being part of one of the world’s most politically, economically and socially stable countries”.
As a result of these factors, JTC added, South Dakota is becoming “an increasingly popular jurisdiction for private and institutional clients with US-connected wealth planning requirements”.
As reported, South Dakota was named in January by Bloomberg – alongside such other American states as Nevada and Wyoming – as helping to make the US a growing “tax haven” alternative to the offshore centres US politicians typically have long criticised for enabling Americans to avoid paying tax.
A few months later, the Financial Times followed up with a full-page article headlined “The new Switzerland?”, in which it called attention to the fact that assets held in trusts registered in South Dakota totaled some US$226bn in 2014, up from just US$32.8bn eight years earlier.
Still, Americans and others with “US-connected wealth planning requirements”, whether living in the US or elsewhere, typically have little choice in the matter of where they hold their assets, since few institutions outside of the US are willing or able to have them as clients in the wake of such new US regulations as FATCA. This in turn is likely to be helping to fuel the growth of institutions and financial centres that are willing to accommodate such clients – including South Dakota.
In a statement announcing JTC’s new trust capabilities in South Dakota, JTC Group chief executive and chairman Nigel Le Quesne noted that the state is gaining a “growing reputation for its progressive trust legislation”, which he noted is “opening up new and exciting opportunities for private and corporate clients with a US element to their financial planning needs”.
“It is this US planning element that was fundamental to our decision to establish ourselves in the jurisdiction,” he added.
Emilio Miguel, managing director of the Americas region for JTC, pictured, added that “by entering this market, we believe we are putting ourselves in a strong position against our key competitors”.
“By combining our collective experience and global reach with an independent, boutique experience, we feel we are uniquely placed to offer our global client base a superior service.”
“This is a compelling stage in JTC’s evolution, which offers significant opportunities to clients.”
In addition to its US operations, JTC has had a presence in Latin America since 2002, through offices in Argentina, Brazil, the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands, and now has some 18 jurisdictions worldwide.
As reported, JTC announced in August that it had become the first company ever to set up a managed trust company in Jersey for a mainland Chinese institution, after a Jersey subsidiary of US-listed, Shanghai-based Noah Holdings Ltd obtained a licence in Jersey, in association with JTC, that will enable it to offer trusts to its wealthy Chinese clients.