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Client Services Director
Specialism: Trustees Corporate Trustees, Private Client Trustees
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Average client size: Over £25 million
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Number of offices globally: 1-5
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Establishing a BVI VISTA purpose trust
We have advised on the establishment of a BVI VISTA (Virgin Islands Special Trusts Act) Purpose Trust to hold the shares of three different private trust companies (PTC). The PTCs acted as trustees on three different trusts, two for family, one with business assets and the other with investments. The third trust holds investments for charitable purposes.
The reasons for the recommendation to use the BVI for this type of structure was down to the settlors' awareness of the BVI as a jurisdiction through their experience of BVI companies; the PTC legislation is very flexible and it does not require any capitalisation or a local director. The use of a VISTA Purpose Trust to hold the shares gave the settlor the comfort of being able to use the Office of Director Rules in VISTA to determine the make-up of the board of directors in each PTC and therefore continue to have an influence and control throughout the duration of the structure.
We looked at other jurisdictions for this structure but the VISTA and PTC legislation together with the reputation and legal support in the BVI allowed the BVI to be the favoured choice.