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What are Jersey foundations being used for?

What are Jersey foundations being used for?

13 January, 2020
Europe Private Clients Private Foundation

2019 marks the tenth anniversary of the introduction of Jersey foundations into Jersey law. In a series of articles, Grant Barbour, Managing Director - Private Client breaks down the key features, components and use-cases of Jersey foundations.

Owing to their flexibility, significant numbers of Jersey foundations have been incorporated as orphan structures for specified purposes, whether to own certain assets, or to perform particular roles.

Private Trust Companies (PTCs)

Jersey foundations are increasingly being used as a modern way to hold the shares in PTCs which act as trustee of one or more family trusts. Prior to the introduction of the Foundations (Jersey) Law 2009, PTCs in Jersey were typically owned by charitable or non-charitable purpose trusts.

The foundation can be an attractive alternative for those clients who are not comfortable with the prospect of a professional services provider acting as trustee of a family trust and have incorporated a PTC for that reason. If a trust is used to own the shares of a PTC, the question will again arise as to who is to be the trustee of that charitable or non-charitable purpose trust: with a foundation owning the PTC, this issue does not arise.

A Jersey foundation can also be incorporated to act as the trustee itself, in place of (or as) the PTC. The PTC business exemption from registration under the Financial Services (Jersey) Law 1998 (pursuant to which PTCs are able to operate) is equally available to foundations. This option simplifies the structuring as it involves just one vehicle (the foundation) rather than two (the PTC and the vehicle which owns the PTC).

Other examples 

Other examples to mention are of foundations being incorporated to hold the shares in a company which acts as a protector of a trust, an enforcer of a non-charitable purpose trust, a council member of a foundation, or a general or limited partner of a limited partnership. Alternatively, a foundation can also be incorporated to discharge any of these roles itself.

Jersey foundation services

Ocorian's private client team have expertise in establishing flexible foundation structures to assist with managing wealth, preserving assets and legacy planning.  Contact the Private Client team for more information on Jersey foundations and other solutions.

Other articles on Jersey foundations:

Part one: Key features of a Jersey foundation
Part two: Examining the structure of a Jersey foundation
Part three: What are Jersey foundations being used for? Succession and estate planning