Switzerland has a well-deserved reputation as the country of choice for discerning customers looking to conduct their business in secrecy while still enjoying traditional Swiss attention to excellent customer service. This is why a lot of private individuals as well as overseas entities often choose to acquire a seasoned Swiss trust company as the vehicle of their long-term business operations.
In this article, you will discover what a Swiss company management is, why it is so valuable and why you should always look for vintage – rather than newly established – entities when looking to secure the benefits typically associated with them – benefits which include credibility, favorable tax regimes, discretion on behalf of authorities and qualifying for applying for listing on Frankfurt and/or Austrian stock exchanges.
A Swiss trust company is normally defined as a business entity organized to provide fiduciary services on behalf of its beneficiaries. Trust companies are frequently used for the purposes of estate administration, asset management and preservation and investment, to name a few.
Seasoned trust companies are corporations that had been active at one point, but had become dormant for one reason or another. Specialized agencies purchase and reactivate such entities, and make them available for purchase to interested parties. Upon selling the company, such agencies ensure that the buyer receives a tax and liability waiver certificate, meaning that they are able to conduct operations through the trust company without worrying about the “luggage” of what the company did or did not do in the past. Some agencies also offer bearer share certificates to further preserve and enhance the anonymity and privacy of the company’s new owners.
For starters, you could go for either one of those ultra-discreet private banks. They are so discreet they don’t have websites; they don’t even have their names outside their offices. But they are certainly a dying breed. Besides, they are overrated in my view – charging enormous fees for service that as a sophisticated investor you probably don’t need or want. By bigger banks like UBS and the large Swiss Private Bank Julius Baer many have been taken over in the last few years.
The single most important advantage of a seasoned trust company in Switzerland over a newly incorporated entity is credibility. A seasoned Swiss shell trust is one that has been incorporated dozens of years ago. When a vintage trust company such as this is acquired by new owners, it still retains its original date of incorporation, meaning that the customer can legitimately claim that his company was founded all the way back in 1920s!
Needless to say, this provides immense benefits in the form of credibility, prestige and perception, enabling the Swiss corporate to better negotiate with financial institutions and government officials. It goes without saying, of course, that ownership of a Swiss trust shell often enables the client to benefit from advantages typically associated with doing business in Switzerland – favorable tax regimes and discretion on behalf of authorities, to name a few.
Another substantial advantage of a seasoned Swiss trust company is the ease with which it can be listed on the world’s major stock exchanges. Normally, a trust company needs to be at least 25 years old before it can qualify for applying for a stock exchange listing. As a result, only genuinely vintage Swiss trust companies make the cut. Of course, it goes without saying that in addition to qualifying for an application for Frankfurt and/or Austrian stock exchanges, a vintage Swiss trust company also offers several critical benefits that make its operation easier, such as commercial accounts, merchant accounts with credit card providers and improved standing and business relationships with financial institutions, intermediaries and business partners.