Cyprus Conference highlights
The 2nd Offshore Investment Conference Cyprus 2016 took place 23-24 November, and featured both local delegates and speakers and participants from further afield including jurisdictions such as Mauritius, The Bahamas, Ireland and Dubai.
Delegates were treated to a fully packed agenda of presentations covering areas as diverse as trust-like arrangements and the future of trusts, wealth planning techniques, asset protection, the growth of fintech, residency & citizenship, the Common Reporting Standard and public registers, Brexit, and developments in both the Middle East and Russia.
Ample networking breaks, lunches and an evening reception ensured that delegates were not only able to digest new ideas, but also to discuss these and share viewpoints with peers across the two days of the conference.
Introduced and chaired by Christos Mavrellis, Chrysses Demetriades, Cyprus, the event included speakers such as:
• Paolo Panico, Private Trustees SA, Luxembourg – who outlined how trusts and trust-like arrangements can be used according to the relevant jurisdiction including those without a tradition of common law; Panico also ran a separate presentation on the future of trusts amid ongoing hostility to their use by various governments and broader debate on whether trusts have ‘had their day’, and how fiduciaries of trusts should carry out their duties in the face of worldwide governance and transparency attacks; and he ran a separate presentation on the implications of the Common Reporting Standard and what the impact of this may be on the trusts industry amid calls for public registers of beneficial ownership;
• Philippos Aristotelous, Andreas Neocleous & Co. LLC, Cyprus – shone a spotlight on the question of asset protection amid an environment in which secrecy and confidentiality are gone, and amid the growth of international information exchange; he identified the innovative structures that are emerging in the face of these changes;
|Delegates to the Cyprus|
several factors that they
said made this a must-attend
|“The two deciding factors|
are the scope and sphere
of topics and speakers;
and as always it is a great
|“ODM has done a very|
good job and successfully
organised this event, and I
will be keen to join
|“There are professionals|
from different aspects
of the same industry, so
we all meet each other.
That’s the main goal of
this type of event, to find
somebody to partner
with, to have a good, long
|“Great location, good|
food, and you get good
• Alecos Papalexandrou and Panicos Papamichael, Deloitte Limited, Cyprus – focused on the Common Reporting Standard, the 90 jurisdictions that have agreed to its implementation and the 50 ‘early adopters’ who will be committing to first exhanges in 2017; they highlighted the increasing volume of taxpayer information that will be available and shared between governments and how this will create an environment in which it is difficult to hide assets abroad;
• Urs Stirnimann, Swiss ILS Services DMCC, Dubai – looked to explain how ongoing political and economic developments in the Middle East affect issues such as estate administration, forced heirship and succession planning, and the use of offshore structures to provide solutions.
Several speakers were present at the conference to highlight how the local jurisdiction is evolving, and the challenges and opportunities this represents for practitioners offering legal or other advice to their clients.
• Natasa Pilides, Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency, Cyprus – highlighted the overall business and investment environment in the jurisdiction, including the competitive advantages from both a personal and corporate perspective;
• Angelos Gregoriades, Cyprus Investment Funds Association, Cyprus – outlined the role CIFA plays in what has become an increasingly important part of the local economy; he discussed how cooperation between the fund industry and the local regulator of funds is leading to a push to innovate and drive forward the offering of fund products to meet needs of both local and international investors;
• Pambos Sergiou, PwC, Cyprus – discussed how Cyprus has created a niche as an intermediary for investments into and out of Russia; he described the relationship between the two countries, and explored the effects of the new ‘de-offshorisation’ law and why Cyprus arguably remains the best place for Russian businesses to locate their offshore financial structures despite pressures to repatriate assets.
Delegates to the conference also had the opportunity to enjoy a panel discussion on the topic ‘Residency, Citizenship and Mobility’, led by conference chairman Christos Mavrellis.
The panel considered questions such as: “How does your country of residence and that of family members, business interests and investments affect your overall wealth, business and succession planning?”, as well as “What are the implications of spending time and doing business outside of your home jurisdiction, what tax and reporting obligations can arise?”.