In the realm of wealth structuring for high-net-worth individuals and families, private trust companies (PTCs) have gained significant traction.
A rising trend among private clients is the establishment of their own PTCs to act as trustees for trusts, as opposed to entrusting these responsibilities to professional trustee companies provided by offshore service providers.
Lets look at Cayman PTCS a bit more closely.
Central to the regulation of Cayman’s trust company industry is the Banks and Trust Companies Act (BTC Act), which mandates licensing by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) for any company engaging in “trust business” within or from the Cayman Islands.
“Trust business” includes acting as a trustee for express trusts on a professional basis, as well as acting as an executor or administrator.
Since 2008, Cayman PTCs that meet specific criteria have been exempted from the licensing requirement under the BTC Act.
These PTCs must register with CIMA, demonstrating their eligibility for unlicensed status, as outlined in the Private Trust Companies Regulations (PTC Regs).
The scope of “connected trust business” hinges on the relationship between the settlors/contributors of the trusts in question.
PTCs acting as trustees for family trusts, for instance, typically meet this criterion seamlessly.
Unlicensed PTCs are required to maintain certain documents at their registered office in Cayman, including copies of trust terms, trustee and beneficiary details, settlor and protector information, and financial records related to their connected trust business.
The combined government incorporation fees and disbursements total around US$900 for an exempted company.
Registered office service providers charge additional fees, which vary among providers.
If the service provider also serves as the trustee for orphaning the PTC, an extra fee applies.
The CIMA application fee for PTC registration is approximately US$4,200.
PTCs can be owned in various ways, influenced by tax considerations and client circumstances.
Common ownership structures include individual ownership, purpose trusts, or charitable/non-charitable purpose trusts such as STAR Trusts.
At least one director must be an individual, but beyond this requirement, the board composition can align with the settlor’s preferences.
Control mechanisms may be established through the constitutional documentation of the PTC and the terms of the purpose trust, influencing the appointment or removal of directors.
Settlor involvement can take various forms, such as serving as a protector, a board member, or an advisor. The settlor’s role can be pivotal in key decisions related to the underlying trusts and businesses.
The PTC’s board must ensure alignment with the trust terms, seek professional advice as necessary, and maintain proper records.
For orphaned PTCs, funding strategies should be devised to ensure self-sufficiency or rely on invoicing for trustee services.
Cayman’s legal and regulatory environment positions it as an excellent choice for establishing PTCs.
These flexible structures enable bespoke trustee services and offer a platform for family members’ active participation in trust administration and business management.
If you have any queries about Cayman Islands Private Trust Companies, or other Cayman matters, then please do get in touch.