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Over the past six decades, Jersey has maintained its reputation as a stable, well-regulated and preeminent fiduciary jurisdiction. Indeed, Jersey recognized trusts for many years before the introduction of the Trusts Act (Jersey) in 1984. Since then, its trust legislation has been imitated by jurisdictions around the world and the island counts currently over 30,000 trusts worth over £ 600. billion1.

Her fiduciary and private client expertise runs deep, with Jersey having one of the most qualified (if not the most) members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), among many other professional qualifications. The sector is also supported by a strong presence of reputable private law firms and tax specialists.

The political stability of Jersey and that of the jurisprudence of the Royal Court, in place since the 13th century, is the basis of its success. Together, these factors make Jersey a popular destination for wealth structuring and trusts are at the heart of many of these plans.


Trusts are a flexible method of meeting wealth planning needs. For individuals, this could include estate planning, asset protection, protection of vulnerable beneficiaries, management and devolution of family wealth, and promotion of charitable and philanthropic causes.

Some of the more common types of Jersey trusts are:

  • discretionary trusts: a trust in which the settlor has given the trustee full discretion to decide which (and when) members of a defined group of beneficiaries should receive the income or capital of the trust; Where
  • charitable trusts: a trust created for charitable purposes only, such as for the advancement of education.

Other types of Jersey trusts include Sharia-compliant trusts, reserved power trusts, purpose trusts, private family trusts, accumulation and maintenance trusts, and interest-in-possession trusts (where a life tenant receives income and after his death the rest receives the capital element of the trust fund).

Trusts can also be used for business planning needs, such as employee benefit structures, pension funds, securitization and off-balance sheet financing arrangements, the acquisition of commercial property using mutual funds and the organization of private equity, hedging and real estate investment agreements.


Before setting up a trust, it is important to obtain legal and tax advice to ensure that setting up a trust and the type of trust to be used is the optimal wealth planning solution for the settlor’s needs. It is also important to choose a suitable trustee from one of the many reputable Jersey based trust companies.

Working with the selected trust company, once the due diligence is completed including the source of the wealth and the source of the funds, a trust deed will then be prepared. The trust is established when the settlor transfers assets to the trustee, which will be held under the terms of the trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries.

In addition to the trust deed, the settlor can also write a letter of greetings to the trustees, which is a private and non-legally binding document for the trustees. It sets out the settlor’s wishes for the trust and gives advice regarding, for example, tuition and university fees, support for beneficiaries in their new businesses, buying a first home and ESG considerations.


As we celebrate 2021 for the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the modern financial services industry in Jersey, as fiduciary practitioners we also look to the future to ensure we remain one of the leading international financial centers. This requires close collaboration with our regulator, the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC), Jersey Finance, the Jersey branch of STEP, as well as more recently, Digital Jersey.

Every trust company in Jersey is licensed by the JFSC, where it must adhere to laws and regulations covering corporate governance with respect to compliance, risk, scope of control, capital maintenance, and corporate governance. outsourcing, among others. Thematic reviews are also carried out regularly by the JFSC to ensure that the highest standards are maintained.

Indeed, the majority of Jersey trust companies – numbering over 50 – are members of the Jersey Association of Trust Companies (JATCo), a proactive organization that represents the interests of its members to government and service regulators. financial. It is estimated that 4,000 people are employed locally by our members, which represents a significant percentage of the Island’s annual tax revenues. JATCo’s activities include:

  • Inter-Agency Collaboration: JATCo works with other business agencies in Jersey on issues affecting both the fiduciary sector and the broader business environment.
  • Industry Updates: We collect opinions and keep members informed about developments within the industry, whether technical, regulatory, fiscal or practical.
  • Monthly Committee Meetings: Members of the Government of Jersey (GoJ), JFSC and Jersey Finance are invited to attend our monthly committee meetings to ensure effective communication between all parties on topical issues. The president of JATCo also sits on various advisory groups, which work with the aforementioned bodies on island initiatives.
  • Annual Seminars: Our annual seminar provides a platform for keynote speakers to relay critical information to policy makers and opinion makers (both locally and internationally) on whom to make decisions affecting the trust industry. ‘Isle.


Much has been said about the “great wealth transfer” expected over the next 30 years, as the “baby boom” generation passes their wealth on to their children and grandchildren. In this decade alone, $ 8.8 trillion is expected to be transferred to America, $ 3.2 trillion to Europe, and $ 1.9 trillion to Asia.2

This phenomenon will create new opportunities and challenges for the private heritage industry. Many families are also increasingly looking for a comprehensive solution to their own needs. With the help and the appropriate professional advice, families and high net worth individuals can protect and plan the transfer of their wealth through effective structuring of their wealth. In many cases, the transfer of wealth can include the use of trusts, foundations, corporations and limited partnerships established in Jersey.

However, the transfer of wealth from one generation to the next is just one of the many scenarios that are changing the face of the fiat landscape today. Other important trends influencing the private client value chain include:

  • Digitization: The COVID-19 pandemic has catalyzed the adoption of digital processes by the fiduciary industry. Homebound workers have embraced electronic signatures and minute books, digital business embeds, and virtual meetings, which continue to be critical in maintaining customer relationships.
  • Digital change will not only continue but accelerate and therefore it is great to have a facility like Digital Jersey to operate as we see increased interest and expansion in digital currencies, exchanges and banks.
  • ESG: We are also witnessing a generational change in the appropriation of the wealth and values ​​that drive these decisions. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations have in many cases become fundamental to investment decisions. Investment managers respond to this demand, tailor their investment reports and portfolios, and encourage employees to acquire the appropriate qualifications. As a trustee tasked with improving the trust fund, the demand for ESG and government initiatives aimed at carbon neutrality adds a new dimension to the industry.
  • Philanthropy: Interestingly, in Ocorian’s 2021 Global Survey of Private Client Practitioners, 76% said the COVID-19 pandemic led to increased concerns from their clients about investing. in philanthropic projects. The pandemic has led all individuals, regardless of the value of their personal assets, to consider their own mortality and has led a majority to review their wealth and inheritance plans. This is where Jersey sets itself apart with its stability, established legislature, quality of service and product offering.

To some, these concepts may be entirely new and this is where Jersey Finance has been instrumental in helping intermediaries, individuals and families better understand our fiduciary industry. Their work is particularly relevant in an era of globalization, where we can provide services to clients around the world in addition to our traditional markets of UK and Europe.


With a deep commitment to service excellence and a dynamic and forward-thinking fiduciary and regulatory ecosystem, Jersey will remain a leading international financial center and a global hub for private clients.

Footnotes :

1. Jersey Financial Services Commission (Correct statistics as of December 2019)

2. A Generation Change: 2019 Family Wealth Transfer Report, Wealth X

Originally posted by Jersey First for Finance’s Celebrating 60 years of Finance 1961 – 2021 edition.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.



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