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We always strive to be one step ahead, looking for the best routes in an ever-changing landscape. To reach the top, you need more than your determination, you need a guide.

Our Trust Solution

Stand-Alone Trust with a Swiss Based Trustee is our instrument of choice for bankable assets.

  • In the new CRS environment, the stand-alone trust provides clients with one of the highest levels of privacy and tax transparency
  • As a result of their place of effective management as well as the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) initiative, legal entities are becoming more vulnerable in terms of tax compliance. A stand-alone trust mitigates these risks, at the same time offering far more privacy
  • You can direct your revocable stand-alone trusts, change their jurisdiction, their beneficiaries—even their trustees. It is favorable for holding bankable assets
  • Unlike the legal entities you are in full control of distributions, investments, estate planning and personal information
  • Swiss Trust AG deals with the CRS reporting, which offers an additional layer of comfort. In this set-up, only the total trust asset size and eventual distributions will be reported – as opposed to the detailed reporting conducted via banks.
  • Moreover, CRS reporting takes place only on the level of the Settlor or beneficiaries, minimizing the flow of sensitive information.
Learn More about Trusts

Trusts

The Trust is a common law instrument to achieve the following goals:

  • set up the succession
  • protect the assets
  • secure the economic future of the beneficiaries, e.g. members of the family or other close persons
  • hold the bankable, corporate and private assets
  • hold the art collections and other similar assets
  • achieve charitable purposes

A trust is established by assignment of assets from a settlor to the trustee, subject to the condition that these assets will be administered by the trustee in accordance with the wishes of settlor as laid down in the trust deed and other documents of the trust.

Within the framework of the administration of the assigned assets, the trust may at any time open banking accounts, acquire stakes in companies and exercise holding functions.

A trust deed regulates the relationships between the settlor, the trustee and the beneficiary and can be used by the settlor as an instrument for safekeeping of the interests of trust beneficiaries.

There are a variety of forms of trust deeds and many possible regulations, which allows the settlor to make different provisions and design the trust according to his personal situation and objectives. The settlor can reserve some powers, which shall allow him to keep certain control over the assets. In contrast the settlor may also create a so-called discretionary trust, where the trustee has the sole power to decide at which time and what portions of a trust assets will be distributed to each of the trust’s beneficiaries. A variety of possible mixed forms between the two extremes is possible.

Further advisory and controlling functions can be executed by implementing protectors, appointers, advisors and similar.

Being the independent regulated Swiss based trustee, we are able to use the full variety of trust jurisdictions, and trust instruments to create a tailored solution for the specific needs of a settlor and beneficiaries of the trust.

For further question, please contact us or visit our offices.

Trusts in the Cayman Islands

Why Cayman?

Trust law in the Cayman Islands is based on English statute and common law principles, supplemented by innovative local legislation. Cayman trust law for example allows settlors to reserve powers to do certain things to meet settlors’ objectives for asset protection, estate planning or tax mitigation without compromising the integrity of the trust

Privacy

Trusts are not registrable with the Cayman Government authorities

Asset protection

Due to the transfer of the ownership of the assets to the Trustee, the Trust assets may be protected from claims being made against it by the Settlor’s future creditors

Flexibility

The trust structure enables a settlor to tailor the Trust to meet his needs. The Trust may provide a fixed interest for each beneficiary or it may confer wide discretionary powers on the Trustee to distribute the assets to the beneficiary. The Trust may also include a power of revocation or amendment which may be vested in the Settlor or Protector.

Reserved powers trust

Unlike many onshore jurisdictions, Cayman Islands Trusts Law permits settlors to retain certain powers over the trust including powers to revoke or vary the trust deed, act as a director of officer of a company wholly-owned by a trust, appoint, add or remove a trustee.

The reserved powers trust works well for a settlor who is uncomfortable with the concept of handing over all control of trust property to a trustee. They aren’t always suitable though and settlors would need to take advice as to the effect of reserving some powers in their home jurisdiction.

With new regulations and new risks changing thelandscape, we have dedicated ourselves to finding solutions that reduce risk while reaching new heights in flexibility and privacy. In a changing world, Swiss Trust delivers the innovation our clients deserve, with the security they expect.

Foundations

Foundation is a corporate instrument for:

  • set up the succession
  • protect the assets
  • secure the economic future of the beneficiaries, e.g. members of the family or other close persons
  • hold the bankable, corporate and private assets
  • hold the art collections and other similar assets
  • achieve charitable purposes

Unlike corporation, a foundation is not allowed to directly conduct a business.

The foundation is established by a founder dedicating assets to a specific purpose in favour of a specific or specifiable beneficiary. Once raised to the status of a legal entity, these assets no longer form part of the private assets of the founder but form the foundation assets.

The foundation has no members or owners – its assets shall be distributed among the beneficiaries, whereby the payment of distributions to beneficiaries may also be made subject to conditions or rules. The beneficiaries are named by the founder, usually in separate by-laws, resembling a last will and testament. The founder can appoint himself as a beneficiary.

The founder can reserve the right to amend the articles and by-laws, especially the beneficiary regulations.

The governing body of the foundation is the foundation board, which is regulated by the provisions of articles and the by-laws. The foundation board can have the authority to execute the founder’s will with free and absolute discretion, e.g. regarding distributions to beneficiaries (discretionary foundation). The basis of this free and absolute discretion is always the founder’s will, determined in the articles and by-laws of the foundation.

Further advisory and controlling functions can be executed by other bodies of the foundation – an advisory board, a board of trustees,  protector or similar.

For further question, please contact us or visit our offices.

Learn more about Trust vs. Foundation

Trusts vs. Foundations

A trust is an agreement that is created through something called private writing. A trustee is nominated to control and look after the assets that have been placed into the trust, for the sole benefit of the trustees. For example, immovable property such as houses can be held in a trust, as an artwork or heirlooms. These items would be legally held by a third-party, usually, a firm or company but remain the property of the beneficiary that is nominated in the trust.

A foundation is an organization that can be considered a fully autonomous legal entity which belongs only to itself. It is similar in some ways to a company, but it has several characteristics of a trust. A foundation enjoys a separate legal personality from the moment of its registration.

When it comes to trusts, they are established by the settlor who rescinds their ownership of the property and legally allocates it to the trustee. Once this is done, they effectively relinquish any rights over the ownership or the management of the trust property. This person is expected to submit a list of conditions that apply to the trust property and the trustee keeps these in mind when they exercise their rights further down the line.

A foundation is created by a founder. Unlike a trust, the founder is able to retain part of the control in the administration of a foundation and the decisions that need to be taken. The founder can also have the right to oversee the acts of the appointed administrators and they can even be an administrator themselves.

When a trust is created, the trustee has the property in the trust in their name and looks after it for the beneficiary until the time comes when the property is ready to be passed on. The trustee must answer to the beneficiaries for every action that they take and a high level of care must be given when it comes to carrying out duties. A foundation is governed by administrators who administer in the best interest of the purpose for which the foundation was created.

In Switzerland, both trustees and foundation administrators are bound by fiduciary obligations which include confidence, trust, care, and acting for the benefit of another. At no time should the administrator or the trustee allow a conflict of interest or activity in a way that is not in the best interest of the beneficiary.

In addition to this, the trustee must keep the assets of the trust completely separate from their own personal assets. This is to avoid any issues should the trustee become insolvent as well as mitigating the risk of assets being used for purposes other than they were intended. This also means that the trust assets are protected from the claims of creditors that may be targeting the settlor or the beneficiary of the trust- in other words, the assets in the trust are protected until the time that they are released.

When it comes to a foundation, as it has a distinct legal personality it acts similar to a limited liability company- in other words, the creditors of the foundation have no claim on any of the assets of the administrators.

Both trusts and foundations are considered to have very high levels of confidentiality.

When it comes to deciding what is the best vehicle for an individual’s purpose, it really depends on what your needs are and what you want to achieve. Switzerland is rare in that you can choose between either option and both offer infinite possibilities and benefits. To find out more, please contact us at info@swisstrust-ch.ch

We are licensed by Swiss regulators (SAAM) and supervised by FINMA

Company Management

  • Incorporation and administration of the companies in various jurisdictions
  • Selection and appointment of appropriate directors and other company officers
  • Statutory compliance, including maintaining corporate records and making statutory filings
  • Tax compliance and reporting
  • Accounting and the management of company assets
Learn more about Swiss Companies

Swiss Companies


Company Limited by Shares

(AG or SA) is one of the mostly common corporate forms in Switzerland

AG can be used as an active business company or as a holding and must be registered in the canton where the company is based. The shareholders of AG (one or more legal or natural person) are not visible in the public registry of the companies. The bearer shares are still allowed but the owners shall be registered within the internal register of shareholder, kept by the directors.

An AG has a minimum capital requirement of CHF 100,000 that should be paid in the course of incorporation. The company’s responsibility is restricted to its equity.

The main government document of AG is articles of association. The articles shall include information on the company’s purpose, governing procedures and the details of founding directors. The articles of association can be tailored according to your specific needs.

An AG requires at least 1 director. The signature right shall remain possible within Switzerland, which means that at least 1 director shall be resident of Switzerland. The appointment of further (executive) directors is possible at any time.

For the AG’s meeting certain criteria, a regular audited review is necessary. Small and medium-sized companies are allowed to have the limited audit only or opt it out totally in case all shareholders approve this process.

We will be glad to offer you a tailored solution by incorporating and administrating of a Swiss AG for your purposes.

For further question, please contact us or visit our offices.

 

Limited Liability Company

(SARL or GmbH) is another common corporate form in Switzerland.

GmbH can be used as an active business company or as a holding and must be registered in the canton where the company is based. The stockholders of a GmbH are visible in the public registry of the companies.

A GmbH has a minimum capital requirement of CHF 20,000 that should be paid in the course of incorporation according to the share of each stockholder. The responsibility is restricted to the capital of the company.

The main government document of GmbH is articles of association. The articles shall include information on the company’s purpose, governing procedures and the details of founding directors, stockholders and their shareholdings. The articles of association can be tailored according to your specific needs.

An GmbH requires at least 1 director. The signature right shall remain possible within Switzerland, which means that at least 1 director shall be resident of Switzerland. The appointment of further (executive) directors is possible at any time.

For a GmbH, meeting certain criteria, a regular audited review is necessary. Small and medium-sized companies are allowed to have the limited audit only or opt it out totally in case all shareholders approve this process.

We will be glad to offer you a tailored solution by incorporating and administrating of a Swiss GmbH for your purposes.

For further question, please contact us or visit our offices.

Allied with Switzerland’s top banks, helping you open and maintain your accounts.

Family Relocation to Switzerland

Lump-Sum Taxation (or Forfait Taxation)

  • Through a tax ruling with a certain canton, a family can move to and live in Switzerland paying a pre-agreed amount of income tax based on their annual expenses.
  • The family will not be taxed on its world-wide income, which is a huge advantage for wealthy individuals.
  • It is not allowed to work in Switzerland; however, the family member can keep mandates or can keep being a board member of companies abroad.
  • In general, this taxation offers the biggest privilege in the era of tax transparency: privacy.

Swiss Trust AG possesses a huge expertise and network to support families with their relocation to Switzerland.

Experts in investment, trust administration, compliance and reporting.

Family Office

  • Family succession and estate planning
  • Financial and tax planning
  • Investment strategy
  • Risk management: CRS compliance, etc.
  • Lifestyle (non-financial) services
  • Family governance
  • Family education

“We all know stark regulatory changes create moments of disorientation. And the new landscape shaped by the automatic exchange of information is no exemption. Familiar paths may no longer appear trustworthy. It requires courage and determination to navigate unknown territory. Think of it as trying to reach a summit. In unfamiliar high-altitude terrain, you would certainly rely on a knowledgeable mountain guide who knows the area inside out to show you the way. We have worked with high-net-worth individuals in wealth management for many years and have supported their goals. For our clients, we have explored all complex regulatory and CRS requirements, so we can safely say, we know the new landscape of tax transparency inside out. And, just like experienced mountain guides, we – as trustees – can now accompany our clients on the safest and most promising route along the mountain ridge towards the summit.”

Josef Meyer, Founder and Partner, Swiss Trust AG

Your Team

Swiss Trust exists to guide families like yours, helping you every day to achieve your goals. Our strong relationships with Switzerland’s oldest banks, our adaptability to the changing landscape, and our experience set us apart.

Josef Meyer

Founder and Partner
jmeyer@swisstrust-ch.ch
Mob.: +41 79­ 268 38 13

Josef has over twenty years of financial services experience, working in asset management, portfolio management, private banking, and export and trade finance. Prior to founding Swiss Trust AG, Josef was a director at Renaissance Capital in Moscow, a client advisor at UBS in Zurich, and the founder and owner of Meyer & Partner Asset Management.

Josef’s experience with Russian high-net-worth individuals extends more than twenty-five years, starting with his work as a consultant, in 1993. As of 2017, he has provided valuation assistance to thirty companies, and since 2015 has helped eleven offshore companies domiciled in Russia move onshore.

Josef was raised and educated in Switzerland, studying Eastern European History and Russian Literature at the University of Zurich. He is fluent in German, English, and Russian, and is skilled in French.

Tatiana Daumec

Trust Officer
td@swisstrust-ch.ch
Phone: +41 44 209 70 50

Tatiana has over twenty years of financial services experience, working in trust companies in Switzerland for the last fourteen years.

Tatiana has studied in Moscow an has a master degree in finance. She holds TEP qualification (Trust and Estate Practitioner) from 2013.

Tatiana speaks fluently in Russian and English.

Sergej Schmidt

Chairman of the Board
schmidt@swisstrust-ch.ch
Mob.: +41­ 78 306 93 33

Sergej brings over a decade of experience in trust and multi-family office services. Prior to joining Swiss Trust AG, Sergej worked in Principality of Liechtenstein, being a partner in a local trust company and dealing on a daily basis with the demanding requests of UHNW-clients all over the world.

Sergej has studied law at Johannes-Gutenberg University Mainz and has his admission as accredited EEA Lawyer (Germany) in Liechtenstein in cooperation with Müller & Partner Rechtsanwälte GmbH. He is member of the Liechtenstein Chamber of Lawyers and Koblenz Chamber of Lawyers.

Sergej is fluent in German, Russian and English.

Alina Blatter

Middle Officer
ab@swisstrust-ch.ch
Phone: +41­ 44 209 70 50

Alina has over 5 years international experience working in trust and corporate services in Dubai, Cyprus and Switzerland. In her past positions she was strongly involved into business consulting which was mainly focused on financial consulting, immigration and legal issues, management of the companies in Switzerland and abroad.

She has a bachelor’s degree in law and speaks fluently in Russian and English.

Our contacts

Swiss Trust offers clients innovative trust structures with unrivalled flexibility, privacy, and tax transparency. Get in touch to find out how we can help.

Swiss Trust AG
Bleicherweg 45
CH-8002 Zurich