Independent, privately owned fiduciary and investment services company

Independence, Service & Relationships – Private Wealth Preferences

Independence, Service & Relationships – Private Wealth Preferences

In the second of our series of articles on the Middle East, Paul Oliver, Group Managing Director at Lancaster Guernsey, explains that families from the region value Lancaster’s independence and focus on long-term relationships.

We have worked with clients from the Middle East for many years, and since 2020, we have seen an increase in enquiries from high-net-worth families who wanted to plan for the future, particularly with respect to preserving their legacy for future generations.

Typically, these people have built up businesses over many years, and they do not want to see their value diminish. However, these families might be less familiar with using trusts, for example, for long-term financial planning.

We know how important it is to develop trust between those clients and our team. It takes time to build the relationship and, thereby, the confidence, and it starts by really getting to know the family. We sit down and listen. We need to get to know the family’s operating businesses, hopes for the future, family structure and dynamics, their ambitions for protecting and growing their wealth and expanding their enterprise. Then, we can consider the best structures for them and their family.

Every family is different, and this is where Lancaster has a substantial advantage over larger or bank-owned trust companies. We do not sell a particular product, and we don’t say, for example, that you always need a trust, or you need a foundation. It is about working with the family, understanding their long-term objectives, and putting the structures in place that are genuinely best for their needs.

Our independence also means we can work with the most appropriate advisors for our clients or work alongside their existing team. Lancaster has built a team of trusted colleagues in aligned services like tax planning, legal services, investment advisory, and accountancy, so we can oblige when clients want recommendations.

This personal approach resonates with our clients. Typically, they value privacy and close networks. In fact, more broadly, the way the Middle East likes to do business fits with Lancaster’s ethos of building long-term relationships and really looking after the family’s best interests.

We have also found that philanthropy is often an important cultural aspect for wealthy individuals in the Middle East. Many engage in charitable activities, supporting causes such as education, healthcare, and community development. Lancaster can incorporate these ambitions alongside more commercial considerations.In recent months, we have had several approaches from businesses and individuals who, for whatever reason, have become disillusioned with their current providers. There might be issues around transparency, fee structure, or communication and those are areas where Lancaster strives to excel.

Lancaster is genuinely independent and 100% Guernsey-owned, so we can choose which markets and which clients we work with.

Within our regulatory frameworks, we can be very flexible. Our size means we are highly responsive to client requests, we work closely together, quickly finding solutions without the barriers and processes in place at larger firms. Our clients value this, particularly as the region is seeing economic growth and the emergence of new industries which create opportunities for entrepreneurial families.

There is a clear opportunity in the market for independent, impartial, and pragmatic advice and for Middle Eastern clients to make the move to more autonomous, privately owned fiduciary service companies.