Author: Leonardo Braune, Managing Partner, Intercorp Group
8 Dec 2015
Over the last couple of years, there has been significant growth in the asset protection industry. Following the 2008 financial crisis, the ramifications of which are still being felt in much of Europe, high-net-worth families are increasingly looking for ways to protect their assets. Furthermore, recent bouts of global economic instability (including current concerns in many emerging markets) and a number of political upheavals around the world have compounded such worries. For high-net-worth individuals, making money is only the half of the problem of wealth. Equally vital, in turbulent times especially, is the ability to effectively safeguard wealth and protect assets against liabilities arising from new investments.
Globalisation has increased the number of multinational corporations, and has caused many clients to consider the salience of thorough estate planning. The trend towards hypermobility among high-net-worth families also requires a thorough understanding of the relevant procedures and the consequences that a change in domicile entails. The world is on the move, with more migrants now than ever before. As a natural consequence of family members moving abroad, many family businesses are expanding into new territories, and are therefore implementing complex structures and instruments such as international trusts, limited liability companies and family limited partnerships. This is not simply to be tax efficient, but also to balance the nuances and requirements of each individual family member.
An ability to fluently navigate the multitude of byzantine tax systems found throughout the world is vital for asset protection
One firm poised to take advantage of this rising global demand is Intercorp Group. Through its global presence and thoroughly international operation, Intercorp has helped to guide high-net-worth families through the challenges, opportunities and issues surrounding taxation, succession planning, estate planning and investment structures in an international context. European CEO spoke to Leonardo Braune, Managing Partner at Intercorp, about how the company operates and guides clients through uncertain times.
Much needed expertise
Intercorp spends a lot of time trying to understand as much as possible about each client’s business and how to adapt it for the client’s benefit. “We are advisors that see ourselves in alliance with the client, both unyieldingly liable and responsible for the advice we provide”, noted Braune. In many ways, the company is constantly seeing how far it is able to stretch gains and efficiency, without crossing the line of compliance.
Intercorp also looks to tailor services personally to each client. “Our consultants guide the client with integrity, presenting them with the best possible set of solutions for their needs, explaining the parameters and potential outcomes required to provide an efficient and effective result”, claimed Braune. The company motto gets to the heart of this: “We sell value and knowledge, not information and pages.”
Intercorp also works closely with major law firms, consultancies and professional services firms across the world, commissioning and curating a unique library of tailored expertise. However, clients continue to deal solely with Intercorp, reducing time, costs and complication, without sacrificing quality and knowledge. As Braune stated: “We are meticulously honest and transparent about our capabilities, leveraging longstanding and trusted relationships to provide the right solutions to our clients.”
Challenges and solutions
Intercorp has become a specialist in specific topics, which creates a team with a very wide knowledge and understanding. At the same time, global trends have resulted in increasingly high demands from new clients seeking tailor-made solutions. Inevitably, this has put a lot of pressure on the firm to deliver custom solutions for each client.
In response to this challenge, Intercorp has created powerful internal processes to ensure that all solutions offered to clients are of top quality, while at the same time growing and expanding the company through hiring people with the right skills and mindset.
“We have the ability to cut through complex processes to provide clients with intelligent, actionable solutions based on years of experience streamlining intelligence from a global network of professionals and specialists. We have an exceptional international perspective on traditional concerns, and we develop a customised solution and assert preservation strategy for every client”, said Braune.
Recently, an increasingly depressing economic outlook in Brazil has led to an increase in clients from this part of the world. The insecure social, economic and political situation in Brazil has triggered more capital outflow and has resulted in Brazilians increasingly seeking alternative investments outside of the country. As Braune noted: “The government suffers from low popularity, and our clientele in Brazil is feeling increasingly insecure in general. The entire political system is insecure. Our understanding of the Brazilian system allows us to speak the client’s language, while helping to elevate their frame of reference to appreciate a global perspective. For example, living in the UK is a really tax-efficient move for a successful entrepreneur, and many of our clients choose to take advantage of the UK’s beneficial nom-dom regime.”
At Intercorp, each individual is trained to become an active participant of each project they work on, and individuals with different skillsets are encouraged to collaborate. “By identifying the skills of each consultant and adapting them to each project, Intercorp is able to deliver tailor-made project management advice”, Braune noted. “Our people are flexible and thoroughly understand the importance of developing vital soft skills, such as good communication and positivity.”
The structures and procedures at Intercorp are designed to ensure that employees draw upon the most up-to-date and in-depth information. An ability to fluently navigate the multitude of byzantine tax systems found throughout the world is vital for asset protection in the increasingly mobile global marketplace. Intercorp’s resources in this respect allow them to refine knowledge from an elite global network of professionals and specialists. The company’s consultants work constantly to follow the changes and progress of new legislation and propose action plans accordingly. This deep knowledge is then presented to clients in a straightforward and simple way.
Being a family business in a hypermobile world implies an increasing global presence. Family members moving abroad and expanding their industries has resulted in an increasing global presence for many businesses. Therefore, it is important to have a deep, multi-jurisdictional business understanding. “This is where we step in”, claimed Braune. “Through sharing knowledge and expertise with clients, Intercorp is involved throughout the entire process, making it as comfortable as possible, and allowing assets to be better safeguarded in jurisdictions clients may be unfamiliar with.”