Fast and furious financial acts cause confusion for UHNWIs in France

Date: 17 Feb 2016

Bumblebee Design

When France’s socialist government, under the leadership of President François Hollande, took power in 2012, it did so with a promise of increasing taxes to reduce the country’s budget deficit, one of the largest in the Eurozone.

What followed was a swathe of tax hikes on French businesses and households, dramatically increasing the fiscal burden on the country’s wealthiest individuals. France’s richest man, Bernard Arnault, the chief executive of luxury group LVMH, took Belgian nationality, while the actor Gérard Depardieu also reportedly moved across the border and then obtained Russian citizenship. High-earning French footballers threatened strike action.

Though the most controversial tax hike – a plan to impose a 75% tax rate on earnings above €1 million – never ultimately materialised, the threatened swathe of exits by French ultra-high net worth individuals did. Many are yet to return, but three years later there are signs of a shift in attitude, advisers say.

François Mollat du Jourdin is the chairman and founder of MJ & Cie, a multi-family office with offices in Paris and Geneva. He says: “We still see clients leaving France for tax reasons but there are also plenty..To read the full article, please subscribe to our e-magazine.