Beware the strange forces

Date: 24 Jun 2013


When you mention the high-profile names of Dr Stanley Ho and Nina Wang in Hong Kong, almost everyone will be able to regale you with stories about how Dr Ho lost his $3bn casino empire and how Nina Wang’s feng shui expert allegedly tried to claim her rumoured $4.2bn fortune. In Dr Ho’s case, it was suggested that the main cause of the trouble was when he fell ill, his share of SJM Holdings was then fought over and divided up amongst his family comprising at least four wives and 17 children. According to the media stories, it had reportedly been Dr Ho’s intention to pass his share of SJM to his second and third wives. For Nina Wang, media reports described how her feng shui expert claimed that they had had an affair for years and it was Nina Wang’s intention, it was maintained, to leave him a substantial share of her wealth rather than have her family inherit it.
The problems arose in Nina Wang’s case because supposedly her will made no provision for the feng shui expert. In Dr Ho’s case the ownership of the assets were in personal names rather than through a more established and reliable asset-protection structure. These two cases illustrate how important it is for successful and wealthy businessmen or women to have a clear and robust succession plan that lays out how their own personal wealth is to be divided, when the time arises.
One option for Dr Ho might have been to use a range of companies to separate, hold and protect his assets. Each company is then owned by a trust. This structure works from an asset protection perspective and offers the underlying client many benefits, the first of which is in the distribution of an estate. Since the assets are separated into different holding companies, the risk of losing all of them simultaneously is limited. If an asset is going to be attacked and a company is sued, only the resources held in that particular company are under threat.
Trusts can be used to override the local legal and cultural laws which can be particularly important with, for example some countries operating forced heirships, which can lead to an unplanned and unwanted division of assets taking place.
Jersey trusts do not recognise forced heirship regimes and therefore it is only the named beneficiaries or class of beneficiaries who will ultimately benefit from the trust’s assets as these are effectively held and controlled from Jersey.
It is also possible with a Jersey trust for a settlor to reserve the power to change the beneficial class and therefore rule individuals in and out from receiving trust assets, giving an additional level of ongoing control and flexibility with planning.

Have you seen our mentoring videos?

The Citywealth International Financial Centre Awards are coming up for their third year. Closing date for submissions is 12th July 2013.

More information

Citywealth has three distinct areas to it’s business all of which focus on connecting and informing the global, private wealth management, private client intermediary and uhnw community.

The three areas we cover are: 1. information in the form of: two print magazines – one covers international financial centres and the other is a global publication on the industry with leaders list directories in both/ e-newsletter – monthly – profiles and features/ app/ website, then 2. we have two awards ceremonies and finally 3. networking clubs.

1. Information in the form of: print/ e newsletter/ app/ website

Citywealth has a monthly newsletter with uhnw features, news and lifestyle each issue. This information is backed up on the website as an archive only available to subscribers. Subscriptions cost £500 + vat for multiple email addresses. It is delivered to email boxes globally.

Citywealth publishes in print and online, guides to leading individuals “leaders lists” in the wealth management industry at certain times of the year. Submission forms are required and two testimonials from peers or clients to support their entry into our recommended advisor/manager lists. These lists are checked and updated each year.

2. Awards ceremonies

Citywealth Magic Circle Awards: 16th May 2013
In their 8th year
400 + attendees

Citywealth holds an annual awards to find best advisors and managers in the global industry. Awards are judged by nominations sent in by the global industry then refined and selected by industry judges (usually ten global experts). There is also online voting. This is a chance to meet major private investors from a pool of the worlds wealthiest individuals and their advisers and managers. It is also an ideal platform to promote expensive lifestyle offerings and make charitable appeals.

Citywealth International Financial Centre Awards: January each year
In their third year
160 + attendees

Citywealth IFC Awards to find the best wealth advisors and managers in the Caribbean, Switzerland and UK Offshore. 160+ attendees.

3. Networking clubs: Citywealth Tomorrow Club: Citywealth YP and Citywealth Women in Wealth Supper Club

Citywealth Tomorrow Club
6.30-8.30pm /Four events a year/cocktails
60+ attendees

Citywealth Tomorrow Club aims to help mentor advisers and managers in their first or second job in the industry and help them up the career ladder. It also allows members to find their own group of contacts. Maximum four individuals allowed from any one organisation. Four cocktail party networking events per year with mentor speakers. Membership fees apply. See video library

CITYWEALTH YP: A business development networking club.
6.30-8.30pm/Four events a year /cocktails
60+ attendees

6.30-8.30pm /Four events a year/supper event
60+ attendees

Held in London each quarter we have an educational speaker, drinks and light supper to facilitate business networking. The group has 60 + members from private wealth and private client. Entry into the group is with twenty years + work experience in this industry sector only.

Citywealth also an Asian diaspora club called The Shanghai Delhi Club for UHNW +£100million private individuals. This is VIP invite only and wealth managers and advisors may only attend by sponsoring the club.

NEW initiatives for 2013

Citywealth has launched a mentor speaker library offering help and information for those in the industry from a mix of experts and uhnw entrepreneurs. The mentor speakers talk at our events to help prepare the upcoming generation and assist with corporate succession planning.


Citywealth was founded in 2005. Our aim is to bring together the diverse groups involved in the business of advising the UHNW and HNW community. Citywealth newsletter is subscribed to, read by and exclusively circulated to advisers and managers to the super rich.

Over 2,800 organisations receive Citywealth and the total readership is an estimated 9,500 senior executives globally from blue chip institutions and professional services firms who read Citywealth for its industry news, authoritative comment, topical features and people moves. Corporate subscriptions are £500 + VAT per annum.

What type of organisation reads Citywealth?

• Family Offices
• Private Client Law Firms
• Accountancy Firms
• Fiduciary and Trust & Estate Planning Companies
• Private Banks
• Wealth Manager
• Investment Manager
• Charities

What type of individual?

Citywealth’s readership is the senior management of the organisations it goes to. For example, it goes to partners in law firms and accountancy firms, directors and above in banks, directors of trust companies. It is also read by uhnw individuals.


Citywealth’s readership is split:

• UK/Channel Islands/IoM 56%
• Europe 16%
• Switzerland 12%
• Caribbean 5%
• Middle East 6%
• Asia 3%
• Other 2%

Contact office number (Marble Arch)

+ 44 (0) 20 7224 9565

Karen Jones, Editor

Joe Bell, Managing Director

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