Stewart Fleming, Abacus Trust Company Limited, Isle of Ma

Date: 16 Nov 2011


Stewart Fleming, Abacus Trust Company Limited, Isle of Man

What signature taxation, laws, trusts or investments do you think really work for uhnw clients and why?

• I don’t think you can pin point just one thing. Much depends on the client’s needs and finding a bespoke solution that works correctly. At Abacus we rely on experienced tax advisers, lawyers and investment managers to advise on their areas of expertise. We do what we do best assisting with best solutions and providing top quality trust and corporate services. However, I would say the one ‘signature’ advantage the Isle of Man has over the rest of the British Isles has to be the ability to VAT register locally, and quickly too; normally in two or three days.

Are there any private clients in the world you would really like to work with?

• We already work with one of the top 15 Billionaires in the World according to Forbes’ Rich list. If I had the chance I would love to work with some movie stars; my favourite being Al Pacino, although if Morgan Freeman promised to speak to me all day I would find it hard to choose between the two of them.

What size of client do you generally work with and how many do you have?

• I personally deal with around one hundred and fifty clients. Some have large complex structures or even multiple structures. They range from the super wealthy billionaire to entrepreneurs making savvy investments.

What is the most interesting or unusual private client deal you have ever been involved with ?

• I once went from a phone call asking for a shelf company to completing on a major UK commercial property deal in three and a half hours. It was a struggle, but what a great feeling of achievement afterwards.

What lessons have you learned that you could share with those starting out in the industry?

• Never underestimate the importance of your relationship with your clients and how to maintain them at as high a level as possible.

What initiatives do you have or do you think there should be for women?

• I would be very pleased to see companies increase female representation on boards; non-executives in particular. There have been a number of studies linking the improved performance of companies with female board members, and I agree with many corporate governance experts that this type of diversity on boards is the way forward.

If you had to win a wealthy new client where would you take them to impress them?

• Generally I don’t think wealthy people would be impressed with extravagance, as ultimately they would perceive that the company’s clients pay for it. A simple lunch and giving them the attention and advice they need is the best way to impress.

What are your three USP’s for uhnw clients?

• Service, Service and Service.

What is the best thing that has ever been said about you?

• That I have very high ethics and morals. That comment came from my father, who added that he had no idea where they came from as it certainly wasn’t from him!

What is your individual focus in terms of countries and uhnw clients?

• A lot of my current focus is towards UK non-domiciliaries and foreign individuals investing in real estate in the UK.

How much do you travel on business and where do you tend to go?

• At the moment it seems I have weekly visits to London. I do travel far and wide, from Asia, to Africa and Europe, but mostly to London.

What is the next big thing in private wealth management?

• More market stability, I hope. It will also be interesting to see how the new foundation legislation in the Isle of Man fares – it has been commented that it surpasses other existing foundation legislation in its clarity and flexibility. The legislation received Royal Assent on 15th November 2011 and came into force on that day.

Citywealth Offshore Awards 2012 – 25th January 2012
Citywealth Magic Circle Awards 2012 coming up for their seventh year – 10th May 2012.
Citywealth Leaders List 2011 – the annual printed guide to the leading advisors in private wealth management –
Citywealth – Women in Wealth – a club for senior women in the wealth industry
Citywealth Shanghai Delhi Club – for UHNW clients active in the Asian markets
Citywealth – YP – a club for today’s new leaders
Citywealth Tomorrow Club – for the industry leaders of the future
Citywealth – website featuring global, archived news, features and profiles from October 2005 –
Citywealth PR – introductions, publicity and features through Citywealth outlets and contacts

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