South Africa update - Grant McLeod, August 2021

12 August 2021

Written by Grant McLeod Guernsey Finance Grant Mcleod

WE ARE GUERNSEY’s Grant McLeod has well and truly settled into his role as the agency’s Business Development Representative in South Africa. During what has proved to be a productive first few months, Grant provides an update on what’s been happening recently...

One of the most enjoyable parts of my role is connecting Guernsey practitioners with potential South African clients. I feel well established in my position as Business Development Representative with WE ARE GUERNSEY now, and I am pleased to have facilitated 36 introductions and business opportunities over the past couple of months. Nearly half of these were in the funds sector, with the rest spread between banking, private wealth, insurance and pensions. Having come from a private wealth background, it is refreshing to be able to mix my expertise in this area with working in other sectors. 

Thanks to the new approach to digital communication from the agency, we are hoping to produce more video and podcasts on how Guernsey works for South African clients, and we are currently discussing what approach we will take next. 

It was encouraging to see WE ARE GUERNSEY further highlight the relationship between the island and South Africa with a feature on Peregrine Wealth, which is part of the Citadel Group in SA, celebrating 21 years in Guernsey. You can read the view on Guernsey’s popularity for South African clients, and the relationship between the two jurisdictions, from Peregrine Managing Director Hennie Esterhuizen in this article. 

In the funds sector, I have come across many instances of Mauritian companies being created or retained utilising the Mauritian tax treaties, but deploying Guernsey Corporate service providers to provide Director services and general substance, effectively leveraging off Guernsey’s reputation as a good jurisdiction for strong corporate governance but retaining the tax benefits that the Mauritian treaty provides for South Africa clients. 

There is also a lingering but unfounded perception amongst some wealth advisers that Guernsey is more expensive than Luxembourg and Ireland, so I am in discussions about how we can help educate practitioners of the many benefits that Guernsey has to offer. 

As for events, we are looking into holding some breakfast seminars for potential South Africa clients in Johannesburg and Cape Town, so watch this space. 

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