Overseas Family Office

With a view to diversifying the country’s financial services sector and increasing wealth management activities in the country, the Mauritian Government has introduced the Overseas Family Office Licence ("OFO"). The aim of the Mauritian government is to position the country as an international financial centre with a reputation for ease of doing business. Owing to a growing number of multi-millionaires in the region, it is anticipated that Africa will see its Ultra High Net Worth Individual (UHNWI) segment grow by 31% by 2023. In this spirit, in order to explore its diversification strategy and to enhance the sector of wealth management, the government of Mauritius came with the introduction of the Overseas Family Office License in its 2016-2017 budget speech.

 

The Overseas Family Office Scheme (the “Scheme”) caters for the domiciliation of high net worth single-family and multi-family offices, characterised by two licences under the Scheme respectively. The Scheme is regulated by the Mauritius Financial Services Commission (“FSC”) and the licences are governed by the Financial Services Act and the new Financial Services (Family Office) Rules 2020.

 

In 2016, the Financial Services Act 2007 was amended to introduce the:

 

  • The Overseas Family Office (Single) Licence (“SFO”); and

  • The Overseas Family Office (Multiple) Licence (“MFO”).

The OFO aims at the enhancement of Mauritius as a wealth management destination via management of assets of High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI), Ultra-High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWIs) and families in Mauritius. The main activities of the OFO include to:

  • Focus on the management and comprehensive administration of a family’s wealth,

  • Create tools that allow the family to efficiently protect and develop its assets,

  • Plan key activities,

  • Provide tax, accounting and legal advice, and

  • Assist with property management, plan philanthropic and similar activities.

Definitions

  • A SFO is a company licensed by the FSC to manage the investment (passive investments), assets and estate of a single family.

  • A MFO is a company licensed by the FSC to manage the investment, assets and estate of multiple families, who are not necessarily connected to one another.

Neither the SFO nor MFO shall engage in any financial activity requiring a licence under the relevant Acts (e.g. investment funds, securities licences). The FSC may on a case to case basis grant a relevant financial services licence to a SFO/MFO.

A Family is defined as a group of individuals who are connected in at least one of the ways set out in Schedule 1 of the Rules. This schedule provides for a list of persons related to any individual within the family office, and it includes spouse, descendants, parents, step-parents, grandparents, parents-in-law, step-parents-in-law, brother, step-brother, sister, step-sister, subject to such other limitations or conditions otherwise agreed or determined by the FSC.

A holder of a Family Office Licence is authorised to provide certain services to family clients which include:

  • Administration and management of investments, assets and/or estate(s);

  • Administration and management of concierge services;

  • Management of accounting and reporting;

  • Administration and management of philanthropic services;

  • Providing training and development to the incoming generations;

  • Administration and management of disaster recovery planning;

  • Administration of risk management;

  • Provision of administrative support;

  • Ensuring compliance with domestic and international legislations;

  • Establishing family governance, wealth strategies, family boards including family charters;

  • Providing tax advisory and compliance services;

  • Advising on wealth planning and protection; and

  • Any other activities as may be approved by the FSC.

Minimum Unimpaired Capital

The minimum unimpaired stated capital is:

  • USD 35,000 for a SFO and

  • USD 70,000 for a MFO.

How can Ashton help?

Ashton can assist in the structuring and operations of your SFO and MFO by offering you:

  • Support in setting up and licencing

  • Support in drafting the constitutive documents, risk management procedures, disaster recovery plans and the AML-CFT framework and subsequent monitoring thereof

  • Bookkeeping, preparation of financial statements as well as bespoke financial reporting

  • Full administration and support services

  • Monitoring compliance with domestic legislations

  • Providing tax compliance services

  • Setting up of wealth protection vehicles such as Trust and Foundations

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Services

Ashton provides valuable insights and value-added services to businesses and individuals with regard to their evolving present and future needs. Should you have any query in relation to the topic covered and require any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us. We shall be pleased to assist you.

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