Making the Most of Your Money

istock_000003218503largeLetting Turks & Caicos financial services work for you.

By Claudia Camozzi, Director of Communications, Financial Services Initiative

Whether as a property or business owner, development or construction company, TCI financial services and products can help you with two things every investor requires: growing your investments and protecting your assets. Following is an overview of some of the products and services that may be of interest to you, available within the beautiful Turks & Caicos Islands —  just below the Tropic of Cancer, but right above your feet.

The economy of the Turks & Caicos Islands has been driven in recent years by fantastic growth in tourism and the related field of property development. The TCI financial services sector has supported this on-island growth for many years. In fact, the Turks & Caicos has established a track record in the financial industry, providing services such as banking, trusts, mutual funds, insurance, investments and incorporations.

Real estate development in the Turks & Caicos has contributed to an 11% year-on-year growth. This fluctuates between first or second in the world. To date, the return on realty has been excellent, thanks also to the country’s stunning natural beauty and the ever-decreasing availability of pristine land in the Caribbean. But the Islands also offer a variety of other investment vehicles, as well as advice for the returns generated by these projects.

TCI investment options

Should you prefer a more hands-off approach to placing your money, banks and funds in the TCI offer a range of products, with varying degrees of return or interest, depending on the length of the investment and, of course, adjusted to reflect one’s risk. In this case, managed funds place your investment in a variety of income funds ranging from stocks, bonds and currencies to local mortgages.

If you prefer to be more directly involved with the placement of your money, there are a number of investment dealers and advisors who can provide money management and advice. Either way, thresholds to investment can be very modest and the vehicles you choose may be as simple or complicated as you prefer.

Trustworthy TCI trusts

Having grown your assets through your purchase of land or property, small business or financial investments, the Turks & Caicos Islands also offer a range of services to protect your assets and your family’s financial future. These are not just for the “Forbes Rich List,” but could be useful to any investor in the TCI.

For more long-term protection of assets, TCI offers comprehensive Trust services. You can choose whether the Trust should be established as a Fixed Trust (where you define the interests of the beneficiaries on the distribution of money or capital) or as a Discretionary Trust (where the Trustee is given wide powers to make distributions). There are a number of advantages to establishing a TCI Trust, for example:

  • TCI Trust legislation, unlike many other jurisdictions, allows Trusts to be held in perpetuity so you will not need to establish an end-date to the Trust.
  • There is no obligation to register a TCI Trust and no requirement to register the Trust deed or assets, thus providing confidentiality regarding the Trust’s affairs.
  • TCI Trusts immediately protect assets placed in them against creditor claims (as long as you are not already insolvent or become insolvent by creating the Trust).

Trusts are not only useful protection vehicles, but can also be used as investment vehicles, since investment managers may be employed to manage the assets. This means that your investment can mature safely.

Assuring insurance solutions

In the short term, you can ensure your well-being (and that of your family and your assets) through a range of insurance products designed for the needs (and risks) of the local market. This extends from basic car, home and medical insurance, to more sophisticated levels of cover.

Contractors and developers can benefit from insurance of buildings and materials on site, including  damages (e.g. flood, fire, hurricane) caused during construction. Cover for public and employers’ liability is also very important, and although not required by law, can be particularly useful given the duty of care that nonetheless is part of common law.

Developers can benefit from insurance cover on buildings and common areas as required by Strata Legislation. Unit owners can add to the areas covered by their strata agreements, for example through additional liability (useful if the property is rented for short lets), contents and rental cover.

Businesses can benefit from a range of insurance policies covering their stocks and inventory, business interruption and loss of profits (for example, in the event of a hurricane) and errors and omissions, particularly for professionals providing advice to clients.

Arranging insurance policies with domestically licensed insurers is usually much cheaper than using US or other foreign insurance policies. In addition, as a British Overseas Territory, the traditions follow British overseas insurance policies which do not suffer from the limitations of US insurance. For example, home owners’ and fire insurance includes flood and hurricane damage as standard. Local insurers also provide the benefits of a local help desk.

Having made astute investments in the Turks & Caicos Islands, the logical next step is growing and protecting your nest egg — and TCI financial services can help with that. Increasingly, we are developing platforms for investing through Turks & Caicos into emerging markets. In the coming months, new initiators will be brought on-stream to provide TCI investors with a greater variety of choices of investment vehicles. However, the real story is that our stable government serves as TCI’s bedrock of investor confidence.

The Turks & Caicos Islands are growing faster than almost every other nation on Earth. Come grow with us.

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