Posted on July 02, 2015

The Qatari Businessmen Association (QBA) in cooperation with Al-Faisal International for Investment, Al Sawari Group, and Aqua organized a private seminar entitled, ‘Achieving Value in the UK Real Estate Market’, led by Jersey and Qatar based offshore practitioners and tax planners, UK legal experts and estate agents. The seminar took place at the QBA headquarters at the Marriott Marquis Hotel.

The seminar was attended by private entities, local companies, and businessmen interested in the UK real estate market. The Qatari Businessmen Association opened the seminar by welcoming the attendees and noted that this seminar is in line with QBA’s vision to serve the business community by providing leading and unique services. The seminar was introduced by QBA as part of a series of specialized seminars to highlight the latest business trends in the markets that are of interest to the Qatari business community.

Joanne Luce, Managing Director of Aqua Group, based in Qatar, Jersey and Malta, and Peter Burnside, senior tax counsel at BDO UK led the first panel discussion revealing how tax planning can add value by interpreting the latest tax changes from a practical perspective. Aqua’s presentation "Tax Efficient Investment into UK Real Estate" compared the tax liabilities of basic investment structures in the UK with more favorable investments via Jersey companies. The optimum solution presented was a tax exempt real estate structure through Jersey private wealth trusts and UK unit trusts. 

The tax exempt structure was said to be relevant for both commercial and residential rental property as secure succession options. The presentation concluded by presenting the ideal private residential property solution for families using private trusts in Jersey limited partnerships. The following panel discussions were led by Matthew Khalil of Kahlil & Kane on ‘How to achieve strong returns and value from residential and development opportunities’ and by Nick Clayson of Norton Rose on ‘The Legal view on what structures work and how to retain value’.

QBA and Aqua Trust hold 2 [qatarisbooming.com].jpgJoanne Luce, Managing Director of Aqua Group, said: “According to recent reports, confidence has returned to real estate markets in Europe and London is still a firm favorite with investors. This is why we felt this seminar was particularly relevant, offering advice on potential investments in this field. The session is aimed at Qatari audiences to ensure they are familiar with the latest tax implications associated with UK real estate investment and receive the best advice they need for secure succession. We believe such seminars are of interest to local families and family-led businesses who are investing abroad so they receive the tax planning advice they may need.”

Aqua Group was created in Jersey to provide family-led businesses with a unique and very personal service offering families tax–efficient offshore solutions before it became the first off-shore Trust Company to achieve License Status in the State of Qatar. Aqua GCC was set up to help existing clients in the region and drive in value to the families Aqua serves either through improving their return on investment or by adding value to help family businesses grow and develop. Aqua’s offices in Malta and Jersey give it access to offshore and onshore structuring.

Joanne Luce continued: “Aqua offices offer Qatari investors what they need to achieve. Malta is a gateway into Europe and Africa allowing Aqua to structure commercial solutions that add value through structuring at the Family Trust level to protect against punitive Real Estate taxes. We are strong in this area and have very effective networks with other key and trusted advisers to build optimum commercial services. Jersey is more traditional with a fantastic jurisdiction for Estate planning, through investment in the UK and the bespoke creation of Fund platforms - so by having offices in both locations we can achieve what international families may need.”

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