Summit Notebook

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Trusts can help women win back their fair share

October 6, 2010

Investment trusts, financial constructions often associated to clever tax structuring, can actually help women inherit their fair share in countries were they are discriminated by law, a top private banker says.

“In countries where Shariah law is applied, being a woman is not as advantageous as being a man. In that situation, the trust allows the structuring to have children taken care of,” says Karen Simpson, the Swiss-based Head of Private Banking at Royal Bank of Canada, the world’s No.1 bank player in the trust business.

But that is true only for the very wealthy, as these types of constructions are uneconomical to set up below a certain amount, tax lawyers say.

In a world where rich people are becoming increasingly globalised and the number of non-traditional families are rising, trusts are a good business to be in.

“It is a growth area,” says Simpson, whose bank serves several royal families. 

“It’s not really about taxes. If you have significant wealth and you are dealing with a lot of jurisdictions, that kind of structure makes a lot of sense”.

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