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Offshore trials and tribulations

At some point in the last couple of months, it is likely that many of you would have had exactly the same thought, which inevitably would have led to a quick phone call to their advisor or lawyer: "What do we have sitting in Liechtenstein and is there anything we should be doing about it?"

It's been a tough time for the little principality, which has more registered companies than it does residents, and this has made a lot of people rethink the safety and security of their offshore affairs. With this in mind we look at the current state of affairs in Liechtenstein from a point of view that has been sadly lacking in the mainstream European press – that of wealthy families.

In our offshore finance report, we investigate what families are requiring of offshore banks, and what they are providing in return; for those thinking of moving jurisdictions, Bob Reynolds, editor of our sister publication Offshore Red, provides us with an insight into your offshore options, reviewing some of the more investor-friendly locations around the globe; finally, we look at the best places to register your yachts and aircraft offshore.
 
This issue also sees the release of an inaugural research report into the European single family office. Campden Research, in association with Merrill Lynch, has embarked on the most comprehensive study to date on single family offices in Europe, analysing their makeup, attitudes and strategies for investment. The results make compelling reading and should provide valuable insight to family members on how these offices compare. To obtain a full copy of the report, please visit www.campden.com/research, where you can also keep an eye out for future research on issues of importance to you.

Our focus interviews this issue offer the usual eclectic mix of geographies and industries: a mining family in France, a shipping family in Singapore, and a family which likes to think outside of the boxes they make in the US.

Congratulations are due to Carlos Slim Helú, head of Mexican telecoms company Telmex, who is now the richest family business owner on the planet. His wealth has now exceeded that of Bill Gates, and is worth an estimated $60 billion. In this month's news section, we run down the top 10 wealthiest families from around the globe and look at current trends in the market and the latest happenings in the world of families in business.

Finally, remember to regularly check our website – www.familiesinbusiness.net – where we will keep you updated on all the issues of the day.

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