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Since the global financial crisis struck in 2008, offshore financial centres (OFCs) have come under sustained attack. As the world’s leading economies struggled to balance their books in the face of massive declines in tax revenue, the lowest fruit was seen to be hanging from the offshore tree.

Almost two decades since the concept of disruptive innovation was thrust into public consciousness, companies have both risen and fallen prey to the process. Kodak was a loser, Amazon was a winner, and the iPhone alone has disrupted a number of technologies – cameras, alarm clocks and radios, to name a few.

The building blocks of success hold a cult-like fascination among the American public. It’s little surprise then that the publication of a controversial new book extolling the virtues of certain cultural upbringings has re-ignited debate here about what exactly this recipe is in the world’s largest economy. 

Just as people recognise the inherent value of a respected brand, particularly luxury brands, family offices have become like the ultimate luxury item — exclusive, elusive and expensive to own. Now a new subset of this elite moniker, virtual family offices (VFO), is evolving. 

When Democrat senator Max Baucus unveiled a raft of tax reform proposals on a number of issues important to high net worth families in late November last year, some Capitol Hill pundits thought there may yet be hope for some restructuring of America’s unwieldy tax regime. But Baucus’s recent nomination as the new ambassador to China seems to have torpedoed that idea.

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