Contributed by Toukan Corporate Services Limited, Mauritius www.toukanservices.com

Over the years Mauritius has continued to rise into a prominent investment hub in the region. The aim of the Mauritian government is to position the country as an international financial centre with a reputation for ease of doing business. Owing to a growing number of multi-millionaires in the region, it is anticipated that Africa will see its Ultra High Net Worth Individual (UHNWI) segment grow by 31% by 2023. In this spirit, in order to explore its diversification strategy and to enhance the sector of wealth management, the government of Mauritius came with the introduction of the Overseas Family Office License in its 2016-2017 budget speech.

The Overseas Family Office Scheme caters for the domiciliation of assets and wealth in Mauritius. Family Offices are for family members and family related foundations, trusts, charities and venture capital companies. Services offered are more personalized than those dispensed by wealth managers and private banks. Family offices are of two types: Single-family offices, which normally take the form of a private company managing the investments of ultra-wealthy individuals with net assets worth more than USD 100 million along with their extended family and Multiple-family offices which are for families with net worth between USD 30 million and USD 100 million that do not have the economies of scale to establish single-family offices.

Services provided by a family office are quite broad and entails, inter-alia, trusteeship service, portfolio management and investment services, fund management and advisory performance monitoring, asset protection and dedicated concierge services. A family office may, but need not, be wholly-owned by family clients and exclusively controlled by family members or family entities. The minimum stated unimpaired capital is USD 35 000 for a Single Family Office and USD 70 000 for a Multiple Family office.

With a robust legislative framework on data protection, a qualified work force and a prevailing political stability, Mauritius provides an ideal environment to house family offices. As a further incentive, such licensees may benefit from a five-year tax holiday upon satisfying the substance requirements of the Financial Service Commission, which entails having a physical office in Mauritius, a minimum number of employees resident in Mauritius- at least one professional for single family office and three professionals for multiple one- and assets under management of more than USD 5 million for each family.

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