The generational transition represents the most difficult and sensitive moment in the life of a company. If not planned well and in time, it can be a difficult problem to manage today and for future generations. With the help of experienced professionals and thanks to Swiss and international legal structures, today it is possible to plan the succession of one's own company in every single detail, guaranteeing the company a future, protecting it from third party creditors and avoiding the recurring family quarrels that often lead to the destruction of the company's value, not least the bankruptcy of the company itself.Insight: The Trust, the ultimate tool for generational transfers
Numerous tools are available. Among the most structured, secure and providing the best protection is definitely the Trust. This "British" instrument is the result of the flexible and pragmatic Anglo-Saxon legal system based on common law, which has distant origins, when the monarchs handed over the management of their properties during distant missions to trustees who would look after them until their return, or pass them on to the designated beneficiaries in the event of the monarch's death.
The trust in short is a simple but at the same time complex institution, in which the owner of a movable or immovable property, called the settlor, transfers its care and management to a trusted entity, the Trustee, with the possible supervision of a Protector, in view of a well-defined objective and in favor of one or more beneficiaries. There are many possible variants and clauses, strictly set out in writing, with distinctive features depending on the jurisdiction in which the trust is registered and, essentially, the country in which the settlor and beneficiary have residency for tax purposes.
Assets of various kinds, from real estate to financial securities, from cash to cars, from boats to jewelry, as well as companies, holdings, credits, as well as works of art and collections of objects of all kinds, can be contributed to the trust.
The primary advantages are:
Segregation: the assets contained in the Trust are separate from those of the settlor. No creditor can make a claim against assets held in the Trust. In addition, the contributed assets are not subject to attachment or seizure, so they are unassailable.
Flexibility: The trust may be used for different adaptable and customizable purposes including the governance and protection of a company, succession and generational transfer of a company, regulating relationships between shareholders in order to standardize uneven corporate structures as an alternative to shareholders' agreements, safeguarding family relationships, safeguarding and protecting company assets, preserving and protecting them for the future, for a specific purpose or to achieve a goal or interest that benefits a majority of subjects. Last but not least, the Trust is often used for philanthropic or charity purposes.
The VECO Group, a trailblazer in using this tool, has Trustee companies throughout the world, including in Liechtenstein, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom. In 2017, it established VECO Trustee SA Switzerland with the intention of offering Swiss trust solutions ensuring proximity to Swiss families who use this instrument and for those international clients who are interested in taking advantage of the benefits that a Swiss Trustee can offer.