Family Governance / Family Office Structuring

Family Governance  Family Office Structuring

With a close eye on the succession, philanthropic and estate planning goals of our clients, Chetcuti Cauchi assists HNW families in structuring their family business and wealth interests in a legal and favourable tax manner.  Besides that, our Family Governance / Family Office Structuring Practice aims at assisting clients with the setting up of family investment vehicles, co-investment platforms, as well as in the implementation of listing and exit strategies. 

Our Family Governance / Family Office Structuring Practice

The past few years have proven to be highly turbulent for businesses as they had to weather global financial crisis which spelt out the end for several businesses. However, family businesses have proven to form an integral part of the economy, particularly the Maltese economy with an estimated 70% of local businesses taking the form of the family business, and have proven resilient in the face of the financial storms which managed to bring down larger enterprises and even banks.

Our firm has longstanding experience in providing services for various family businesses, and thus is well aware of the many challenges which these have to face. Thus, we have set up our Family & Wealth Practice Group which is aimed at helping family business withstand the passage of time. More often than not, management of internal matters and providing for continuation from generation to generation are the real stumbling blocks for a family business. Chetcuti Cauchi is oriented towards providing a holistic service which targets these two problems and caters for any other need of families businesses. We assist families and help them implement optimal family governance / family office structuring which is key to a successful family business.

Family Governance / Family Office Structuring: A Family Charter

A Family Charter is seen by many leading family experts worldwide as an expression of a family’s vision for both the family and the business, its core values, policies and guidelines which govern the family relationship with the business, as employees, owners and family members (Davis 2002). As part of our Family Governance / Family Office Structuring practice, we advise families on the best way to go about the implementation of a family charter which will ultimately benefit and strengthen the relationship between the relatives as partners in business and family members as well.

MAFE and the Family Business Act White Paper

Chetcuti Cauchi's managing partner, Dr Jean-Philippe Chetcuti, along with Mario Duca, united with other family business leaders and founded the MAFE, a forum through which family businesses may lobby and share experiences on the development of family businesses governance structures and the management and transfer of such business. It appeals for sound provisions with regards to a stamp duty on the transfer of assets which often forces businesses to forfeit their assets.

In 2014, MAFE forwarded legislative proposals to the government in order to address the needs and the challenges which family businesses must overcome. Through MAFE's efforts, the Malta Family Business Act was enacted. This piece of legislation is unique in the world since it specifically caters for the needs of family businesses around the world. The act provides a legally-binding definition of what constitutes a family business and establishes a regulator who is responsible for registering family businesses and ensure they adhere to ongoing compliance requirements. Moreover, the act encourages families to transfer the family business inter vivos to avoid any problems which could arise following causa mortis succession

Family Governance / Family Office Structuring

Apart from providing standard wealth management services, our Family Governance / Family Office Structuring practice is in a position to provide fully-comprehensive, in-house services to successful business families in order to cater for their specific business needs, as well as their personal and family goals.

We provide a broad range of administrative, logistical and advisory services to our clients, including:

  • the day-to-day administration and management of family affairs,
  • oversight of investment through various investment vehicles and asset and wealth protection through  foundations, family trusts, real estate investment trusts and investments in companies,
  • real state planning and estate management,
  • tax planning through personal tax advisory and compliance services,
  • philanthropic planning,
  • family support services and family governance, and,
  • accounting, document management, record keeping services, payroll services and book keeping services.

Our multidisciplinary firm allows our Family Governance / Family Office Structuring to work hand in hand with various specialists in different fields in order to provide families with a comprehensive service that caters for all their needs. Our lawyers are commercially aware, but also sensitive to the issues which such businesses will need to tackle. Thus, we advice families on how they can maximise their business potential and ensure that their business runs as smoothly as possible while providing successful families with the support they need in their personal lifestyle management.

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