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Dubai Wins International Acclaim For Family Office Laws

by Lorys Charalambous,, Cyprus

11 October 2007

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has welcomed an international award for the ‘Best Government Initiative’ at the most recent Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) Private Client Awards 2007 for its new Family Office Initiative.

The initiative establishes a legal and regulatory framework for Family Offices working in the Centre. A Family Office is currently not recognized by any other jurisdiction, and the new legislation will define a Family Office in a legal capacity for the first time.

A Family Office is a private office set up by a single family with the sole purpose of managing the wealth and assets of that family. It is used by a growing number of wealthy families to both safeguard the assets today and plan for the next generation. The challenges facing families, their businesses and assets are becoming more complex. By setting up a Family Office, families obtain expert guidance from in-house professionals on a wide range of issues.

The DIFC was shortlisted along with established names – the Isle of Man Government, the Bahamas Financial Services Board and the British Virgin Islands International Finance Centre.

“Winning this prestigious international award highlights how much DIFC has achieved in three short years and further recognises our role as a major player in the global financial industry,” announced Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman, Governor of DIFC.

Sandy Shipton, Executive Director, Wealth Management and Stephen Cutts, Director, Family Office and Trust Services at the DIFC, received the award.

Shipton added: “The Family Office Initiative is one of our latest projects and it’s pleasing that all the hard work that’s gone into it has been recognised by such a discerning body.”

STEP, which has nearly 13,000 members in 33 countries, is a group of highly qualified and influential professionals including lawyers, accountants, trustees and private bankers, all providing services to high net worth clients.

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