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"Innovative solutions for private clients"

Press article

PaperJam News - Pascal Rapallino

At SGG, it is in our DNA to innovate and adapt. We strive to be proactive in developing new solutions for our private clients – for entrepreneurs, high-net-worth families and their family offices – across a range of service segments. SGG acts as a trusted partner, providing high-quality personalised investor services to help its clients make investments in a compliant manner.

Our offering over recent years has evolved as we have adapted to suit the changing nature of our clients’ needs as well as new international rules and regulations.

To mention only a few, new international fiscal and regulatory standards such as Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive (ATAD) have created increased analysis and reporting requirements for wealthy families. In some cases, this has resulted in the need to review legal entities that have been set up for investment, asset protection and inheritance purposes. Many families are looking for assistance and expertise in order to efficiently adapt their investment strategies to these new requirements and avoid feeling overwhelmed by the uncertainties of market volatility, geopolitics and disruptive technologies.

SGG has established a team of experts who have the required knowledge and experience to help our private clients adapt to the new regulatory regimes. We have also developed a holistic offering with new value-added services in the areas of wealth planning and structuring, securitization services, and investment structuring services and support, in response to the new needs of our clients.

Furthermore, we have recently acquired (subject to regulatory approval) the UK-based firm Lawson Conner, which uses RegTech platforms to deliver end-to-end compliance and regulatory solutions. This is an innovative and tested approach that we can now offer to both our institutional and private clients as a response to new regulatory changes.

Our clients are becoming increasingly conscious of the social impact of their investments. We have seen that interest in impact investing and philanthropy is on the rise, and we have witnessed trusts being earmarked for charitable giving. In addition, we are seeing the emergence of innovative philanthropic financial products, which are likely to appeal to more and more of our clients in the years to come.

The strong growth of SGG Group over the past year has also allowed us to expand our offering and our footprint into a wider range of countries. In fact, we are now the fourth largest investor services firm in the world by revenue. We have made a number of strategic acquisitions, including First Names Group, which has a strong focus on private client services and extends our capabilities into London, Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Switzerland and Cyprus.

Beyond this, the acquisition of Iyer Practice in Asia reinforces our offering, with a strong focus on corporate and private client solutions. It also provides us with an expanded presence in Singapore and Hong Kong. In Luxembourg, we acquired LuxGlobal Trust Services, which has allowed us to reinforce our capacity to provide value-added services to our private clients, such as wealth planning, private equity and real estate support and family governance.

Finally, in France, SGG has joined up with Equitis, one of the French leaders in fiduciary services and one of the main French alternative fund management companies. Through pooling the expertise of Equitis with the international network of SGG, we are able to develop fiduciary solutions in many new countries. As the market continues on its consolidation path, at SGG we will continue to look for new opportunities to further expand our range of services to meet evolving client demands. We intend to achieve this through continuing to bring on board local well-established players that have built highly reputable and sustainable businesses, and through the development of new services and solutions.

With regard to our client segments, our client portfolio spans the classic segments of funds (institutional investors), private clients and corporates. We are seeking to bring solutions into different client segments that were previously only relevant and available to one specific client segment. We will also continue our drive to ensure the provision of state-of-the-art technological solutions to deliver ever-greater efficiency for our clients, looking at the specific needs of our clients, jurisdiction by jurisdiction, to make sure we always have the right response.

Importantly, although we operate within key service segments, our approach to serving our clients is holistic and not driven by silos or segments. If we have a wealthy family that is very active in the area of private equity or real estate investments, for instance, in certain respects our approach would be similar to the one we take for institutional clients, which requires access to the whole of our international network. The services offered to this family would cover the entire investment process, such as transaction support services, as well as the administration of the platform selected for the investment.

Overall, we believe that SGG is one of the most flexible providers on the market, with a team that is always ready to respond and adapt to developments, and we will continue to innovate with new services to meet the demands of our clients.

Written by Pascal Rapallino, Group Investment Structuring Leader at SGG, and first published in PaperJam. Read the French version here.