Categories:Offshore

Appleby names Bermuda managing partner as incumbent returns to practice

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  • ALL TAX HAVENS HAVE COME UNDER FIRE FROM POLITICIANS DURING THE RECESSION BUT APPLEBY SEEMS TO HAVE SUFFERED MORE THAN ITS COMPETITORS IN BERMUDA AND OTHER JURISDICTIONS SUCH AS JERSEY. ITS CLEARLY STRUGGLING WITH ITS PARTNERSHIP STRUCTURE AND MANAGEMENT

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  • most offshore firms are doing fine. Applebys problem was that it merged with second rate offshore firms such as ballaiche in jersey, hunter and hunter in cayman, or started green field sites, staffed by unknowns, such as its guernsey office or put its money into jurisdictions like zurich or the Isle of man and now it appears to lack focus or direction.

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  • Offshore law firms still charge fees way out of line with the simplicity of the legal advice they give. General counsels are forced to look not only at way a tax haven is being used but also at the cost for such simple legal advice. It is no surprise that they have come under pressure. The savvy offshore firms recognised this a while ago and put more time and energy into the fiduciary and administration side of their business. They have a place going forward but not as "serious' legal advisors, more as SPV or fund administrators.

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  • APPLEBY SEEMS TO BE A CLUB WHERE THE CORE MANAGEMENT PARTNERS TELL THEIR STAFF TIMES ARE TOUGH AND THEN SPEND THEIR TIME JETTING AROUND THE WORLD TO MEET EACH OTHER IN EXOTIC LOCATIONS. IF MORE MONEY WAS SPENT WHERE IT MATTERED, STAFF WOULD BE INCENTIVISED TO ACTUALLY TAKE THE BUSINESS FORWARDS.

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  • The reason Appleby has suffered more than most is because its partners are unable look up and see there is a problem. Partners take their million a year even though profits from core business segments are significantly down on the boom days. When a business does badly it is usually a reflection on bad management (and in a partnership by the owners) and the owners take a hit on their profits. That is not the case at Appleby.

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  • Whilst Appleby should have an incredibly strong offering and position it does suffer from poor management. You only have to look at the staff turnover (and in particular partner turnover) in the London office to see this. A succession of partners and staff have come and gone in the last 5 years, the only constant being the managing partner.

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