What is in a name? In the case of Sentient, it is a looking glass into our core principles of honesty, integrity and an innate ability to be aware, responsive and sensitive to the specific needs of our valued clients.

At Sentient International, we have extensive knowledge and experience of assisting clients from across the globe in establishing suitable corporate structures for a variety of purposes.

Whether for the purpose of succession and estate planning, to protect your assets, to manage forced heirship rules, to preserve family wealth, to navigate tax and regulatory issues or to plan for the future of your family or businesses – identifying the most appropriate structure is crucial to ensure that it sufficiently protects what you care about and that your assets are retained in the way desired.

We believe in simplifying this process for our clients, offering information and guidance on a diverse range of structures before assisting them with the development and establishment of a bespoke solution that is fit for purpose, meets their objectives and yields success.

Bespoke is an often over-used word but in the case of our business it truly reflects our ability to tailor services to the very specific requirements of our individual clients.

Having been in the industry for over 35 years, we know the importance of ensuring that we have a full understanding of the commercial rationale behind every client’s requirements before proceeding with the establishment of any type of structure.

Corporate entities have long played an important role in effective financial planning, which is why the more traditional corporate and trust structures often used for effective succession and estate planning, are a key ingredient to our service proposition.

However, choosing the most suitable entity type in the most appropriate jurisdiction can be a complex process and getting it wrong can significantly affect the success of a structure, immediately and/or in the future.

In addition to the more traditional corporate and trust structures, we boast experience that embraces knowledge across a number of niche industry sectors, including Aviation, Property and Yachting; encompassing a variety of holding structures for high-value luxury assets such as yachts, aircraft, cars, fine art, antiques, and even bloodstock.

Furthermore, our seasoned team of professionals have developed invaluable working relationships, both locally and internationally, with intermediaries and professional advisors alike, ensuring they are at the forefront of any new developments or changes.

As a truly boutique CSP/ TSP service provider, we meet the needs of our clients – both ultra-high net worth individuals and corporates, and routinely exceed their demanding expectations. We are committed to delivering value to our clients and our independence as a service provider means that we are able to offer flexibility as well as quick decision-making. This, together with our knowledge and experience, has gained us our reputation for delivering effective solutions that are managed with the highest level of integrity – ensuring all decisions made remain in the best interest of our clients and their beneficiaries at all times.

Our brand celebrates our business’ expanded capabilities and provides a clear pointer to its direction of travel in the future. It emphasises our ability to be conscious, aware, responsive, reactive and of course, capable of feeling – something we passionately believe to be true – and of significant importance when providing services to our valued clients.

We offer a comprehensive range of services across our office locations in the Isle of Man, Malta and Hong Kong. For more information on our full suite of services, or to discuss any requirements you might have in more detail, please contact info@sentientinternational.com or telephone +44 1624 616544.

Our Head of Marketing | New Business, Lesley-Anne Walker, recently wrote an article for luxury lifestyle magazine, Abode2. In it she looks at the complexities surrounding yacht ownership and the importance of effective planning.

Over the last decade, the perception of luxury assets simply as sources of pleasure for HNWIs has changed.

Whilst traditionally a purchase of passion, they are now recognised as an effective asset class for those looking to expand their investment portfolios, and some have even been seen to outperform the more typical portfolios comprising stocks and shares.

Whether your luxury asset of choice is real estate, a superyacht, business jet, supercar or piece of fine art, they are all significant investments made up of time and money.

Yacht ownership can be complex, requiring a number of careful considerations.

Firstly, you should avoid holding a high value asset in your own name, instead place it in an appropriate ownership structure. It can afford a number of benefits including confidentiality, asset protection, limitation of liabilities, and can even be effective for succession planning, dealing with forced heirship issues and in some cases, provide tax and VAT benefits.

Different luxury assets classes have different wider financial and liability implications depending on their intended use, the type of ownership structure and when it comes to tax, where you are resident and domiciled.

For a yacht, consideration should therefore be given to how and where you plan to use the vessel to ascertain any tax or VAT exposure and whether the asset is intended to generate income, and subsequently whether tailored tax planning could offer any fiscal benefits and/or minimise any liabilities.

For private yacht owners, the EU’s Temporary Admission (‘TA’) regime can also provide an effective solution. Fundamentally concerned with accommodating non-EU residents, flag states and owning entities, a non EU individual with a non-EU owning entity and a non-EU flagged vessel can (subject to meeting the broader TA conditions) operate their vessel privately in the EU under TA. The benefit? The yacht need not be formally imported and therefore avoids Customs formalities, inevitable import VAT costs and structuring costs associated with EU importations.

Another consideration is therefore the choice of flag. The jurisdiction in which you choose to register your vessel determines how said vessel is treated in the countries and ports it visits, e.g. yacht registration in countries on the Paris Memorandum of Understanding (Paris MoU) and on Port State Control’s black or grey list can come under more scrutiny in inspections.

Think about the flag state’s reputation, jurisdiction stability (in terms of its local Government), the cost; ease of registration and its support services infrastructure.

A yacht might be a quintessential example of luxury but it is far more than just a high-value floating asset – it is a business, office, employer and a machine that requires maintenance.

With legislative and regulatory requirements in the yachting industry continually changing, it is has never been more important to stay abreast of new developments to ensure that your vessel remains compliant and that your ownership structure remains fit for purpose and yields results.

There are two vital stages to the effective structuring of yacht ownership:

1. Obtain the appropriate professional advice to ensure that you do not expose yourself or your asset to any liability issues or implications; and

2. Appoint a professional service provider to assist you with the establishment of a structure in accordance with said professional advice to ensure that it is set up correctly, any necessary statutory and administration requirements are met, and effective ongoing management is in place.

With a comprehensive understanding of the yachting industry and offices in the Isle of Man, Malta and Hong Kong, we are ideally placed to assist owners and their representatives in understanding the diverse requirements associated with the ownership, registration and management of a range of vessels, whether being used on a commercial or private basis.

If you would like more information about structuring ownership, yacht registration or ongoing administration and management of your vessel, you can find out more about our full range of Yachting Services within our website or contact us via email on info@sentientinternational.com or by telephone on +44 1624 616544.

Whilst more women are diagnosed with mental health conditions, the mental health issues of men often go under the radar and lead to more severe outcomes.

“Anxiety and depression are the most common challenges for men today,” affirms Mary Spillane, Clinical Psychologist and Headspace App’s Mental Health Expert. “Men tend to be less likely to seek professional support than women, which can also lead to challenges around managing their mental health.”

For International Men’s Day 2022, we spoke to Stephen Smyth of Island Aggregates, a construction firm based in the Isle of Man, to learn more about the stigma attached to mental health in what is still a heavily male-dominated industry, and what they as an organisation are doing to change that.

What is the percentage of men vs. women employed by your organisation?

Around 10% of our employees are female, this includes office based staff. However, in operational roles the figure is lower at just 5%. So 90% of our workforce are men.

The construction industry is undoubtedly still a largely male dominated industry. In your opinion, how do men working in the sector perceive mental health? Are many still reluctant to acknowledge and admit when they are experiencing mental health difficulties, let alone talk about them to others?

Things are improving. But yes, it’s certainly a male dominated sector and the perceived “macho” culture that creates can prevent many from seeking help and support when they may need it, putting further pressures on their own mental health.

A 2020 report by the Chartered Institute of Building found that in the UK, 26% of construction industry professionals thought about taking their own lives, 56% work for organisations with no mental health policies in the workplace, and 87% experienced anxiety. These are statistics which have to change!

In your opinion, has the stigma of mental illness remained the same or decreased from its perception five years ago and if so, what has changed?

It’s definitely decreasing, which is a great thing. Especially since the events of the past few years, the pandemic and currently cost of living pressures make for increased stress levels across the population. Responsible employers now recognise mental health as a vital element of health & safety, providing training and raising awareness. It’s the sort of area where the work will never be complete, but we have to keep at it and bit by bit, reduce the stigma.

Males continue to account for three-quarters of suicide deaths registered in 2021. In your opinion, is it important for co-workers and employers to recognize the signs of mental illness? Why or why not?

This is vitally important. The earlier signs can be spotted, the earlier the conversation can begin. And that intervention can make such a big difference.

How do you as an employer help your employees remain productive and access treatment if battling mental illness?

If someone comes forward with a health issue, mental or otherwise, this will always be looked upon sympathetically. We will always try to facilitate treatment where appropriate. Extra support can be provided privately and confidentially via our mental health first aiders, or externally if needed. If a change of job role is possible, on a temporary or permanent basis and would help the situation, this can also be looked at.

Does your business recognise the importance of a healthy work-life balance? How do you encourage this within your organisation and among your employees?

It’s very important. It is something we have to be mindful of and always seek to improve, both for our managers and also our depot staff. We’re a customer service business in a fast-moving environment and sometimes there can be early starts and days can run on – we have to be mindful of the hours our team are working. We do try to give a little back, for example a Saturday bonus scheme entitles employees to an extra days leave after a certain number of Saturday mornings are worked.

And we’re beginning to do a bit more on this front through a ‘Well-Together’ committee which, based on employee feedback, runs well-being initiatives. In the past we’ve run online fitness sessions, a quiz night and a stress & sleep management workshop. We’ve a fishing trip planned for next spring which is well subscribed.

Does your organisation have a process that allows for open communications between managers, supervisors and employees that helps to address the needs of co-workers who are traumatised by personal or workplace issues?

Yes, this is very important and I can think of a number of situations like this over the past couple of years. Some can be dealt with locally, others require a more formal approach and we’re supported by HR professionals in this respect. While situations like this are often not easy or straightforward, I take comfort in the fact that our people feel they can bring the issues to the fore, rather than bottling things up.

What resources in your organisation and/or community exist for employees struggling with mental health issues?

We hold training and awareness sessions which are delivered across the business, usually to coincide with an event like Mental Health Awareness Week. In addition we have had a trained Mental Health First Aider, I know they have had confidential conversations with some of our team in the past.

This year we decided to expand this provision and we now have First Aiders at all of our operational sites. They’re trained to spot the signs that employees are struggling mentally and everyone is encouraged to begin the conversation, if they need to.

We also provide all of our employees with a free health compensation plan. As well as getting them some money off things like dental and opticians bills, the plan includes a free helpline for all health matters including mental health.

Does your organisation work to prevent physical, relational or emotional harassment, bullying or aggression? If so, how?

We have polices covering all of these areas, the bottom line being that no-one should be subject to this sort of behaviour in the workplace. If anything comes to light, it is quickly dealt with, using our disciplinary procedures if necessary.

As an organisation, you recently undertook a campaign with a local mental health charity, Isle Listen. Tell us more about the campaign and the reasons behind it.

Really just for all the reasons listed above. We’ve re-branded some of our concrete mixer trucks with dual Island Aggregates and Isle Listen livery, with the message ‘Stop the Stigma Around Mental Health’. One took part in the Douglas Carnival and they were on display at the Royal Manx Agricultural Show. These trucks being around reinforces the attitude we’re trying to instil in our own team, plus the trucks are out and about on the roads and, importantly, on construction sites the length and breadth of the island. If this ongoing initiative raises awareness even a little bit, or encourages just one construction worker to reach out over mental health issues, it will be worthwhile.

Whether it be a painting, photograph, sculpture or piece of bespoke furniture, art is a personal choice and a reflection of an individual’s identity.

A superyacht, which is a work of art in its own right, can essentially provide a blank canvas for an owner to display his/her personal collection but is it the ideal place to exhibit unique pieces of artwork, which can sometimes be more valuable than the vessel itself.

Furthermore, with the challenges involved in housing such fine art on board, how practical is it actually for an owner to create their own personal floating art gallery?

From security and lighting, to insurance and climate control, even the choice of art dealer, placing exceptional and valuable artwork on a superyacht definitely poses some unique logistical and display challenges.

We look at some of the things owners should give consideration to before they choose to house one luxury asset within another.

Choosing a dealer

Seek out qualified advice before buying any art specifically for a yacht.

Find a specialist that can plan the perfect surroundings for existing pieces and provide advice on where to put new ones. An experienced dealer will often suggest artists that complement each other to ensure consistency within the yachts interior.

A reputable dealer will also be able to assist you with getting your prized purchase to your vessel safely and securely.

Customs & Authorities

It is also crucial to remember and understand some of the issues surrounding valuable art on board when it comes to customs officials.

Some pieces of art are not able to leave certain countries without permission or knowledge of the relevant custom officials; doing so can result in hefty fines or jail.

Also, be mindful of knowing the provenance of materials such as ivory to avoid items being confiscated and destroyed.

If an owner chooses to store a copy (or copies) of a piece of art on board whilst the original is kept safely on land, the copy must be clearly marked as a copy. It must be easily identifiable as a replica or it might be mistaken as a forgery and destroyed by local customs authorities.


You cannot simply hang a piece of art on a yacht with a hook. It requires an adequate installation system that provides protection and ensures it does not move during transit, which might cause it damage.

This also applies to small or large sculptures. Installation should be undertaken by professionals with the correct tools and materials needed to fix them to the desired surfaces on board.


Lighting can play a key role in the way a piece of art is displayed and viewed.

However, as on land, both directional and ambient lighting is also crucial to ensure its protection and longevity.

The location of any art on board is important – it should be kept away from natural light sources to protect it from getting damaged i.e. out of harm from UV rays, and may need to be hung using highly protective anti-glare and anti-reflective glass.

Climate control

Protecting art from heat and humidity is vital. The quality of air on board is as important as being aware of any atmospheric changes, to ensure that any humidity doesn’t affect the high standards of important pieces – drastic changes to a piece of art’s surrounding climate can cause all sorts of issues, including cracking, warping, discolouration or even mould.

Protecting art on board

When it comes to the care of art and avoiding damage, it is important to promote best practice in the management of it within the on board environment.

Education is vital amongst both crew and owners on how to maintain the management of a collection in order to avoid unnecessary human or environmental damage.

A general lack of art knowledge can lead to inadvertent damage from harsh cleaning products or poor handling, which could lead to hefty insurance claims.

Crew do not have to be art experts but if they have some knowledge, they will be able to spot any damage to be able to rectify it as early as possible.

Insurance & Security

Adequate insurance and security is crucial when keeping valuable assets on board a yacht and a high-quality alarm system should be at the top of the list. It will also likely be a condition of the insurance policy.

Art that tends to be lower in value may be covered by the yacht’s standard insurance policy. However, where the value of an art collection on board is extremely high, or in some cases exceeds the value of the vessel (yes this happens!); an owner should always seek specialist insurance to guarantee maximum protection.

The above list of considerations is not exhaustive; there is much more to it that both owners and their crew should be aware of and learn.

Thankfully, there are a number of professional and reputable companies that specialise in the sourcing, transportation, installation, insurance and ongoing maintenance and care of art on yachts. Check out Art on Superyachts, Artelier, Artwork Archive, Aon Superyacht Practice and Saxon, who are among some of them.

Similarly, as with any high value luxury asset, consideration should also be given to the ownership of fine art. An owner should look at the asset protection and where such an investment sits within their wider estate planning objectives; artwork can often form part of the assets of a trust.

At Sentient International, we can assist with the establishment of asset holding structures and trusts to protect and preserve your prized collections for the enjoyment of future generations of your family.

Whether you are a first-time buyer or an avid superyacht owner looking to trade your existing yacht in for a newer model, there are a number of things to consider when it comes to the ownership and operation of a high-value asset like a superyacht. In our latest slideshow, we highlight some of the key considerations every yacht owner should be aware of.

At Sentient International, we can assist with the establishment, administration and management of ownership structures tailored to your individual requirements. To find out more or to discuss your requirements further contact us on +44 1624 616544 or email info@sentientinternational.com.

When owning a superyacht, there are many aspects of managing your asset that are best delegated to a team of experts at a yacht management company.

There are a variety of services provided by management companies. Our latest guest article highlights 9 reasons you need a yacht manager.

1. Yacht Management

A specialist management team will work with yacht owners and captains to provide a bespoke service for each yacht as the requirements as well as budget are different. The frequency of communication and input will also depend on the owners and captains’ preferences.

Yacht management is not limited to managing just your yacht, but they can look after your safety, security, accounting, crew, refit and operations management, just to mention a few.

A yacht manager needs to not only be great at communication and be a good leader, but needs relevant industry experience as well as up to date knowledge on ISM, ISPS, SOLAS codes and Port state control to ensure the yacht is abiding by all rules and regulations. The manager will also need to be well-versed with the vessels Flag State regulations and laws.

2. Charter Management

Charter managers or brokers have the responsibility of marketing the yacht to the charter market as well as managing the charter booking process on behalf of the owner to maximise income and off set operational costs of the yacht.

Managing a yacht for charter is not only about the booking process but also ensuring that the charter contracts, VAT calculations and the yachts commercial and charter licences are up to date and correct for the charter itinerary.

The charter broker at a management company will also be the middleman between the charter guests and the yacht crew to ensure each and every request made is met to the best of the on-board crews’ ability.

3. Buying a yacht

A yacht broker or sales manager at a management company will be able to look at your detailed requirements for purchasing a yacht and source a short list of options to find you the perfect yacht that fits your budget. Once the perfect yacht has been found, a sales manager will be able to assist when choosing the correct financing method, whether it is cash or a loan with a substantial down payment and a 20-year loan term.

Your management company will be able to arrange all surveys required in order for an insurance company to cover the yacht; some insurance companies will not insure a yacht without a surveyor’s confirmation that it is in sound condition. A survey will also highlight any major or minor maintenance issues that will allow you to negotiate the price of the yacht.

Having an experienced sales manager that you trust is key, as they will have the technical knowledge and in-depth appreciation of the market, helping you to get the best deal possible.

4. Financial Management

Yacht management companies will have a person or team specialising in yacht accounting and will be able to deliver a complete financial administration package that is tailored to each vessel’s needs.

The owner or captain will be provided with regular accounting reports and maintain routine communication with all relevant parties when it comes to planning or changing the yachts budget.

Having a company managing the yacht’s finances will ensure that expenditure is monitored and that consistency and predictability in the yacht’s financial operations are maintained.

5. Crew Management

Management companies will have a crew recruitment and management division who are experts in placing the right crew on the right yachts. This process will begin by searching for suitable candidates, verifying their qualifications, experience and references of each applicant and there after presenting a short list of suitable candidates to the captain and / or owner. The agent at the management company will then organise interviews and once the successful applicant has been selected, organise joining arrangements upon job acceptance.

Once the crew member has been placed, the agent will receive, process, verify and keep on file all crews’ certifications and next of kin details. They will issue seafarer employment agreements as well as facilitate all monthly payroll for all crew on board.

A management company will conduct routine crew administration, support and repatriation as well as assist and oversee any crew medical insurance claims. An agent at the management company will be able to advise owners and captains on any and all up to date MLC requirements, complaints or grievance raised.

6. Refit, maintenance and new-build project management

Yacht management companies will have expertise to project manage a new build or alternatively, manage minor or major refit works on a currently owned or recently purchased vessel. From sourcing quotes from multiple shipyards for comparison purposes to having someone on the ground managing the day-to-day operations, these are all services available to yacht owners.

Most management companies will have teams made up of experienced engineers, captains and surveyors who have all made the maritime industry their lifelong careers.

A yacht refit is a complex business. Without effective management, careful planning and ongoing evaluation, it’s something that can quickly go over budget and schedule. Having an effective management company to ensure the refit is efficient and economical is key.

A management company will start by understanding exactly what the owner would like from a refit, make a detailed plan, contact suitable yards for the refit to source detailed quotes, assist with logistics and have a member of their team on the ground on the owner’s behalf.

Each yacht will need to carry out routine planned maintenance according to the build, hull material and age of the vessel, as all vessels have varied legal requirements when it comes to planned maintenance.

For example, hulls made from different materials such as fibreglass or aluminium will have different requirements when it comes to hull inspections; one may only need to be inspected every five years whereas another material will need to be inspected every two.

7. Safety management (ISM & ISPS)

All vessels, including yachts, have to adhere to safety and security protocols. The two most important are the ISM Code (International safety Management) and ISPS Code (International Ship and Port Facility Security). A yacht manager will be well versed in both these codes and will ensure that the yacht is kept up to date with changes in regulations, as well as ensuring that the yacht is adhering to each and every regulation.

ISM is required in order to maintain an international standard set of safety and pollution prevention rules and ISPS, which is an amendment of SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea), lays out the minimum safety requirements vessels need to enforce on board. This will vary from vessel to vessel based on the gross tonnage.

8. Insurance management

All yachts must be comprehensively insured to travel freely and be accepted in ports worldwide. A yacht management company will be able to source key policies for your yacht.

Each yacht’s insurance arrangements are specific to the vessel. The premium will depend on the waters the yacht is sailing in, the size of the yacht, how often the yacht is being used and much more.

9. Technical and shore side support

Technical support management includes all aspects of a yacht that allow it to function safely. Technical items include maintenance, repairs, routine services, purchasing equipment and spares from vendors and sourcing the best crew possible for the yacht.

In an emergency situation, the technical support team at a management company is able to provide shore side support by contacting relevant parties such as coast guards and nearby vessels.

The technical management team at a management company will also be versed with multiple security solutions by fulfilling the role of a DPA (Designated Person Ashore) which is the first point of onshore contact for the Captain and crew.

Geoff Moore, MD of Superyacht management company West Nautical adds; “Having an experienced management team is vital in ensuring your vessel runs and is maintained to the best possible standard. Rules and regulations in the maritime industry are constantly changing, it is therefore in every owner and captain’s best interest to find a yacht manager they trust to keep them up to date in order to maximise the use of their yacht in the areas they wish to cruise or charter.”

About West Nautical:

West Nautical sell, charter and manage superyachts from their head office in Newcastle upon Tyne. Since their inception over 25 years ago, West Nautical have become recognised as one of the most respected, trusted, knowledgeable and accountable professional services firms in yachting – largely due to their relentless determination to act in our clients’ best interests. Their approach and attitude is transparent, refreshing and focused on providing value-added services delivered simply, elegantly and affordably.

Some investments are considered high risk due to their ability to increase and decrease in value dramatically and very quickly. However, not all investments have to be so and many are looking at alternative investments perceived to be somewhat ‘safer’ than your traditional stocks and shares.

Among them are assets like luxury watches, classic cars, vintage wines and fine art, many of which can appreciate significantly over time to create a nice little nest egg for their owners in the future.

The supply and demand of luxury items as well as how much people are willing to pay for them is fundamental to determining an assets value. However, when investing in luxury it is crucial to distinguish between hype objects and store-of-value pieces.

We look at some of the luxury items growing in popularity as alternative investment choices for investors.

Luxury Watches

Appreciating luxury assets - luxury watches

A luxury watch can make a fashion statement and a sensible investment, with some watches holding a lot more value than others do. Investing successfully in watches requires more than a healthy bank balance; you will need a good understanding of the luxury watch market and the ability to distinguish quality craftsmanship.

Premium or rare models by manufacturers such as Rolex, Omega or Cartier create timeless pieces that can regain and often exceed their original price tag. Before you make a purchase ensure the watch is in excellent quality condition and comes with its original packaging and paperwork, as this will all influence the asset value.


Appreciating luxury assets - luxury handbags

A woman can never have too many handbags. However, which brands provide the most worthwhile investment?

If you are buying a handbag as a future investment then the old saying of ‘quality over quantity’ applies to turn a tidy profit.

Designer bags made by brands such as Chanel, Prada, Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton and Hermes hold their value due to the impeccable craftsmanship, quality of materials used and the limited amount of timeless styles created.

Designer Shoes

Appreciating Luxury Assets - Designer Shoes

It is hard to think that your favourite pair of designer heels could increase in value even once worn, but some can. The expert artisanship, elite materials and cutting-end trend appeal can make certain styles of designer shoes increase their resale value.

The Christian Louboutin Pigalle stilettos with their signature red soles are an investment you can’t go wrong with. This classic pair of designer pointed toe heels never go out of style due to their classic and youthful design.

Christian Louboutin are consistently among the top ten designer brands that hold their value.


Appreciating Luxury Assets - Sneakers

Whilst it takes a certain type of person to make an investment in a pair of sneakers, those who do and have the willpower to refrain from wearing their plush purchase, have the ability to make a healthy return.

It has been predicted that the sneaker market will reach $120 billion by 2026. So for those keen to partake in this alternative investment, invest in limited editions of high-end brands and then leave them in the box and guard them to protect what could be a fortune in a few years’ time.

Vintage Wines

Appreciating Luxury Assets - Vintage Wine

Have you ever considered investing in wine? A case of bottled up goodness can produce a decent profit providing you pick a winning vintage.

However, investment-grade wine is more likely to appreciate over time so it is a long-term investment.
The reputation of a wine producer will have a huge impact on a wine’s potential for appreciation.

Weather patterns, harvest yields, the vintage, and consumer trends are some of the factors that can affect the value of your prized wine.

Classic Cars

Appreciating Luxury Assets - Classic Cars

We have all heard the saying that a car’s value depreciates the minute it is driven out of the showroom, but classic cars are a completely different class and can gain value due to their rarity, performance or special attributes.

In fact, some classic cars can provide a better long-term return than some art and high value real estate.
Limited editions and imported cars are highly sought after amongst wealthy classic car collectors.

However, the level of financial gain you stand to make depends largely on choosing the right model, which is in great mechanical shape and has flawless paintwork.

Fine Art

Appreciating Luxury Assets - Fine Art

Investing in art should be both enjoyable and rewarding, and for those art enthusiasts there is a huge selection from which to choose.

For the savvy art buyer, art can be a massively profitable venture with the potential for incredible returns.

There are three main categories of artists to consider when investing in art: emerging artists, established artists and blue chip artists.

Signed and numbered limited editions and purchasing using auction houses, artists direct or galleries offers assurance in respect of authenticity.

Fine art is a long-term investment so buy something you love that is a signed original, and be sure to obtain certificates of authenticity and retain proof of purchase. Finally, have the investment protected in a quality frame and make sure it is insured!


Appreciating Luxury Assets - Gemstones

Precious gemstones are a timeless investment with no two gemstones ever the same.

Rare gemstones that are in pristine condition and come with their original supporting paperwork can be a worthy investment. However, they do not come with a small price tag and knowing which ones are worth investing in is crucial. There are many factors to consider when purchasing gemstones such as the carat mass, clarity, colour and cut quality (also known as the 4Cs).

In general, the demand globally for fine gemstones far exceeds the current supply, which is why they increase in value over time.

Some gemstones worthy of investment include the Diamond, Ruby, Blue Sapphire, Emerald, Spinel, Tsavorite Garnet, Spessartite Garnet, Alexandrite, Jadeite Jade, Imperial Topaz and Paraiba Tourmaline.

Renowned for being a girl’s best friend, Diamonds have been joined by Pearls. In fact, in recent year’s auction houses such as Christie’s have sold pearl jewellery far exceeding the value of other gemstones. The most valuable and expensive pearls on the market today are the South Sea pearls, which naturally occur in shades of white and gold.


Appreciating Luxury Assets - Rare Books

Whilst we have always been told that books are an investment in ourselves, they can be just as strong of financial assets as mental ones.

For a book to be considered valuable, its demand must far outweigh its supply or the demand for it in the future.

The value of a book is often determined by its rarity i.e. first editions, first prints, first issues, first books (of specific authors) etc. Unless a later book became a huge seller, an author’s first book will always tend to be the most valuable. This is typically because a first book is usually released with a small first print run.

Signed copies will also always be worth more than unsigned copies. The condition of a book is also important.

Some of the most valuable books that can really earn big figures are harder to locate, they tend to be bought/sold at auction or via dealers, which is why classic book investors tend to build their own small and personal network of specialised dealers.

When starting a new business, some owners may try to ‘wing it’, thinking they know all they need to know. However, seeking the appropriate professional advice can be fundamental to the successful outcome of a business.

Most of us have heard the phrase “Can I pick your brains?” and have likely heard it come out of our own mouths when talking to a friend, colleague or business associate with knowledge or experience of the area in which we are seeking assistance.

Whilst this can be helpful in providing some top level guidance, professional advice is so much more than that and often what you really need.

Professional advice can play a pivotal role in mitigating any potential legal or financial risks, and can ensure that you have the correct information at the outset, which is essential to your success and that of your business.

What is Professional Advice?

Professional advice can be defined as:

“Advice given by someone trained in a particular and relevant profession or job.” – Collins Dictionary

“Independent professional financial, legal and taxation advice.” – www.lawinsider.com

Advantages of Obtaining Professional Advice

Obtaining professional advice can help to:

– answer important questions about your business choice or set up
– highlight and address any risks or liabilities
– develop smarter solutions to problems
– refine business ideas
– create a well-structured business plan
– narrow down goals and set out clear targets
– sharpen your decision-making

Do your research

It is essential to choose an advisor to suit your circumstances. They should be well versed in the relevant area of expertise and as a result have the knowledgeable and understanding required to assist you.

Ensure they have the necessary qualifications and experience before you proceed and if you wish to discuss a specific issue or problem, find out whether they have prior experience dealing with such issues. 

Where to obtain professional advice

When seeking professional advice, you should speak with people who have the right expertise and consequently the knowledge and experience needed that meet your specific needs and objectives. This might include:

– A lawyer
– An accountant
– A tax advisor
– A VAT consultant
– A financial advisor
– A banker
– A business coach
– A business mentor

What it involves

– Exploring options
– Providing guidance
– Enhancing skills, self-awareness and self-management
– Providing opportunities

Desired outcomes

Depending on your requirements, outcomes might include:

– Formal written advice
– Recommendations
– Frameworks, processes or strategies to navigate situations
– Personal and professional development (knowledge)

At Sentient International, we work closely with clients and their advisors to identify and establish a tailored solution that is fit for purpose and yield results, complemented by a comprehensive range of statutory administration and back office support services at a level they require.

Did you know…?

90% of businesses do not have a recycling policy
80% have no separate recycling bins (internally or externally)
96% do not use recycled paper
36% use a fridge that is not AA+ rated
70% of waste from commercial offices contains mixed paper products

Yet, there are so many small things you can do as a business that can make a big difference.

Our latest slideshow provides some ideas of what you can do as an organisation to play your part in the bigger picture.

How many of them do you do in your organisation?

❔ What is company formation?

Company formation is the term for the process of incorporating a business. It is also sometimes referred to as company registration.

❔ How much does it cost to set up a business?

The cost to incorporate a company differs depending on the type of entity and the jurisdiction. It will also depend on whether you intend to establish the company yourself or whether you will be engaging a professional service provider to do it for you.

❔ How long does it take to set up a company?

Setting up a company can be relatively simple if you understand the local regulatory requirements and know what information and documentation is required.

❔ What information do I need to provide when setting up a company?

Whilst the processes may differ slightly from one jurisdiction to another, they are largely similar in the information they require to incorporate a company.

Most will require:

• An approved company name
• A local registered office address
• The name and address of any director(s)
• The name and address of any company secretary (if applicable)
• The name and address of any registered agent (if applicable)
• The share capital and the number of subscriber shares to be issued
• The name and address of the subscribers
• A copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Association

❔ What filing requirements are there for a company?

Filing requirements differ slightly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, be that the type of filing required or the frequency and time period in which it must be submitted. The majority of companies around the world are required to file the following or a local equivalent:

• An annual return
• A company tax return
• Vat returns (if VAT registered)
• PAYE/Social Security/Self Assessments (if an employer)
• Accounts (in some jurisdictions they just need to be prepared and not filed, other jurisdictions require them to be audited and then filed)
• Beneficial Ownership

A company may also be required to file specific documents with the local companies registry to reflect any changes to the company, its shareholding or officers, as and when such changes occur.

❔ What are shares?

A share in a business sense, is defined as one of the equal parts into which a company’s capital is divided, entitling the holder to a proportion of the profits. It effectively signifies the amount of ownership the holder has in a company.

Depending on the jurisdiction, a company can be incorporated in as little as a few hours up to 7 days. However, this timescale is for the physical incorporation of a company by the companies registry and does not include arranging and collating any CDD, information and documentation required for onboarding and compliance purposes, prior to the incorporation documents being submitted. Incorrect and incomplete information/documentation can also result in longer processing times and delays.

❔ What is the difference between MOA and AOA?

The Memorandum of Association (‘MOA’) is a mandatory legal document that is prepared during the formation and registration process of a company to define its relationship with shareholders. It states the company’s name, physical address of registered office, names of initial shareholders (subscribers) and the distribution of shares. It effectively serves as the constitution of the company and demonstrates the shareholders agreement for the company to be formed.

The Articles of Association (AOA) are written rules of a company that outline how a company should be ran run and governed, as agreed by its shareholders, directors and company secretary.

❔ How many directors do I need?

The minimum number of directors required is dependent on the local requirements of the jurisdiction in which you are looking to set up a company. It may also differ depending on the type of entity to be established. Every company will require at least one director but some jurisdictions may require a minimum of two. It is also worth noting that depending on the jurisdiction or entity types, corporate directors may, or may not, be allowed. Check out our Company Comparison by Jurisdiction for more information.

❔ Who should be the director on my company?

A director is responsible for the management and control of a company; its finances and making sure any legal filing requirements are met. For this reason, it is important that any person(s) appointed have the knowledge and experience to fulfil the role effectively.

Some business owners prefer to be the director on their own company, alone (if permitted) or with a spouse or business partner. However, depending on the type of company being established, its purpose and jurisdiction of incorporation, an owner may wish to engage a licensed corporate service provider, such as Sentient International, to provide director services.

There are a number of Reasons to Engage a Professional Service Provider not least that it offers a cost effective solution as well as access to highly qualified professionals, it fulfils any statutory requirements for local officers and also provides the company with substance, which is important in jurisdictions where economic substance legislation is applicable.

❔ Do I need a company secretary?

A company secretary is not a statutory requirement in every jurisdiction so it depends on where the company is incorporated and under what Companies Act. For example, a company incorporated in the United Kingdom or Jersey will require a company secretary, whereas in Guernsey it does not. In the Isle of Man, a company incorporated under the 1931 Act requires a company secretary but a company incorporated under the 2006 act does not.

❔ What does a company secretary do?

A company secretary will act as the chief administrative officer of a company, sharing responsibility with the directors for ensuring that all of the company’s statutory administration is in order and filing obligations are met.

Whilst most Companies Acts do not generally specify the role of the company secretary, responsibilities usually include maintaining the company’s statutory books including the registers of members, directors and secretaries, filing annual returns, arranging and taking minutes of general and board meetings etc.

❔ How are holding companies created?

A holding company is created the same way as any other company in your chosen jurisdiction but becomes a holding company by definition of its principal company activity.

A holding company is simply a company that is created to buy and own the shares of other companies, which it then controls.

❔ What happens when I am finished with my company?

When you no longer want your company, there are a few different options available. You could cease trading and sell any assets, you can sell your company and its assets, you can dissolve/liquidate it or you can leave it to be struck off (although we would not recommend the latter). It is advisable to get the appropriate advice on how to exit your business in a way that meets your needs and objectives of your company effectively.

❔ If my company is inactive, do I still have to pay corporation tax?

The rates of corporate tax differ from one country to another. In certain jurisdictions dormant companies do not file tax returns and are therefore not required to pay corporation tax.

In the Isle of Man, whilst the corporate tax rate is 0% for most businesses, Isle of Man companies are still required to submit a company tax return whether or not any corporate tax is due.

It is always recommended that you get appropriate local tax advice to ensure that your company is not only tax efficient but able to meet any local tax obligations.

❔ Where should I set up my company?

There are many factors to consider before choosing a jurisdiction in which to set up a company. Different jurisdictions have different benefits and limitations. The choice of jurisdiction is often determined by factors such as the ultimate beneficial owner(s) tax status, the principal activity, fiscal benefits available, applicable licensing requirements and of course costs.

Why not check out some of the other content on our website to help you make your decision.

Why make Malta your business address?
Why choose the Isle of Man for business?
Malta Companies – A statutory overview
Isle of Man Companies – 1931 vs 2006
Setting up a Company in Malta

Alternatively, visit our Resource Library.

Are you ready to make sense of your future?

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