The new procedures for filing an annual Update Statement for entities that are registered on the UK’s Register of Overseas Entities (ROE) – which are described in detail in this month’s Sovereign Report – are just the latest example of regulations that are being introduced worldwide to increase transparency around the beneficial ownership of corporate and trust structures.

All these new requirements involve additional levels of disclosure by clients and additional levels of administration by trust and corporate service providers like Sovereign. The details submitted also need to be verified, screened and monitored. The hoops that we all obliged to jump through can seem to be multiplying exponentially and getting ever tighter.

As Group Business Development Director, it can sometimes be frustrating when compliance processes appear to be compromising relationships with both new and existing customers. Being asked repeatedly for documentation can quite rightly be seen as a ‘pain point’ and it is not lost on me that the difference between the words ‘compliant’ and ‘complaint’ amounts to the positioning of just one letter! But Know Your Customer (KYC) rules and anti-money laundering (AML) frameworks are mandatory, and professional services firms are required by law to ensure they remain compliant.

Last month, Sovereign held a group-wide online Risk Conference, which brought together all staff from across our worldwide office network. It was organised by our Compliance team to help establish clarity around these expanding regulatory requirements and explain the measures that we are taking in terms of technology, operations and strategy.

As a Group, we are investing heavily in technical solutions that comply with laws and other regulations and protect against fraud, but which are also designed to treat clients fairly and deliver a good customer experience in the moment. It was very clear from the interactions during and after the conference that our business development and compliance functions are fully aligned, and I very much hope that this collaboration will bear fruit for our clients over the coming months and years.

Nicholas David Cully

Group Sales Director

Sovereign ESG

How a Long River and a Little Buddy can help to Make it Better

Make It Better (MIB), the Sovereign Art Foundation’s flagship expressive arts programme, uses the therapeutic benefits of art to support children from low-income backgrounds and with special educational needs (SEN) in Hong Kong.

Established in 2013, MIB is offered in local schools and community centres and led by SAF’s registered arts therapists. The programme provides children an opportunity to freely express themselves in a safe space using different forms of art.

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Residency and Citizenship Planning Highlight

United Arab Emirates – Long-Term Residence (LTR) Visas

A leading country for individuals and families seeking to establish a place of residence in the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) provides a stable political and social environment, clear and transparent tax rules, good infrastructure, a favourable investment climate and an excellent quality of life.

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Rhea De La Cruz, Dubai

We travel to the UAE for today’s Sovereign Story when we meet Rhea Mae de la Cruz who is a Company Administrator in the Dubai office. Hers is another fascinating tale starting more than 7,000 kilometres away on Cebu Island in the Philippines. We were thrilled to listen to her story that included a planned short visit to Dubai – a trip that was to change her life in every way.

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