Welcome to the new format of the Sovereign Report. Last year, we conducted a Reader Survey to guide the future provision of news and information to clients. A clear majority of readers were in favour of monthly global updates rather than the quarterly regional updates that we were issuing. We have therefore changed the format and delivery of the Sovereign Report to reflect this.

The Sovereign Report is designed to keep you updated on developments around our global office network and how you, our clients, might be impacted. We hope you will continue to find the content useful and informative. If you think there are any areas where we could improve our coverage, please let us know.

There is continual debate about the practice of ‘naming and shaming’ countries that fail to meet the international community’s anti-financial crime standards, but it seems likely that these ‘grey’ and ‘black’ lists are here to stay – evidence suggests that they provide the necessary political impetus for change and have “become a dynamic contributor to peace and security”.

On a practical level, we have found that listings generally have no serious impact for clients and their structures, although some transactions may take a little longer than normal due to the need to apply Enhanced Due Diligence. A listing can also make banking more difficult in jurisdictions where the banking options are already limited.

To assist clients, we have compiled an ‘Explainer’, which sets out the processes followed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the European Union (EU) in compiling and maintaining their lists. This will be updated periodically to take account of any changes to the listing criteria or to the lists themselves.

If you have any concerns or further questions about the ‘listing’ process, you should contact your nearest Sovereign office for further information.

I have just come back from spending a couple of weeks in our Hong Kong office and was there to see the lifting of all the final Covid restrictions.  Hong Kong had restrictions in place for the longest period out of any other country, so it is great to see the excitement return to this vibrant city.

There have been lot of international events happening in Hong Kong this March, starting with Clockenflap music festival, followed by the Art Basel and Art Central back to full strength at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) and this weekend the Hong Kong Sevens which is considered the premier tournament on the World Rugby Sevens Series competition, returning to its traditional slot in the calendar. If you happen to be passing through Hong Kong, please pop into our office to say hello.

We hope you enjoy reading the new Sovereign Report

Gerry Kelly

Group Chief Executive Officer


The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize

The second edition of The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize reached its conclusion on 19 March with the end of the Finalists’ Exhibition at Norval Foundation in Cape Town, featuring the 30 shortlisted artworks. This annual award celebrates the practises of leading contemporary artists from Africa and its diaspora and serves to increase their exposure to an international audience.

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It’s never too late to improve your quality of life and you can find all the quality you need by relocating to Cyprus. With an idyllic lifestyle, a rich culture, 340 days of sunshine a year and a convenient position in the Eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus combines a high standard with a low cost of living in a modern and well-functioning environment.

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Sovereign Stories Jo Rocca and new Chester Office opening

Josephine Rocca is a director of Sovereign Corporate & Trustee Services in the UK. The company is based in a new business centre in the heart of the historic Roman town of Chester. Born and raised in England’s south east, her Sovereign Story also takes her to Gibraltar (twice) and Guernsey. And what is her connection to the Eurovision Song Contest?

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Please contact us if you have any questions or queries and your local representative will be in touch with you as soon as possible.