This is the eighth in our series of articles looking at some of the topics to be discussed at our November 2018 conference, Beyond Borders: International Taxation into 2020. More specifically, this introduces the panelists for our discussion on beneficial ownership registers and transparency issues moving forward. Book your early bird ticket HERE before it’s too late!
This year’s announcement that Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will require the UK’s Overseas Territories to set up public registries of beneficial ownership by the end of 2020 was a great victory for financial transparency.
Is this type of move trending upwards?
Will public registers of beneficial ownership be required in other jurisdictions in the near future?
Or will financial secrecy ultimately stage a comeback?
The panelists in our November 2018 Beyond Borders: International Taxation into 2020 conference will have plenty to say about this!
Introducing Our Beneficial Ownership & Transparency Panelists
Dr. Peter Wilson, International Tax Expert, PB First Global Tax Advisors, Dubai
Dr. Peter Wilson is an Australian by birth, and has lived in Sydney, London, New York and now is a Dubai resident. During more than 36 years, he has advised a wide range of multinational clients on the international tax law applicable to their trading and investment activities, as well as to their ownership. He has formal qualifications in taxation advising, chartered accounting and law, and a PhD in ‘BRICS and International Tax Law’ from Queen Mary, University of London. For many years, Peter was an International Tax Partner of Ernst & Young and later PwC, and an Investment Banker at a major Japanese financial institution. He now runs Dubai-based PB First Global Tax Advisors.
Alex Cobham, CEO at Tax Justice Network and Visiting Fellow at King’s College London, United Kingdom
Alex Cobham is chief executive at the international Tax Justice Network, a development economist and visiting fellow at King’s College, London. Previously, he was a research fellow at the Center for Global Development, and before that held posts at Christian Aid, Save the Children, and at Oxford (St Anne’s College and Queen Elizabeth House).
Alex’s research has mainly focused on issues of taxation, horizontal and vertical inequality, and illicit financial flows. He is a co-creator of both the Financial Secrecy Index (the global ‘tax haven’ ranking), and the Palma ratio of inequality. He played a central role in the establishment of the first major development INGO campaign on tax justice at Christian Aid, and created the original proposal for what is now the leading international tax revenue database, the ICTD-WIDER GRD. Alex is a trustee at ActionAid UK, and a member of the advisory groups of the International Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation (ICRICT), and the Fair Tax Mark.
Jimmy Sexton, President & CEO, Esquire Group, USA/Dubai
Jimmy Sexton has grown Esquire Group into a successful international firm with offices in four countries—Austria, Germany, the UAE, and the U.S. From his base in Dubai, he regularly travels throughout the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas meeting with clients, speaking, and overseeing Esquire Group’s global operations. In his role as advisor, his primary focus is on advanced tax planning strategies for high-net worth and corporate clients, specializing in corporate structuring, expatriation, wealth structuring, and US tax compliance.
Perhaps just as important is Jimmy’s non-traditional background as an international entrepreneur who himself lives overseas. Because of the breadth of his first-hand experience, Jimmy is able to offer clients a unique, more holistic perspective that goes beyond any individual tax issue. He combines in-depth expertise in international taxation with an awareness of more practical matters, such as strategy implementation and the nitty-gritty of banking, language, and time zone issues.
Jimmy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance, a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree, and a Master of Laws (LL.M.) postgraduate degree in International Taxation.
Marina Warwick, International Lawyer, Alma Legal, Isle of Man
Marina Warwick practices as an Isle of Man advocate, English solicitor and Russian lawyer, specializing in international trade law and private international law.
Before immigrating to the Isle of Man and becoming the first Russian lawyer with her qualifications and experience to be admitted as a Manx advocate, Marina practiced law in Moscow for seven years, mostly with international law firms, including Gide Loyrette Nouel and Freshfields. She also worked closely with a leading international arbitrator at Mannheimer Swartling on cases heard in the London Court of International Arbitration and the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, where she acted, in particular, for space industry clients.
Prior to setting up her own practice on the island, first as a founding member and director of Alma Legal Limited and then independently, Marina trained with Simcocks Advocates and worked with a leading international law firm, Appleby, in the Isle of Man since 2007.
Her practice focuses on company and commercial law and the areas of her master’s degree from the London School of Economics: international tax, intellectual property and Internet law. Furthermore, Marina advises on matters of English, EU, Isle of Man and Russian law arising in the structuring of international groups and trusts with a view to ensuring investment and asset protection, regulatory compliance, privacy, tax efficiency and isolation of risks.
Clients interviewed by Legal500 praise her as ‘efficient and attentive.’
Thomas Jacobsen, Managing Director, Papilio Services Ltd., Malta
Thomas Jacobsen is the founder of the company and heads the organisation and the firm’s private clients’ department. He is the company’s Money Laundering Reporting Officer and is also the company’s accredited agent with Identity Malta for Malta’s residence and citizenship by investment programmes.
After graduating from the University of Oslo, with a law degree specialising in International Tax, Thomas spent some time working as a lawyer for the Royal Norwegian Air Force. Thomas relocated to Malta in 1997 and spent ten years working within the tax and legal department of PwC. He has, over the past years, assisted and advised a number of international and local clients with their tax compliance requirements and on various cross border issues. In 2007 Thomas was a co-founder of a boutique multi-disciplinary organisation that advised international clients and high net worth individuals on a variety of compliance, corporate, residence and tax issues.
He has extensive experience in advising clients in the setup of complex cross-border structures through the use of Maltese Companies, Trusts, Funds, Partnerships and Foundations. Besides income tax matters, including international tax optimisation, double tax treaties, capital gains tax and intellectual property structuring, Thomas has a great deal of knowledge about Maltese company law and corporate matters including corporate governance and management and administration affairs.
Thomas is a fellow of the Malta Institute of Taxation (MIM) and a member of the Malta Institute of Financial Services Practitioners (IFSP), International Bar Association (IBA), the Investment Migration Council (IMC), the International Fiscal Association (IFA) and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).
Introducing Our Beneficial Ownership & Transparency Moderator
Aisling Donohue, Partner, Andersen Tax, Ireland
Aisling is a Partner with mgpartners. She joined a Big Four firm in 1999 upon graduation and qualified as a UK Chartered Tax Adviser in 2001. She worked with that firm in Ireland for six years and in the UK for seven years before leaving the position as a director in 2012. She has significant experience with international structuring, mergers and acquisitions, EU Law based claims as well as more general corporation and employee tax advice.
Her clients range from listed companies through to owner managed businesses. She deals with all areas of business taxes from tax dispute resolution through transaction and employment equity structuring.
Recent transactions included advising on Ireland’s first cash box placing, advising on a debt equity swap by an Irish plc, along with cross border mergers and employee share schemes for listed and unlisted companies.