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DavidLaw

Make It British – Talking Jewellery with David Law

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With the launch of our new Fine Jewellery & Watches category in our directory, we chatted to David Law about his history in the jewellery trade, and why British and bespoke are best.

David, can you tell us when you launchedDavid Law Your Personal Jeweller and give us some details about your background?

During 2008, as we entered the last downturn, I thought long and hard about the jewellery trade and how I was best placed to confront this new world that we all found ourselves living in.

With online shopping growing and the consumers finding it easier to move around the Internet, I made the decision that it was time to close my Hatton Garden shop because being held in bricks and mortar on one street did not seem the most sensible thing to do. Finally, in September 2009, ‘Your Personal Jeweller’ was born, giving me the flexibility to meet with clients whenever and wherever worked best for them.

I had already been personally designing one-off jewellery pieces for clients seeking original design, exceptional craftsmanship and the highest levels of client care for over 35 years, my bespoke clients are people who value design, style, quality and advice from an expert and, in creating Your Personal Jeweller, I have been able to take my jewellery design experience to another level.

 

You have over 35 years’ experience in designing jewellery, so that part must come naturally, but what challenges have you faced running your own business?

I am proud to say I have been involved in designing and making jewellery for over 35 years. I have seen many changes in jewellery manufacturing in the UK, with the most challenging period being the mid-1980s when traditional UK jewellery manufacturing was dying because of cheap labour in China and the Far East, and I must be honest I never thought I would see it return to the UK.

The so-called premium you would pay for a Made In Britain piece of Jewellery was not something retail jewellers in the UK were prepared to absorb.

As a manufacturer I was forced to look for alternative avenues, this was when I decided to turn my design skills and experience to private individuals.

SilverSet

You have offices in Knightsbridge and the famous Hatton Garden. How has Hatton Garden changed over the years?

If you ask anybody in the UK “where is the place to find a jeweler?”, they will recommend Hatton Garden – it’s such an iconic and famous street. I grew up there, having completed my apprenticeship in the early 80s, so I have a massive affiliation to this ever-changing street.

Over the years things naturally change – there are still over 60 shops to choose from – but the street’s identity has been eroded; rather than concentrating on their strengths they decided to compete head-on with the online competition. Something I passionately did not agree with and ultimately decided was the main reason why I decided to move away.

 

You offer your clients a 3D wax ring to try out before the real thing is made. Is this a fairly standard service or something unique to you?

Although 3D printing is all the rage, I have in fact been using it for over 10 years and consider myself an expert in combining both traditional and modern manufacturing techniques.

Many companies use 3D wax printing but it’s not the norm, and to my knowledge nobody else is offering clients a choice of more than one bespoke design to choose from – seeing the design on the big screen and finally printed to wear in 3D wax.

 

We understand you source your components in the UK, can you tell us a bit about that process?

From designing my bespoke jewellery, to sourcing gold and platinum as well as my diamonds that are all GIA certificated and fabulous gemstones, everything is done here in the UK.

The design experience that I present provides my clients with the opportunity to be involved each step of the creation of a totally unique piece of jewellery that is handcrafted to their personal requirements.

From discussing initial ideas through to creating their final piece, I will go above and beyond to ensure the whole design experience is uniquely special.

We know from a lot of our brands who make clothing and accessories that sometimes manufacturing in the UK can be a challenge and expensive (although always worth it). Is it the same in the jewellery industry?

Creating bespoke jewellery here in the UK of course faces some of the same challenges as those companies that make clothing and accessories. However, the flexibility of being able to create something that is completely unique to you without compromise and tailored around your budget dispels the notion that creating bespoke jewellery is more expensive than buying something off the shelf.

 

Obviously diamonds are a classic choice for engagement rings (and a girl’s best friend), but which other stones are becoming popular for engagement rings?

Diamonds will always be a girl’s best friend (and even a man’s best friend). However, over the years clients have become more adventurous and black, brown, champagne, yellow and pink diamonds have become popular. And coming away from diamonds, Sapphire is the next most popular choice, although I have also made engagement rings with rubies, tanzanite, and emeralds.

Isle of Man

Fund Administration in the Isle of Man

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The Isle of Man, amongst many other things, is an ideal centre for the administration of niche fund and investment products. The legislation in place offers a wide variety of fund structures around which the most appropriate investment vehicle may be constructed.

Moreover, the Island has developed over many years, a robust political and financial infrastructure with an emphasis on pragmatic regulation. The purpose of this paper is to give a brief background to the Isle of Man fund environment and to focus on one particular type of popular structure available in the Isle of Man, the Closed-Ended Investment Company or “CEIC”. CEIC’s have been successfully used by many fund promoters in recent years as the vehicle of choice when establishing an investment company, be it a private unlisted company or a stock market listed company. It should be remembered that the information contained within this paper is for guidance only and interested parties should consult the relevant original legislation when structuring an Isle of Man product.

The Constitutional position of the Isle of Man

The Isle of Man is a self-governing dependency of the British Crown and is not part of the United Kingdom. Through long-established constitutional convention, the Isle of Man has autonomy in relation to its domestic affairs, including taxation and business law. As the Island is not a member state of the European Union (as provided under Protocol 3 to the Act of Accession), EU rules only apply to the Isle of Man in relation to a limited range of matters. Tynwald, the Island’s parliament, has been in existence for over 1,000 years and is the world’s oldest continuously functioning parliament. As a common law jurisdiction, the Island’s legal traditions draw heavily on those of England providing a level of familiarity when dealing with the Island.

Regulatory environment

The Isle of Man has developed a reputation as a jurisdiction of quality through its enactment of pragmatic legislation enabling industry to operate in a business friendly environment whilst at the same time adhering to international standards of financial supervision. Fund managers, administrators, and providers of corporate and fiduciary services, are regulated by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority (“FSA”) and to complement the licensing framework for the regulation of such entities, the Island has adopted extensive measures to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

Closed-ended Investment Companies

Legislation in the Isle of Man makes a fundamental distinction between an “open-ended investment company” and a “closed-ended investment company”. Open-ended investment companies are corporate vehicles which provide investors with a right of exit by allowing them to redeem their shares and are considered to be collective investment schemes for the purposes of Isle of Man law.

A collective investment scheme or fund is subject to regulation in the Isle of Man under the Collective Investment Schemes (“CIS”) legislation whilst a CEIC, which provides no such right of exit, is not currently subject to the same CIS regulations. To that end, a CEIC is treated in the same way as any other operating company for regulatory purposes and, as a result of this approach, there are a number of important advantages to operating such a company from the Isle of Man including:

• no regulatory pre-approval requirements for launch in the Isle of Man
• no requirement for a licensed fund manager or administrator to be appointed
• no prescriptive requirements as regards board composition
• no requirement for a separate custodian
• no restrictions on asset classes, investment strategy or leverage
• no prescriptive rules about permitted investors or minimum subscription requirements

Companies – both traditional and modern

Company legislation introduced in 2006 has given promoters wishing to use an Isle of Man investment company the choice between using a vehicle incorporated under the Companies Act 2006 or alternatively a more traditional vehicle established under the Companies Act 1931.

Key features of a 2006 Act company are:

• minimal administrative requirements
• flexible capital structure
• limited disclosure requirements
• suitably regulated registered agent must be appointed

1931 Act companies draw heavily on English corporate legislation and therefore have more prescriptive administrative and statutory filing requirements.

Solution Freedom

Listing an Isle of Man CEIC

Isle of Man CEIC’s are suitable for listing on many recognised investment exchanges and over the years have proved to be a popular choice of vehicle for listing on the AIM Market in particular. A CEIC is not required to appoint a licensed fund administrator, however an Isle of Man corporate services provider may be required to deliver statutory and on-going compliance services.

Taxation

The Isle of Man offers a tax neutral environment in many cases with no capital taxes and a zero rate of corporate tax for CEIC’s. Value added tax may, however be payable on fees levied by certain functionaries to an investment company, dependent on the jurisdiction in which they are based.