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Value for Money Image

Are You Getting Value For Money?

960 640 Marta Bellamoli, Marketing Co-ordinator

Value for Money Image

“You get what you pay for”. “Buy it right or buy it twice”. We have all heard these phrases and have experienced inexpensive products or services not working as we had hoped.
For some clients, price remains the key focus when making fundamental decisions. While this thinking may be correct when applied to goods, when it comes to corporate services there is actually a more important driver to finding the right solution: value.

“While price may have a short-term benefit, it will be value that delivers the true benefit over the long-term.”

Running a business incurs costs, what that business charges its clients will not only need to cover those costs but will need to represent value for the client. This means clients will be faced with a cost/benefit consideration.

While price may have a short-term benefit, it will be value that delivers the true benefit over the long-term. This is particularly true when looking for specific services such as establishing trusts, company incorporation, structuring for tax purposes, to name but a few. Every corporate services provider works differently and those services could vary.

Focusing solely on headline price makes it extremely difficult to establish the overall value and can lead clients accepting a solution that could not be completely right for them based on pricing only. But focusing on value does not mean that price should be ignored, but proper enquiry will help see beyond the cost alone and understand the longer-term benefits provided by that service provider.

The real value (long-term benefit) comprises of three main elements: trust, transparency and simplicity. So, when it comes to Abacus how do these elements shape up?

“The value of transparency can’t be underestimated. Transparency is all about information; it embodies honesty and open communication.”

Relationships have to be built on trust. It can be tracked over time and it is mainly based on reliability and availability. The reason trust is important is because everyone feels more confident knowing that there is someone in the company who will help in case of need. Abacus has always taken the approach of developing personal professional relationships with each of its clients, enabling us to really know client’s businesses, ensuring the team provides a bespoke service and prompt support whenever required.

The value of transparency can’t be underestimated. Transparency is all about information; it embodies honesty and open communication. At Abacus we provide our clients with fee information and estimates. There are some fixed fee elements plus time charges that are appropriate to the varying responsibility levels. This represents a much fairer arrangement than a percentage of assets held.

That brings us to simplicity. Simplicity is what it says: keep it simple. For example, if structuring or receiving tax advice is complex this requires a higher degree of knowledge. Abacus applies its knowledge, understanding and expertise to ensure that the services provided meet the objectives of each client and their respective comprehension.

Looking beyond the final cost and gaining a true understanding of long-term value is what has helped thousands of businesses find the right provider and a priceless long-lasting collaboration.
If a service is unique, the ‘value curve’ that it forms is also unique.


How I Went From Burnt-Out Lawyer To Digital Nomad

1024 512 Deborah Newton, life-coach for Clear Skies Coaching Limited


I spent many years as a stressed-out banking lawyer, both in private practice and in-house. I knew I wanted my life to change but it took me years to figure out how.

The transformation finally came thanks to a combination of powerful life-coaching, stress-induced illness, continuous self-reflection, financial reserves to back up a sabbatical and a period of no income. A healthy dose of bravery was also necessary. I now work remotely from different locations of my choice around the world. Apparently, the official title is ‘digital nomad’.

Hindsight Is A Marvellous Thing

Looking back, there were warning signs at two points in my legal career: the first came a few months after a very intense few months in private practice. I was working on a deal which threatened to complete on a weekly basis. This meant gearing myself up each week by working over the weekend as well as frequently during the night. Not too long after the deal finally completed, I caught a virus which outstayed its welcome by a few months.

Five years later, I was working extremely hard whilst juggling as many spinning plates as possible in my personal life. This was despite having moved in-house the previous year, where I was working less hours. Around that time, I caught shingles, and again, found myself in a position where I was exhausted for months whilst trying to cope with a demanding job. I knew I wanted to change my life. The question was how?

Necessary Change
What was fundamental to me changing my life for the better was having the support of a brilliant life-coach. Together, we worked on my:

needs in life
fears and mental blocks I had which could be contributing to me feeling ‘stuck’ in my job

Life-coaching wasn’t a quick fix. It took a committed mental work-out and significant soul-searching before I had the courage to make any dramatic changes.


Passions: Identifying one of my passions as travel led me to arrange a 6 month sabbatical. Having stoked the fire, I subsequently quit my job so I could set up my own freelance work that could accompany me around the globe. I am now working remotely as a life-coach as well as a consultant lawyer. In the last 7 months, I have worked from Spain, Portugal and Argentina. I urge as many people to find out out what makes them feel alive and do whatever that thing is – whether that is singing in a choir, spending time with nature once a week, writing a blog…you name it.

Fears: I came to realise that every time I dared to think of an alternative career, scathing voices in my head would immediately shoot down any ideas as “ridiculous”, “too extreme”, “unviable”. I also learnt to recognise when I was ‘FFF-ing’ – ‘fearfully forecasting the future’. We can choose to take a step back from negative and fearful thoughts, accept that we are human and that it’s ok to have such thoughts. We can then choose how to behave despite our thoughts.

When I felt fear about giving up my job as a lawyer, I consciously chose to press ahead with my plans despite my fears. As Satre put it: There is no traded-out path to lead man to his salvation; he must constantly invent his own path. But to invent it, he is free, responsible, without excuse, and every hope lies within him.” Frightening, liberating and thrilling.

Create space & trust your gut: Tuning into your intuition can be difficult when our lives are so full, complicated and exhausting. Creating space, even as simple as going for a 10 minute walk, meditating for 5 minutes, sitting with a coffee, can give our minds the space it needs to be heard. “Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.” – William S. Burroughs.

Lawyer using computer

Time For Life

A ‘digital nomad’ is not without its challenges. And it certainly would not suit everyone. What is important is that we have enough space for joy in our lives, whatever ‘joy’ looks like to you. We must make time for life.


door knob

Gibraltar’s Excluded Property Trust

1024 576 Fiduciary Management


An Excluded Property Trust is brought into being by a valid and legally binding Trust arrangement (“Deed of Settlement”) by which a person, not domiciled in the UK (or UK deemed domicile), is able to protect overseas assets from a future UK Inheritance Tax (IHT) liability should that person become domiciled or deemed domiciled in the UK. At the time of writing a non UK domiciled person will automatically acquire a “deemed domicile” in the UK after 15 years of residence.

Key Points

An EPT is a useful means by which such a person as mentioned is able to protect assets for the purposes of wealth preservation, succession planning and simplification of the process of Probate. Once a non-domiciled person settles assets into an EPT and this is done before they acquire UK deemed domicile, those assets will sit outside that person’s personal Estate and therefore not be included in any calculation of IHT.

Any trust must be settled for the benefit of specific persons or classes of persons and provision can be made in the Trust Document to include not only charities, or other organisations but also future generations of persons as yet unborn. For example: the beneficiaries may be described as “my children, their children and remoter issue”.

For those individuals who wish to provide for the future financial affairs of their children, family members, causes or other persons, they are able to make provision for this knowing their wishes (by means of their Letter of Wishes addressed to the Trustees) will be taken into consideration when a distribution by the Trust is considered.

Once assets are settled into this type of Trust any distribution made will not be seen as a “gift” and so falls outside the 7 Year Rule. In addition, a distribution from a Trust can be made with conditions or other qualifying provisions without falling under the rules governing “Gifts with reservation of benefits”; i.e., where a gift from person to another is given with conditions attached whereby it is considered that the donor is keeping some form of benefit to themselves and making the gift absolutely, it is likely that such a gift will continue to be considered as part of the donor’s estate and in time be included in any IHT calculation.


The Benefits of Considering an Excluded Property Trust Established in Gibraltar

Gibraltar provides a well-regulated and therefore secure jurisdiction in which to establish a Trust. Based upon the common law of England and Wales, Gibraltar trust legislation provides a robust legal framework within which a Trust is established while at the same time, in common with the UK Crown dependencies, UK overseas territories and a number of UK countries within the Commonwealth, allowing for leave to appeal to London and The Privy Council, the ultimate independent court for these jurisdictions in the United kingdom. Recently the Perpetuity Period has been increased to 250 years.

A Trust can be established in a simple and cost effective manner with any future amendments being allowable without the need for complicated and costly legal intervention.


The Benefits of Considering Fiduciary Trust Limited as Trustees

Fiduciary Trust Limited is licensed and regulated by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) to provide professional trustee services; it is a part of the Fiduciary Group of companies based in Gibraltar. As a licensed and regulated corporate trustee, Fiduciary Trust Limited ensures the highest levels of professional care in providing trust services giving the client the reassurance and comfort that the Trust will be administered year after year and for the benefit of successive generations.