ECONOMY

New family office rules are anticipated

New family office rules are anticipated

Hundreds of wealthy investors as well as all 150 millionaires who have already become permanent residents in Greece have shown an interest in the creation of family wealth management companies, known as “family offices.”

Moneyed families originating from Lebanon, London, Monaco and Singapore want to set up family offices in Greece and are awaiting the decision that will activate the legislation and the incentives that will be granted to interested parties. The reason why they are waiting is that the law currently allows for Greek tax residents, their household members and any companies they participate in to take part in family offices – thereby excluding non-residents in tax terms (non-doms).

Investors, law firms and various agencies have asked the Finance Ministry to open up the process and allow non-doms to set up family offices, as is the case in Monaco and Singapore, among other countries. The decisions on that could be issued as early as this week.

Ministry officials say the adoption of single family offices has been selected as the appropriate structure for the size of the Greek economy, as opposed to multifamily offices. This takes into account the advantages of their simpler structure, combined with their not-for-profit character, offering better communication among family members for decision making, higher-level secrecy, privacy protection, optimum control and monitoring of employees.

They also point out that, contrary to what happens in other countries such as Singapore, for personal data protection purposes, there is no minimum family asset level required, while a special method of wealth determination of taxable incomes is introduced, so as to safeguard tax revenues. It has not been ruled out that the decision will allow for the creation of family offices also by investors from other countries, such as Lebanon, where there has recently been an exodus of investors, eager to resettle in a European Union country such as Greece.

All parties involved stress that the activation of family offices will have direct and multiplying benefits for the economy, for employment and for investments in Greece. In this context there is a minimum yearly threshold of investments at 1 million euros.