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Shooting star

Cayman STAR trusts are gaining in popularity as trustees and advisers recognise increasingly their long-term value for family businesses

18 October 2011

One of the great benefits of trusts is that they can enable family businesses to remain within the family long after the lifetime of the founder and, with careful planning, help the family avoid the typical story of rags to riches to rags in three generations. As a result, many trusts around the world hold a significant amount of their value in undiversified business interests.

Why should this be a cause for concern? The potential tension arises as a result of the trustees’ duties to invest prudently and to diversify. While such duties should obviously take the overall circumstances of the trust into account, those trustees with very significant value tied to the fortunes of just one or two businesses can find themselves at risk of a few sleepless nights. This is particularly acute in the current turbulent economic climate. However, there are a few things that trustees can do to ensure they sleep more soundly.

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