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Panama is a bridge between two oceans. Trust Services, S.A. is a bridge between two objectives: successful planning and implementation of an offshore strategy. It is delivering the service that counts and you must look beyond the gloss and sheen so frequently encountered. Put us to the "e-mail efficiency test" - see how long it takes us to reply to your message and then make comparisons. You'll find it reassuring. Whether you choose Trust Services, S.A. or not be sure to do your research and avoid what we call the 7 Deadly Sins (enter our website and click on our Company icon). The advice is priceless.

Trust Services, S.A. can help provide that margin of prudence against unexpected events when making your offshore financial plans. An independent trust company, we are firmly rooted in Panama without any representation or offices outside the country, ensuring the insulation of our client’s affairs. Fiduciary assets for administration should be at least in the six-figure range with our focus on the management of your personal, rather than business, affairs. We offer a limited service in respect of commercial activities where foreign companies wish to conduct business in Panama and need local tax, secretarial, banking, accounting and administrative assistance. After more than 30 years in business in Panama we have become very familiar with the country and the region, so offering an experienced guide for foreigners who find themselves in virgin territory is an immense help. “Latin Primer: A Practitioner’s Perspective” is a useful aid and is also available in print. Being in, but not of, Panama is important because we understand many of the pitfalls you might face. Our first language is English and we have a leading role in supporting both the British Embassy and the British Chamber of Commerce Panama in promoting, in particular, British business in Panama.

Trust Services, S.A. is a licensed independent trust company which reached its 30th anniversary milestone in 2011, and although many changes have taken place in the offshore financial services industry during that time, the one constant for our clients has been our standard of service. We do not accept commissions from any third parties and so any introductions we make are for the sole benefit of our clients. Any lawyers, bankers, investment institutions that we recommend, therefore, are given in your best interests. It's not what they can do for us, but what they can do for our client that counts. Reputation comes before remuneration. We follow the credo: “Never ask for, or think of, commission when tackling a business”. These wise words were spoken by Antony Hornby who, in the 1950s and 1960s, ran Cazenove & Co., a British investment bank and whose clients included the Queen of England. To quote from Othello: "Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial". Professionals recognise that it is also the immortal part of business.

Every independent trust company needs not only adequate financial, but intellectual, capital as well. A dedicated, trained and bilingual staff (with most senior staff having worked for the firm since the 1980s) has given our clients efficiency and continuity. The next generation of managers is already in place so that our clients need not have any concerns about the continuity of our representation. As a family business we understand the importance of managing wealth and attention to detail. Our auditors for more than twenty years have been Deloitte. What is the first step? Where do you turn? We hope that answers to these and other questions will be found in our compilation of essays, which can be read on our Articles web page. They are the distillation of decades of experience in the field.

Despite popular belief, not all business has taxes as the raison d´être for going offshore. Very often, unique investment and business opportunities are available offshore where access to foreign markets, currency diversification and a broader selection base of mutual funds are available. It is also where a greater degree of business privacy can be found. Centralising international wealth management under the control of specialists means that financial institutions such as Trust Services, S.A., for example, are able to offer co-ordination of bank and investment accounts, administration, bookkeeping and liaison with other professional providers. And if Panamanian tax or accounting advice is needed, we can provide that also in-house with qualified accountants on our staff. Then there’s litigation, often a reason to place assets offshore without any regard to tax savings. Litigation is a feature of every stratum of society, especially in the United States where a common belief prevails that, no matter the circumstances, someone else is to blame for an individual’s personal adversity. No longer is a plaintiff even required to demonstrate actual injury. In January, 2000, the United States Supreme Court (Friends of the Earth vs. Laidlaw) introduced a standard that permits a plaintiff to claim on the grounds of possible, and not just proven, injury. This blame game avoids issues such as personal responsibility or self-reliance and is the reason why litigation looms large in everyday life in America today. Thus the attraction of insulating assets from lawsuits through a legitimate offshore structure which may well be tax-neutral and provide little or no privacy whatsoever. It is not surprising that some people, caught unwittingly in the grip of litigation, may feel that the Statue of Liberty is right where it should be: offshore. That’s where an increasing number of Americans in particular are seeking the protection which they feel they need. Most of them probably agree with the poet Robert Frost’s sardonic statement that a successful lawsuit is the one worn by a policeman. More in-depth commentary on the litigation epidemic will be found in Volume 6, Number 4 and Volume 8, Number 1, of our Offshore Pilot Quarterly under the titles of "A Boy Named Sue" and "The Nervous and the Naked", respectively. (Click to view Offshore Pilot Quarterly online)

In many cases we serve as advisers (particularly in the case of foundations and trusts) offering solutions and designing structures that are architecturally sound for implementation by overseas parties. The firm provides similar fiduciary services to those offered in the British offshore centres, which makes us unique in Panama. As our Managing Director described us during the course of a paper he presented on Latin America at Oxford University in UK in 2010: "Cayman on the Isthmus" We have been simplifying the complex for more than 30 years and we offer a package, not just a product. We can, in turn, structure a corporation with bank and brokerage accounts, including debit and credit cards, which can be managed by a trust or foundation to complete your estate planning. All our activities are protected by the strict confidentiality laws of Panama that impose fines, imprisonment and, where applicable, revocation of licences for those professionals who breach them. Continuity is guaranteed with additional protection afforded under the fiduciary laws of Panama. Our 3 directors and long-serving skilled staff are qualified to deal with your fiduciary, corporate, accounting and banking requirements within the confines of our secure offices. The PGP encryption system is available for those clients wishing to use it. Please go to our Services web page for full details of our fees and when reviewing them, always remember that services, like wine, may appear the same, but price is usually commensurate with quality. To quote John Ruskin, the Victorian art critic: "It's unwise to pay too much, but it's unwise to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money – that’s all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought is incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.” And he added: “There is hardly anything in the world which someone can’t make a little worse and sell a little cheaper – and people who consider price alone are this man’s lawful prey.”

We have adopted the Code of Professional Conduct of The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners in the United Kingdom, of which our Managing Director and Trust Officer are members. The full text of the code can be found at www.step.org.

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