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Dutch Prime Minister Johan de Witt. David Cameron may have had a hard time over his tax affairs, but got off relatively lightly. In 1672, de Witt was eaten by an angry mob.
A key component of the traditional defined benefit pension market is also changing with the reform of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). You can find our comments on this here. As other defined benefit pension schemes have disappeared, local authority pension schemes have remained a mainstay of direct and indirect investment in real estate as an asset class. We face a period of unceratinty with no clear idea as to what will emerge at the end.
Two important consultantions on BEPS have also recently closed, on the treatment of funds and of pension fiunds. You can read our comments here.
All of this means that it is more important than ever to create a fit for purpose UK real estate funds regime that delivers what instiutional and individual investors want and need, whether or not they are UK resident. In the meantime, for many funds there is little alternative to the traditional route of a Jersey Property Unit Trust.
Everyone in the financial services industry needs to brace themeslves for another round of vilification on the 9th May. In all the noise, it will be important to remember that there are important elements of both the tax developments and anti-money laundering rules that need to be considered calmly. Once the changes to UK property funds come into effect after Royal Assent, we need to keep lobbying for more comprehensive reform.
As we face up to the pitchfork wielding populace on 9th May, always remember the case of Johan de Witt, the seventeenth centrury Dutch Prime Minister. In 1672, he and his brother faced the mob alone. The mob ate them.