GLOBAL TRENDS

Overall, the world’s political, social and economic fabric is becoming more interdependent. Governments are taking measures to stimulate, through capital infusions and regulations, local and global economies in the wake of the most extensive financial crisis since the Great Depression. Trillions of dollars of wealth have been lost, governments are taking on unprecedented debt, key businesses have failed and spending has dropped significantly.

The significant personal loses have been suffered globally as a result of the recent financial melt down, brought on by the US housing crisis and the ensuing global credit crisis, have driven high net worth individuals (HNWI) to “gravitate toward assets with more enduring value. ” The HNWI has a lower tolerance for risk, seeks stability and safety and has adopted a strategy of wealth preservation and regeneration.

While the internet has fostered the inclination towards assimilating information quickly and at no cost, the effect of the global financial tsunami has created the recognition of the uncertainty for the future and a lack of available credit dictate a longer decision making process.

Nevertheless, wealthy families and their business interests will continue to become increasingly global. Widespread travel, increased access to education, the speed of information, the amplified impact of economic organizations, enhanced coordination among nations and the need to generate revenue beyond local borders have created a complex global environment, thereby requiring continuous planning and understanding.

As a result of the unprecedented measures taken to stimulate the global economy, countries will be forced to accelerate efforts to enhance enforcement of their local tax laws, expand taxation by demanding increased disclosure of global assets and require a greater exchange of information, accountability and transparency from their citizens.