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Alternative Market Briefing

Financiers relocate to Switzerland ‘because that's where the money is’ - discussion

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque London:

An interesting discussion has been taking place on since the beginning of the month, about hedge funders relocating to Switzerland. It was started by Omkumar Enkannathan, Vice President at New York-based hedge fund firm SAC Capital, who asked: “Alan Howard of Brevan Howard group and many others that I hear in recent news have relocated to Geneva. Why is that?”

Here are a few interesting – and at times philosophical – answers that came to him.

Taxes Top UK tax rates that went up 50% in April was given as a first reason. “It's not likely to ever become "most" but "some" will if the UK continues to make itself unattractive tax-wise. However, the best-off always manage to find a way!” commented a business development director from Luxembourg.

“As finance professionals, they are acutely aware of the poor ROI [return on investment] they receive for their taxes. In countries like the US, where our politicians increase the debt approving bills they have not read, they see a very clear picture of taxes to come. While Lugano is no NYC or London, with the money you save in taxes, a first class flight to each location on a quarterly basis with 5 star accommodations will leave your principle untouched,” noted a company director from New York.

But some think that taxes can only be a catalyst, not a substantial reason for relocating.

“Having just returned from two weeks of running around......................

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