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PwC’s family office leader and tax partner Clare Stirzaker is known among peers for her excellence in helping family businesses and family offices design the right long-term structures.
So how do you get wealth transition right? Stirzaker has seen a recent rise in the use of family constitutions and family councils in order to structure her clients’ affairs. ‘A well-advised family will have a strong governance framework in place, in addition to traditional vehicles such as trusts and foundations,’ she says, adding that trusts still remain ‘very popular’ among UK and international empires.
Stirzaker notes that families are becoming more aware of the ‘erosion of privacy’ under tax transparency rules. ‘Many HNWs accept this trend but will carefully assess what information is being reported,’ she says. ‘It’s to ensure that firstly it is accurate, but also to ensure that they are clear on what information is held by whom, so they can further assess the impact this may have on their public profile and family security.’
Stirzaker combines the financial nous acquired from her days as a director at Barclays’ international wealth advisory arm, with the legal skills she honed at Baker McKenzie, where she qualified as a solicitor.