When ADCO Chairman Michael Gordon was engaged to write the original suite of offshore legislation back in 1999, he realized that one of the key elements of ensuring the jurisdiction didn’t fall into disrepute the way some of its neighbors had done was to ensure that all practicing professionals offering services to offshore clientele be licensed and closely regulated.
Three classes of licenses were established. The first, the Registered Agent license can be thought of as the basic license. An RA as they are termed, can form offshore companies for clients, can file documents with the regulators and company registrar and act as registered office for the companies they form. At the time of writing there were 16 licensed registered agents representing some 5,000 offshore companies in St. Lucia. ADCO was licensed on March 10, 2000 as one of the first two RA firms. We represent approx 1,000 of these companies, making us the market leader in offshore formation.
Besides incorporating the basic company itself ADCO can provide the following related services:
- Provision of local directors
- Provision of nominee shareholders ( in certain limited circumstances)
- Provision of a Company Secretary
- Drafting of minutes / resolutions.
- Opening of Bank Accounts with credit or debit cards
The second license is considerably more demanding to obtain, namely the Registered Trustee license. A review of the Trusts page of this site will explain the concept of a trust and the role of the trustee in more detail, but simply put the trustee has actual control and discretion over assets that clients have placed in trust and turned over to the trustee to safeguard. As you can imagine this is a far greater responsibility and is not for the casual offshore provider. In the 13 year history of the jurisdiction as an offshore centre only 5 licences as RTs have been granted including to major players such as PwC and UK Trust giant, Rathbones PLC. Today only two firms hold this license, with once again ADCO being one of them.
Third is the Mutual Fund Administrator license. This is a separate specialty combining elements of the roles of transfer agent, fund accountant and registered agent. a local fund administrator is a requirement when forming a public international mutual fund. Our Managing Director has a long history of financial service audit, mutual funds in particular and he heads this aspect of our practice through a related entity, ADCO Fund Administrators Inc (“AFAI”) which received its license in 2002. Only 1 other RA has obtained this license to date. We are pleased to count Bank of Nova Scotia among our most prestigious clients at AFAI.
While not an actual license in itself, Captive Insurance Management is another substantial part of our practice. ADCO Captive Management Inc. employs the only certified Associate in Captive Insurance on the island. The ACI is a US-based diploma program run by the Institute for Captive Insurance Education out of Burlington Vermont. Vermont is one of the leading captive domiciles and their educational programs are well regarded throughout the insurance industry. Working with our audit, actuarial and risk management partners in the USA we provide a full service package from concept to licensing for many smaller to medium size businesses. More on the benefits of owning a captive ( also called self-insurance) company can be found on the Insurance page of this website.
In addition to these purely offshore services our clients often need Legal and Accounting services. Under the same roof clients will find Gordon, Gordon & Co, a leading law firm with 4 lawyers, headed by Michael Gordon, QC, CBE. Michael served as an Appeals Court Justice ( the region’s highest court) for 6 years for which he was recently awarded the Commander of the British Empire ( CBE) . Also at #10 Manoel Street is Evan Hermiston, CA, TEP, ACI. Evan is an approved auditor for the preparation and filing of financial statements with both the St. Lucian tax authorities and the offshore regulators.