Properly managed by the private sector, together with Cook Islands Government, the Cook Islands trust industry has the potential to become a dominant force in the Cook Islands economy.
One of the key advantages we possess is having 4 generations of educated Cook Islanders that have real expertise from working in the Cook Islands trust industry over the last 40 years. Many have taken this skill to work in senior roles in other financial centres around the globe.
The Cook Islands also has the ability to generate legislation to address problems faced by clients in other jurisdictions. This has always been at the core of the success of our offshore industry, from the early days of the industry when tax planning was dominant, to the 1990’s when asset protection trusts became the basis of the industry.
The Relationship Property Act (RPA) is is an example of this ability.
The RPA addresses a problem where matrimonial courts break up family assets held by a family trust upon the divorce of spouses. The concept behind the RPA is simple. It gives spouses the right to choose to keep their assets intact in the event they separate in the future.
This concept was developed by our team here at Trustees & Fiduciaries Cook Islands (T&F), the most experienced trust company in the Cook Islands, owned by myself and Nadine Newnham.
With assistance from the Financial Supervisory Commission, T&F worked with prominent US-Based trust lawyer Elizabeth Morgan and former Cook Islands Solicitor General Tony Manarangi, to develop the Act.
The Act is unique – no other country has law which provides for this. It is hoped that this new law will provide a foundation for future growth in the Cook Islands trust industry for many years to come.
Trustees & Fiduciaries Cook Islands (Ltd)