Swiss Wealth Manager Urges Against Condemning the Wealthy in Response to Pandora Papers

Ralf Rickard Danbrandt of Ibex Capital Partners says the leak unfairly punishes innocent people and stresses that holding assets offshore is not illegal.

LONDON, Oct. 06, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ralf Rickard Danbrandt is a wealth management professional at Ibex Capital Partners, an asset management firm founded in the 1960s by a secretive Swiss commodities magnate, and has since expanded into a wealth concierge for hundreds of high net-worth families, some of whom Danbrandt reluctantly admits were named in the leaks. Ibex provides services including estate planning, insurance, and 'alternative investments' such as private equity, cryptocurrency, and even art - and inevitably, such investments are often done through offshore structures. Ibex itself is domiciled in the Cayman Islands.

In response to the Pandora Papers leak, he released the following open letter - 

"Activists are fully entitled to pursue the truth. However, these leaks are harmful, probably illegal, and unfair to many innocent people. It isn't illegal to have assets offshore. Many do so for legitimate reasons. Sure, certain individuals abuse offshore asset protection structures for nefarious purposes, including tax evasion and money laundering. If laws have been broken, sure, go after the perpetrators and hold them accountable. But it's unfair to automatically assume that anyone with offshore assets must have done something wrong."

"Wealthy people are often targets for frivolous litigation. The U.S., for example, is a notoriously litigious society. If you own a successful business, chances are you have some activities in the U.S. Frivolous lawsuits are brought for a variety of reasons, including for hurting someone's feelings. When a lawsuit has actual merit to it, that's not a problem. But when unscrupulous attorney brings lawsuits anyway just to try and get a settlement from a wealthy person, that's a problem. Wealthy people become targets. You can be sued because your building is blocking someone's view of the street. So, naturally, those who are vulnerable to litigation would want to protect their hard-earned assets - in many cases their life's work."

"We often say that the wealthy should not be above the law. It works both ways. If they have not broken the law, they should not be subjected to a higher level of public scrutiny than any other law-abiding citizen. People assume that asset protection is exclusively for the wealthy. This is not true at all. The exact same services are available to anyone - if you meet the legal requirements for establishing a company in the Cayman Islands or Seychelles or Belize, then you can do so. There is no minimum income or net worth required."

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