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Episode 4: The Value Prop Show with Joanna Caen MD of PraxisIFM

Audio file:

Our guest for this episode: Joanna Caen of PraxisIFM a family office-focused global advisory firm. Joanna is a qualified solicitor in New Zealand and Hong Kong. She practiced for 13 years and was previously a partner for the international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills. In July 2020 she made the career jump to be our managing director in Hong Kong.

Joanna has spent her entire career helping clients protect and grow their assets, whether through on or offshore corporate, trust or foundation structures. She also has experience and expertise in pre-IPO planning, pension and other retirement planning, and philanthropy. Acting for individuals, families, single and multi-family offices, and intermediaries looking to assist their clients, Joanna is familiar with most Asian jurisdictions, as well as those further afield which are also of interest to her clients including the USA, Canada, UK, Europe, and United Arab Emirates. Joanna is presently Chair of the Society of Trust and Estate Planning in Hong Kong. In this episode, I find Joanna back in the UK in Surrey along the River Thames for a few months over the summer. The beauty of zoom we were able to sit down and have a nice natter about the following:

Tagged areas that were discussed; Everything from engaging and becoming HNWI’s trusted advisors, their interests, discussed latest risks and the acquisition of unusual assets, we discussed politics, vaccine rollout, Brexit, China and Asia as well as offshore and mid-shore jurisdictions favored by Asian families as well as things like BNO passports. Joanna has a wealth of knowledge and insights across multiple sectors that are of interest to UHNWI’s, corporate executives and family offices. A fascinating discussion that went far beyond trusts, taxonomy, investments and legal structures.

First 5 minutes – General introduction and what we will cover. Joanna provides our listeners with a brief introduction to your background, how she got into serving HNWI’s and family offices and shares what she is passionate about, in her given sphere. She recently published an article on the “Ten Domains” model as part of the growing recognition within her industry that clients expect you to not just provide professional expertise in financial, legal & tax planning but to also have the knowledge and awareness of other areas of interest to a particular family office or individual client needs. Joanna shares why she feels this model is an important porometer for wealth management experts to engage family offices with provides some examples.

We discuss Covid and how it has upended multiple sectors, some for the better, but many for the worse, Joanna shares some trends emerging from her client dealings and conversations She also shares the risk profile and the geographical and cultural factors in decision making. Joanna also talks about the different jurisdiction preferences emerging in this economic cycle. We talk a little about the recent G7 announcement on a global taxonomy minimum target of 15% corporation tax, taxed at source in the country. How will this affect certain destinations and family offices? Joanna goes on to discuss the social impact, good governance, health and well-being on decision making. T

here has been a lot of talk and discussions that the next generation of family leaders emerging are more social impact aware and seek to be more impactful in their investment strategies especially around climate. But there is also the accusation that Asia is lacking far behind other mature markets in this thinking. Joanna answers this statement and goes on to talk a little bit about her role as Chair at the Society of Trust and Estates Practitioners Hong Kong Branch as part of its global reach.

We switched tact and talked about the fast development of new technology affecting the servicing side of the industry and the work from home models, less traveling for business.

We close out the episode by discussing how does Joanna’s niche sector attract new young talent and retain it with career development opportunities as well as hearing a plug about PraxisIFM own offering’s for Asian clients seeking such services – a message for PBEC members.


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