Queen using Cayman investment fund

| 06/11/2017 | 31 Comments
Cayman News Service

Queen Elizabeth II

(CNS Business): Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called on Queen Elizabeth to apologise to the British people for using tax havens, including the Cayman Islands. Revelations that the Queen was among a list of very rich individuals and organisations using offshore vehicles to dodge taxes has come with the release of a trove of information hacked from offshore law firm Appleby and then leaked to journalists. Dubbed the Paradise Papers, the material reveals that the Queen’s private estate had invested $7.5 million in Dover Street VI Cayman Fund LP as part of an offshore portfolio, invested on her behalf by a council of lawyers and advisers that manage investments for the Duchy of Lancaster, the Queen’s estate.

The estate claims it received no tax advantages from investing offshore. The Duchy of Lancaster said in a statement to the British press, “We operate a number of investments and a few of these are with overseas funds. All of our investments are fully audited and legitimate.”

The revelation is particularly embarrassing for the Queen because her offshore investments in turn invested in BrightHouse, a rent-to-own firm in the UK which has been criticised for irresponsible lending and exploitation of the poor, as well as a liquor store that went bust.

Meanwhile, the batch of leaked documents from Appleby, which has offices in Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey, has been passed to around 380 journalists from over 90 media organisations in 67 different countries, according to the New York Times, that have spent months examining the papers.

Among the revelations, they also found that the chief fundraiser and senior adviser to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau moved millions of dollars to various offshore locations, including Cayman.

Stephen Bronfman, heir to the Seagram fortune, might legally have avoided taxes in the US, Canada and Israel as a result, reports suggest. He was just one of many international politicians, celebrities and wealthy individuals whose financial details were exposed in the leak.

The papers also show yet another Russia connection to the Trump administration, that US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, holds a stake in a shipping company, Navigator, through a chain of offshore investments. Navigator operates a lucrative partnership with Sibur, a Russian gas company part-owned by Kirill Shamalov, the husband of Putin’s daughter Katerina Tikhonova.

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Category: Finance, Financial Services, UK, World Business

Comments (31)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Unless the Queen is doing something illegal Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn should shut his mouth and stop making trouble.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    An apology? First off, tax avoidance is not illegal. Secondly, the technically still stands that the H.M outright owns all the land and the building's/services which are built on it. She may not have direct ownership, but she may do with it what she sees fit (to some extent). Thirdly, she is the Queen...even if it was an offence, she can't be held liable to any laws under her governance. She is immune to prosecutions and will forever have sovereign immunity. God Save the Queen!

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    • Simon says:

      More to the point, she is investing in a fund that is domiciled in Cayman in order to avoid the investment being taxed TWICE. The Queen pays tax on returns from this and other investments in the UK.

      Disgraceful that in Google News this story is headlined: "Queen using Cayman to dodge taxes" - which is completely false.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    We are a legitimate financial services jurisdiction. Even the Queen parks a few dollars here.

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  4. 123456789 says:

    Look you criminals! My money is my money! I work hard for it! I played the game and got myself rich! No power ought to steal what I earn! None! I see no wrong with a generous tax haven. I don't see why Cayman is bowing down to bullies. These governments need to stop taxing people! Ask for donations or something else, but stop this injustice!

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  5. Northern Friend says:

    CNS, I am sorry but I am quite disappointed with your reporting. You write,”Revelations that the Queen was among a list of very rich individuals and organisations using offshore vehicles to dodge taxes...” but nowhere in your report, or anywhere else, is there any evidence of Her Majesty “dodging taxes”, or of doing anything improper at all. Investing in a fund that is domiciled in the Cayman Islands is hardly evidence of dodging taxes and I am startled that a Cayman media service would even tolerate such a suggestion, let alone author one.
    Can you explain?

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Outrageous. HMRC should investigation. Oh, wait...

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  7. Anonymous says:

    In that case Jeremy, you knob, go through everyone in the UK that has a pension, see where all those investments are made, where the funds are domiciled, and get an apology off each and everyone of them. I can't believe I'm wasting my time even reading this crap.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Can anyone confirm whether Appleby Cayman data was accessed other than in Cayman. If the data was not in Cayman, how and why was it not here?

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  9. Anonymous says:

    So the head of State of the Cayman Islands cannot invest in one of her realms? Seriously? That's like owning Marks and Spencers and not being allowed to shop there...

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  10. Anonymous says:

    The Bermudan Premier did well on BBC this morning, pointing out that in the offshore sector there are so many tax information exchange agreements that all other national tax offices know exactly what is going on, and that Bermuda and other BOT's are way ahead of the curve wen it comes to reporting, and that is true. You can't even open a bank account here without going through seven layers of sh*t. Scurrilous reporting, not based on fact at all. However I don't see Cayman putting out statements...as usual...

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  11. Anonymous says:

    As local Cayman media, the focus of your reporting should be that this is evidence that there is nothing wrong with investing in Cayman Funds...report that story instead of latching on to the same catchy headline as the rest of the world's mainstream media!

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Yet again the "first world" is clearly shown it is their own leaders, elite, and honoured that support, utilise and benefit most from modern BOT's.

    Nevertheless, it is we BOTC's that bear the brunt of the criticism and slander.

    The joke is on you all. You sing "God save" your monarch but she's busy slipping your hard-earned money away to places you'll never access ever again.

    And the "royal family" is but one example.
    Awesome.

    - Who

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    • Anonymous says:

      The clients are the junkies, the tax havens are the dealers.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Factually incorrect, but then its Who so no surprises

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    • Anonymous says:

      “Nevertheless, it is we BOTC's that bear the brunt of the criticism and slander.”

      Is that actually true? I have been following the story today through various outlets and I am yet to see any criticism of citizens of Bermuda or the Cayman Islands. 99% of the "criticism/slander" is directed against those European/North American companies and individuals who utilize BOTs to avoid paying tax in their home countries. It is the practice that people are angry about, not where it takes place.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Then you missed the implication that this wouldn't be happening without us unscrupulous islands.

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    • Jotnar says:

      Care to explain how the Queen's funds are anyone else's "hard earned money" or how anyone had access to them in the first place?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Only issue with the whole thing is that the Queen is exempt from paying UK taxes.. The use of a Cayman fund was probably anonymity. She pays an equivalent to the UK tax requirement voluntarily but is not required to do so.

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      • Anonymous says:

        And she deliberately dodges UK taxes too. For example she refused to permit a tax equivalent payment to be made to cover the inheritance tax that would have applied to her mother's estate. A hereditary monarchy is a disgrace in the 21st century.

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  13. Jotnar says:

    Except there is a statement out by the Duchy saying that the Queen pays taxes on her earnings from the Cayman entity - but don't let accuracy interfere with repeating a more populist story.

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    • Anonymous says:

      In fact this statement seems likely to turn round and bite Corbyn in the arse because it appears that a number of influential Labour supporters also have funds stashed away offshore but, unlike the Queen, they're deliberately using them to avoid paying tax in the UK.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Blouse an skirt

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  15. Anonymous says:

    we are not a tax haven!....we do 'financial services'.......

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    • Anonymous says:

      Different regimes for businesses that operate locally and outside the jurisdiction is the classic market for tax havens.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Bless her heart. She probably don't even have a clue where her money is. Also please bear in mind having some money in a Cayman or any offshore account does not make it illegal.i am sure she has declared it and paying her taxes. Leave her alone.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Illegal or not, it is deeply immoral for the privileged rich like her to spend money to avoid UK taxes that would help the needy, ill, the old and educate children.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    I guess this is why Her Majesty gives Cayman a pass on taxes! hahaha

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    • Anonymous says:

      The Queen pays taxes and has done for many years.

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      • Anonymous says:

        She voluntarily pays some funds which would be taxable were she not Queen. But she does not do so completely or consistently. She decides sometimes that certain taxes won't be payable by her or her family, which is pretty disgusting.

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