WEALTHY investors wanting an off-shore account could consider the element of control offered by the Liechtenstein foundation, according to a Barclays Bank private banking expert. Paul Brown, Barclays' private banking chief executive Asia, tips the exclusive fund for clients wanting a hands-on approach to their affairs. It provides not only an element of estate planning but also allows big money investors control over their funds, especially in speculative markets. 'The Liechtenstein foundation is especially suited for first-generation wealth creators,' he said. 'These kind of people often resent having to ask if they can move their money, or being told they cannot. 'This foundation is not a tax vehicle but it is suited for those who want full control over their money.' A foundation can be used in conjunction with a trust in that the foundation holds the assets in the lifetime of the client and distributes them to a trust in the event of the client passing away. This gives control and investment flexibility in the client's lifetime together with advantages of a common law trust at a later stage. However, this is not the only facility on offer at Barclays Private Banking. A package based in any of the major offshore jurisdictions can be tailored to meet an investor's personal targets. 'Each client and each situation is unique. There is no universal panacea,' Mr Brown said. 'That is why we provide a private banker to work out the establishment of these complicated structures with a client.' Mr Brown is confident that whatever investment package is chosen it will provide a safe home for a client's money. 'The trust concept is well established in common law and trusts have been used over the centuries,' he said. Barclays Bank's private banking service has been providing offshore trusts for 50 years. At present, the minimum investment is US$1,000,000. Mr Brown said he considered the main advantages of the service to be: Confidentiality. This may be a bonus for anyone making a substantial investment in a company or who wishes to distance themselves from the assets. Taxation. Punitive tax rates can, in certain circumstances, be partially sidestepped if the local asset is held in the name of an offshore company and the shares in this company are held by a trust. Succession. If an individual passes away in one country and holds assets in another, the assets may be subject to local law, which can determine who gets what. An offshore account and a trust go some way to ensuring wishes are observed for future generations. Probate. If there is a conflict between the succession laws of the country where an individual was resident when he died and the country where the assets were located, it can result in a lengthy delay. Protection. Assets transferred to a trust may afford some protection against creditors and other types of litigation.