Clients looking for a money management tool offering tax, succession and asset protection combined with the flexibility to cash in the value of the assets at any time are advised to consider a tailor-made life assurance policy. This policy can be designed specifically to meet tax estate planning and asset protection needs of high net-worth investors, which often cannot be met by other more traditional structuring methods. Unfortunately, because it is a life insurance policy and it matures upon the owner's death, this product does not provide for effective long-term estate management, particularly if the policyholder is of advanced years. 'If the client wants his estate managed after his death, then this is not a very effective tool,' says Selwyn Au-yeung, HSBC Republic's regional head of product development, global wealth solutions. 'It is much more suited to a younger individual or for those in a jurisdiction where a trust is not recognised.' The policy, a legally binding contract of insurance, is tailored to meet the precise needs of a high net-worth individual and his or her family. In some cases, the amount of life cover is limited to the absolute minimum necessary to ensure that the insurance policy qualifies as such to avoid the need for medical examinations and underwriting procedures, and to avoid the expense of mortality risk. Its value is linked to the underlying assets and can be cashed in by the owner at any time. Assets are transferred to the policy as a single lump-sum premium by the owner, who can then add further assets at any time, without the need for medical and other underwriting formalities. A professional investment manager of the owner's choice manages the assets in a manner that reflects their investment-risk profile. Policy proceeds are paid directly to the beneficiaries nominated by the owner upon his or her death, without the need for probate and associated formalities, costs, delays and publicity. Although the policy is intended as a solution to long-term tax, succession and asset protection needs, it can be surrendered at any time, either in whole or in part. The cash-out value will reflect that of the underlying assets at the time. This product suits clients who wish, for whatever reason, to maintain a high degree of discretion; and clients living or working in less stable countries where threats of kidnap and extortion exist.