“Since the 1930s Panama has stood out as an international financial and logistical center, in the face of larger centers such as London and New York”, said Aguilar, who specializes in formation of corporations, trusts and foundations for business purposes. “The contradiction that more than half of the OECD members are allowed to have bearer shares, some with immobilization, has no other motive than to slowly erode the competitiveness of a financial center which has always been independent.”
Aguilar reminded listeners the circumstances under which the Panama corporate system originated in the 1930s. When totalitarian countries threatened Europe, Ships owned by Panama companies were leased by the then neutral US to assist the United Kingdom in its war effort. Other companies owned Panama-flag ships used to take Jewish refugees to the territory of Palestine. "Bearer shares of said companies were an element in choosing Panama for said operations" said Aguilar. He mentioned several cases in Eastern Europe and Latin America of businessmen in currently using Panama companies with bearer shares to shelter from authoritarian regimes the personal assets they have earned.
According to the Sharman study, "available evidence strongly suggests that Panama is significantly more compliant with international beneficial ownership standards than many OECD countries, especially the United States". 20 out of 34 OECD countries allow bearer shares, and have not immobilised them, including important financial centers like the UK. Panama is not a member of the OECD. Aguilar also pointed out that the England and the U.S. state of Wyoming have business entities authorized by law to issue bearer scrip and bearer share warrants without being surrendered for immobilization.
A plan for immobilization of bearer shares of Panama companies has been opposed by the University of Panama School of Law and several local practitioners.
Mr. Aguilar is a graduate of Universidad Santa Maria la Antigua (LLB) and Washington College of Law at The American University (LLM) International Trade & Banking program. Previously he has been selected by the Central American business weekly CAPITAL FINANCIERO as one of the "40 under 40" acknowledging to his achievements as a young legal professional. He specializes in corporation law and trust & estates matters.
About Lombardi Aguilar Group
Lombardi Aguilar Group is a partnership of consultants created as an alternative for clients worldwide who seek fast, innovative and effective solutions to their legal problems. The firm currently provides services to individual and corporate clients in Panama as well in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Its partners maintain a commitment with professional ethics and social responsibility by participating in the board of directors of groups such as the Panama Bar Association, the Alliance Francaise, the German and the American Chambers of Commerce (AMCHAM) of Panama, and the Association of Chinese-Panamanian Professionals (APROCHIPA).
The firm centers its law practice in private client services and asset protection (Private Interest Foundations, Trusts), business structures (Offshore Corporations)
For more information, contact +507 6638-8707 +507 396-5080, e-mail info (at) laglex.com, or see: Lombardi Aguilar Group http://www.laglawyers.com/