The overriding theme of the last 12 months is that of continuing regulatory change in the private wealth arena. A sense of increasing pace and convergence in particular stand out in comparison with earlier years. The pace component is best seen in the introduction of new regimes or the updating of existing rules. The theme of convergence is based upon how centrally significant the concept of ‘beneficial ownership’ is becoming to many of the initiatives. A third strand is an increasing divergence between the European Union and the United States in this arena:
the European Union continues to force the pace on transparency, while the United States proceeds at a much more leisurely speed and gives greater weight to privacy concerns than its European neighbours.