There’s a 5-story penthouse for sale in Monaco and it’s yours for $335 million-plus

A five-story penthouse in Monaco’s tallest building is just one of several new properties springing up in the tiny European principality to cater for the surge of the super-rich moving to Monaco.



A proposed villa in Monaco designed by studio Morpheus London, on the market with Knight Frank. Price on application. Photograph courtesy of Knight Frank.

The number of people living in Monaco with net assets above $30 million has soared by 62 percent in the past decade with as many as 2,200 of the country’s 40,000-strong population now worth over $10 million, according to data from market researchers, New World Wealth. This growth a factor in an average property price spike of 27.8 percent over the past five years, according to data from Knight Frank and the Monaco Statistics Office.

Property prices in the 2 kilometer wide state are among the world’s most eye-goggling, with super-prime values now approaching 100,000 euro ($111,000) per square meter. On average, 1 million euros will only buy you 20 square meters in Monaco, whereas in other prime locations you could snag more for your money – 23 square meters in Hong Kong, 27 square meters in London and around 30 square meters in New York.

Princess Grace, Monaco. Photograph courtesy of Knight Frank.

Russian buyers are now heading back into the most expensive end of the market after a hiatus, joined by Chinese and Middle Eastern buyers, according to partner and head of Knight Frank’s Monaco department, Edward de Mallard Morgan, who adds that their tastes are part of the driving force behind the pick-up in developments seen in the recent years.

“Russian buyers are active at the higher end of the market (10 million-plus euros) and have a preference for high specification new build properties.”

“Monaco has had to react to keep pace with other leading European and global cities. The regeneration of the area around the casino gardens in the Care d’Or and the new land reclamation project show the principality is making strides to update itself and to provide more modern buildings and infrastructure,” he added.

The five-storey penthouse on offer at Tour Odéon may fit the bill. With its 3,500 square meter floorplan, infinity pool and waterslide, its developers claim its currently secret selling value will reach “well above” the €300 million price tag being bandied around in the press.

Meanwhile, at the lower end of the scale – below €10 million– it’s the British, Italians, Swiss and northern Europeans who compete for Monaco’s limited stock.

Princess Grace, Monaco. Photograph courtesy of Knight Frank.

Attracted by Monaco’s fiscal regime which repealed income tax in 1869 and has no capital gains, wealth or property taxes, the increased focus on tax over the past decade from other European countries’ governments, has driven yet more of the wealthy to the landlocked state.

The U.K. announced upcoming changes to its non-domiciled regime in July 2015 which could result in many internationally connected persons paying significantly more tax, Belgium has also recently announced an overhaul of its tax system in favour of increasing the burden on capital.

And although France’s government rapidly announced compelling breaks in its tax regime following the Brexit vote in a bid to attract those considering leaving the U.K., its punitive wealth tax introduced in 2006 has driven many away in the intervening years.

While Monaco’s property buyer base is shifting towards a slightly younger demographic, the tax question remains top of mind.

According to Knight Frank’s de Mallard Morgan, “These younger buyers are coming for the same fiscal reasons as the older generations.”

“Younger buyers tend to be from Northern Europe but also from the Middle East and Russia/the CIS. The profile of younger buyers is mixed, their wealth has often emanated from the technology and finance industries or from sport and the media/entertainment business. ”

Source: CNBC, author Gemma Acton can help you find your next dream property in the UK and abroad. We assist wealthy buyers in finding £Million+ homes and other high value goods including cars, yachts and jets. Contact 

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China 2016 International Property Outlook

Research on the behaviours and attitudes of China’s Top 150 property agencies carried out by Investorist answers your questions on how China’s insatiable appetite for Global property may change in 2016.

  • How do Chinese agents select properties to recommend to their clients?
  • Will the devaluation of the Chinese Yuan affect sales?
  • What is the most popular price point?
  • How agencies market effectively to Chinese buyers?

This survey, published by Investorist, highlights China’s top 150 property agencies who will sell more than 11,000 foreign properties this year . Click here to download the full PDF.

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What’s Coming Down The Line – The London Development Pipeline

About eighteen months ago we commissioned research on the supply of new residential developments in the Central London property market. The problem was that, while it was obvious from the acres of advertising in the property pages of every newspaper that there was plenty of supply coming down the line, information on the actual amount was thin on the ground. Estate agents’ research departments were understandably coy on the matter as their developer clients would not be over the moon to have any perceived oversupply highlighted. Continue reading

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Tax planning considerations for Tier 1 (Investor) migrants

The UK encourages foreign direct investments by granting high net worth individual investors and their families the right to reside temporarily in its territory, with the associated tax benefits of the resident ‘non-dom’ regime. After a qualifying period, whose length depends on the amount invested in the British economy, the individual and their kin can apply to obtain indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK. Later, they can even apply for British citizenship.

The immigration rules, which regulate the process are extremely complex and subject to frequent and unexpected changes. Applicants usually engage a triad of advisors, who are experts in the fields of UK immigration law, financial and tax planning, to submit their visa applications. Despite moving to a high-tax country, for many applicants seeking comprehensive tax advice is often an afterthought, when the investments are made and the arrival dates are set.

This article, written by Dmitry Zapol ADIT LL.M (Tax) LL.B (Hons), highlights the primary tax planning considerations relevant to non-domiciled investors at different stages of the UK immigration process for high-value migrants. Click here to download document.

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New skyscaper with more up top

The capital already features a number of captivating high-rise restaurants (with spectacular views) in landmark buildings, including The Shard (Aqua Shard, Hutong and Oblix) and the Heron Tower (Duck & Waffle and Sushi Samba). New additional high-rise dining will soon be available (from January 2015) at 20 Fenchurch Church Street in the ‘Walkie Talkie’ skyscraper.

The self-styled “building with more up top” will house the (free-to-access) Sky Garden (spanning three floors, 35 to 37 of renowned architect Rafael Vinoly’s new landmark building) comprising three dining venues, including a food bar (for champagne and canapés) by catering company (and restaurant operator) rhubarb.

Floor 35 will house beautiful landscaped gardens (designed by award-winning landscape architects Gillespies) and the Sky Pod Bar, a contemporary bar serving all-day menu (from breakfast to light snacks) and will transform into a cocktail bar with uninterrupted 360-degree panoramic views of central London. A classic European menu will be available (all-day) at the ‘modern, stylish’ setting of the Darwin Brasserie (inspired by Charles Darwin’s travels and the evolution of dining) on Level 36 with a viewing platform overlooking The Thames, and then there will be the (all-day) Fenchurch Seafood Bar & Grill (with a private dining room and terrace) on Level 37, serving up (responsibly caught) seafood as well as seasonal game, meat and vegetarian dishes in a room ‘akin to the finest members clubs’.

The Sky Garden is also set to come into its own as a unique events space. There will be dedicated spaces available (across the three floors) for private hire, with capacities ranging from 16 to 250 guests with an option to hire the entire venue.

The Sky Garden is reported to be (finally) opening from January 5 2015, however reservation lines will open on 1 December. You will then be able to secure a spot at the top via phone: 0333 772 0020 or by emailing

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Guide to the Best Destination Bars in Mayfair


There is a new hidden gem in Mayfair, at the heart of the Connaught Hotel (just off the lobby in the new wing), The Champagne Room (pictured) is a beautiful yet intimate place – illuminated by a contemporary skylight and candlelight. Choose from a selection of prestige champagnes, fine wines and rare spirits (all exclusive to the Connaught) – served in bespoke crystal Baccarat glasses. The Champagne Room is open Tuesday to Saturday, from 4pm.

Mr Fogg’s is a venture by Charlie Gilkes and Duncan Stirling (also behind Barts, Maggie’s and the soon to open Beaver Lodge). Hidden down a side street off Berkeley Square (at 15 Bruton Lane) Mr Fogg’s is a recreation of the Mayfair home of fictional British adventurer Phileas Fogg – from Jules Verne’s classic novel Around the World in Eighty Days.  The eccentric interiors are laden with artifacts, curiosities and trinkets from his around-the-world travels. The drinks menu interprets ‘Victorian Cocktailian Culture’ with classics from the era being revived with a modern twist, such as Absinthe Aperitifs, Gin Fizzes and Grog’s. Sharing drinks are served in an assortment of vessels including globes, Red Indian’s heads, steam trains and antique punch bowls. Mr Fogg’s will also be making a brief (pop-up) appearance as part of this year’s LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair.

Cartizze (named after the revered 1000 foot high Prosecco vineyards) is a new art deco styled cocktail and Bellini bar (find the hidden entrance off Lancashire Court) in Mayfair. The cocktail list has been created by award winning bartender Richard Woods and uses Italian influences to create interesting combinations such as the Olive Oil Gin Fizz or the Liquorice Sour, all served in antique glassware. The elegant interior, features a pretty combination of lilac dip-dyed paneling with soft lilac and blue leathers. This intimate and attractive bar can only accommodate sixty guests, so ensure you book ahead.

Tucked discreetly away in the corner of Grosvenor Square, The Luggage Room draws on the spirit of the roaring twenties and the ‘Bentley Boys’.  An intimate London cocktail bar housed in the former luggage room situated within Marriott’s Grosvenor Square Hotel. Decadently styled with all leather upholstery and marble and nostalgic period curiosities and serving up traditional cups, cobblers, punches, martinis and champagne cocktails. Each drink is expertly crafted by experienced bartenders and served in authentic period glassware.

Gymkhana, the Indian restaurant (on Albemarle Street) by Karem Sethi (also behind the Michelin starred Trishna restaurant) is a huge hit with both restaurant critics and satisfied customers since it opened last year. Designed with a colonial Indian social and sports clubs theme, the lavishly evocative interior design (reminiscent of the old East India Punch Taverns) is serving up award-winning modern Indian cuisine combined with British ingredients. Head downstairs to the bar, which specialises in classic Indian punches and cocktails-fusing spices with Indian spirits and even a specialised gin and tonic list.

Also worth checking out is the new cocktail bar at Mayfair’s Bellamy’s restaurant, sitting (handsomely) adjacent to the Parisian inspired brasserie’s dining room (the space which was previously their shop) for a variety of classic cocktails (all priced at £10) and a decent selection of wines by the glass – in a charming club-like atmosphere.


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Recommended Foodie Events and Experiences


After the success of last year’s series of destination pop-ups, Mile High returns (July 30 to August 9) to bring you its most exciting foodie adventure yet – Destination: Andalucía, the birthplace of tapas and sherry. Inspired by the golden age of air travel, you can expect themed ‘check-in’ cocktails (in the departure lounge bar) before proceeding to a dinner prepared by ex-Moro chef Oliver Templeton. The menu promises to showcase ‘the brashest, liveliest and most delicious elements of Spain’s most iconic province into a monotony-crushing elixir of sabor, pasión y espíritu’. Tickets cost £65 per person, includes: 2 cocktails, bar snacks, the 4-course meal and all the immersive entertainment. Held in a secret London location. Tickets.

The acclaimed chef Valentine Warner will be hosting an unmissable one-off dining event (on July 23) at the new Notting Hill pop-up from Tom Conran, New Tom’s. Valentine and Head Chef Tom Straker (previously of The Dorchester and The Ledbury) will be combining their talents to produce a seasonal four-course menu featuring dishes such as chilled pea and loveage soup, braised lamb neck and lemon and elderflower tart. Tickets cost £60 and include a complimentary cocktail. For tickets, please contact t: +44 (0)207 221 7717, please mention Urbanologie.

This summer (from July 21) will see the opening of the Bombay Sapphire Ultimate Gin & Tonic Terrace (pictured) at the Rosewood London. Inspired by Bombay Sapphire’s 10 exotic botanical ingredients, the six week long pop-up experience (the terrace has been re-designed in the style of bespoke yacht) will allow drinkers to celebrate the destinations from which the botanicals come from, with a varied menu of cocktail twists based on ‘The Ultimate Gin & Tonic’. Open daily from 12pm until late. The pop-up will also host a series of master-classes.

Searcys Club (at The Gerkin)– the private members’ club atop the iconic City skyscraper, will be opening the doors of its restaurant to the public (for the very first time) in celebration of their ten year anniversary. Located in the top three levels of the 180m building, Searcys Restaurant and Bar is London’s highest private members club, offering unparalleled panoramic views across the city. Traditionally restricted solely to occupiers of 30 St Mary Axe and private members of Searcys Club, this summer Searcys will open its restaurant on the 39th floor of The Gherkin to the public for 6 weeks only (July 21 to September 4) where you can enjoy the 360° views whilst sampling its world class dining with a special 10 course tasting menu. Also available is a 3 course lunch and dinner option as well as Sunday brunch. For reservations please contact: +44 (0)20 7071 5025


Urbanologie is an invitation-only, curated lifestyle guide (providing members with personalised news on all of life’s essentials, the latest invitations to exclusive events and access to exceptional privileges and benefits) Urbanologie also provides updates and reviews on lifestyle and fashion trends and recommended travel destinations. Sign up for complimentary membership by emailing

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New, Jet Styled Mobile Office

The ways in which we do business is developing rapidly and also where we conduct our business is constantly evolving (including the emergence of business members clubs, e.g. Kensington Pavilion and Mayfair’s Club Houses) and now there is even a novel way to manage your business on the move with a (newly available) luxury vehicle kitted out as a new (fully connected) workplace.

The chauffeur-driven luxury mobile office (pictured) comes in the form of a Tosca, a Mercedes Viano, which has been specially converted to executive jet standard and built to offer a Wi-Fi-enabled and sound-proofed mobile office, so work is uninterrupted even when travelling between meetings. The comfortable interior features four leather (adjustable) chairs facing each other across a table that can be extended or retracted, depending on passenger’s requirements. On-board there are also plasma television screens (front and rear), a PC (with printer and scanner), video and voice conference call facilities, Bang & Olufsen Premier Sound System, charging stations and even a fridge (for storing the wine).

To offer a further sense of privacy, and at the touch of a button, the windows whiteout instantly, so not only can people not see in but also the passengers’ can’t see out. Alongside the driver, the company will provide a Purser contactable (via the intercom) from the rear office to arrange refreshments and provide assistance during the journey.

The Luxury Mobile Office Company’s vehicles are based in London and there is a fixed price for journeys anywhere in the UK, and available for hire and charter from £895 (for a half day) and £1,495 (for a full day). For any reservations enquiries please contact 08454 59 00 39.

 Urbanologie is an invitation-only, curated lifestyle guide (providing members with personalised news on all of life’s essentials, the latest invitations to exclusive events and access to exceptional privileges and benefits) Urbanologie also provides updates and reviews on lifestyle and fashion trends and recommended travel destinations. Sign up for complimentary membership by emailing


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The Return of the SSAS

The Small Self Administered Scheme (SSAS) market looks set for a resurgence, with two major benefits.

The removal of Protected Rights benefits from this tax year will level the playing field for SSASs with the more popular Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP). Up until recently, the inability to hold Protected Rights has proved a stumbling block as any benefits have needed to be held separately, outside of the SSAS. This was not the case for the more flexible SIPP. The recent change has removed a previous barrier to some clients’ ability to benefit from the advantages of SSASs and creates new opportunities for them.

Where SSAS clients have already taken advantage of the opportunity to borrow against property assets, the new funds can be used to repay or reduce the existing borrowing. The SSAS can then pay less interest to a bank and more rental income would start to accrue to the SSAS, again creating the opportunity for further investment and advice.

The major benefit of SSASs is the connected party loan-back option. Although the controlling legislation for SSASs and SIPPs is similar, the investment capabilities are not the same. Only SSASs can make connected party loans and this is their unique selling point.

In last year’s autumn statement the chancellor announced his intention to expand credit lending facilities for small businesses and this was confirmed with the launch of the £20 billion National Loan Guarantee Scheme, aimed at small-to-medium-sized businesses with a turnover of less than £50 million. However this is unlikely to match a loan from a SSAS, which can currently offer interest rates of 1.5% for a term of up to five years (there must be a minimum rate of base rate plus 1%). There are a few conditions which need to be met, such as the first charge over an asset must be at least equal in value to the loan plus interest at the time of advancement, the term of the loan must be a maximum term of five years with capital and interest payments in equal monthly instalments throughout, and finally, as with a SIPP, the SSAS can lend a maximum of 50% of its net assets.

The end of Protected Rights creates an opportunity for clients to consolidate pensions and for those who did not have a fund large enough to make a SSAS worthwhile to reconsider their position, especially if their business needs capital by way of a loan back. This facility provides a very attractive alternative to normal business borrowing routes.

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It’s Life Cover, but not as we know it!

A new variation of life cover is available for certain, eligible individuals. ‘Relevant Life’ is a tax efficient arrangement which, if satisfying certain conditions, benefits from a tax favoured treatment of premiums and benefits. These premiums to a qualifying policy will be tax deductible for the Employer and will not be assessable on the employee as a P11D benefit.

Relevant Life can be used under many circumstances, examples including where the employee is ineligible for an employer death in service (DIS) arrangement (possibly due to age restrictions), for a group of employees where a registered group life scheme is unavailable (due to insufficient members), or for an individual where DIS benefits (which are written under pension scheme rules) could trigger a pensions Lifetime Allowance (LTA) tax charge due to accumulated funds.

On death any sum assured paid will be available to the intended beneficiaries without delay and will not be subject to income tax nor will it be included in the employee’s estate for inheritance tax (IHT) purposes.

To ensure that the desired tax treatment is secured, the policy must be effected subject to the special Relevant Life Policy Trust, providing that the benefits could be paid to any one or more of a wide class of beneficiaries, including the insured’s family and dependants. The employee has the opportunity to indicate to the Trustees whom they would like to benefit, in a similar way to an expression of wish nomination form. The Trust documentation must be completed at the same time as the application, i.e. before the policy is issued.

A Relevant Life Policy is only available to Employers (whether trading through a partnership, a limited liability partnership (“LLP”), a limited company or as a sole trader) who are applying for a new policy on the life of an employee. This includes a director and an officer of a company but does not include a partner in a partnership, a member of an LLP or a sole trader.

This type of cover and trust should not be used if it is intended to provide benefits beyond age 75 and beyond the period of employment. It can only be used for life cover, therefore excluding critical illness benefits and key person cover. Restrictions apply to sum assured maximums, these being up to 20 times annual salary for those aged 39 or under at outset, and cover at 15 times annual salary for clients aged 40 and over.   In the right circumstances, relevant life cover offers a tax efficient benefit for both the employer and the employee. This is becoming increasingly popular providing a niche offering within the protection market.


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