I was recently describing to someone what I did for a living, and how BullionRock operated, when they remarked that it all sounded rather complicated and technical.
The truth is, I have never been involved in a less complex business in all of my working life: I love precious metals for their honesty and simplicity. Bullion bars and coins do not have, let alone change, SEDOLs or ISIN numbers; their price discovery, from the London Bullion Market Association and London Platinum and Palladium Market, comes very easily (even if converting from troy ounces to metric weights and back takes a while to master) and the assets have no voting rights, no proxy forms, no corporate actions and no stock splits … heck, they don’t even pay any dividends.
Put simply, precious metals are either there, or they are not. They are either real, or they are not.
Our aim, at BULLIONROCK, is to:
make sure that our clients' bullion is where they want it to be, when they want it to be;
make sure that our clients' bullion is in the form and purity they want it to be in;
make sure that our clients pay competitive, fair and reasonable prices for their bullion;
make sure that our clients pay competitive, fair and reasonable charges for our services; and
prove to our clients, on a daily basis, that we are fulfilling these aims.
So far, so simple, right?
But the fact is, and I suppose this is where it might seem to get a bit complicated and technical, we want a bit more than that.
We want our clients to know:
that our business is regulated, by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission, as an Investment Licensee under the Protection of Investors (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law 1987 and is therefore required to comply with the requirements of some of the most ardent and effective anti-money laundering legislation in the world.
that we ring-fence, away from our business, all of their assets and all of their money, which is held off our balance sheet by our nominee company that provides, only, bailment services, and does not take ownership of any such assets as trustee.
that holding their bullion in bar and coin form is quite different to maintaining fractional ownership of a larger bar - and that it allows them, whenever they want, to collect, or have sent, their assets in the form that they have already paid for.
that we can deal peer-to-peer with other regulated financial services businesses and that we comply with, understand and embrace all elements of the introduced and intermediary relationship spectrum.
that bullion bought and held in Guernsey, a leading international finance centre that is neither part of the EU nor the UK, will not be subject to VAT or GST on purchase and should not be considered UK situs for tax purposes whilst stored on the island*
* Although we are not tax experts and clients should take their own advice.
I suppose some of this is rather complicated and technical, but it is also very important to us at BullionRock and, most of all, it helps us keep things simple for our clients.
Segregated bars, coins or grain ... or unallocated ounces, as you prefer.