UK entrepreneur slams tax regime

12 May 2008

A major UK financial services group could be moved offshore for tax reasons, the Times reports.

Hugh Osmond, head of Pearl Assurance, told the newspaper that he would transfer some of the firm's investment funds overseas.

The entrepreneur has become famous in the City for conducting a series of eye-catching moves - including floating the Pizza Express restaurant chain on the stock market and beating Standard Life in the buyout race for insurance firm Resolution last year.

However, according to Mr Osmond, the British Labour government's tax regime might lead him to move abroad - along with his business.

Recently, the taper rate to capital gains tax has been replaced by a new flat rate of 18 per cent in the UK - whose corporation tax also stands at a comparatively high 28 per cent.

The businessman commented: "Serial entrepreneurialism is the best wealth-creator you can get. If you are an entrepreneur, you can be anywhere ... Everyone in our office, everyone I speak to, is considering it.

"Any entrepreneur who has made more than ten million quid [$20 million] is looking at leaving."

Mr Osmond's personal fortune is estimated at $700 million.

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