www.wealthandfinance-intl.com 7 Goal Group, the global leader in withholding tax reclamation and securities class action recovery services, has won the Wealth & Money Management Award for “Sustained Excellence in Withholding Tax Reclamation” for the second year running, recognising its commitment to remaining at the forefront of the industry. We caught up with them again to speak about their achievement, and how their company has continued to develop and innovate over the past 12 months. With a proud 25 year history, Goal helps the world’s largest financial institutions and the global investment community meet its fiduciary duty to maximise fund returns though the recovery of excess tax imposed on cross-border income. Goal has recovered hundreds of millions of pounds in withholding tax for its global client base. This award comes as Goal achieves its best year to date, with record re- claim volumes and substantial new client wins achieved through its dedi- cated local teams in London, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Melbourne and Hong Kong. Stephen Everard, Chief Executive Officer, Goal Group of Companies commented: “We are delighted to receive the Wealth & Money Man- agement Award in consecutive years, especially at this exciting stage of development in our business. “We are expanding our presence to provide clients across EMEA, the Americas and Asia Pacific with a global service, delivered locally. In practice, this means that each of our regional offices is staffed by highly skilled legal, tax and investment experts who closely monitor market, legislative and treaty changes. Their expertise is supported by our world- class global team and ISO-accredited systems to process the reclaims. “It is our unique blend of innovation in technology, combined with the unparalleled industry knowledge built up over 25 years that allows us to achieve outstanding results for our clients.” Goal’s proprietary software is available on a licensed basis (GTRS), or outsourced (Goal TaxBack). The company estimates that GTRS, its flagship solution, is used to recover about 30% of all withholding tax that is reclaimed on cross-border income annually. It is a modular system, featuring three elements - Tax Calculation Engine, Forms Generator, and Tracking and Reporting. Bill Salva, Global Business Development Manager at Goal Group ex- plains: “GTRS can be used to automate as much of the tax reclamation process as required, from forms generation to a highly sophisticated, Straight Through Processing solution that tracks the claim lifecycle right up to receipt of funds. “We maintain tax treaty information and forms for all jurisdictions, and support all client and stock types including ADRs – encompassing over two million possible reclaim permutations. We offer clients a truly global reclaim service.” Advanced, market-proven systems such as GTRS are crucial to obtain- ing the maximum entitlement for each claim, in the quickest possible timeframe. In addition, Goal’s excellent relationships with tax authorities, lawyers and claims administrators help to facilitate optimum returns for its clients. Security, of course, is paramount in this market. In the past year, Goal is proud to have been awarded ISO 27001:2013 certification, the internationally recognised standard in information security – and is the only service provider in either of its business areas - tax reclamation and class action recoveries - to have received this. Mr Salva summarised: “Clients trust us to provide the highest levels of data security, combined with transparency, reporting capability and process automation.” Tax reclamation continues to represent a huge opportunity for investors, fund managers and custodians across the world. Goal estimates that around a quarter of reclaimable withholding tax still lies unrecovered each year, which in 2013 amounted to global losses of £13.2 billion. This opportunity becomes yet more significant in light of major increas- es in market capitalisation, rising proportions of portfolios devoted to cross-border investments, and increasing numbers of companies paying dividends. Stephen Everard, CEO, says: “Many investors and their advisors are still not reclaiming the over-withheld tax to which they are legally entitled. Yet fund managers have a fiduciary duty to provide the best returns possible. There is still the belief that the complex reclamation process isn’t worth the trouble. With the right technology and services, this is simply not true.” Mr Everard cites the example of a London-based, global asset manage- ment firm who have reclaimed over a billion pounds in withholding tax for their cross-border clients since starting work with Goal three years ago. He adds, “Goal is at its busiest ever and we will continue to build our client base in existing and new markets, directly and through strategic partnerships. We are firmly committed to helping cross-border investors around the world reclaim what is rightfully theirs.” Goal clients include five of the top ten global custodians and six of the top ten global fund managers, alongside hundreds of asset managers, private banks, pension funds, hedge funds, high net-worth individuals, investment banks and prime brokers.