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JFA News
Thursday
23
May 2019

Substance rules will strengthen fund management proposition

New Guidance Notes were published last month (26 April), designed to provide clarity around recently introduced ‘economic substance’ legislation in Jersey and how that legislation, which came into play in January this year, should be interpreted.

As the JFA acknowledged last month, the legislation was introduced to meet the requirements of the EU's Code of Conduct Group for Business Taxation around appropriate levels of substance for certain tax resident entities in Jersey, following an assessment by the EU that ultimately saw Jersey formally recognised as a cooperative jurisdiction.

With that in mind, these guidance notes are helpful, providing interpretations of how the law should be applied by Jersey-based fund managers, and highlighting what it means for service providers and fund structures – particularly in terms of reporting and the tests the law provides for around governance, income generating activities, and physical office and staff presence.

It’s sensible of course that fund managers will look at this guidance and assess the structures they have in place to make sure they can amply meet the necessary criteria.

However, although this legislation underlines unequivocally that Jersey is committed to best practice and international cooperation, it is also worth noting that, from a fund management perspective, it is further evidence of the direction of travel Jersey has been pursuing for some time and reflective of Jersey’s ongoing commitment to nurturing a substance-driven environment for fund managers.

It’s no coincidence that the number of fund promoters in Jersey has almost doubled in the last five years to more than 250, whilst Jersey has a community of more than 20 hedge fund managers – a figure that continues to rise.

Managers spanning the full range of asset classes and sizes have in recent years, for instance, been bulking out their operations in Jersey through staff and premises to the point that Jersey now has a significant on-the-ground management community, whilst we can also boast a considerable and growing infrastructure of experienced directors and risk management, administration and compliance experts.

Jersey has established a reputation as a centre for fund management precisely because it has long been a jurisdiction of substance with a regulatory environment that is internationally-recognised and that is already in tune with global thinking on substance.

Crucially, the new rules absolutely work with Jersey’s existing regime and the majority of fund managers will not perceive them as creating an additional layer. Jersey was, for instance, an early mover on the OECD’s BEPS project, which had a focus on substance, and in 2017 became only the third jurisdiction in the world to have completed domestic ratification of the BEPS agreement.

In addition, the significant work Jersey has done around the AIFMD over the past decade has positioned it well as a jurisdiction that is focused on supporting managers and giving them a solid platform for growth.

As a result, the new substance legislation should not come as a shock to managers operating in Jersey.

And if it is concluded that a manager needs to change its arrangements, the expertise is already readily available in Jersey to take on any extra work. Reporting is a case in point - in some instances, for example, older agreements might have delegated reporting arrangements to another entity in the group based outside Jersey. Under these new rules, reporting is a core income generating activity for a Jersey fund manager and if a manager concludes that it will be responsible for reporting as one of its core activities, reporting must be carried out by or on behalf of the manager in Jersey. Because the intellectual capital and capacity is in Jersey to service reporting functions, any change to the group's contractual framework to facilitate reporting from Jersey should be straightforward.

As a result, the expectation is that not only will managers here be able to meet the new criteria as set out by the new legislation, but that the new parameters will actually prove to be a natural next step that will further bolster Jersey’s appeal as a centre that is ready and willing to provide the perfect ecosystem for fund management activity.

The infrastructure is here, the connectivity is here, and the market access is here, and that should be a compelling proposition.

New Guidance Notes were published last month (26 April), designed to provide clarity around recently introduced ‘economic substance’ legislation in Jersey and how that legislation, which came into play in January this year, should be interpreted.

JFA News
Tuesday
12
March 2019

MoU with FCA will give managers added certainty and confidence

A new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Jersey’s financial regulator the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) and the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) should give fund managers added certainty around accessing UK investor capital through Jersey.

A new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Jersey’s financial regulator the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) and the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) should give fund managers added certainty around accessing UK investor capital through Jersey in the lead up to Brexit, according to Jersey Finance and the Jersey Funds Association (JFA).

The MoU, signed this week (Monday 11th March) allows funds domiciled in Jersey to continue to be marketed to UK investors through private placement unimpeded, should EU law cease to apply in the UK in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit or at the end of any transitional period.

Commenting on the MoU, Jersey Finance CEO, Joe Moynihan, said: “This MoU is a precautionary measure and should give managers using Jersey for their fund structuring added confidence that access into the significant UK investor market will continue uninterrupted and irrespective of how Brexit unfolds. It’s a reflection of the efforts Jersey puts in to working with key stakeholders in the UK to support international investment.”

Mike Byrne, Chairman of the Jersey Funds Association added:

“With the UK being such a vital market for Jersey, this is an important measure that underlines Jersey’s commitment to supporting managers looking to market into the UK. At the same time, of course, we are also successfully supporting a growing number of managers marketing funds into the EU, and it is this flexibility and certainty that is helping to future-proof our industry and drive growth across the alternative asset classes, as recent statistics show.”

The full announcement from the Jersey Financial Services Commission can be found here.

Industry News
Monday
04
March 2019

Deal or No Deal: No Problem

Recent political manoeuvring in Westminster has done little to resolve the feeling of uncertainty amongst private equity, real estate, infrastructure and other alternative fund managers around the long-term solution to capital raising within the EU.

Recent political manoeuvring in Westminster has done little to resolve the feeling of uncertainty amongst private equity, real estate, infrastructure and other alternative fund managers around the long-term solution to capital raising within the EU.

It won’t be until mid-March now – just weeks before the UK’s expected departure from the UK – that we will have a better idea as to whether the UK is looking at a cliff-edge no deal exit, whether a new deal will be given the green light, or whether the agony will be prolonged by extending Article 50.

Yes, there may be transitional measures in place for fund managers between the UK and European regulators for now, but it’s hardly a satisfactory long-term answer for UK managers looking to access EU investor capital. And with 90% of alternative managers in Europe being in either the UK or Switzerland, that’s a lot of non-EU managers looking for a better solution.

The good news is Jersey continues to play a vital role in supporting managers looking to market vehicles in all or parts of continental Europe, regardless of the outcome of Brexit – deal, no deal or deadline extension.

We’re continuing to see private placement as a very viable and attractive option for managers, with figures announced recently indicating that the number of AIFs marketing into the EU this way through Jersey grew by 8% over 2018, whilst the number of managers doing so rose by 13%. That’s a real demonstration of faith in Jersey’s model.

You can see how private placement is being used in practice here - across all asset classes and fund sizes.

There’s good reason for this confidence. Jersey is already a third country in relation to the EU, with all relevant agreements in place to support private placement across Europe. That means Jersey can continue to operate seamlessly irrespective of the outcome of Brexit.

Doing so is also more targeted – EU figures show that only 3% of managers in Europe actually blanket market to more than three EU countries. In 97% of cases, it makes much more sense to opt for a private placement solution.

In addition, the set-up process for managers is a lot quicker than onshore solutions and a lot more efficient and cost-effective, whether that’s relocating fully or partially to Jersey through, for instance, a Jersey ManCo structure.

There’s long-term security for managers too - changes to the private placement regime are unlikely, but if they do happen, private placement will still be in place for three years from that date, by which time Jersey will have access to the AIFMD passport in any case.

It’s a pretty compelling proposition for UK, and other non-EU managers, looking to market into the EU, and the industry agrees – according to current figures, the value of funds administered in Jersey broke through the £300bn mark in 2018 to reach the highest ever level – any perceived uncertainty around Brexit certainly hasn’t hampered the growth of Jersey’s funds sector.

The message is clear – whatever happens at the end of March, Jersey is ready to play a key role in enabling managers to continue to market their funds to and generate returns for EU investors. No problem.

#JerseyForFunds

JFA News
Wednesday
20
February 2019

Alternative Managers Continue to Find Market Access Certainty Through Private Placement

Jersey’s funds industry continued to see a rise in the number of alternative fund managers choosing to market their funds through national private placement regimes (NPPR) in the second half of 2018, according to the latest figures from Jersey’s financial regulator.

Jersey’s funds industry continued to see a rise in the number of alternative fund managers choosing to market their funds through national private placement regimes (NPPR) in the second half of 2018, according to the latest figures from Jersey’s financial regulator.

Data from the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) shows that the number of Jersey-registered managers opting to market into the EU through NPPR rose 4% between July and December 2018, and by 13% compared to December 2017, to stand at 168.

Meanwhile, the total number of Jersey alternative funds being marketed into the EU through NPPR also increased to stand at 314, representing a 3% increase since June 2018 and an 8% rise year-on-year.

Joe Moynihan, CEO Jersey Finance


Commenting on the figures, Joe Moynihan said:

“We are now just weeks away from the UK’s departure from the EU and the clear evidence is that alternative managers are putting their faith in Jersey and opting for a regime that offers them market access certainty and a welcome degree of flexibility, thereby enabling them to get on with generating returns for investors.

“These are strong figures for the second half of 2018 that sustain a growth trajectory we have been seeing for some time now as we continue to work with the UK and other non-EU managers to provide them with future certainty.”

Meanwhile, the latest figures follow a masterclass event recently held in London by Jersey Finance in conjunction with the Jersey Funds Association, which focussed on market access and fund distribution post-Brexit.

Attended by around 100 London funds professionals, including lawyers, tax advisers and managers from across the alternatives spectrum, the event featured an expert panel that included Adam Skinner, Partner at Kirkland & Ellis International, Tom Powell, Principal at Alnitak Advisors, Andrew Brizzell, General Counsel at Asante Partners, Robert Milner, Partner at Carey Olsen, and Mike Jones, Director of Policy at the Jersey Financial Services Commission.

Elliot Refson, Business Development Director - Funds at Jersey Finance


Elliot Refson, who hosted the masterclass, said:

“This event provided a fantastic platform to have a robust discussion about the future of fund distribution and take an in-depth look at the benefits of the private placement route to market.

“The reality is that few managers need blanket access to all EU Member States. In cases where they do, then an onshore option works best, but with EU figures* suggesting that 97% of managers actually market to three EU markets or less, then private placement offers a very credible, fast, cost-effective and sensible option. That’s our message to the alternative fund management community and it is clearly resonating.”

#JerseyForFunds

JFA News
Monday
28
January 2019

Supporting private equity fund managers with their EU distribution through Brexit

Elliot Refson, Business Development Director, Funds at Jersey Finance, and committee member at the Jersey Funds Association, recently spoke to PFM about how Jersey is supporting private equity fund managers with their EU distribution through Brexit.

Elliot Refson, Business Development Director, Funds at Jersey Finance, and committee member at the Jersey Funds Association, recently spoke to PFM about how Jersey is supporting private equity fund managers with their EU distribution through Brexit.

JFA News
Friday
21
December 2018

A Positive Outlook for 2019

With the 100-day countdown to Brexit now firmly on, Jersey is finishing 2018 on a real high and there’s every reason to look to 2019 with confidence.

With the 100-day countdown to Brexit now firmly on, Jersey is finishing 2018 on a real high and there’s every reason to look to 2019 with confidence.
To finish the year with the most recent figures showing that our funds business is at an all-time high, breaking through the £300bn barrier in Q3, is a fantastic achievement. Just as impressive is the performance of the individual asset classes - private equity has grown by 41% year-on-year, hedge by 18%, real estate by 11%, and infrastructure/credit/debt funds by 26%.

In fact, in recent times, we’ve seen some of the largest funds ever raised in Jersey – Softbank’s Vision Fund, CVC Fund 7, and Nordic 9 to name just a few – whilst Man Group, the world’s largest listed asset management firm, opted to establish a presence here.

It’s a challenging environment but the clear evidence is that fund managers in the UK, Europe and markets further afield are putting their faith in Jersey. And they have every reason to do so - as I look back over the past twelve months, I think we can be proud of what we’ve achieved as an industry.

In particular, we’ve seen Jersey assert its position as a centre that can offer seamless market access – and that’s absolutely key in light of Brexit and global protectionist policies more widely. With the likelihood of the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal still hanging in the balance, managers are quite rightly looking to mitigate the impact on their fund structures. Jersey has proved to be a popular choice of jurisdiction for UK managers, offering cost-effectiveness and flexibility through private placement.

Mid-year figures showed that the number of Jersey managers marketing into the EU through private placement rose 23% year-on-year whilst the number of funds being marketed into the EU this way increased by 11% over the same time frame. The expectation is that these figures will continue to rise around Brexit as managers look for certainty and stability.

With that in mind, I was really pleased that the JFA was able to bring to life just how well private placement is working by collating a series of real life case studies this year - it’s proving to be a valuable piece of work.

We’ve also successfully managed to deliver innovations to the market – the Jersey Private Fund, only launched in 2017, has come to the fore as the go-to product for small groups of sophisticated investors. Speed to market has become crucial for managers and the JPF has been able to meet those demands, offering impressively fast regulatory approval - as at June this year, 130 JPFs had been established holding combined total assets under management of almost £20bn. The rate of establishment is so fast, the 200 mark should be passed fairly quickly in 2019.

Whilst the JPF has proven to be an attractive vehicle in itself in 2018, Jersey also made applications for the JPF online only this year, making the process even quicker. It really is revolutionary and a real statement of Jersey’s intent in the digital space as we look to ‘go paperless’ in the years ahead.

We’ve also worked hard this year to make Jersey’s commitment to high standards of governance and substance absolutely clear. In particular, we worked together with Jersey Finance to produce a factsheet outlining our position on the OECD’s BEPS project – the overriding message is that the action points outlined under BEPS have not altered Jersey’s position as a leading, forward-thinking centre for the domiciliation, management and servicing of funds.

It’s actually a year ago this month that Jersey became only the third jurisdiction in the world to ratify BEPS into domestic law, putting Jersey in a better place to respond to it than many other jurisdictions. And fittingly, this December Jersey approved economic substance legislation, further underlining our position as a responsible, high quality jurisdiction.

So what can we expect looking forward to the coming twelve months?

First of all, the high-level trends are right on Jersey’s sweet spot, with global allocation to alternatives continuing to increase. That’s good news right across the private equity, hedge, private debt, real estate and infrastructure asset classes, and there’s a real opportunity for Jersey to provide a home to a growing number of managers, as well as funds, as they look for a stable location to operate from. In 2018, Man Group chose

We’ll see greater global opportunity – UK managers will continue to be a core market for Jersey, but we also have a real opportunity to support managers elsewhere with fund distribution. The Monterey Insight Jersey Fund Report 2018 suggests an increasingly global picture for Jersey’s funds sector already, with the number of Jersey funds with US promoters growing 165% over the past five years. I expect this trend to continue into 2019.

Innovation will remain key – speed to market, flexibility and cost-efficiency will remain vital, and we are in a strong position to satisfy those needs through our ongoing work to deliver both the right products to the market and a digital infrastructure that appeals to managers and investors.

But just as there is opportunity, there is plenty of competition too. In 2019 more than ever, we need to continue to bring the Jersey proposition to life and develop clear and compelling messages.

I strongly believe we have the very best ecosystem for a funds industry – not only does that include having a first-class physical, digital, regulatory and legislative infrastructure in place, it also means having the best people too. Time and again, we hear that service quality is what matters when it comes to jurisdictional selection. Our people are at the very heart of delivering that and will be what continues to set us apart in the year ahead.

JFA News
Monday
17
September 2018

Prospect of instant online approval to boost JPF appeal

Enhancements made last month to the Jersey Private Funds (JPF) regime, making it possible to submit applications online, will significantly speed up the authorisation process and revolutionise Jersey’s funds sector, according to the head of the Jersey Funds Association.

Enhancements made last month to the Jersey Private Funds (JPF) regime, making it possible to submit applications online, will significantly speed up the authorisation process and revolutionise Jersey’s funds sector, according to the head of the Jersey Funds Association.

Last month (2nd August 2018), the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) launched a dedicated online application tool for JPFs, Jersey’s fast-track fund product designed to cater for limited numbers of professional and institutional investors.

The new tool is autonomous, offering suitable applicants the potential for instant approval. Under JPF rules, applications will be made by Jersey-based authorised service providers, who will have an account to use the online tool.

The tool forms part of the JFSC’s e-enablement strategy, with the JFSC also announcing last month (14th August 2018) that all JPF applications made from 1st September onwards would need to be online and that submissions in paper format will no longer be accepted. A number of minor amendments to the JPF Guide were also announced last month to clarify this.

The JFSC is anticipating that all applications and notifications will be paper-free by early 2019.

Commenting on the developments, Mike Byrne commented:

“The JPF has already proven to be a hugely popular fund structure amongst professional and institutional investors, with around 130 having been established in just over a year since its launch, a number being used to target EU investors. The ability to make applications online will undoubtedly make it even more attractive for managers, speeding up authorisation turnaround times significantly and making the whole process more efficient.

“It really is revolutionary for Jersey’s funds industry, particularly in the current market where managers frequently need to bring their funds to market quickly and, ahead of Brexit, are looking for centres than can guarantee them rapid, efficient support. This tool also lays the foundation for future online capabilities right across the funds sector, emphasising Jersey’s focus on innovation and underlining its ambitions in the fintech space.”

As at 30 June 2018, the JFSC had granted authorisation to 128 JPFs, an increase of 190% since August 2017.

JFA News
Thursday
26
July 2018

Jersey’s private placement regime continues to find favour amongst alternative managers

The number of alternative fund managers choosing to future-proof their EU-focused funds through Jersey continued to grow in the first six months of 2018, according to the latest figures from Jersey’s financial regulator.

The number of alternative fund managers choosing to future-proof their EU-focused funds through Jersey continued to grow in the first six months of 2018, according to the latest figures from Jersey’s financial regulator.

Data from the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) for the period ending 30 June 2018 shows that the number of Jersey-registered managers opting to market into EU Member States through national private placement regimes (NPPR) under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) rose 8% between January and June 2018 and 23% year-on-year to stand at 161.

Meanwhile, the total number of Jersey alternative investment funds being marketed into the EU through NPPR also increased to stand at 306, representing a 5% increase on the December 2017 figure and an 11% rise since June 2017.

Commenting on the figures, Geoff Cook, CEO, Jersey Finance, said:

“Brexit ‘deadline day’ is now less than a year away and it’s looking increasingly like EU market access will prove to be a key challenge for UK fund managers. Our message is clear – Jersey is ready to play a supportive role in enabling non-EU, including UK, managers to continue to market their funds to EU investors through our tried-and-tested private placement regime.

“These are strong figures for the first half of 2018 and a vote of confidence in Jersey as a future-proof jurisdiction from the alternative management community. We fully anticipate this figure will continue to rise as we approach Brexit.”

Meanwhile, the JFSC has also reported that, as at 30 June 2018, they had granted authorisation to 128 Jersey Private Funds (JPF), a fast-track regime that was launched in April 2017 to cater for limited numbers of professional and institutional investors. This figure represents an increase of 190% since August 2017, with the 100th JPF having been registered in March this year.

Mike Byrne, Chairman, Jersey Funds Association, added:

“The overall indications are that Jersey is continuing to find favour right across the alternatives spectrum, spanning private equity, real estate, hedge, debt and infrastructure. Alternative funds business in Jersey grew 18% over 2017, and we absolutely see this dynamic continuing through 2018.

“The impressive growth in our Jersey Private Fund product in particular is evidence of the jurisdiction’s innovative approach to supporting institutional investors, with the structure often being used for EU-focused funds.

JFA News
Monday
23
July 2018

UK Managers Can Look to Jersey for Continued EU Access Post Brexit

Coinciding with the publication of the UK government ‘s white paper on Brexit, ESMA issued a public statement earlier this month aimed at UK managers wishing to submit applications for authorisation in the EU once the UK leaves the EU.

Coinciding with the publication of the UK government ‘s white paper on Brexit, ESMA issued a public statement earlier this month aimed at UK managers wishing to  submit applications for authorisation in the EU once the UK leaves the EU. Commenting on the statement, Mike Byrne, Chairman of the Jersey Funds Association said:

“Of course, there might well be situations where UK managers need to establish a  full EU operation. However, doing so is only one option and in many cases Jersey is actually well positioned to play a helpful supportive role for UK managers wanting to maintain ongoing access into the EU alternative investor market.

“Private placement is tried-and-tested and is continuing to work well through Jersey. There are now in excess of 150 managers and 300 funds marketing into EU in this way through Jersey and we continue to see a strong pipeline of activity right across the private equity, real estate and infrastructure asset classes in particular. In fact, the EU’s own figures suggest that only 3% of EU funds market into more than three EU markets, so in the vast majority of cases, Jersey can actually provide a perfectly viable and much more flexible, cost-effective solution. We’d certainly encourage UK managers not to panic and to assess all the options open to them as they look to navigate life post-Brexit.”

JFA News
Friday
29
June 2018

BEPS, Jersey Funds and Future Certainty

It’s two years ago this month that Jersey became a ‘BEPS Associate’ and ‘Member of the BEPS Inclusive Framework’ at the OECD’s inaugural BEPS discussions (16 June 2016), and a year (8th June 2017) since Jersey became one of the early signatories to the multilateral instrument (MLI).

It’s two years ago this month that Jersey became a ‘BEPS Associate’ and ‘Member of the BEPS Inclusive Framework’ at the OECD’s inaugural BEPS discussions (16 June 2016), and a year (8th June 2017) since Jersey became one of the early signatories to the multilateral instrument (MLI) that forms part of the BEPS project.

Moreover, six months ago, in December 2017, Jersey became only the third jurisdiction in the world to have completed domestic ratification of the MLI.

All of this action demonstrates Jersey’s full commitment towards, and active participation in, the development of international tax standards.

The Jersey Funds Association and Jersey Finance have worked closely together to create a useful factsheet for fund managers and advisers, to demonstrate how the action points outlined under BEPS have not altered Jersey’s position as a leading, forward-thinking centre for the domiciliation, management and servicing of funds.

In particular, while the BEPS project has resulted in the introduction of new international tax treaties and legislative change in some jurisdictions, Jersey has remained focussed on supporting managers and investors by providing a clear, stable and certain environment in line with the action points stipulated by the BEPS project.

By working with key stakeholders and retaining a keen focus on the international transparency landscape, Jersey is ready for BEPS and is in a better place to respond to it than many other jurisdictions.

As a result of the limited impact of BEPS on Jersey, funds and their managers, investors and advisers can be certain that Jersey remains a future-proof solution.

JFA News
Tuesday
22
May 2018

JFA Chair Highlights Importance of Innovation

Jersey’s focus on the alternatives market has positioned it positively given ongoing strong sentiment amongst allocators, but innovation will remain key to Jersey’s future success, according to the chairman of the Jersey Funds Association.

Jersey’s focus on the alternatives market has positioned it positively given ongoing strong sentiment amongst allocators, but innovation will remain key to Jersey’s future success, according to the chairman of the Jersey Funds Association.

Speaking at this year’s annual JFA Dinner (11th May) held at the Royal Jersey Showground, Mike Byrne told an audience of over 480 funds professionals, senior politicians and regulatory representatives that Jersey provides “the very best ecosystem for a funds industry”, with figures for the end of 2017 indicating that the total net asset value of funds under administration in Jersey stood at more than £291bn, up 15% year-on-year.

Pointing to rising levels of business across the alternative asset classes, Mike commented:

“Global allocation to alternatives continues to increase, from pensions, sovereign wealth funds and institutional investors, and we are seeing that in Jersey, with ever-increasing allocations to private equity, private debt, real estate and infrastructure. Our latest figures indicate that Jersey’s funds industry is in excellent health.

“However, those figures are only part of the story – they don’t take into account the Jersey Private Fund (JPF). We know that over the thirteen months since the JPF was introduced, 121 have been launched. I’m optimistic that if we were to include JPF data, that would push us clearly through the £300bn mark.

“We’re also seeing a growing community of managers who are fully resident in the island, across private equity, hedge funds, debt, real estate and crypto. These managers are bringing a real depth and diversity to our industry, at a time when questions around substance are never far from the agenda. Vitally, they are also providing some excellent opportunities for further diversity in career choice for our school leavers and graduates.”

Meanwhile, Mike pointed to challenges faced by the industry:

“The industry has faced a number of significant challenges over the past year. Brexit continues to be one area of uncertainty but it has not had the impact on our industry that might have been feared. In fact, since Brexit we have seen some of the largest funds ever raised in Jersey – Softbank’s Vision Fund, CVC Fund 7, and Nordic 9 to name just a few.

“A key question around Brexit has been how we bring to life the Jersey proposition for both EU and non-EU investors. It is vital that we continue to develop clear and compelling messages, in particular in relation to the opportunity afforded by our private placement regime. There are now close to 150 alternative fund managers going to market through private placement in Jersey, with almost 300 funds distributed into Europe through these channels, a 15% year on year increase.”

Looking to the future, Mike emphasised the importance of innovation for Jersey’s success:

“Product innovation remains key to how we stay on top. With that in mind we look forward to shortly welcoming onto the statute books our Limited Liability Company (‘LLC’) and Jersey Registered Alternative Investment Fund (‘JRAIF’) products, which we envisage will help us maintain the momentum we’ve seen with JPF and LLP vehicles.  We must continue to evolve and respond to the world in which we operate. If we can do that I remain confident of the future of the funds industry in Jersey.”

Lead sponsor for the evening was Mourant and Silver sponsors were BNP Paribas Securities Services, Moore, Ogier and PwC, whilst the champagne reception was sponsored by Carey Olsen.

JFA News
Monday
11
December 2017

New UK Asset Management Strategy 'Good for Jersey'

Commenting on the UK Government’s newly announced strategy last week, outlining plans to maintain a burgeoning investment fund.

Commenting on the UK Government’s newly announced strategy last week, outlining plans to maintain a burgeoning investment fund and encourage asset managers to stay in London amidst Brexit-related uncertainty, Mike Byrne, Chairman of the JFA, said:

“The clear emphasis of this strategy is to give UK fund managers confidence, particularly again a Brexit backdrop. Ultimately a healthy and vibrant UK asset management industry is good for Jersey too - we are excellently placed here to help and support UK fund managers with their EU and global distribution ambitions, and really there is no need for them to relocate from the UK.

Jersey is already enabling more than 130 non-EU, mainly UK, managers market their funds into the EU and in the run up to and post-Brexit we envisage that this number will rise. The paper also outlines plans to build out the UK asset management industry’s fintech, social impact and ethical investment capabilities, and Jersey’s expertise in this emerging area could well play a supportive role too.”

JFA News
Thursday
06
July 2017

Brexit: the Jersey Solution for London-based Alternative Investment Fund Managers

Over recent months, there have been numerous articles speculating on how Brexit might unfold.

Over recent months, there have been numerous articles speculating on how Brexit might unfold. Whilst the UK government’s White Paper set out their ambitions for Brexit, the reality is that we do not know what the eventual position will be. So what do we know and how can Jersey help London based Alternative Investment Fund Managers future-proof their fund structures?

“There are known knowns; these are things we know we know. There are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don't know we don't know….” (Donald Rumsfeld 2002)

We do know:

• That in the referendum over a year ago the UK electorate voted to leave the EU
• The triggering of Article 50 earlier this year has opened a two year window to negotiate the withdrawal
• The negotiating period has now formally started
• If no agreement is reached within two years, and no extension has been agreed then Brexit occurs with the UK leaving the EU and all EU treaties, with no replacement regime in place
• For a negotiated agreement to be reached it will need to be adopted by a qualified majority of 20 of the remaining 27 member states representing 65% of the total EU population and also approved by the European Parliament which has the right to veto both any agreement and any extension of the negotiation period
• We also know that if no agreement is reached the free movement of goods, services, people and capital will be severely impacted

In the alternative investment arena, aside from any impact on the availability of talent in London as a result of restrictions to freedom of movement, the key impact of Brexit as the UK becomes a third country will be the loss of the EU marketing passport for both Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFMs). This means the loss of the right to freely market funds across the member states of the EU.

What is equally certain is that whatever form Brexit takes - including the much touted “equivalence” route where companies from countries that are deemed to have equivalent regulatory standards are permitted to trade freely across borders - it will result in a period during which UK managers will not be able to directly access investors across the EU and possibly EU managers will also lose access to UK investors.

This is because of the two stage process required. Firstly any agreement will be subject to a technical review by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), which is under-resourced and therefore slow. ESMA’s advice will then be considered by the EU Parliament, Commission and Council which must reach a political decision acceptable to all three bodies. Further, EU Member States may have a limited appetite for an amicable agreement with the UK, due to a desire not to leave the UK in a better position post-Brexit than it was as a Member State. The issue of the loss of the passport and access to EU investors is the key point to address.

For some larger managers, opening an office within the EU to preserve access to the passport may be an answer. However, this is a costly option particularly for smaller managers. In addition, Preqin statistics indicate that the majority of UK managers only market into one or two EU countries, so if the fund’s target investors are in countries that have an accommodative private placement regime (NPPR), doing this through Jersey will be a better solution.

Globally 20% of investment in hedge funds is from European investors, of which almost three quarters is from the UK, The Netherlands and Switzerland (ex EU). For managers seeking to distribute into the EU, a Jersey-based manager can use NPPR to access almost all of the European Investor base. NPPR is guaranteed into the UK and The Netherlands has a very low barrier to entry for Jersey based Managers (Switzerland has its own marketing regime).

As at 31st December 2016 there were 127 Alternative Investment Fund Promoters marketing 254 funds in this way (this figure reported bi-annually has grown with every release since 2014). Jersey’s efficient and world-respected regulatory regime coupled with its ability to offer funds to investors outside of the scope of AIFMD, and therefore without the need for a depository, capitalisation and other associated costs, can result in higher investor returns in a more attractive and certain tax environment.

Despite the uncertainty around Brexit, UK alternative fund managers can rely on Jersey’s cost-effective and future-proof solution.

JFA News
Monday
06
February 2017

White Paper Sounds a Positive Note

The White Paper published last week by the UK Government includes some encouraging pointers for the Brexit negotiations that are to come and the position of the Crown Dependencies.

The White Paper published last week by the UK Government includes some encouraging pointers for the Brexit negotiations that are to come and the position of the Crown Dependencies.

In particular the fact that the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, David Davis, MP, when presenting the White Paper to Parliament, indicated that the interests of the Crown Dependencies are to be taken into account in the negotiations was welcome confirmation that the UK appreciate our unique constitutional position. It was further encouraging to note the commitment from UK ministers to meet with our ministers regularly in the months to come.

Whilst no one can safely predict the final outcome of the Brexit negotiations, Jersey’s finance industry remains well positioned and we have reason to be confident about our future prospects. We are of course already outside of the EU and retain market access into Member States for our financial services as a result of directly negotiated agreements, including the National Private Placement Regimes for the funds sector. The decision to exit Europe also has no effect whatsoever on our constitutional relationship with the UK and we will continue to work closely with the City of London, which remains our most important partner in financial services.

While there is inevitably some uncertainty as the EU and UK get ready to grapple with the tough negotiations that lie ahead, from our perspective, Jersey’s stability, when coupled with its robust regulatory regime and strong rule of law, are features that are likely to appear increasingly attractive to investors. At present, and despite  the uncertainties surrounding Brexit, we are continuing to record increasing flows of business in private wealth, funds and capital markets and there exists a general flight to quality, a trend where we have consistently benefited.

We will continue to support our Government in its efforts to consult fully with Westminster in the process and for our part, we are continuing to engage with stakeholders and gatekeepers in our key markets to bring clarity about the position of Jersey and the enduring appeal of our offering in a post Brexit world.

JFA News
Thursday
20
October 2016

Jersey and Brexit: a Q&A with Geoff Cook

The head of Jersey Finance discusses what the UK’s vote to Brexit means for Jersey, the long-term future of the private placement regime and the why the outcome of a recent ESMA review is good news for the jurisdiction.

This Q&A was first published in Real Deals on 20th October 2016.

The head of Jersey Finance discusses what the UK’s vote to Brexit means for Jersey, the long-term future of the private placement regime and the why the outcome of a recent ESMA review is good news for the jurisdiction.

The UK’s vote to leave the European Union caught many in the financial services industry by surprise and created much economic uncertainty. What does the referendum mean for Jersey and its access to the EU?

GC: The fact of the matter is that the vote doesn’t impact Jersey directly at all. There is often a mistaken assumption that Jersey accesses the EU through the UK. Jersey’s access to Europe is not secured through a UK treaty but through bilateral treaties with individual member states or by being deemed to be ‘equivalent’ for specific initiatives. There is cooperation with regulators across Europe and we have equivalent standards in place.

Even though the Brexit vote will not restrict Jersey’s access to the EU, could the referendum have any indirect consequences?

GC: We want Britain to negotiate a successful agreement with Europe as a large number of the investment managers that use Jersey are based in the UK. In some respects you could say that after the referendum Jersey is in a position that that UK will need to get to, so we have been contributing to the regulatory work streams that have been set up in the UK to look into passporting post-Brexit and how the UK can operate as a third country.

Going back to the point you mentioned earlier about the equivalent regulatory standards Jersey shares with the EU, the jurisdiction has recently undergone a review by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU body that supervises funds activity. What was the outcome of that review and what is its significance?

GC: ESMA provides a pan-European overlay to the bilateral agreements that Jersey has in place and in July it announced that Jersey was one of only five non-EU jurisdictions to have “no significant obstacles” impeding the application of the AIFMD passport. This reinforced ESMA’s initial advice of July 2015 recommending that Jersey should be granted an AIFMD passport.

What this demonstrates is that Jersey’s standards have passed muster. Jersey has transparency checks and balances in place and shares information with regulators and tax authorities globally. Its standards for the prevention of aiding and abetting crime and tax evasion are as, if not more, robust than those in the EU. Jersey engaged with AIFMD early and was the first third country with equivalence selected by ESMA for assessment. In terms of the significance of this, it shows that Jersey is in a very strong position having set up an AIFMD equivalent regime early on.

What does it mean for fund managers?

GC: It means that fund managers can take a lot of confidence in the Jersey platform. It offers a straightforward regulatory regime and the confidence of continued access to the European market, whether that be through private placement or, in time, the passport. The regime also provides a framework for conducting funds activity outside Europe. That flexibility makes the jurisdiction very attractive for fund managers, which is reflected in the growth in the number of fund promoters using Jersey. The number of Jersey-based fund promoters has almost doubled during the last five years. At the end of June 2016, there were 134 Jersey-based fund managers, up fiver per cent annually.

What about the future of private placement? In the long-term will it eventually be overtaken by the passport?

GC: There has been a great deal of conjecture that private placement will be superceded by the passport and phased out, but figures suggest that appetite for private placement is as strong as ever.

At the end of June this year, 115 alternative investment fund managers had been authorised in Jersey to market into Europe through national private placement regimes, up 11 per cent when compared to the period to the end of December 2015. During the same period the number of Jersey alternative investment funds marketed into Europe through national private placement regimes was 9 per cent higher at 251.

Managers do find national private placement appealing and continue to use it. This, and potential for an AIFMD passport in the future, gives managers real confidence in Jersey’s long-term future as a jurisdiction to domicile a fund.