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Members' News
Monday
06
July 2020

Accessing Europe: an introduction to marketing funds

By JFA member firm Langham Hall

Over the past few months, we have seen the fundraising landscape turned on its head,with many LPs halting any new allocations and instead paying careful attention to their existing portfolios.

In late March we estimated that over half of global LPs had pressed pause on underwriting new private fund investments, either stopping their investment allocations entirely, or only proceeding with in-process investments.

As markets begin to open up again, we are seeing positive sentiment from LPs, who are now starting to look at resuming their investment programmes, albeit with perhaps a different risk appetite to that of 2019.

Looking to Europe in particular, we have seen a sustained increase in the number of non-EU sponsors looking to market to the bloc, where the aggregate AuM now exceeds €23 trillion.

For these sponsors, there are several routes to market, with no “one size fits all” approach. These include reverse solicitation, marketing under National Private Placement Regimes (“NPPR”), or the setup of a European parallel vehicle to access the marketing passport under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (“AIFMD”):

·        Reverse Solicitation: this refers to the acceptance of subscriptions from investors that actively solicited the manager without any active marketing taking place. Managers that receive genuine inbound enquiries may accept subscriptions via reverse solicitation, but it would be prudent to document that true reverse solicitation has taken place in case of litigation further down the line. Due to its passive nature, reverse solicitation cannot be considered a marketing strategy.

·        Private Placement: for managers using non-EU structures, e.g. Cayman, Delaware or Channel Islands, some countries still retain their National Private Placement Regimes. These can be tricky to navigate but for managers raising in just a handful of countries, this can be a cost-effective way of accessing Europe. For many countries, the manager will be required to complete and file Annex IV reports for each Alternative Investment Fund (“AIF”) being marketed. For countries such as Germany and Denmark, a depositary-lite is required to be appointed. It is important to note that NPPR is particularly difficult in much of southern Europe, including France, Italy and Spain.

·        European Parallel: Under AIFMD, funds which operate within this framework qualify for the European marketing passport, allowing these AIFs to be distributed in all 28 European member states. In this model, the fund will be required to appoint a regulated full scope Alternative Investment Fund Manager (“AIFM”), as well as a depositary. We often see these funds setup in Luxembourg, using a host-AIFM, to avoid the regulatory and substance burden of setting up a sponsor owned Luxembourg AIFM. By having an AIFMD compliant parallel fund, managers can accept capital opportunistically and at short notice. There are also no restrictions on where the fund can be marketed (although there are restrictions on the parties to whom it can be marketed).

Clearly there are pros and cons to each method, and managers will need to review which is the most suitable depending on their marketing strategy. However, with such a large pool of institutional capital in Europe, it is getting harder and harder to ignore the fundraising potential in the region.

JFA member firm Langham Hall takes a look at the options open to managers looking to market funds into Europe...

JFA News
Tuesday
09
June 2020

Jersey Funds Association Chair delivers virtual update

With this year’s JFA Annual Dinner being postponed until later this year, Chair Tim Morgan gave a webinar update last week (3 June), when he provided an overview of the current funds landscape, the work of the JFA and also outlined future opportunities for the industry.

Resilience in the face of an uncertain market, including the Covid-19 pandemic, and a stable platform designed to provide the perfect ecosystem for alternative funds should position Jersey strongly in the short and long-term, according to the chairman of the Jersey Funds Association (JFA).

With this year’s JFA Annual Dinner being postponed until later this year, Chair Tim Morgan gave a webinar update last week (3 June), when he provided an overview of the current funds landscape, the work of the JFA and also outlined future opportunities for the industry.

 Pointing to the fact that Jersey’s funds industry recorded a new record high of fund assets being administered last year (£346bn), a figure that included a 19% year-on-year jump in private equity business in particular, Tim commented

“In the first part of 2020, we continued to see a steady demand for Jersey funds, including from existing managers continuing to launch, often with larger, successor funds. Just as importantly, we’ve seen a sustained strong take up of the Jersey Private Fund, with managers converting to the structure and a growing number of smaller, start-up and spin-out managers opting for it too where the JPF's scalability and cost effectiveness, combined with Jersey's opt in approach for EU marketing, makes it a particularly strong choice for new structures. There are now more than 350 JPFs, which is a hugely positive story and a great endorsement of Jersey’s reputation as a specialist centre for alternatives.”

In addition, Tim highlighted some key findings from a recent survey of JFA members, which revealed a widespread positivity around key issues such as Brexit:

“The European market is still grappling with Brexit uncertainty, but actually more than 80% of our members consider that Brexit will have either a neutral or positive impact on business flows – due largely to the success of Jersey’s market access model,including private placement into Europe and seamless global access into other geographies.

“Of course, the coronavirus pandemic remains front and centre of minds at the moment too, but Jersey has shown real resilience, flexed its digital muscle and introduced measures such as enhanced digital filing and electronic powers of attorney, as well as guidelines on meetings during the pandemic to help keep business flowing in difficult times. In fact, with 100% of homes and businesses in Jersey connected to a pure fibre gigabit-speed network which is the fastest of any jurisdiction in Europe, Jersey’s connectivity has supported high service levels and has helped launch some notable funds during the course of lockdown.”

Looking to the future, Tim highlighted that Jersey’s strengths in alternatives would position it ideally against global market trends, with PwC forecasting growth of almost 9% across the asset classes over the coming five years*. He said:

“Our core strengths as an alternative funds centre, particularly across private equity, real estate,infrastructure and credit funds remain the same – our stability, experience, expertise,service levels, cost-effectiveness, legal framework, tax transparency and regulatory standards. However, competition from other centres remains strong and the regulatory environment remains highly complex, so we need to keep innovating and adapting to meet the needs of alternative fund managers.

“To that end, we are focused on enhancing our range of structuring options, and we are focused on promoting our capabilities in the ESG space. We’re also anticipating a rise in co-investment and fund finance activity, a resurgence in the use of Jersey property unit trusts to facilitate investment into the real estate market, and opportunities in outsourced work as managers look for specific support expertise such as governance and compliance, areas where Jersey excels.”

 

*PwC Market ResearchCentre

JFA News
Wednesday
08
April 2020

Sustained private placement rise reinforces Jersey alternative fund market access credentials

New figures from the JFSC show that the number of alternative fund managers choosing to market their funds into the EU through Jersey using private placement continued to grow in the second half of 2019...

The number of alternative fund managers choosing to market their funds into the EU though Jersey using national private placement regimes (NPPR) continued to grow in the second half of 2019, according to the latest figures from Jersey's financial services regulator.

Data from the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) shows that, as at 31 December 2019, there were 183 Jersey-registered managers opting to market into the EU through NPPR, a figure that has risen 6% since June 2019 and by 9% year-on-year.

Meanwhile, the total number of Jersey alternative funds being marketed into the EU through NPPR also increased to stand at 320, representing a 3% increase since June 2019 and an annual rise of 2%.

 Commenting on the figures, Joe Moynihan, CEO, Jersey Finance, said:

“Reflecting the period in the immediate run-up to the UK’s formal exit from the EU, these are really positive figures reinforcing just how attractive the private placement route to market is for non-EU managers wanting to access EU investor capital. We’ve seen a sustained and consistent rise in the number of alternative managers and funds making use of private placement through Jersey over the past few years. It is a tried and tested route that provides certainty and flexibility and that is cost-effective, and those qualities are hugely attractive – particularly in the current challenging market.”

The figures follow shortly after the publication of the latest quarterly statistics for Jersey’s funds industry. They showed that the total net asset value of regulated funds under administration in Jersey grew by 8% over 2019 to stand at £345.7bn, a new record high, with private equity and venture capital driving growth, increasing by 19% over the year.

 Tim Morgan, Chair, Jersey Funds Association, added:

"Our alternatives sector continued to perform extremely strongly in 2019, reflecting the ideal ecosystem we have created in Jersey, and our market access and distribution capabilities are very much a part of that. The fact that we’ve seen a growing number of private equity, venture capital, real estate,infrastructure and debt funds opt for a private placement route to market through Jersey is testament to just how well it works. We expect this figure to continue to rise as managers look for robust and straightforward solutions to help navigate the complex and uncertain global environment we all now find ourselves in.”

JFA News
Thursday
05
December 2019

Jersey Funds Association presents findings of annual member survey

The findings of the second annual survey of the Jersey Funds Association’s (JFA) members will be instrumental in informing the organisation’s future direction and strategy, according to Chair Tim Morgan.

The findings of the second annual survey of the Jersey Funds Association’s (JFA) members will be instrumental in informing the organisation’s future direction and strategy, according to Chair Tim Morgan.

Highlighted to an audience of industry professionals at a presentation held at the Jersey Museum last week (28th November), the survey explored key opportunities and issues for Jersey’s funds industry and the sentiment of practitioners.

Amongst its key findings were that the industry’s approach to Brexit and new economic substance rules were balanced but largely positive, with over 80% saying Brexit would be neutral or increase business and around three quarters saying the same about substance rules.

Members were also very positive in terms of their growth outlook, with 84% saying they were confident or very confident of growth, a significant increase from last year.

In addition, in respect of technology the survey indicated a clear trend, with over 56% of respondents saying that they had employed automation technology over the past year.

Tim commented: “The past year has posed a number of significant challenges, including Brexit and the introduction of substance legislation however we really shouldn’t underestimate just how positive the outcome of Jersey's work around these issues has been for our industry. The recognition from the EU at the beginning of the year has shown without doubt that as a jurisdiction we are serious about cooperation and global standards, and that has translated into good business flows. The fact that our industry now administers in excess of £340bn of assets – a record high - is no accident. That buoyancy really comes through in our survey this year.

“We are pragmatic as an industry too, though. What our survey shows us is that our members are keen to maintain a growth trajectory by looking at innovation, continuing to source the best talent, engaging with stakeholders, and differentiating ourselves through service quality, ease of doing business and stability.

“These findings will be vital in informing how we continue to enhance our funds ecosystem, and I’d like to thank our membership for their time and support in putting their views forward.”

Industry News
Monday
16
September 2019

Further upbeat fund figures revealed at London Funds Conference

Further positive figures about the size of the funds industry in Jersey were unveiled at Jersey Finance’s London showcase conference for the funds sector last week.

Further positive figures about the size of the funds industry in Jersey were unveiled at Jersey Finance’s London showcase conference for the funds sector last week.

Elliot Refson, Business Development Director - Funds at Jersey Finance, said that the number of Jersey Private Funds (JPF) had increased 25% in six months, highlighting the success of Jersey’s government, regulator and industry working together to create the best possible environment for attracting innovative, quality funds business.

Figures from the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) showed that the number of JPFs, a structure introduced in 2017 to cater specifically for the needs of small groups of sophisticated investors, had reached 257 by 30 June 2019, up from 205 at the end of 2018, with assets under management of £43 billion.



Joe Moynihan, CEO of Jersey Finance, described Jersey as positioned perfectly to act as a quality filter to manage international financial flows: “As investors look for stable IFCs that offer specialist expertise, Jersey can be a voice of reason among the noise, ready to support investor ambitions.”

Furthermore, irrespective of the outcome of Brexit, Jersey was able to bridge the gap between the UK and Europe thanks to the bilateral agreements that were in place with the EU alongside its long standing relationship with the UK, boosted by a recently signed Memorandum of Understanding between the JFSC and the UK Financial Conduct Authority which gave fund managers added certainty around accessing UK investor capital through Jersey in the build up to Brexit.

Entitled ‘Beyond Boundaries’, the annual Jersey Finance funds conference 2019 (on September 10) attracted more than 350 delegates and a range of industry leading speakers and panellists who discussed the impact of regulation and governance, the trends in the alternative funds sector, and further examples of innovation and trailblazing by fund managers, lawyers and administrators who were using Jersey for their fund structuring.



The event was also an opportunity to flag up how Jersey had become a clear choice for socially responsible investing (SRI) and especially impact investing, with Mr Moynihan noting that there were already more than 30 SRI funds under administration in Jersey with assets valued at US$7.4 billion.

He also highlighted Jersey’s increasing global footprint pointing to the fact that Jersey became the first IFC to be permitted to open an office in the Dubai International Finance Centre last year. Further, next month, Jersey will formally open its first office in New York, partly to support the growing demands from US promoters choosing Jersey evidenced by US promoter assets under administration in Jersey increasing by 148% over the past five years.**

Meanwhile, the Island’s rapid investment in technology – it is the first place in the world to have full fibre telecom networking delivering speeds of 1 Gbps (gigabits per second) – had positioned the jurisdiction at the forefront of fintech investment fund services.

The conference, at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, included keynote addresses from Todd Buchholz, former Director of Economic Policy at the White House and current managing director of the US$15 billion Tiger hedge fund, and Dan Snow, BAFTA award-winning broadcaster and popular figure on BBC television presenting historical topics.

A total 18 industry experts from London and Jersey contributed to four breakout sessions which were entitled ‘New Alternatives’ moderated by Alice Murray, founding editor of The Drawdown; ‘Solutions for Fund Managers – Governance, Substance and Location’, with moderator Tim Morgan, Partner, Mourant and Chairman of the Jersey Funds Association; ‘Building Global Bridges’ moderated by Nicholas Neveling, editor, Real Deals; and ‘The Evolution of Real Estate’ with moderator Sophie Reguengo, Partner, Ogier.*



They debated factors affecting the alternatives market, pinpointing the strengths of the Jersey offering, drawing on the use of case studies outlined by managers, while also examining how the funds sector was responding to the technical and regulatory challenges it faced and Jersey’s role in providing solutions.

Summing up the Jersey offering, Joe Moynihan added: “Having one of the largest communities of finance industry and legal specialists of any IFC, combined with our speed to market, adoption of the latest standards in transparency, our tax neutral status and mature environment for funds business and with increasing numbers of local firms and advisers operating across multiple jurisdictions, we have all the hallmarks to remain the jurisdiction of choice.”

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
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
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
Tuesday
10
April 2018

Blog: Statistics, the Brexit Gap, and the Jersey Solution

JFA Committee Member Elliot Refson takes a look at figures quoted by the European Commission as part of a package of proposed amendments to cross-border investment fund regulations and explores how Jersey can provide a solution to benefit both managers and investors in the UK and EU...

JFA Committee Member Elliot Refson takes a look at figures quoted by the European Commission as part of a package of proposed amendments to cross-border investment fund regulations and explores how Jersey can provide a solution to benefit both managers and investors in the UK and EU...

Figures published last month by the European Commission as part of its proposed package of amendments to regulation surrounding the cross-border distribution of collective investment funds made for interesting reading.

By the Commission’s own admission, “only 37 % of UCITS and about 3 % of AIFs are registered for sale in more than three Member States”. Otherwise put, the vast majority of EU-based AIFs are concentrated on three investor markets or less. Sure, an AIFMD passport is the best bet for the 3% of AIFs wanting to market across the EU, but it begs the question: for the vast majority of funds, is an AIFMD passport really the most efficient and cost-effective means of accessing EU investor capital?

For AIFs, private placement is a tried and tested model for distributing into limited numbers of specific markets. It offers flexibility, speed to market, appropriate regulatory oversight and cost-effectiveness. By the EU’s own statistics, therefore, 97% of all EU-focussed AIFs would be most efficiently and cost-effectively marketed from a Jersey base, outside of the full scope of the AIFMD.

It’s why Jersey continues to see strong growth from AIFMs wanting to make use of the regime. At the end of 2017, there were 149 Jersey based AIFM’s marketing over 291 funds into the UK and the EU using the private placement route. This represents three year growth of 304% and 165% respectively, as reported by the Jersey Financial Services Commission.

And there’s a further problem on the horizon - over 75% of all European investment emanates from the UK, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Post-Brexit, only one of those will be a EU Member State, and there is no guarantee that UK managers will qualify for the AIFMD passport, restricting their ability to market in the EU. It also means that EU AIFMs will be restricted in marketing into the UK. Again, Jersey can provide the solution here, having good relations with all three of those markets.

Which is why we fully expect to see strong sustained interest in private placement through Jersey in the lead up to Brexit, with AIFMs establishing either a full or hosted presence in Jersey that can support them in bridging the gap between the UK and the EU, enable them to market into both via private placement, and ultimately generate better future returns for investors.

JFA News
Wednesday
13
September 2017

Jersey sees sustained appeal of private placement and strong JPF uptake

The number of alternative fund managers marketing into Europe through Jersey’s national private placement regimes (NPPRs) continued to rise during the first half of 2017 whilst there has been a strong uptake in the latest addition to Jersey’s regulatory regime.

The number of alternative fund managers marketing into Europe through Jersey’s national private placement regimes (NPPRs) continued to rise during the first half of 2017 whilst there has been a strong uptake in the latest addition to Jersey’s regulatory regime, according to mid-year figures from Jersey’s regulator the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC).

As at 30 June 2017, 131 alternative investment fund managers (AIFMs) had been authorised in Jersey to market into Europe through NPPRs under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD), up 14% compared to the same time last year.

In addition, the total number of Jersey alternative investment funds (AIFs) being marketed into Europe through NPPRs also increased to stand at 276, representing a 10% year-on-year increase.

Meanwhile, the JFSC has also reported a strong uptake in the Jersey Private Fund (JPF) regime, the latest addition to Jersey’s suite of fund structuring options, which was launched in April. As at 31 August 2017, there were 44 JPFs, with the majority being newly created fund vehicles with just under a fifth being conversions from existing structures.

The JPF was introduced earlier this year to provide sophisticated investors with a more streamlined and fast-track regime, under which funds for up to 50 investors could be established in as little as 48 hours.

Geoff Cook, CEO Jersey Finance, believes the figures show that private placement continues to give fund managers a good option for marketing funds into the EU:

“The clear indication is that, although there is a lot of talk about AIFMD passporting, private placement is giving non-EU fund managers a really reliable, straightforward and efficient route for marketing alternative funds into Europe. It’s stable, it’s cost-effective and it’s tried and tested and, against a complex geopolitical backdrop in Europe, that’s a really attractive proposition for fund managers right across the private equity, real estate, hedge and infrastructure fund asset classes.”

Meanwhile, commenting on the strong uptake in Jersey’s new JPF vehicle, Mike Byrne, Chairman, Jersey Funds Association, added:

“In the four months since the JPF was brought to market, this is a really encouraging initial uptake, and it’s particularly pleasing that more than 80% of JPFs are brand new funds. At the outset, we felt that there was real demand for this type of structure amongst institutional and professional investors across the alternative asset classes, and the figures support this view. In addition, we have also seen a positive reaction from family offices, who are using the new regime for co-investment purposes and to pool investments from multiple families.”

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
Wednesday
15
March 2017

Streamlined funds regime welcomed as enhancing competitiveness

Jersey’s competitiveness as a jurisdiction in which to establish funds has been enhanced with the introduction of a new regulatory framework for private funds.

Jersey’s competitiveness as a jurisdiction in which to establish funds has been enhanced with the introduction of a new regulatory framework for private funds.

The Jersey Private Fund, which has been announced by the Jersey Financial Services Commission today (Wednesday 15 March), consolidates and streamlines Jersey’s private fund offering and will enable funds with up to 50 investors to take advantage of a fast-track authorisation process and lighter ongoing regulatory requirements.

It provides a more flexible and versatile framework which will further improve the speed and ease with which funds marketed to professional investors can be established. The framework ensures continued compliance with international standards by requiring the appointment of a Jersey-based administrator.

Geoff Cook, CEO, Jersey Finance, said: "Jersey’s funds industry has shown strong growth over the past five years, and the new regime positions us for continued growth. Our industry is built on speed to market and expertise combined with appropriate regulatory oversight, and by offering a 48-hour authorisation for funds with up to 50 investors, this product will further cement our position as a market leader."

The Jersey Private Fund will also be available to managers seeking to market funds into Europe through National Private Placement Regimes. This is a route which has been a strong growth area for Jersey's funds industry and there are now more than 250 alternative investment funds and 115 authorised alternative investment fund managers marketing into the EU via Jersey.

The Jersey Private Fund regime will operate alongside existing regulatory frameworks which collectively will meet the requirements of all managers and investors.

Mike Byrne, Chair of Jersey Funds Association, said: “As a forward-thinking jurisdiction providing bespoke alternative fund solutions, we recognise that we need to continue to innovate and enhance our funds environment to set us apart from other jurisdictions. The new Jersey Private Fund is an example of that and comes following significant engagement between industry, regulator and government, aimed at making our overall funds offering clearer and simpler whilst at the same time giving fund managers and investors greater choice. We anticipate the regime will find real appeal amongst our institutional and professional investor client base, right across the private equity, real estate, infrastructure and debt and credit fund asset classes.”