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JFA News
Thursday
08
February 2024

Digital assets and regulatory innovation on the agenda as JFA highlights strong performance at annual update

Jersey’s funds industry has continued to perform well against a challenging macro environment but needs to remain agile and place a genuine emphasis on innovation in key areas to meet the competitiveness of an evolving industry, according to speakers at a recent Jersey Funds Association (JFA) Chairman’s Update event.

Held at the Pomme d’Or earlier last month (16 January), the event saw Chairman Michael Johnson discuss the current landscape and set out the organisation’s priorities for 2024, while Vice Chairman Joel Hernandez provided a legal and technical update.

Highlighting the robustness of the Island’s funds sector, Michael pointed to the £525bn net asset value of the sector and the continued success of the Jersey Private Fund (JPF), with 664 JPFs formed since the product was launched, making it the go-to product for sophisticated investors.

He also highlighted that the alternative asset classes now make up 81% of Jersey’s total funds business with private equity and venture capital accounting for the lion’s share.

Meanwhile, private placement continued to prove a popular access route to EU capital through Jersey, with 391 funds now being marketed by 213 fund managers, while the industry is also supporting an increasingly broad geography of managers, from Asia and Africa to the US, highlighting the jurisdiction’s global capabilities.

Commenting, Michael said: “The continued strength of our funds sector is testament to our offering, particularly our stable and no-change proposition when positioned against the wider backdrop of global market uncertainty. 2023 was a difficult year for both managers and investors, but despite that prevailing complex geopolitical and economic picture, Jersey saw a number of significant fund launches and we have a robust pipeline of new funds and managers.

“It remains vital, however, that we stay cognisant of what is an evolving environment whether that be from a regulatory, ESG, technological or geopolitical perspective in order to maintain our attractive ecosystem for alternative funds.”

That message was reinforced by Joel, who highlighted product innovation, including around the tokenisation of assets, as a key focus for the next 12 months. In particular, Joel, who is also head of the legal and technical sub-committee, pointed to the work the JFA was currently doing with the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) to modernise guidance for funds and special purpose vehicles with exposure to virtual assets.

He added:

“It has been another busy year for the legal and technical committee with sizeable collective efforts being undertaken regarding our AML/CFT framework, guidance around virtual assets, a response to what has been coined the ‘retailisation’ of alternatives, and improvements to our successful JPF regime. The coming months are set to be no quieter, but we are fortunate to have a collegiate approach that will ensure Jersey remains competitive based on what it has become known for - cost, speed to market and quality - all underpinned by an innovative mindset.”

 At the event, the JFA’s annual dinner was also confirmed to take place on 28 June this year. Further information can be found via the JFA website.

The JFA committee highlighted the strong performance of Jersey's funds sector in 2023, and outlined its priorities for the year ahead at its annual update held recently...

JFA News
Sunday
19
November 2023

Jersey First for Finance - Innovation and agility will drive future funds growth

JFA Chair Michael Johnson provides an analysis of the evolution and current state of Jersey's funds sector for the 2023 edition of annual coffee table publication First for Finance...

By Michael Johnson, Chair, Jersey Funds Association

As the global disruption of a pandemic continues to fade in the rear view mirror, new challenges – and opportunities - have come to the fore for Jersey’s funds industry.

Regulatory, economic and geopolitical change are now staples of the environment we operate in, but the good news is that Jersey's funds industry has been able to adapt to such a fast-evolving environment.

Jersey's forward-looking approach, commitment to first class service and focus on creating an ideal ecosystem for alternative investments have enabled its funds sector to thrive over recent years – but increasingly it is the jurisdiction’s ability to be agile and innovate in the face of change that is shaping our future course.

Buoyant

The past year has been another successful and buoyant one for our funds industry.

Figures in early 2023 indicate that the total net asset value of funds under administration in Jersey stood at a record high of more than half a trillion pounds (£523bn), with Jersey private funds continuing to increase year-on-year.

In addition, we are seeing an ever-increasing community of managers fully resident in the island across private equity, hedge fund, venture capital, debt and real estate. These managers provide depth and diversity to Jersey's industry, at a time when substance remains high on the agenda.

Jersey’s expanding and enhanced product range is being warmly received by global managers and investors too.

The Jersey Private Fund regime (JPF) continues to assert its appeal as a fast, cost effective fund vehicle which is ideally suited to a small number of sophisticated institutional investors. More than 600 JPFs have now been established in total – meaning that their number has now overtaken Collective Investment Funds (CIFs) in Jersey for the first time.

Amendments to Jersey’s Limited Partnership law and the long-awaited introduction of the Limited Liability Company (LLC) structure in early 2023 have also bolstered Jersey's options for overseas managers, particularly those in the US.

Jersey’s platform as a gateway to EU investor capital through private placement remains strong too.

With this year marking ten years since AIFMD was implemented across Europe, more than 400 funds and 200 non-EU managers are using the tried and tested National Private Placement Regime (NPPR) through Jersey to access Europe– a figure that has grown by around 60% in five years.

It’s clear that global managers continue to respond positively to Jersey’s private placement option, which holds particular appeal for those who do not require a full onshore EU presence – which is around 97% of managers, according to the EU’s own figures.

As investors continue to navigate a challenging landscape, Jersey’s funds sector is, overall, in a good place, with global trends supporting the future outlook of our industry as investors continue to focus on the opportunities presented through alternatives– private equity, venture capital and real assets - areas where Jersey has particular expertise and experience.

Challenge

It is, however, prudent that Jersey remains on the front foot, alert to changes in the landscape and ready to respond with agility to market shifts.

At a macro level, for instance, Jersey’s weighting towards alternatives could turn out to be our greatest challenge should the industry adopt a cautious outlook as we cross the rubicon to a higher interest rate environment.

In early 2023, for instance, two-year UK Gilts stood at 5.5% and are expected to surpass 6% in the next year. That’s the benchmark for the risk-free rate – the key hurdle for allocators when determining allocations to portfolios.

Not only that but allocators are also contending with the denominator effect, further impeding their sentiment and ability to continue to allocate so freely to closed-ended alternatives. We cannot ignore some significant sectors that are likely to be impacted – real estate, a key area for Jersey, being one.

In this new era, embracing innovation, being agile and looking at our product range to see how we can introduce a wider choice of products and services will be vital. It’s why this year the JFA has established an innovation sub-committee to look at a range of ideas – such as developing the foundations for holding assets using digital ledgers.

The tokenisation of real assets looks set to have a transformational impact on the cross-border funds industry in the coming years. We are already well engaged on that topic, but it is vital we maintain momentum in an area that is witnessing real acceleration.

We are also well positioned in the rapidly growing arena of ESG investing. Jersey has a clear sustainable finance vision and is making good headway in implementing on that strategy – but as international regulation evolves, it’s vital we keep up with the pace of change.

The MONEYVAL assessment in 2023, meanwhile, has also underlined the importance of asserting our industry’s strength in combatting financial crime and working collectively as an industry and with the government to ensure our national approach is fully aligned with our industry approach.

Jersey's reputational advantage has long been at the heart of our success and as an industry we continue to be alive to the importance of being able to demonstrate the highest standards of anti-money laundering, compliance and governance.

In addition, if we are to maintain our growth trajectory, we need to be able to draw on a sustainable workforce. Experience and expertise have long been Jersey’s hallmarks, and a commitment to sourcing the best talent to boost productivity – in tandem with digital adoption - will be critical in the years ahead.

With that in mind, the JFA remains proactive in attracting both young and diverse talent to the industry and enabling ‘career switchers’ an opportunity to enter the sector.

As we look forward, the ability of our industry to be agile and embrace innovation, balanced against a commitment to remaining a stable and certain domicile, will continue to be at the core of Jersey’s proposition. If we can achieve that balance, then our funds industry can approach the future with confidence.

You can read the full Jersey: First for Finance publication as an e-reader here.

JFA News
Tuesday
17
October 2023

JFA Masterclass explores key regulatory trends

Speakers at the latest JFA Masterclass event explored the evolving regulatory landscape Jersey's funds industry operates in...

New regulation, both domestic and international, is creating significant opportunities for Jersey’s funds sector – but at the same time is requiring industry participants to be more agile than ever before, according to speakers at a recently held Masterclass event organised by the Jersey Funds Association (JFA).

Expert speakers at the recent event, held in September at the Royal Yacht Hotel and attended by over 50 industry representatives from Jersey's funds sector as well as colleagues from the Government of Jersey and the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC), provided valuable insights into the evolving regulatory environment and the impact on Jersey’s funds sector.

In particular, the event emphasised the significant ongoing regulatory changes in both the UK and EU, including the UK’s ongoing efforts to enhance its ecosystem for asset managers and the EU’s review of the AIFMD. Prem Mohan, Partner at Kirkland and Ellis, highlighted how evolutions to AIFMD II could bring greater compliance challenges, whilst also pointing to how National Private Placement (NPP) arrangements, such as those through Jersey, still provide a good route to EU capital for non-EU managers with the current expectation that the NPP regime will remain in place for the mid-term.

Helen De La Cour, Director of Financial Services for he Government of Jersey highlighted Jersey's focus on developing regulation to ensure inclusive and appropriate access to financial services while being committed to enabling the funds sector to continue to grow and innovate.

David Eacott, Executive Director of Supervision at the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) shared his observations on Jersey's funds sector from his first half-year in post leading the JFSC's supervisory activities. David pointed to tokenisation and digital assets being very much on the JFSC's agenda.

Closing the session, David Postlethwaite, Sustainability and ESG Lead at KPMG, explored how ESG regulation was being integrated across the funds sector and how managers were having to increasingly apply an ESG lens to their due diligence procedures – something that is driving greater data sophistication when it comes to reporting and disclosure.

Jon Stevens, Chair of the JFA’s Regulatory and Compliance Sub-Committee and Deputy Managing Director of Mourant Consulting, hosted the event. He commented:

"Our latest Masterclass offered our broad funds sector a valuable opportunity to delve into crucial areas of regulatory progress. It’s clear that regulation in multiple areas – from sustainable finance and digital assets to domestic compliance and shifting international standards– are all impacting our industry, and firms at all levels of the supply chain are having to be nimble in responding to those changes.

“At the same time, Jersey has an opportunity to playa role in the inter-operability of these regulatory changes – helping investors to navigate and make sense of what it all means, across borders. And that will be an invaluable role for Jersey's funds practitioners to play in the years to come. Against that backdrop, I’m really pleased that there was such strong interest in our latest Masterclass event.”

Further details about the JFA’s Masterclass series and other events can be found here.

JFA News
Monday
09
October 2023

Blog: Jersey is helping investors navigate an uncertain real estate environment

Richard Anthony, JFA Committee Member and Head of Aztec’s Jersey Real Assets Team, explores the challenges currently shaping the UK real estate industry and how Jersey continues to actively facilitate high quality capital flows into the sector...

By Richard Anthony, JFA Committee Member and Head of Aztec’s Jersey Real Assets Team

UK real estate has long been an attractive sector for global investors – but for various reasons, it is currently not without its challenges.

It is also a sector where Jersey firms have considerable experience, with members of the Jersey Funds Association being fortunate enough to work with some of the top real estate fund and asset managers globally and specifically in the UK.

This piece provides a snapshot of the key issues currently facing the real estate sector, through the lens of our clients and investors.  

The Rise of Inflation

UK inflation has continued to rise sharply in recent months, with 2022 seeing the highest rate reached in over 40 years. As central banks aim to control inflationary pressures, interest rates have also risen in dramatic fashion.

This has undoubtedly influenced investor sentiment towards UK investment, the ability to generate attractive returns on existing portfolios and to secure financing for new projects, not to mention the impact on valuations. Speaking of which…

Uncertainty Surrounding Valuations

Asset valuations in UK real estate have become increasingly uncertain and downward adjusted in various sub-sectors, particularly in the commercial real estate sector - with various factors contributing to this challenge.  

As a result, deal flow has been impacted, with potential sellers not wishing to sell and potential buyers considering whether we are really at the floor of the market, keeping their capital dry or attempting a cheeky chip on price while at the heart of a transaction.  

On the upside, various asset and fund managers are hopeful for a bounce in the final quarter of 2023 and moving into the start of 2024, with fingers crossed for the plateau and descent of interest rates, which will bolster market sentiment.

Ability to Raise and Retain Capital

Fund managers in the UK real estate sector face the ongoing challenge of raising capital for their funds.

With increasing competition and changing market dynamics, attracting investors and securing commitments can be a daunting task. Investors are becoming more discerning, seeking transparency, track records and granular level due diligence.

Additionally, many open or quasi open-ended funds are having to work hard to maintain liquidity, as certain investors look to re-allocate or withdraw capital from the sector.  

In the current environment, fund managers must demonstrate their ability to deliver attractive risk-adjusted returns and navigate market uncertainties to gain the confidence of potential investors.

ESG Impact

In recent years, there has been a growing emphasis on environmental sustainability and energy efficiency in the real estate industry.

Buyers and sellers are increasingly considering Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) and BREEAM ratings when evaluating commercial buildings. This "flight to quality" trend means that buildings with higher ratings are more likely to attract buyers and command higher prices.

On the flip side, other buildings with lesser ratings are becoming harder to sell, forcing the need to either make further capital investment, or exit at less attractive valuations.

Jersey’s Role

Whilst the above challenges are undoubtedly shaping the UK real estate industry at present, and may persist for some time, members of the JFA continue to actively facilitate high quality capital flows into the sector through Jersey domiciled structures.

Why? The Island has a vast pool of industry leading legal and professional firms with talented real estate professionals. The legislation, regulation and taxation applicable to investment structuring is finely tuned, incredibly robust and sufficiently flexible to meet the needs of most investors.  

If you are considering an investment in real estate through a fund or corporate structure, consider Jersey.

JFA News
Tuesday
13
June 2023

Rapidly evolving ESG landscape highlighted at JFA masterclass

Expert speakers at a recent Masterclass event, organised by the Jersey Funds Association, provided valuable insights into key ESG developments and their implications for the local industry...

New regulation and industry wide adoption of ESG and sustainability metrics have created significant opportunities for service providers, while data management now occupies a central role in achieving ESG compliance, both in the eyes of regulators and investors.

Expert speakers at a recent Masterclass event, organised by the Jersey Funds Association, provided valuable insights into these dynamic developments and their implications for the local industry.

The event, held on 6th June at the Royal Yacht Hotel, attracted over 40 industry participants from Jersey's funds sector. The guest speakers explored various key topics, including the rapidly evolving regulatory landscape, Jersey's potential to grow as a leading centre for ESG funds, the integration of ESG principles in private equity, and the growing importance of data management in the ESG sphere.

The event emphasised the intricate nature of global ESG and sustainable investment regulation, noting the considerable differences in disclosure frameworks between Europe, the US and Asia. The differences present clear opportunities for Jersey domiciled service providers, managers and funds, who may opt in or out of differing jurisdictional frameworks, while relying on the robustness of the JFSC as their home regulator.

As global standards continue to evolve, especially in relation to nature and climate disclosures, the significance of "financial grade" data management is poised to grow. This, according to visiting speaker Antonello Argenziano, creates potential avenues for fund administrators and managers aiming to drive progress and differentiate themselves.

The speakers highlighted Jersey’s strong position, underscoring the alignment of its flexible ESG disclosure framework with international standards and that Jersey implemented anti-greenwashing rules in 2021, with further enhancements in the pipeline.

Tom Powell, Chair of the JFA's ESG Sub-Committee and CEO of Amthe Capital, led the first session on regulation and disclosure. Powell remarked: "Our latest Masterclass offered industry participants a valuable opportunity to delve into crucial areas of regulatory progress in the ESG investment landscape. The rapidly evolving lexicon of acronyms can be overwhelming. There is a genuine sense that Jersey's expertise in administration, data management, risk, compliance, and governance is highly desirable as the industry continues its forward momentum."

He continued: “It’s really important that as a jurisdiction Jersey continues to tell its story in this area, because it has a fantastic story to tell.”

The JFA thanks all those who attended and facilitated the event. More about Jersey’s proposition in sustainable finance can be found here.

The speakers at the masterclass were: Tom Powell, CEO of Amthe Capital - Jersey; Alison Cambray, ESG, Sustainability & NetZero Director at PwC Channel Islands; David Postlethwaite, ESG Associate Director at KPMG in Jersey; Antonello Argenziano, Product Director at Intertrust Luxembourg; and Jane Burns, Sustainability and Climate Change Engagement Manager for the Government of Jersey.

Industry News
Monday
17
April 2023

Jersey’s funds sector posts positive end-of-year figures

The latest industry figures show that the value of regulated fund assets serviced in Jersey rose by close to £39bn over the course of 2022...

The value of regulated fund assets serviced in Jersey rose by close to £39bn over the course of 2022 while the corporate and banking sectors also posted positive figures, according to the latest industry statistics.

According to the most recent quarterly figures to be collated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) for the period ending 31 December 2022, the value of regulated funds under administration increased by £38.6bn (8.6%) compared to 31 December 2021 to stand at a new record level of £488.8bn.

Across the core alternative asset classes – which now make up 78% of total funds business in Jersey - the hedge fund sector in particular contributed to growth, increasing by some 24% over the twelve months.

In addition, a total of 638 Jersey Private Funds (JPFs) have now been registered in Jersey since the structure was launched in 2017, according to the JFSC – an increase of 107 (20%) over the past twelve months. The value of assets held in JPFs is now £61.7bn and is in addition to the headline funds figure.

Meanwhile, the total value of deposits in Jersey banks increased by £14.8bn (11%) over 2022 to stand at £148.3bn – the highest level since 2013 - with 58% held in foreign currencies.

Corporate activity also remained positive with a total of 35,028 companies on the register at the end of the year, increasing marginally (1.5%) year-on-year to an all-time high.

In addition, 79 Jersey company vehicles are now listed on global exchanges around the world, including the London Stock, New York and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges, with a combined total market capitalisation of £167.4bn.

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

“These are strong year-end figures that paint a sustained positive picture of our finance sector, particularly against the backdrop of global economic flux. The consistent growth of our funds sector confirms the appeal of our offering, cementing our position as a leading alternative funds hub in Europe.

“Meanwhile, our banking sector remains resilient, providing sought-after stability in uncertain times, and our corporate sector continues to see steady growth, reflecting a healthy holistic platform supporting investors, families and businesses around the world. This equates to a strong message, and one that will be hugely positive as we maintain our expansion and growth in global markets, including the US and South-East Asia.”

Mike Johnson, Chair, Jersey Funds Association, added:

“Jersey’s funds sector is clearly continuing to appeal to both managers and investors, and that is thanks to the high standard of our offering, which combines a depth of expertise, flexibility, certainty and a stable outlook rarely found in other jurisdictions. Of particular note in these figures is the ongoing march of the JPF, with more than 100 established over the year. It has firmly established itself as a go-to vehicle for alternative fund structuring, adding considerably to our reputation as a premiere funds jurisdiction.”

JFA News
Thursday
16
March 2023

JFA committee highlights busy schedule at update event

Jersey’s funds industry is maintaining its upward trajectory – but evolution in the market means that the JFA is busier than ever, according to committee members speaking at the JFA’s recent Chairman’s Update event...

Jersey’s funds industry is maintaining its upward trajectory – but evolution in the market, regulatory change and competition means that the Jersey Funds Association (JFA) is busier than ever, according to committee members speaking at the JFA’s recent Chairman’s Update event.

Held at the Pomme d’Or recently (1 March), the event saw Chairman Michael Johnson and Vice Chairman Joel Hernandez assess the current landscape and set out some of the priorities for the JFA over the coming year, whilst sub-committee heads also took part in a Q&A session highlighting some of the trends, challenges and opportunities on the horizon.

Pointing to the fact that the value of assets serviced in Jersey rose to new record levels of more than £0.5trn in 2022,Michael also emphasised how important it was to be alive to the potential for change in the wider landscape:

“Our figures continue to illustrate an upward trend, but it’s really important we stay ahead of the curve and anticipate regulatory change and shifts in investor behaviour to maintain our attractive ecosystem for alternative funds.

“Speed to market, cost-effectiveness and service quality are absolutely crucial in our segment of the alternatives market and we are fully focused not only on safeguarding our position but on enhancing our proposition in those areas. On the ESG front, for example, the key is to establish a robust framework but without creating hurdles, whilst on the innovation front we see opportunities to build up a track record in blockchain, tokenisation and digital assets.”

Joel added:

“From a legal and technical perspective, it has never been busier in terms of the need to respond to consultations and international and domestic regulatory change – such as looking at our AML/CFT frameworks, enhancing our range of fund structures and regimes, and ensuring we keep the cost of doing business with Jersey competitive.  We are fortunate in the JFA to have broad and diverse expertise through our membership to support our efforts in these areas.”

The JFA will be holding a series of further events for members over the coming months to explore key areas of note for the industry, including a Legal and Tax Masterclass (20 April) and two Town Hall events on ESG (15 May) and Digital (5 June). The JFA’s annual dinner has also been confirmed for 14 July. Further information can be found via the JFA website.

Industry News
Friday
10
February 2023

LLC introduction enhances Jersey proposition for US alternative fund managers

The introduction of new Limited Liability Company (LLC) legislation in Jersey is anticipated to significantly enhance the jurisdiction’s proposition as a leading jurisdiction supporting US alternative fund managers.

New Limited Liability Company (LLC) legislation can significantly enhance Jersey's proposition as a leading jurisdiction supporting US alternative fund managers.

Officially approved by the Government of Jersey this week (7 February), the law, which enters into force on 14 February, expands Jersey’s existing comprehensive suite of private fund vehicles, adding a new structure that is intended to be familiar to US private equity, venture capital and other alternative fund professionals.

Benefitting from a simple registration process and flexible governance requirements, the Jersey LLC, which will have separate legal personality and can be classed as a ‘body corporate’, is expected to offer a number of key opportunities, including being used for issuing securities, as a manager vehicle, and as a fund entity in conjunction with the hugely successful Jersey Private Fund (JPF) regime.

The structure also provides certainty for US managers looking to fundraise within the EU, with the Jersey LLC able to market into Europe, subject to the usual fund permissions from the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC), under the Alternative Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) third country private placement rules.

Elliot Refson, Head of Funds, Jersey Finance, said: “Following a period of extensive consultation, the introduction of the Jersey LLC is a significant development for Jersey’s funds sector and bolsters our ability considerably to support US fund managers.

 “The Jersey LLC has been deliberately and specifically developed to be a structure US managers and investors are familiar with, backed up by Jersey’s world-class ecosystem for cross-border alternative funds, our leading regulatory framework and our position as a non-EU European time-zone hub.

“Through the Jersey LLC, US fund managers will now be able to take advantage of seamless marketing into the EU via national private placement regimes, underlining our proposition as the ideal gateway into Europe.”

 Philip Pirecki, Jersey Finance Lead in the Americas, added: “LLCs are hugely popular in the US private markets space, with advisers, managers, and investors very familiar with the structure. In that light, we see significant opportunity for the Jersey LLC to support their needs.

 “Since opening our office in New York three years ago, we have seen our book of US business increase significantly. By adding the LLC structure to our proposition, we are expanding our solutions for the US market even further, as we look to meet the cross-border needs of US managers and sophisticated investors.”

Michael Johnson, Chair of the JFA, commented: “The funds industry has seen a sustained increase in business from the US over recent years, particularly as alternative managers have sought to draw on Jersey’s platform for accessing EU investor capital efficiently. The introduction of the long-awaited Jersey LLC meets a growing need in that light, offering a vehicle that is familiar to managers but at the same time that offers all the benefits of Jersey as an expert and well-regulated alternative funds centre in Europe. We expect to see strong appeal for the LLC in the months ahead from managers across the private equity and venture capital space.”

The introduction of the Jersey LLC follows a period of sustained growth for Jersey’s funds industry in relation to the US market, with funds business from US promoters more than doubling over the past five years.

JFA News
Tuesday
03
January 2023

Jersey Evolves US Proposition: Industry Perspective

Ian Horswell, Global Head of Business Development for Funds at JFA Member Firm Suntera Global, reflects on Jersey Finance's recent US Roadshow and how Jersey is evolving its proposition for US managers…

Towards the end of 2022, Jersey Finance embarked on its first US roadshow, hosting events in Miami, Chicago and San Francisco, as well as New York, where it has had an office for three years.

A number of industry professionals from Jersey Funds Association member firms were involved in the roadshow, including Ian Horswell, Global Head of Business Development for Funds at Suntera Global. Here, Ian reflects on the roadshow and how Jersey is evolving its proposition for US managers…

Q: What sort of business is currently being undertaken between Jersey and US?

Ian Horswell (IH): We continue to believe that Jersey is a fantastic jurisdiction for US managers looking to access European assets or working with European investors – it is well respected, well-regulated and has tax neutrality, all of which is appreciated increasingly by managers we speak to.

In May last year, for instance, we acquired US-based fund services provider Socium Fund Services and since then we have seen rising levels of new business flows between both jurisdictions.

Q: Why is the US such an interesting market for Jersey?

IH: The US is the largest funds market in the world and we’ve seen some exciting growth in the US this year. It’s also a market that is experiencing a sharp movement towards the outsourced model – so it’s a space where Jersey can add real value.

Against that backdrop we hired a dedicated senior Business Development lead in the US to help tell our and Jersey’s story. The feedback is that US managers are increasingly used to the IFC model and see Jersey as an interesting gateway to Europe.

Q: How is Jersey’s reputation evolving in the US?

IH: I think Jersey’s reputation is growing all the time. Jersey Finance and JFA member firms are more and more active in the US, which is giving Jersey greater visibility, while a number of US law firms have a large presence in London, which means that Jersey is already familiar to them. US managers and lawyers are using Jersey and having a good experience in doing so – that quality of service is a really strong play in the US market.

Q: How useful was the Jersey Finance US Roadshow in getting Jersey’s message across?

IH: The roadshow was really useful, both from a jurisdictional and an industry perspective. Jersey Finance and Suntera are already well known in New York and its surrounding areas, and this series of roadshow events brought our story to a much wider audience and new groups of stakeholders.

Chicago, for example, was a new city for both Jersey Finance and Suntera, but actually Chicago has several managers who use Jersey and we had lots of legal contacts in the area too. The roadshow gave us an opportunity to reinforce our message face to face with a new audience, which was vital, and gave managers a chance to ask questions.

It also gave us an opportunity to really focus and ensure our clarity of message – that Jersey is well positioned to support the US market, with excellent experience in all major asset classes. One important point which we highlighted a lot during the week was our political stability, whilst we also pointed consistently to how, as a small jurisdiction, Jersey punches well above its weight with over 14,000 financial services employees.

Q: How well is Jersey perceived in the US market?

IH: Overall, the Roadshow has really helped move the dial in terms of Jersey’s proposition for the US. What was clear was that those managers and lawyers that use Jersey already are big fans.

However, we also need to continue to focus on other groups, those that are less familiar with what we do, and do some educational work to explain our USP over other IFCs – in particular in relation to our responsiveness, pragmatic regulator, and the impressive flexibility and experience we offer. That will be our focus for the US in 2023.

Find out more about Jersey's US proposition for US managers here and about Jersey Finance's US roadshow here.

JFA News
Wednesday
19
October 2022

JFA Legal and Technical Sub-Committee outlines areas of evolution

The JFA’s Legal and Technical Sub-Committee held a briefing this week, outlining some of the measures the industry is taking to maintain Jersey’s leading position as a centre for alternative funds...

Professionals from across Jersey’s funds sector including lawyers, administrators, NEDs and compliance specialists, heard from the JFA’s Legal and Technical Sub-Committee this week, at a briefing outlining some of the measures the industry is taking to maintain Jersey’s leading position as a centre for alternative funds.

A number of speakers from the sub-committee, including Chris Patton, Head of Private Equity, Intertrust Group, Simon Burgess, Fund Advisor and Non-Executive Director, and Matt McManus, Managing Associate, Ogier, discussed a range of areas of regulatory and legislative focus for the JFA, including the recent JFSC AML Exemptions Consultation Paper, a JFSC Outsourcing Paper and JFSC Consultation on Senior Management.

The session was hosted by Joel Hernandez, Head of Funds, Mourant, Vice Chair of JFA, and Chair of the JFA Legal and Technical Sub-Committee, who said:

“Our role as a sub-committee is to look at ways to defend and develop our industry from a legal and technical perspective, working with other stakeholders and organisations, to enhance Jersey’s proposition and add value to the funds sector. The fact that so many people joined us for this session reflects the appetite to support the evolution of Jersey’s funds industry, which is fantastic to see.

“The most recent figures for our funds industry were extremely positive, with AUM and AUA reaching record levels yet again. It’s clear though, that there is a huge amount of work being undertaken by the JFA to maintain our position and appeal in a landscape that is extremely competitive and increasingly influenced by international regulatory and compliance pressures – and this is what the session really focused on.

“From looking at our AML/CFT frameworks and how we can keep the cost of doing business with Jersey competitive, to enhancing our Jersey Private Fund regime, as well as honing our ecosystem for virtual assets – there is a lot that the Committee has been working on. On balance, we feel that Jersey remains in a strong position, given the support of the JFA's members and its other partners.”

JFA News
Wednesday
20
July 2022

Jersey Funds Association names new committee

The JFA has named its new-look committee following its recent AGM...

Following its recent Annual General Meeting (8 July), the Jersey Funds Association (JFA) has elected a new-look committee as it continues to champion Jersey's ecosystem for alternative funds.

With outgoing Chairman Tim Morgan completing his three-year tenure, Michael Johnson takes over the role, with Joel Hernandez taking on the position of Vice Chairman. Michael is Group Head of Institutional Services at Crestbridge, whilst Joel is a Partner at law firm Mourant.

The new committee features some continuity whilst also introducing a number of new faces, with Robin Wilson, Sophie Reguengo, Stephanie Hopkins, Clive Spears and John Riva all joining. Remaining on the committee this year are Richard Anthony, Mike Byrne, Steve Cartwright, Ben Dixon, Ben Honeywood, Dilmun Leach, Robert Milner, Tim Morgan, Simon Page, Martin Paul, Tom Powell, Peter Rioda, Ben Robins, Martin Rowley, Sarah Sandiford and Elliot Refson.

At the AGM, outgoing JFA Chair Tim Morgan, who is a Partner at law firm Maples, provided an assessment of achievements and highlights from the past year:

“Jersey's funds industry continues to operate in a fast-evolving market, with regulatory, economic and geopolitical uncertainty continuing to pose challenges – but the fact that Jersey’s funds industry succeeded in reaching new record highs of assets under administration in 2022 and in each of the past three years speaks volumes about the appeal of Jersey’s platform of stability. As ever we need to continue to work hard to underpin this.

“Reflecting on the past three years, there’s no doubt it has been a busy but exciting time to lead the JFA, through a complex period encompassing the implications for Jersey of the effects of Brexit, to the challenges of the global pandemic, to on going enhancements to Jersey’s international standing for tax and regulation. It is a credit to the committee and to the wider industry that Jersey’s funds offering has gone from strength to strength throughout this period. I’m really grateful for the efforts of all those who have given their time to the committee, including Caroline Harrington, who is retiring from her role as secretary of the JFA after many years. We have achieved a lot – from navigating tax and regulatory changes, to integrating ESG into our thinking and supporting cutting-edge training for our members.”

Meanwhile, newly appointed JFA Chairman Michael Johnson added:

“There’s no doubt that the landscape continues to pose challenges. Geopolitical developments have significantly worsened since the increased hostilities in Ukraine, and from a macro-economic perspective, inflation rates, interest rate changes and other economic indicators are pointing to a significantly more challenging economic environment. Jurisdictionally, the competitive environment remains intense and evolving too.

“But there is plenty for Jersey to be positive about. We have a compelling proposition, an industry that is growing at an impressive rate, and more and more managers of substance looking at Jersey to support their cross-border needs. Private equity, venture capital and real assets are at the heart of global economic rebuilding efforts, and we have precisely the experience and platform here to support that and make a positive impact.”

JFA News
Friday
01
July 2022

It's all about the people - JFA chair writes in Funds Europe

With reference to Jersey Finance's ground-breaking 'Jersey's Contribution to Global Value Chains' report, JFA Chair Tim Morgan writes in Funds Europe magazine, looking at the importance of evidencing the positive global impact of Jersey's funds sector...

Towards the end of last year, Jersey Finance published a ground-breaking report that highlighted the value Jersey’s finance industry adds to global markets and the positive impact the work done in Jersey has around the world.

The ‘Jersey’s Contribution to Global Value Chains’ report explores the redistribution of the value of work done in Jersey – and it makes some significant findings. In particular, Jersey firms intermediate £1.4 trillion (€1.7 trillion) of global capital each year and support £170.3 billion of global economic output.

That activity in turn supports millions of jobs of ordinary people, and accounts for 0.27% of total global economic activity each year. It’s an impressive contribution globally for a small jurisdiction.

Read the full article here.

JFA News
Friday
24
June 2022

Research highlights importance of expertise, flexibility and stability in evolution of international fund jurisdictions

Jersey Finance launches latest white paper in a series undertaken by IFI Global

Stability, expertise and flexibility have been highlighted as key components of the international fund domicile of the future in a new report published this month by IFI Global and supported by Jersey Finance.

‘The Evolution of the International Fund Jurisdictions’ report forms the latest in a series undertaken by IFI Global with Jersey Finance, with previous reports published over the past two years having focused on fund domiciliation, structuring, and fund governance.

This new report explores the origins of the fund domiciliation industry and how a number of locations around the world with no previous connection to funds, have ended up playing fundamental roles at the heart of the global funds landscape, servicing more than US$16 trillion of fund assets.

The report also explores how those centres, including Jersey, BVI, Bermuda, Cayman, Guernsey, Ireland and Luxembourg, have since evolved and what their past experiences tell us about their future direction. Among the report’s key areas of focus are:

 

·        Key dates, from the establishment of the first expatriate banking operation in Jersey in the 1960s to EU alternative fund regulation in 2018

·        The origins of the international funds industry in the 1980s, including the first investment funds offered to expats and the largely Anglo-Saxon asset management industry of the 1990s

·        The dawn of alternatives, including the introduction of regulatory measures, the shift towards institutional investors, the heightened focus on governance and substance in the wake of the global financial crisis, and the impact of Brexit

·        The future, including the growth of sustainable finance and crypto funds and the importance of first mover advantage when it comes to new investment categories

 

 Commenting on the findings, Elliot Refson, Head of Funds at Jersey Finance, said:

“Given the trends over the last decade or more highlighted in this paper, there’s no doubt that the fund jurisdictions that will be most successful in the future will be those that are stable with strong expertise and infrastructure, and robust but flexible regulatory frameworks. This has really been Jersey’s mantra for the past twenty years, and we’ve seen the fruits of that in the growth of Jersey in recent years as a trusted funds domicile.

“There will undoubtedly be more changes over the coming decades and our focus will remain on staying true to our values and on retaining our position as an integral part of the global fund landscape.”

 Simon Osborn, CEO of IFI Global and author of the report, added:

 “Fund domiciliation patterns have always been subject to change and there is no reason to believe this will not continue to be the case in future. To understand how the asset management business might develop in the future, it is a good idea to know something about how the international fund jurisdictions, on which this industry depends, are evolving.

 “This White Paper touches upon how a few unlikely locations, dotted around the world, got into this business, focuses on what is happening in international fund domiciliation today and explores what may well happen to international fund jurisdictions over the next few years.”

The new research can be viewed and downloaded here.

Industry News
Wednesday
19
January 2022

Strong growth for Jersey Private Fund as structure passes 500 mark

The total number of registered Jersey Private Funds (JPFs) has surpassed the 500 mark, according to the latest figures...

The total number of registered Jersey Private Funds (JPFs) has surpassed the 500 mark, according to the latest figures, as the structure continues to assert its appeal for flexible alternative fund structuring.

According to the latest quarterly statistics collated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission and published by Jersey Finance, there were 502 JPFs at the end of September 2021, a number that has risen by 38% compared to the same time the previous year.

Launched in 2017, the JPF structure is tailored to the needs of small numbers of sophisticated investors and offers high levels of flexibility, fast-track authorisation and lighter touch ongoing regulatory requirements. Further, the nimble nature of the structure mean it chimes particularly well with the tried and tested private placement route for marketing funds into Europe as well as within the ESG space.

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

“These latest figures show the enduring strength of the JPF, particularly when it comes to private capital co-investment and cross-border institutional alternative fund structuring. By being cost-effective, flexible and swift to market, the structure has genuinely become a go-to vehicle that has, undoubtedly, played a part in the sizeable growth we’ve seen in our funds sector as a whole.”

JFA News
Monday
01
November 2021

Real estate trends reinforce Jersey’s appeal

In our latest blog, JFA Committee Member and Mourant LP Partner Alistair Horn, together with Mourant colleagues John MacFeeters (Counsel) and Rachel Fowler (Senior Associate) explain why now is an opportune time to look at how Jersey can support trends in the UK real estate investment space...

By Alistair Horn, Mourant LP Partner and JFA committee member, John MacFeeters, Counsel and Rachel Fowler, Senior Associate at Mourant

With reports suggesting that global investors have set aside up to £46bn to deploy in the London office market alone this year (the highest since 2012), it’s an opportune time to take a look at some of the trends we are seeing in Jersey for UK real estate investments.

For years, Jersey has been an attractive option for asset managers looking to establish real estate holding structures, and for investors wishing to invest in real estate assets and recently we have seen a noticeable increase in the use of Jersey REIT structures, whilst the traditional Jersey Property Unit Trust (JPUT) remains just as popular as ever.

In fact, there has been an uptick in establishing new JPUTs despite the continued impact of COVID-19.

We've seen a particular recent trend in the increased use of JPUTs to acquire healthcare and logistical assets, with the importance of the latter increasing due to the online activity of consumers during the past 12 months and beyond. Notably, many of the JPUT investors have come from South East Asia and North America, emphasising how far-reaching the JPUT has become.

Meanwhile, Jersey continues to grow its market share in private REITs and this trend is expected to continue. The UK REIT regime is already attractive to many sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, major global financial institutions and specialist property investors.

However, it is expected that this market will grow following the UK Budget 2021 announcement of the rise in the corporation tax rate from 19% to 25% starting in 2023. This change will make the REIT regime more attractive to a broader range of UK real estate investors.

In addition, we are seeing a trend that 'responsible' capital and sustainability are no longer 'fringe' concepts. They do (and will increasingly need to) underpin strategic decision-making and investment allocations by fund managers in the coming decades, as the global economy grapples with the impact of climate change, other potential environmental damage, rising inequality and political and economic crises.

Funds focusing on social housing, urban regeneration, supported living as well as more bespoke projects such as water related regeneration are becoming more common.

With these trends in mind, it’s worth noting that there are a number of reasons underpinning Jersey's continuing appeal in this space that should give managers and investors confidence, including the following benefits.

Accessibility

As an independent jurisdiction conveniently located near the UK and mainland Europe, Jersey appeals to managers who want to access global investors whilst remaining outside the AIFMD environment.

Removing the additional costs associated with AIFMD compliance, whether that is achieved by marketing into the EEA via national private placement routes or by targeting the US and Asian markets, can result in lower running costs and higher investor returns.

Managers and investors alike are familiar and comfortable with Jersey as a jurisdiction, and this appeal is enhanced by Jersey's global reputation as a market leader in promoting anti-money laundering measures and combating financial crime.  

Speed to market and cost efficiencies

As detailed below, it is possible to establish and manage real estate holding structures efficiently and effectively due to the flexibility and expertise that the Jersey real estate services industry can provide.

Holding vehicles can be established on a same day basis, whilst a Jersey 'private fund' can be established and authorised in as little as 3 business days (with a slightly longer lead time where there is EEA/UK investor marketing).

The expertise available across legal, accounting and administrative functions can also lead to lower launch costs and on-going maintenance costs, which ensures that Jersey remains a cost-effective choice.

Legislative flexibility

Jersey's company, partnership and unit trust laws are broadly based on the UK equivalents and will therefore be familiar to lawyers and asset managers in the UK and other common law countries.

The Jersey legislation is, broadly speaking, more flexible and more permissive which means it can easily accommodate the commercial terms of a deal.

JPUTs, for instance, are popular for single investor/single asset structures, but they are equally suited for multi-asset joint ventures or as investment fund structures. JPUTs often hold UK real estate directly, however, a JPUT does not need to, nor is a JPUT required, to hold the UK real estate directly. In addition, we are also seeing a revival in the use of JPUTs as hybrid or evergreen investment fund structures.

Regulatory flexibility

Jersey's regulatory environment provides significant flexibility in choosing a regulatory regime for a real estate structure, its investors and asset managers. Whilst some small structures can benefit from special dispensations afforded to joint ventures, the 'private fund' regime in Jersey is a popular option where there are a small number of sophisticated institutional investors who would benefit from a light-touch and effective regulatory approach.

For those asset managers who are seeking to attract a larger number of investors, or less sophisticated investors, then there are several public fund regimes which offer increased investor protection.

Tax neutrality

Jersey's tax regime is designed to avoid double taxation on real estate holding structures, so that these remain tax neutral where appropriate for non-resident investors and asset managers who are dealing with foreign real estate assets.

Service providers

Jersey is well known for its real estate-based service provider expertise, with service providers able to confidently support managers and investors throughout the entire property life-cycle from acquisition to development, financing, leasing, planning work and joint ventures, and eventual disposal.

Against the backdrop of its longstanding appeal and given the current trends in the market, as a jurisdiction, Jersey has the right infrastructure and ecosystem to assist first time and established asset managers with setting up and administering real estate fund structures, whilst at the same time providing certainty of tax treatment - which is not necessarily fully mirrored in other jurisdictions.