Newsroom

JFA News
Friday
07
August 2020

Jersey Funds Association looks to the future with new committee

The Jersey Funds Association (JFA) has elected its new committee for the coming year as it looks to maintain momentum and continue to champion Jersey as the perfect ecosystem for alternative funds.

Elected at the JFA’s recent Annual General Meeting (17 July), the committee retains some continuity whilst also introducing a number of new faces. Tim Morgan remains Chairman and Michael Johnson Vice Chairman, whilst the remainder of the committee now also includes Richard Anthony, Mike Byrne, Steve Cartwright, Ben Dixon, Mark Grenyer, Ben Honeywood, Niamh Lalor, Dilmun Leach, Chris Marshall, Robert Milner, Simon Page, Martin Paul, Tom Powell, Peter Rioda, Ben Robins, Martin Rowley and Sarah Sandiford.

At the AGM, Chairman Tim Morgan also delivered an annual report identifying the key challenges and opportunities for the industry:

 “Jersey's funds industry operates in a fast evolving environment, with the ongoing economic and social implications of the coronavirus pandemic needing to being absorbed by a market that was already seeking to plan for and adjust to the political uncertainties relating to the UK's ongoing Brexit process.

“The pandemic is already proving to affect asset classes and sectors in very different ways, but for Jersey the essential positive message remains that we offer a platform of stability in a rapidly changing market which is borne out through very high levels of activity through the recent period covering the pandemic. This is a message that the new-look JFA committee will continue to champion over the coming year.”

Meanwhile, pointing to specific areas where the JFA had identified opportunities for Jersey, Tim commented:

“A trend away from widely-held blind pool structures and towards more narrowly-held joint venture and co-investment vehicles appears to be continuing, particularly in the private equity, real estate and adjacent sectors. The Jersey Private Fund regime continues to provide a popular, cost-effective and strong solution in this space.

“In addition, the trend of inward migration by substance managers, particularly in the hedge fund but also more recently in the private equity and venture capital space, continues and Jersey is an increasingly important hub for managers with a substantive local presence.

“Meanwhile, as the market develops further through the process of Brexit and as EU regulation continues to build, we anticipate increasing opportunities in Jersey for a wide variety of asset classes, transaction structures and investor bases.”

Acknowledging the work and achievements of outgoing committee members, Tim concluded by thanking all those supporting the work of the JFA:

“I’m really grateful for the efforts of the committee over the past twelve months. We have achieved a lot. I’m also pleased to welcome some new faces to help drive forward our plans for the coming year across our legal and technical, education and training and communications remit. In particular, I’m delighted that Tom Powell will be leading a new group for us to coordinate a strategy around ESG, an area that is now a fundamental part of our overall proposition as a jurisdiction.”

The Jersey Funds Association has elected its new committee for the coming year as it looks to maintain momentum and continue to champion Jersey as the perfect ecosystem for alternative funds.

Members' News
Friday
31
July 2020

Consultation paper: Financial Services (Disclosure and Provision of Information) (Jersey) Regulations and Order

Consultation paper: Financial Services (Disclosure and Provision of Information) (Jersey) Regulations and Order

The JFA will be responding to this consultation and we would welcome any comments from the membership.

The consultation closes on 4 September and any member who would like their comments considered in this response is asked to forward these to Peter Rioda at peter@rioda.me as soon as possible and no later than 31 August.

Consultation Paper on secondary legislation under the Financial Services (Disclosure and Provision of Information) (Jersey) Law 202-

DRAFT FINANCIAL SERVICES (DISCLOSURE AND PROVISION OF INFORMATION) (JERSEY) ORDER 202

DRAFT FINANCIAL SERVICES (DISCLOSURE AND PROVISION OF INFORMATION) (JERSEY) ORDER 202-

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
Tuesday
14
April 2020

Jersey Finance supports research into future of fund domiciliation

New research published this month by IFI Global and supported by Jersey Finance shows that the introduction of global regulatory initiatives is set to challenge traditional fund structuring models...

The introduction of global regulatory initiatives is set to challenge traditional fund structuring models, make fund domiciliation much more complex, and heighten the importance of investor buy-in, according to new research published this month by IFI Global and supported by Jersey Finance.

Based on the views of alternative managers, law firms, advisors and some of the world’s largest investors in alternatives, the research, which was carried out between October 2019 and January 2020*, seeks to explore the changing face of fund domiciliation and the drivers behind domicile decisions, given the pace of change in the regulatory landscape.

Overall, the survey found that key issues including Brexit, BEPS, substance and transparency have shot up the agenda when it comes to domiciliation and are themes that are likely to influence decision making for some years to come. Amongst its other findings were:

- the most important determinant in domicile selection is whether a jurisdiction is well known and respected by investors that are being targeted by a fund manager.

- investors want to allocate to funds that are domiciled in jurisdictions with good infrastructure, considerable local expertise and knowledge of the asset class in question along with well-established regulations.

- there is some investor dissatisfaction at recent increases in costs in international fund jurisdictions as a whole but especially those in the EU - a common complaint is that the drive to develop local substance has increased costs for no particular benefit to investors.

- BEPS will impact all domiciles with alternatives, especially jurisdictions in the EU whose funds rely upon treaties for their tax exemptions.

- alternative investing is expected to continue to grow in the long-term, with jurisdictions that have the skills and experience in domiciling and     servicing alternative funds expected to facilitate that growth.

Whilst the study was undertaken prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Elliot Refson, Director of Funds at Jersey Finance, believes its findings are more pertinent than ever:

 “It’s clear that, with the fund domiciliation landscape becoming more competitive and more complicated than ever, IFCs need to be alive to key trends and have a thorough understanding of what is driving the long-term future of fund structuring, so they can be equipped to continue to support the alternative fund management community going forward.

“Investor buy-in is absolutely vital.Investors want to do business through familiar, robust, high quality and cost-effective environments that are tried and tested and offer no surprises.In a world that was already defined by uncertainty and volatility and is even more so as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, managers and investors will be drawn towards stability and certainty. Those IFCs that can focus on that,demonstrate real resilience even in times of mass upheaval, and offer a platform of substance built on expertise, specialist skills, compliance with international standards, innovative solutions and consistent levels of good service will be the winners – and Jersey ticks those boxes.”

The research, entitled ‘The Future of International Fund Domiciliation’, can be viewed and downloaded here.

*the research was conducted prior to theCOVID-19 pandemic.

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.”

JFA News
Sunday
06
October 2019

Jersey in good shape six months on since introduction of CGT rules

Six months on since new rules on the application of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) for overseas investors in UK commercial property came into play, Stephanie Henwood-Darts, Director at JFA member firm JTC, looks at how the market looks and why Jersey remains a good option.

Six months on since new rules on the application of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) for overseas investors in UK commercial property came into play, Stephanie Henwood-Darts, Director at JFA member firm JTC, looks at how the market looks and why Jersey remains a good option for supporting UK-bound real estate investment…

Q: In the six months since their introduction, have the new CGT rules had much of an impact on real estate fund structuring? Or is activity being ore influenced by other factors, such as Brexit?

A: There was an initial impact following the announcement, with tax advice pointing to, and therefore new funds being set up, onshore and through Luxembourg due to it having a favourable double tax treaty (meaning the UK does not currently have taxing rights over Luxembourg entities).

However, we are still seeing JPUTs due to the favourable elections that can be made (transparency election/exemption election) and the fact that the JPUT is a familiar structure which our clients already know and like. There is also the pull that we do not rely on double tax treaties but employ a tax transparent regime which means that tax is paid where the investment activity is and where investors are, which is completely appropriate.

Brexit is certainly having an impact on overall investment levels but there is an expectation that activity will increase once there is more certainty around the terms and timing of the UK’s exit.  

Q: In terms of how Jersey is positioned, has Jersey seen much of a swing in terms of fund activity targeting UK real estate assets since the new rules were introduced?

A: Although heads were initially turned, institutional investors are still favouring Jersey as a preferred jurisdiction through which to invest into UK commercial real estate. Now that there is a full understanding of the available elections for Collective Investment Vehicles (CIVs), it is expected that activity levels for Jersey funds will further increase.

Jersey is well placed to provide a tax neutral environment with an appropriate regulatory framework for investment funds raising global capital and investing in real estate all around the world, and this still includes UK commercial real estate.

Q: How do Jersey structures succeed in meeting the exemption options? Do the well-used JPUT and REIT structures continue to work well under the new rules?

A: Jersey structures work well under the exemption options which is largely due to the involvement of many Jersey professionals who ensured that they submitted detailed responses to the consultation and HMRC’s desire to protect the value of pension funds along with the attraction of the UK as a property investment jurisdiction.

Most JPUTS have been favouring the transparency election. This was designed by HMRC with JPUTs in mind and means that the JPUT will be transparent (just like it is for income tax purposes) and all investors will be taxed in accordance with their own profile. REITS are also a good alternative as they benefit from HMRC’s approved regime where the disposal of UK commercial property is treated as exempt from corporation tax and sales of shares also benefit from this exempt status.

However, all advice that we have seen in respect to REITS has been caveated with the fact that reporting requirements will be onerous. A Jersey REIT will automatically be UK tax resident so although there would be no tax benefit from structuring a REIT through Jersey, the benefit of regulatory flexibility (and certainty) and local expertise where any reporting can be handled in an effective and efficient manner should mean they increase in popularity.

Q: What about funds targeting other non-UK geographical markets? Are you seeing consistent RE activity elsewhere through Jersey?

A: We haven’t noticed a material increase in new funds targeting non-UK geographical markets but a number of clients with existing Jersey structures have added to them by including non-UK (mostly European) assets.

However, it is expected that there may be a spike in investment outside of the UK following Brexit. If this occurs, Jersey should be well placed to continue to be the home of fund vehicles and we see investment funds and structures being placed in Jersey which have global investment strategies, whether it's a London-centric special opportunities fund, a pan-European real estate fund or RE investment in Canada or the US.

Q: Looking forward to the coming 6 months, what do you see as the key influences on the global real estate market, and in terms of UK-focused activity?

A: We can’t escape discussing the ‘B’ word when talking about the next six months. Investors are already pricing in the cost of a potential no-deal Brexit and a dramatic decrease in the price of UK commercial property is predicted should this occur.

On the flip side, the weakness of the GBP could boost attraction towards the UK real estate market, in particular from US, Middle-East and Far-East investors. However, they may be put off by the potential difficulty in securing long-term (or any type of) leases, such was the initial sentiment in the aftermath of the Brexit vote. Communication with investors in respect of outlining the logic of decisions and clear strategic planning will be key to the success of funds navigating the post-Brexit landscape.  

Overall, Jersey has a great opportunity to promote its independence from the EU in respect of structuring it this time of uncertainty. Why structure through the EU for holding UK commercial property which will very shortly be outside of the EU? Jersey is already outside of the EU for regulatory purposes and is very much open for business!

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.”

JFA News
Thursday
04
April 2019

New EIF Policy Offers Welcome Clarity for Jersey’s Funds Industry

The recent publication of a new policy from the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group provides some welcome clarity around Jersey’s ability to continue to support the objectives of the European Investment Fund (EIF), according to the head of Jersey Finance.

The recent publication of a new policy from the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group provides some welcome clarity around Jersey’s ability to continue to support the objectives of the European Investment Fund (EIF), according to the head of Jersey Finance.

The EIB Group published its updated policy last week (25 March), replacing an interim approach that was in place whilst the EU Code of Conduct Group on Business Taxation undertook a comprehensive screening process to assess non-cooperative tax jurisdictions.

With EU Finance Ministers (ECOFIN) having formally confirmed Jersey’s position last month (12 March) as a cooperative jurisdiction following the introduction of substance legislation in Jersey, the new EIB policy confirms that there should be no impediment to private equity firms in Jersey continuing to carry out ‘business as usual’ with the EIF.

The EIF, which is part of the EIB Group, aims to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in Europe by supporting small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and helping them to access finance.

Joe Moynihan, CEO, Jersey Finance, said:

“This is a really positive repercussion of the efforts of Jersey’s government and financial regulator over the past couple of years to work with counterparts in Europe and demonstrate that Jersey is a cooperative and transparent jurisdiction. Our focus is on supporting future growth in Europe and other international markets, and with that in mind this new policy provides some welcome clarity around Jersey’s relationship with the EIF. It is clearly excellent news - for those firms in Jersey that do business with and through the EIF and for those SMEs across Europe that are benefiting from it.”

Mike Byrne, Chairman of the Jersey Funds Association, added:

“Our industry has developed over many decades to offer a sophisticated environment for cross-border funds, with a particular focus on alternatives including private equity, with around a third of funds business here touching Europe. With that in mind, we feel we have a great deal of experience and expertise to support the EIF in its ambitions. The EIF has long been a key investor into funds raised in Jersey and the confirmation that it is able to continue to engage with and draw on the strengths of our funds industry is really positive for everyone and will undoubtedly be a shot in the arm for private equity managers and service providers here too.

JFA News
Wednesday
13
March 2019

JFA welcomes EU recognition

Commenting on ECOFIN’s recognition of Jersey as a cooperative centre yesterday (12 March), Mike Byrne, Chairman of the JFA.

Commenting on ECOFIN’s recognition of Jersey as a cooperative centre yesterday (12 March), Mike Byrne, Chairman of the JFA, said:

"Jersey has close ties with the EU through its funds industry – around a third of funds business in Jersey touches the EU in some capacity, whilst the number of alternative fund managers opting to structure their funds through Jersey to market into the EU through private placement grew by 13% last year. Maintaining a good working relationship with the EU is therefore absolutely vital, so this recognition, which comes after a period of really positive engagement between Jersey’s government and EU officials, is welcome news.

"In Jersey we take our obligations as a responsible centre that upholds the highest standards of oversight and governance extremely seriously, and we’re confident that our existing approach, coupled with the new economic substance legislation, demonstrates that we are a genuine funds industry of substance here.”

The Government of Jersey's full statement can be found here.

JFA News
Tuesday
12
March 2019

MoU with FCA will give managers added certainty and confidence

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

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

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

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

Mike Byrne, Chairman of the Jersey Funds Association added:

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

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

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
Friday
29
June 2018

BEPS, Jersey Funds and Future Certainty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JFA News
Tuesday
22
May 2018

JFA Chair Highlights Importance of Innovation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meanwhile, Mike pointed to challenges faced by the industry:

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

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

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

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

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

JFA News
Monday
05
March 2018

100 Up for Jersey Private Funds

The Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) has reported a sustained strong uptake in the Jersey Private Fund (JPF), with 100 structures being formed less than one year since its launch.

The Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) has reported a sustained strong uptake in the Jersey Private Fund (JPF), with 100 structures being formed less than one year since its launch.

The 100th JPF was registered by the JFSC last week (2nd March), underlining the interest in the product since it was launched in mid-March last year.

The latest addition to Jersey’s suite of fund structuring options, the JPF was introduced to provide institutional and professional investors with a more streamlined and fast-track regime with tailored ongoing regulatory requirements, under which funds for up to 50 investors could be established in as little as 48 hours.

By providing a more flexible and versatile framework, the JPF has markedly improved the speed and ease with which funds marketed to professional investors can be established, whilst at the same time ensuring continued compliance with international standards by requiring the appointment of a Jersey-based administrator.

The JPF is also available to managers seeking some vital certainty in marketing their funds into Europe through National Private Placement Regimes (NPPRs).

Commenting on the 100th registration of the JPF, Geoff Cook, CEO, Jersey Finance, said:

“We’re focused on providing forward-thinking solutions for the alternative funds community to ensure their future success, and the JPF is an example of that. Our excellent reputation as a specialist funds centre is based on our ability to provide genuine speed to market and expertise as well as appropriate regulatory oversight. The clear evidence is that the prospect of 48-hour authorisation for funds with up to 50 investors is playing out well amongst fund managers and cementing our position as a market leader.”

John Harris, Director General, JFSC, added:

“The 100th JPF approval marks a successful and welcome milestone in the positive development of Jersey’s fund offering. The encouraging market take up of the JPF since its launch in 2017 strongly suggests the right balance has been found between product innovation on the one hand and on the other proportionate regulatory treatment that works with such innovation whilst still delivering an appropriate level of investor safeguards. The JFSC is pleased to play its part in this clear success story.”

Pointing to the fact that the majority of JPFs are newly created fund vehicles, rather than conversions from existing structures, Mike Byrne, Chairman, Jersey Funds Association, said:

“In less than a year, the JPF has really come to the fore as the go-to product for alternative fund structuring, right across the private equity, real estate, infrastructure and debt and credit fund asset classes. It’s particularly pleasing that the vast majority of JPFs are brand new funds – indeed, some of the largest funds brought to market globally this year have been structured as JPFs. It’s a really positive indication as to the future health of our funds industry, and we fully expect this upward trajectory to continue.”

JFA News
Friday
16
February 2018

Uptick in fund managers choosing Jersey private placement regime

A growing number of Jersey-registered fund managers are opting to future-proof their strategies and market into Europe through national private placement regimes (NPPRs) under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD).

A growing number of Jersey-registered fund managers are opting to future-proof their strategies and market into Europe through national private placement regimes (NPPRs) under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD), according to the latest figures from Jersey’s regulator the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC).

As at December 2017, 149 alternative investment fund managers (AIFMs) had been authorised in Jersey to market into Europe through NPPRs, up 17% compared to December 2016, clearly highlighting that the use of private placement continues to work well as a means of marketing funds into the EU.

Over the same period, the total number of Jersey alternative investment funds (AIFs) being marketed into Europe through NPPRs also increased significantly to stand at 291, representing a 15% year-on-year increase.

In addition, the JFSC has now authorised a total of 31 depositaries in Jersey under AIFMD, a figure that has risen 7% over the year.

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

“We’re continuing to work together with the fund management communities both in and outside of the EU, so it’s pleasing to see such a strong uptake of Jersey’s tried-and-tested private placement regime. Five years on since AIFMD was introduced, it’s a route that is proven to work, providing alternative managers with a clear, effective and future-proof means of accessing EU investor capital.”

Mike Byrne, Chairman, Jersey Funds Association, added:

“We believe that Jersey is extremely well positioned to play a positive role in supporting alternative managers right across the private equity, real estate, hedge, debt and infrastructure asset classes, particularly against a Brexit backdrop.

“Whilst these latest figures reinforce that Jersey has a key role to play in giving non-EU managers, including those in the US, Asia and soon the UK, with a means of marketing into Europe, we are also seeing EU managers structuring through Jersey to tap into the vital UK market.  In doing so, we are enabling them to get on with generating good returns for investors – something that is in everyone’s interest.”

The use of private placement as a means of accessing EU capital in the context of Brexit will be one of the issues to come under the microscope at the 2018 Jersey Finance Annual London Funds Conference later this year (24 April), which will also examine how market trends, shifts in regulation and protectionist movements are challenging and shaping the global funds industry.