Comment: Jersey Has Vital Role To Play In Buoyant European Private Equity Market

May 4, 2018

Commenting on Invest Europe’s 2017 European Private Equity Activity Report, published this week, Mike Byrne, chairman of the Jersey Funds Association, believes Jersey has a vital role to play in ensuring both the UK and EU private equity sectors continue to experience an upward trajectory.

He said: “The buoyancy reported in the European private equity space is fantastic news, and reflects a growing appetite that we are also seeing in Jersey amongst investors to allocate increasingly towards the alternative asset classes. From a Jersey perspective, we are clearly keen to see a thriving private equity sector across the UK and wider EU.

“It is particularly interesting that the report highlights that more than 40% of private equity capital flowing into Europe in 2017 came from outside of Europe, with investors from North America contributing 26% and investors from Asia making their highest contribution to date with a 15% share. With 11% coming from the UK, these figures suggest that more than half of private equity capital in Europe post-Brexit will come from non-EU sources. Meanwhile, the report also finds that 47% of private equity managers in Europe are in the UK.

“There is clear growing interest from global investors in European private equity. This reinforces Jersey’s core role in acting as a domicile for many leading European private equity managers and our confidence that Jersey will continue to play a vital role in helping managers and investors bridge the Brexit gap. Jersey can offer a really attractive environment for connecting both EU and non-EU investors and managers with this buoyant market. For instance, Jersey has strong connections to the UK and is well placed to support the significant UK management community, and other non-EU managers, with ongoing access to the EU market. Private placement is working extremely well, with the number of funds choosing this flexible and cost-effective route through Jersey growing 15% year on year. Meanwhile, we also know that post-Brexit around three-quarters of alternative fund assets routed through Jersey will come from beyond the EU, so Jersey has clear credentials as a tried and tested global conduit for the growing amount of private equity targeting the EU.

“It is also pertinent that, according to the report, pension funds contributed almost a third of all European private equity. Jersey’s reputation as a leading centre for institutional investment, managing pension fund assets totalling around £160bn, can stand it in good stead here too.”