Top London venue and thought leading commentary for funds conference attracts record levels of senior practitioners
More than 350 practitioners including leading lawyers, fund managers and other finance professionals were given an update on how Jersey intends to remain a first choice jurisdiction for international fund professionals at the annual Jersey Finance Funds Conference in London on March 7th.
The event this year moved to the British Film Institute IMAX Theatre near Waterloo, which enabled Jersey Finance to accommodate a greater number of delegates than in previous years. To take advantage of the innovative venue, a specially prepared short film was screened in which delegates were given an introduction in 3D to Jersey’s successful finance industry and the contribution of the funds industry, which at the end of 2012 was valued at £192 billion.
The funds conference included a keynote speech from BBC broadcaster Nick Robinson, who spoke about the relationship between politics and the economy, and the involvement of Allister Heath, the financial commentator and editor of City AM, who acted as moderator for panel sessions.
The panel debates were focused on Jersey’s readiness to meet the introduction of the EU’s Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD), the funds industry picture in the UK and EU, and its relationship with Jersey and the opportunities for centres such as Jersey in developing markets working in partnership with practitioners in London.
UK-based practitioners on the panels highlighted the strength of Jersey’s offering, citing the combination of its first class regulatory standards and expertise, together with the island’s product range and its moves to accommodate the changes required when the EU Directive is implemented, as reasons why Jersey had a positive platform to further develop its funds sector.
Another theme to emerge was that a number of established alternative fund managers were considering an increasing presence or opening new offices in Jersey to best take advantage of the changing regulatory landscape and Jersey’s position in it.
Jersey confirmed it was on track to meet the requirements of the AIFMD and that it would introduce new fund regulations in April as part of the approach to complying with the Directive.
Geoff Cook, CEO, Jersey Finance, who addressed the conference, commented:
‘‘The move to a new prominent and innovative venue coupled with thought leading commentary on the funds industry meant we attracted our largest ever audience for the Jersey Finance annual funds event. We had an excellent turn out of senior London practitioners and the feedback we received reaffirms that our industry strategy is the right one to adopt. We are confident that we will satisfy the criteria to comply with the AIFMD and remain attractive both for ongoing ‘business as usual’ activity with Europe and also the increasing volume of business targeting markets outside the Eurozone.
“At the same time, there is also evidence of an uptake of new entrants from the funds sector having an enhanced presence and in some cases opening new offices in Jersey.
“These developments, coupled with our traditional values of stability and good governance, ensure Jersey remains well placed to enhance its position as a jurisdiction of choice for the international funds and asset management community.”
In addition to contributions from Jersey based speakers, there were presentations and comment from specialist practitioners in London including representatives from the European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (EVCA).