Investor market reactions can often provide good indications of general sentiment and attitude towards a business or significant development.
Which is why it was pleasing to see such a warm response to a major Jersey-headquartered firm recently listing on the London Stock Exchange, the largest and perhaps most significant investor market in the world.
In March, JTC successfully carried out an Initial Public Offering (IPO), listing itself on the London Stock Exchange main market, achieving a market capitalisation of £310m.
JTC is just one of Jersey’s finance industry’s many success stories. Over the past three decades, it has evolved significantly as an organisation – it has its roots in being the administration arm of a local law firm back in the 80s, before becoming manager owned, and then in 2012 receiving backing from a private equity house – itself a demonstration of confidence both in JTC and Jersey as a jurisdiction.
Under the guidance of CEO Nigel Le Quesne, the firm has grown from a dozen employees in one location to a Group with offices in 17 jurisdictions employing in excess of 550 staff.
But, importantly, its original home (and headquarters) remain in Jersey, which is testament to the enduring quality and adaptability of the jurisdiction. In fact, last year the firm completed its move to a new purpose-built headquarters in Jersey’s financial quarter, reflecting its commitment to the jurisdiction.
The fact that JTC’s IPO was met with such enthusiasm by the market is fantastic news for JTC and for Jersey, underlining the confidence there is in Jersey as a centre that has real durability and also offers certainty as a platform for a growing business.
However, it’s not the first time that a firm with strong Jersey connections has received this sort of market support.
Back in April 2015, global alternative asset and corporate service provider SANNE, which has a significant presence in Jersey and started life as a private client service provider here in 1988, also listed on the LSE, attracting more than £140m in institutional investment and receiving a market capitalisation of some £232m.
Its listing has enabled it to go from strength to strength too now employing more than 1,200 people worldwide. The firm has offices in all corners of the globe and has over the past year made a series of acquisitions in Dublin, South Africa, New York, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Mauritius. Due to this continued growth, in March 2017, SANNE entered into the FTSE 250, positioning itself as one of the leading global providers of outsourced business administration services.
To get to a stage where a company is able to list in London takes a great deal of hard work, and the positive reaction JTC and SANNE have received through their IPOs reminds me of the proverb ‘the harder you work, the luckier you get'.
And that’s really reflective of our ethos in Jersey more widely. We’re committed to working with partners, firms, authorities and other stakeholders around the world to provide a truly world class platform that can enable businesses to flourish and that can support investors in putting their capital to work effectively, for the benefit of everyone.
We are fortunate in Jersey to have forward-thinking firms like JTC and SANNE that share our energy and passion for creating something quite special here, that put real faith in the expertise of their people, and that are driven to provide a truly world-class service.
Sometimes it is easy to get distracted by noise driven by misinformation or misunderstandings when it comes to international financial services – indeed, investor markets are often spooked and guilty of swings in sentiment, prompting temporary periods of volatility.
The fact that the reaction from investors to Jersey firms listing in London has been so positive is a breath of fresh air and a timely reminder that facts matter – investors are clearly happy to put their faith in Jersey as a platform for growth and as a centre that can help provide a better solution.
The market is only ever willing to invest in firms because they have made something of real, sustainable value. And that’s a genuine vote of confidence from the biggest investor market in the world in Jersey’s long-term future.