Today marks the one-year countdown to the UK’s exit from the EU.
Whilst we now know there will be a 21-month transition period to give businesses some breathing space, it’s clear there is still a great deal of uncertainty in terms of what ongoing trade arrangements between the UK and EU will look like in the medium to longer term.
The recent results of a survey carried out by the CFA Institute are a case in point. It found that just 17% of its membership of UK asset managers believe that any post-Brexit trade deal with the EU will result in a comprehensive trade deal covering both goods and services, and that 22% of EU asset managers believe the UK will exit the EU with no trade deal agreed by 29 March 2019.
We strongly believe Jersey has an opportunity play a really positive role here, benefitting both the UK and EU. Our ability to market investment funds into the EU is working really well, for example, with more and more managers establishing funds in the jurisdiction to market to investors in EU Member States; and at the same time, Jersey is ideally positioned to enable EU managers to efficiently market their funds into the massive London investor market too.
Now more than ever, it’s really important to tell our story, provide clarity around our beneficial role, and explain how Jersey can work with partners in the EU and UK to address these concerns and help build a better and more certain future.
Which is why our activity in the world’s leading international finance centre, London, is so important – just this week, it was confirmed that London has retained its position as the world’s pre-eminent centre for international financial services (GFCI 23).
At the moment, we are busy preparing for our flagship conferences in London, taking place at the end of April, less than a month away. This year, our private wealth conference – now the biggest single dedicated private wealth event in the city – and funds conference are taking place back to back, with a view to making more of an impact in such a key market.
These events are vital for a number of reasons – not only do they give us an opportunity to talk and listen to around 1,000 of the most important financial services figures in London itself, but those attending are also working in a truly dynamic globally-focussed centre and are gatekeepers that can provide access to partners in key overseas markets too.
As we reported at our Annual Review in February, that’s vital for Jersey - we know that more than half of Jersey’s new business now comes from markets beyond Europe. The global reach through London to overseas markets is considerable, and those links will be even more important post-Brexit.
Jersey wants to be a key partner for the UK and can play a key role in channelling good quality capital from overseas wealth creating centres, such as markets in the GCC and Greater China, to the UK and in putting UK capital to work in growth markets elsewhere.
So, for instance, at our events later this month, we will be highlighting amongst other things:
- How Jersey can support the rapid rise in demand for infrastructure projects such as road building and hospitals, deriving from urbanisation across the globe and changing demographics, by providing an ideal environment for alternative funds
- How the institutional investment through Jersey is helping to provide and grow the pension pots for in excess of 60 million people around the world
- How Jersey is focussed on supporting private investors in markets stretching from the US to the Middle East, and Africa to Asia who are seeking efficient, secure and robust means of deploying investment capital into real estate funds
- How the stability and certainty Jersey can provide is empowering a growing number of family offices to engage in impact investing and philanthropy, with 40% of family offices expecting to increase their allocations towards impact and ESG investments in the near future
- How Jersey can support Asian investors by providing expertise in succession planning and cross-border reporting, areas where there are currently considerable gaps
The overwhelming message is that, whilst this is a period of fundamental change for the UK and its international partners, we firmly believe that, as a forward-thinking jurisdiction, Jersey is well placed to provide better solutions so that investors in London - and further afield - can look to the future with vital confidence.
Our London events are key platforms for telling our story. We really hope to see you there.