Our first Funds Masterclass of 2021, held on Thursday 4 February, covered the AIFMD review and, following the end of the transition period, an important update on Brexit and what lies ahead.
Hear from key industry and Jersey Government representatives, as they provide their expert views and insights on the future of fund domiciliation and structuring in a post-Brexit world.
Event Summary: Stability Key for Alternatives Community Post-Brexit
Against a backdrop of significant Brexit-induced change, a review of the AIFMD and a shifting global corporate tax environment, the stability and certainty Jersey offers the alternative investment fund community will be increasingly important, according to panellists at the first Jersey Finance Funds Masterclass of 2021.
Live streamed last week (4 February), the event, which featured a number of industry and Government of Jersey representatives, explored what lies ahead for the European alternative funds landscape in the wake of Brexit with the transition period having now come to an end.
In a session moderated by Peggy Gielen, Legal and Technical Manager at Jersey Finance, panellists discussed how the current review of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) was not likely to prompt huge change in European fund marketing regulation.
Commenting on how private placement – the route Jersey offers non-EU managers wishing to access EU investor capital under AIFMD – Prem Mohan, Partner at Kirkland & Ellis International, said:
“Our experience is that private placement is working effectively, and it is broadly benefitting not only promoters and sponsors, but also EU investors, who are getting access to a wider range of investment opportunities.”
This sentiment was echoed by Rob Mellor, UK Asset Management Tax Partner at PwC, who added:
“AIFMD is not broken and the consensus is that it doesn’t need fixing. There is certainly plenty for the industry to be getting on with now – the world needs the alternatives industry to support recovery, so hopefully we won’t see big change. In particular, there is nothing wrong with the private placement or delegation rules as they currently stand, and the industry doesn’t want any further barriers to carry out its important role.”
Highlighting how Jersey’s platform for EU-bound alternative fund distribution was well placed in the post-Brexit environment, Tim Morgan, Chair of the Jersey Funds Association, said:
“The resounding response from bodies like Invest Europe and AIMA is that tinkering with AIFMD now would not be a good idea. In fact, now what we are now seeing is that the regime Jersey put in place some years ago to respond to AIFMD is now seen as the blueprint for third countries which industry is keen to preserve and further develop in their responses to the AIFMD review.
“In fact, on Brexit, Jersey’s advantage is that it has been a third country for some time and nothing changes in the new environment – managers are still able to market into the EU through Jersey today just as they did last year. Jersey offers some welcome certainty and guarantees in terms of fund structuring in the current environment.”
Adding a governmental perspective, Tom Wherry, Head of European Relations for the Government of Jersey, alluded to the certainty Jersey could provide in a post-Brexit environment.
“The context of Brexit has changed everything, but the platform of stability Jersey provides is now really valued and actually has become even more important,” he said.
Meanwhile looking at the wider tax environment this year, Tom Le Feuvre, Director of Global Markets and International Agreements for the Government of Jersey, commented:
“There is now huge political pressure for an agreement on global corporate tax change this summer, through the OECD’s Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 initiatives. In terms of the application of these potential changes the good news is that there are carve outs for funds, and the definitions are wide enough to cover all asset classes from the retail through to the sophisticated end of the spectrum. For countries that rely on tax treaty agreements, the proposed Subject to Tax Rule may bring new challenges, but for Jersey, which achieves tax neutrality through its 0/10 regime, this will not be so much of an issue.”
For those managers looking to adapt to the new environment, Jersey could provide a very viable, safe and sensible solution, argued the panelists:
“In some cases, now is a good time for managers to revisit their arrangements and look at whether private placement is a better and more flexible and more cost-effective option than an onshore arrangement might have been,” suggested Rob. “That is particularly the case given substance rules and the remote working that has emerged over recent times.”
“The proof has been in the pudding,” concluded Tim. “The statistics have certainly borne out that Jersey is in a good position – we now have 400 Jersey Private Funds, a structure that has become the go-to structure for alternatives, a record £365bn+ in fund assets under administration and have seen a sustained rise in the number of funds and managers using Jersey to access the EU. These are all fantastic indications of Jersey’s positive role in this new Brexit environment, and it’s all based on the stable, expert ecosystem we’ve built.”
Elliot re-joined Jersey Finance in November 2018 from Crestbridge where he managed their Management Company Services Group.
Elliot is focussed on defining strategy and execution of marketing Jersey as both a domicile and destination for Hedge and Private Equity Management Companies and Funds.
Elliot moved to Jersey in 2006 to establish a Macro strategy Hedge Fund under the Ermitage umbrella for whom he also seeded other Macro / CTA strategy Hedge Funds.
Elliot founded the Jersey Hedge Fund Managers Group aimed at linking the growing community of local Managers and is a committee member of the Jersey Funds Association and the BVCA Channel Islands working group.
Peggy Gielen joined Jersey Finance in September 2005 as Legal and Technical Manager.
Peggy is originally from Belgium, where she obtained a Masters in Economics at Antwerp University before working as a manager in the Foreign Trade and Credit functions of KBC Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland. Prior to joining Jersey Finance, Peggy was working at the Belgian Embassy in London, where she was responsible for developing and supporting inward and outward investment opportunities for Flanders.
Peggy’s role at Jersey Finance is to assist with the development of our technical services for funds, both in terms of supporting the existing consultation process and performing strategic research and development.
Tom Le Feuvre Director - Global Markets and International Agreements, Government of Jersey
Tom was born and educated in Jersey, where his family has always lived. He read History and French at Durham University, gaining a First Class degree with Distinction. Tom joined Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service in 2008 and initially worked on corporate strategy and Afghanistan-Pakistan relations, based in London. He was deployed overseas to Doha in January 2011 to manage the trade visits to Qatar of the Lord Mayor of London and the UK Prime Minister. He then spent a year on full-time Arabic language training in Jordan, before serving as First Secretary in the UK’s Syria Office in Beirut, Lebanon, from 2012-2014. In this role Tom coordinated UK relations with the Syrian opposition, led a joint diplomatic, humanitarian and military team delivering a €2million programme of conflict resolution, peacebuilding and early recovery activities, and supported the UK Mission to the United Nations in developing UN Security Council resolutions on Syria.
Tom Wherry Head of European Relations at the Government of Jersey
Tom learnt his trade at Linklaters LLP where he specialised in EU law, financial regulation and capital markets in London, Milan and Tokyo. He arrived at the Government of Jersey via an environmental NGO in New Zealand and one of the UN's international criminal courts in The Hague. After a spell in the Government of Jersey’s financial services policy team leading on Brexit and economic substance, he now heads up the European team in the External Relations Department.
Robert Mellor UK Asset Management Tax Partner, PwC
Rob has over 25 years of tax experience within the asset management (“AM”) sector. Rob began his tax career at HMRC before joining PwC in November 1998. Rob is responsible for a number of alternative AM clients across issues such as Fund, Management team and portfolio structuring, transfer pricing and residency, reward and retention planning, LLP, carry, co-investment structures and tax authority investigations. Rob has worked on a number of M&A transactions in relation to asset managers. Rob was one of the authors of PwC’s AM Industry thought leadership pieces, “AM 2020” (issued in 2014) and the recently issued “Embracing Exponential Change” piece which looks forward to 2025. Rob is the PwC EMEA Brexit Leader and has been working with asset managers and industry associations on Brexit-related issues. Rob leads PwC’s UK Alternative Investment Funds team.
Tim Morgan Chairman, Jersey Funds Association
Tim Morgan, JFA Chairman and leading Jersey funds lawyer practice focuses on investment funds (listed and non-listed) and related corporate, finance and restructuring issues. Tim has practised in Jersey since 2003 advising fund promoters, investors, boards, regulators and service providers across a variety of asset classes including real estate, private equity, hedge and liquid securities. Tim started his career in London with Taylor Wessing as a corporate lawyer and, following a period at PwC Legal in London, spent three years in investment banking. Throughout this period, he worked on an extensive mix of public and private M&A in sectors including industrials, oil & gas and hospitality, with a particular focus on private equity sponsored deals. He has played a key role in the Jersey regulatory and tax developments.
Prem Mohan Partner, Financial Services, Regulatory, Kirkland & Ellis International LLP
Prem is a partner in the financial services regulatory practice at Kirkland & Ellis in London. He advises private investment fund sponsors on the regulatory issues relating to the structuring and formation of private investment funds across a variety of asset classes, as well as co-investment arrangements, fund restructurings, liquidity solutions, secondary transactions and strategic minority investments in private investment firms. He also advises financial investor clients on the regulatory issues relating to acquisitions, restructurings and exits involving investments in the financial services sector. Prem regularly advises investment firms on establishing or expanding regulated businesses in the UK, and more generally, on a range of EU and UK financial services regulation, including the UK SMCR, EU MIFID II, MAR, AIFMD, EU ESG rules and PRIIPS. Prem is recognised by The Legal 500 as a Next Generation Partner.
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- Elliot Refson, Head of Funds, Jersey Finance
- Moderator: Peggy Gielen, Legal and Technical Manager, Jersey Finance
- Tom Le Feuvre, Director – Global Markets and International Agreements, Government of Jersey
- Tom Wherry, Head of European Relations, Government of Jersey
- Tim Morgan, Chairman, Jersey Funds Association
- James Silverston, Director of Financial Services, Government of Jersey
- Prem Mohan, Partner, Financial Services, Regulatory, Kirkland & Ellis International LLP
- Robert Mellor, UK Asset Management Tax Partner, PwC