It’s striking to look across the London skyline and realise how many of the major property developments in recent years have been funded using the expertise of Jersey based professionals.
The ‘Walkie Talkie’ at Fenchurch, ‘the Cheesegrater’ in Leadenhall Street, the Point near Paddington and the Battersea Power Station re-development are just a few that come to mind – iconic London buildings where the commercial property investors and their advisers turned to Jersey to structure the funding.
The strength of the Jersey proposition could not have been illustrated more clearly than when a selection of these important landmark buildings were shown together on one slide at the final in our recent Jersey for Funds Masterclass series held in Mayfair in London.
The photo montage was an impressive line-up and went part of the way to answering a question posed at the breakfast seminar by a Mayfair based lawyer, which was why advisers would continue to use Jersey for structuring, given the UK is supposed to be leaving Europe and following the recent regulatory changes.
The fact is Jersey structures for UK real estate investment have worked effectively for decades, the flexible legal structures are tried and tested, our regulatory framework is familiar and understood by global investors, and we continue to offer genuine speed of transaction execution.
We delivered that message loud and clear at the third in a series of seminars, staged in London during the first part of the year in association with the Jersey Funds Association (JFA), to a gathering of leading UK lawyers, fund professionals and advisers.
The Jersey for Funds Masterclass series served as a timely update on developments on the Island and highlighted how we have always been able to adapt to the market conditions. A recent example has been the government in Jersey and industry working together to respond to a requirement, from the EU Code of Conduct group, to demonstrate ‘substance’ within the jurisdiction. As a result, we were able to meet the standards set by the EU finance ministers who positively assessed the economic substance legislation we implemented and confirmed Jersey as a ‘white-listed’ cooperative jurisdiction.
Supporting that substance requirement, there is an ever-increasing community of fund managers fully resident in the Island across private equity, hedge, debt, real estate and crypto funds, adding to the real depth and diversity of our industry.
That framework of professionals, working alongside our established legal, accounting and administrative specialists, part of a near 14,000 strong workforce, will help ensure Jersey remains a ‘go to’ location for structuring funds business in the global alternatives market, whatever the outcome of the Brexit process. Meanwhile, we continue to meet the requirements of the global standard setters, providing the high regulatory standards that are attractive to our investors.
Our funds sector, which at the last count was administering at almost £320 billion of assets, a record total in Jersey up 15% year on year, shows consistent growth because we continue to meet market demand.
I look forward to meeting with many in the wider London funds community in the months ahead and would invite you to put September 10 in the diary – we intend to stage our popular annual funds conference that day at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London and more details will be announced soon.