It was fitting that, only a couple of weeks ahead of our Global Jersey webinar series, a new study found that Jersey had the second highest broadband speed in the world.
The findings of the Worldwide Broadband Speed League were fitting for a couple of reasons – because they demonstrate just how competitive and forward-thinking Jersey is on a global scale; and also because they reinforce the reality of the digitally connected global community we all now exist in.
Jersey Finance’s ‘Global Jersey’ day-long series of webinars this month will explore the multi-faceted ways in which Jersey is deepening its relationships with markets around the world and diversifying and evolving its proposition in new markets and geographies.
But the webinars are not just a showcase for Jersey. At their root is something far more fundamental – that global connectivity and capability is absolutely critical to the functionality of international markets and, ultimately, our mutual success, economically and socially.
Not in a generation has that been as evident as over the past six months or so. The coronavirus pandemic has been a truly global community event, impacting lives all over the world. Our response as a global community has to be joined-up, collaborative and rapid if we are to realise a road to recovery.
It is my contention that international finance centres (IFCs) like Jersey have a really important role to play in this respect, by drawing on their digital strengths, as well as their expertise, global knowledge and experience.
Of course, the importance of moving global capital to where it is needed most securely and efficiently is not a new concept – the forces of globalization have been shaping business and investor models for many years. However, Covid-19 has certainly amplified the need for global solutions.
Jersey has been working with and supporting global investors for nearly six decades. And it has been able to do that because, as a forward-thinking IFC, Jersey’s finance industry in collaboration with its government and financial services regulator, took the strategic decision more than a decade ago to implement a vision that would establish Jersey as a global player.
It was a bold vision and one that has seen us diversify our services, double down in certain areas, deepen our relationships in some markets and extend our global footprint – Jersey Finance now has offices in Hong Kong, the DIFC, London and most recently New York, and operates fly-in models to Africa, India and China.
Realising that vision has meant emphasizing our key strengths.
The infrastructure and quality of the finance industry workforce in Jersey, for instance, has given it a capability to support global clients in an increasingly broad range of areas, from supporting family offices, expats and philanthropists to corporates and pension funds.
The commitment Jersey also has to innovation through its digital strategy and product evolution means that it now has the sort of robust digital infrastructure and suite of services that can meet the sophisticated expectations of a broad cross-section of clients in all corners of the world.
And our reliable, political and economic stability, as well as our forward-thinking legal and regulatory infrastructure means that investors, wherever they are in the world, including in places that are perhaps less stable, have in Jersey a neutral, resilient location where business can be transacted with certainty, confidence and transparency.
As a result of all of these efforts, today Jersey helps manage in excess of £1.3trn of assets on behalf of private and institutional clients all over the world, enabling investors to efficiently put their capital to work and have a positive impact. Further, our research into the Value of Jersey to the UK and Europe reveals that 50% of new business comes into Jersey from markets outside of Europe, underlining the importance and significance of Jersey’s global network.
Our approach, in embedding a global perspective in everything we do, is not new. But it has been given renewed emphasis in light of the fallout of Covid-19 and the new environment we are all collectively entering.
What I hope comes through from our inaugural Global Jersey webinar series is just how important a global perspective is in today’s international financial services industry. The series will feature experts across a range of sessions discussing, among other things, the latest key trends in the family office space; what sustainability will look like in ten years; how IFCs can connect effectively with international markets; how fund managers are selecting domiciles; and the links between innovation and responsibility.
And underpinning all of these sessions is a belief that, to be successful, IFCs need to have global capabilities, global expertise, and global reach. It’s my firm belief that Jersey ticks all those boxes.
I look forward to you joining us on 22 September.