In 2023, Jersey Finance hosted a series of events in key Asian centres showcasing its growing appeal as a centre for supporting the global aspirations of Asian fund managers.

Hear from Dilmun Leach, Group Partner at Walkers as he reflects on the events and how Jersey is evolving its proposition for Asian fund managers and investors …

Q: What sort of funds business is currently being undertaken between Jersey and Asia?

We’ve consistently seen a flow of funds work from the region, partly because Walkers have a strong brand in Asia through our long-standing presence and deep bench of funds lawyers in Hong Kong and Singapore, where we’re ranked in the top tier by the leading directories.

The work that Jersey Finance has been doing in Asia for many years has helped to raise the profile of Jersey as a financial services jurisdiction, where historically clients in the region have been focussed on other jurisdictions.

The key recent trend has been the use of Jersey corporate structures for digital asset funds managed by Singapore fund managers.

The double-taxation agreement between Jersey and Singapore makes this arrangement an attractive one – as an example, we recently advised on one of the first open-ended crypto funds established in Jersey by a high profile Singaporean manager, and have seen several instructions along these lines.

Aside from digital assets, we routinely work with Asian investors and fund managers investing in UK real estate using Jersey structures.

Q: Why is Asia such an interesting market for Jersey?

In the past, the Asian economy has been on a different cycle to the European economy – that and the opportunities created by currency fluctuations has often meant that when traditionally-relevant markets have been slower, there have been more reasons for Asian investors to seek opportunities in Europe, and specifically in prime commercial real estate in London, which naturally brings Jersey into play.

Added to that, the work done by Jersey Finance to raise the profile of the jurisdiction in Asian financial services markets has led to a steady increase in awareness and understanding of the Jersey product.

Q: How is Jersey’s reputation as a funds centre evolving in Asia?

There is certainly an increased awareness and understanding of the Jersey funds offering in the Asian financial services industry – the Jersey Private Fund is particularly popular as a light-touch regulatory option for qualified investors.

Jersey is not likely to become an alternative for hedge or retail funds to rival some of the more established jurisdictions, but the interactions that we have had – and the referrals that we see from our established offices in Asia – show that the private fund model is increasingly well understood.

Q: How useful were these events in getting Jersey’s message across?

The events have been a great opportunity to get directly in front of the industry and talk about our experience, case studies and opportunities in the region. Even with the ease around video calls post-COVID, there is still no substitute for meeting people and talking directly about the work that we do so that we can understand the issues and concerns, and hopefully explain the benefits of what we can offer.