Efforts to strengthen business links between Jersey and Russia and the CIS have been ramped up with the formation of a dedicated group of experts on the region.

The inaugural meeting of Jersey Finance’s ‘Russia and CIS Community of Interest Group’ took place on 20th November at the Pomme d’Or Hotel. It was chaired by Gary Hales, Jersey Finance’s Business Development Representative for Russia and the CIS, and attended by a wide range of influential and senior members of the local business community and experts on the region, as well as strategic partners from UK finance industry promoters TheCityUK. Further meetings will be held on a regular basis, starting early in 2013.

The creation of the Group represents the culmination of preliminary research and promotional work undertaken by Jersey Finance over the past four years to focus on Russia and the CIS region, identified as a key potential target market for Jersey's private wealth management industry.

The Group will focus on the development of a formal and strategic marketing and business development programme to promote Jersey as a jurisdiction of choice specifically for high quality private wealth management business in the region and to identify any barriers to market entry.

Additional Jersey Finance activity in the Russian market this year included attendance at two Adam Smith conferences – in October Jersey Finance sponsored the ‘Private Client Russia & CIS’ conference in London and earlier in the year attended the 'Wealth Management and Private Banking – Russia & CIS' conference at the Radisson Royal Hotel in Moscow. Furthermore in September Jersey Finance, in association with the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC), hosted a one day event in Jersey: ‘Discovering new markets BRIC by BRIC’ (Brazil, Russia, India and China). The conference focused on the realities of finding and doing business in these important markets and how Jersey maintains our high standards of regulation while looking to build business in these jurisdictions.

Gary Hales commented on the meeting:

“I was really encouraged by the outcome of this first Group session and found it extremely positive to note so many firms represented at the meeting with such a broad depth of experience. The formation of the Group reflects Jersey Finance’s commitment to strengthening ties with the region, one of the most impressive growth markets globally with 3.5% growth recorded over the past five years.

“Clearly there are regulatory and corporate governance issues to consider in entering any new marketplace and we recognise the importance of conducting new business in line with the usual high regulatory standards we expect in Jersey. Steered by the knowledge of this new Group and based on the intelligence gathered through our own research to date, we are confident that there is significant quality new business to be secured from the region.”