The audience was told that while London remains a core market for the Industry, building a strong presence in international markets would continue to be a key part of the plan in 2014. Jersey Finance therefore plans to extend the Industry’s global reach through visits to key markets and through on-ground representation in Shanghai.
Further, in addition to the increasing activity in Greater China, there will be visits to the Gulf and India where Jersey Finance already has representation, as well as Russia and Africa.
Geoff Cook, CEO, Jersey Finance, commented:
‘As part of our plans for 2014, we have recruited a new business development manager in London, we also plan to increase resource in Africa, appoint an additional representative in the Gulf based in Dubai and plan to launch our Shanghai launchpad office later this year.’
He highlighted especially the growth potential of the funds industry in 2014 where Jersey was well placed to capture the upside in the UK recovery.
‘In particular Sovereign wealth funds, funds, ultra high net worth investors and private equity were all actively investing in the UK property market currently, a market where Jersey has such great strength and where we have the reputation as the real estate structuring centre for the European market.’
In respect of key industry developments in 2013, Jersey’s banking sector continued to attract capital from across the world including rising amounts from the Middle East which now accounts for 14% of the total, while the net asset value of funds administered and managed in Jersey rose during the year, climbing above the £200 billion level at one point. Capital markets business also grew, with close to 105 registered Jersey companies listed on global stock exchanges with a market capitalisation of £157bn, providing global companies with a gateway to London’s capital markets and, in the private client sector, it was calculated for the first time that around £1/2 trillion worth of assets are held in Jersey trusts and Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) by private individuals.
Geoff Cook described 2013 as another challenging year but one which had seen significant advances on ‘our journey to 2015 plan’ to increase Jersey’s leadership as an International Finance Centre (IFC)
Two heavyweight reports completed in 2013 made significant contributions to extending the Industry’s global reach as to both products and markets.
The ‘Finance Industry Strategic Jurisdictional Review’ identified key opportunities and challenges for Jersey and set out a plan designed to sustain the success of the Industry. The Government, Regulator and Industry have all joined forces to oversee the report’s implementation and it remains a priority for 2014.
The publication of the Capital Economics ‘Jersey’s Value to Britain’ report highlighted for the first time the true value Jersey provides to the UK, for instance in supporting 180,000 UK jobs and in being a conduit for around £ ½ trillion of foreign investment into the UK. The report gained significant coverage in Jersey and the UK and has proved invaluable in influencing politicians and opinion-formers.
Also in 2013, Jersey supported the G20 Action Plan and the EU G5 project for automatic exchange of information, agreeing to automatic exchange of information under the EU Savings Directive, and signing up to the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act and an inter-governmental agreement with the UK.
Geoff Cook said:
Jersey’s support for cooperation and transparency in taxation matters will continue to form part of our strategy in 2014. Jersey’s message is being heard in senior circles, and we need to capitalise on that.
Jonathan White, Chairman of Jersey Finance, added:
Working closely with the Jersey Government and the Jersey Financial Services Commission, we have put the Island at the forefront of efforts to increase co-operation and transparency in taxation and related issues. This has been essential in maintaining awareness of Jersey as a well regulated IFC making a vital contribution to the world’s economy.’
‘Another important achievement in 2013 has been the enhancement of Jersey’s legal and regulatory framework required as a result of the EU’s Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD). The result has been to maintain open access to European markets, while preserving the ability of fund managers to work in non-European markets as they do now.’
The event included a question and answer session in which moderator, Gary Burgess, from ITV, Jersey, interviewed Joe Moynihan, Director of Financial Services, States of Jersey, John Harris, Director General of the Jersey Financial Services Commission, Ben Robins, Chairman, the Jersey Funds Association and Geoff Cook about the Industry’s progress and status.