The number of Foundation structures registered in Jersey has broken through the 200 barrier, fewer than four years since their introduction.

Over 200 Foundations have now been registered with the Jersey Financial Services Commission Registry since 17 July 2009, when Jersey’s Foundations Law came into force. Jersey was the first British Crown Dependency to offer such structures and it has seen a steady stream of registrations since enactment.

It is understood that around one-third of the Foundations formed are being used for philanthropic or charitable purposes, with a further third being used specifically by ultra-high-net-worth families as part of their family wealth management and dynastic planning strategies. Foundations are also being used for commercial purposes and for holding high value or luxury assets.

Jersey Foundations are proving particularly popular in civil law jurisdictions, where the common-law concept of the trust is less familiar. As well as a strong uptake in continental Europe, including Switzerland and the Netherlands, there have been high levels of interest from Asia, including the Far and Middle East, with a number of Foundations being used for Sharia’h-compliant financing arrangements.

Geoff Cook, CEO, Jersey Finance, said:

“It is encouraging that, almost four years since their introduction, Jersey Foundations have established themselves as mainstream vehicles within global wealth management strategies. Their long-term appeal is also proving hugely valuable as Jersey builds relationships with key markets in Asia, thanks both to their flexibility and control structures. The consistent growth both in terms of bare numbers but also in terms of the levels of funds being placed into Foundations reflects the success of Jersey’s Foundations Law and reinforces again Jersey’s position as a centre of excellence for private wealth management business.”

Giles Corbin, Partner at law firm Mourant Ozannes and a leading practitioner on Jersey Foundations, added:

“The growth in Foundations being used for philanthropic purposes demonstrates Jersey’s position as a leading offshore centre for this type of activity. In addition, while the majority of Jersey Foundations have been new structures, a number have been migrated from other jurisdictions, providing more evidence of Jersey’s attraction as a flexible jurisdiction with high standards of regulation and governance.”

The success of Jersey’s Foundations and their growing use to facilitate philanthropic objectives will form part of the debate at this year’s Jersey Finance Private Client Conference, to be held at the British Museum in London on 14th May.