Geoff Cook, CEO of Jersey Finance, and Treasury and Resources Minister Senator Philip Ozouf both attended the Euromoney Qatar Conference: ‘Financing Stable and Equitable Growth – The New Role of Conventional and Islamic Finance and Capital Markets’, which took place in Doha on 10th – 11th December and was officially opened by H.E. Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Prime Minister of the State of Qatar. At the event, which was co-sponsored by Jersey Finance, Senator Philip Ozouf took part in a keynote interview, during which he focused on Jersey’s role in supporting investment flows into and from the Gulf. Jersey signed a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) with Qatar in 2012.

Meanwhile, Joe Moynihan, Director of Financial Services for the States of Jersey, and Richard Corrigan, Global Head of Business Development for Jersey Finance, attended the Campden Wealth ‘6th Middle East Family Office and Investment Workshop’ event in Abu Dhabi on 9th – 10th December, at which Jersey Finance was an official partner organisation.

Speaking on a panel session entitled ‘Managing and Mapping Risk – Family Businesses and their Family Offices’, Richard Corrigan discussed the different kinds of risks that family office professionals might encounter in different regions and industry sectors, and underlined Jersey’s substance and strengths as a specialist centre for wealth management and trust and estate planning. Joining Richard on the panel were other specialists on family office issues.

During the visit to the UAE, Richard also held meetings with a number of major Gulf-region banks to build on previous discussions, and with firms in the UAE that have offices in Jersey.

The visit formed part of a busy programme of activity for Jersey Finance in the Gulf region in recent months, and follows a visit to Dubai and Abu Dhabi in November by Jersey’s Minister for External Relations, Senator Sir Philip Bailhache, during which he held a series of meetings with senior UAE ministers and government officials. Financial services links between Jersey and the Gulf region remain strong, with bank deposits held in Jersey emanating from the Middle East representing around 14% of the £145 billion total.

Richard Corrigan said:

“Robust regulation and exceptional standards of service continue to be a priority for advisers and finance professionals in the Middle East and it was encouraging to confirm during this visit that Jersey is very much recognised for these qualities. A meeting with representatives of a significant regional family with current interests in Jersey, for instance, re-affirmed the value they place on good regulation and high quality service provision, while it was also incredibly useful to extend through our attendance at these events our regional network across the Gulf region, including with prominent families.”

Geoff Cook added:

“Qatar offers a very interesting opportunity for Jersey, particularly in facilitating flows of institutional and sovereign wealth fund monies, with Jersey structures being more and more frequently used for investment into UK real estate. For this reason, it is fantastic that Jersey enjoys such strong political support in building strong relationships with key contacts in the region. Following visits by Jersey’s Chief Minister Senator Ian Gorst and  Senator Sir Philip Bailhache earlier this year, Senator Philip Ozouf’s participation at the conference in Qatar was extremely well received and has certainly helped cement the excellent profile and reputation of Jersey’s finance industry in the region.”