Details around Jersey's newly-launched fund framework have been welcomed by UK fund practitioners at the Jersey Finance Annual Funds Conference in London this week.
At the half-day event on Tuesday (21 March), which attracted almost 400 fund professionals, the new Jersey Private Fund regime was highlighted as one of the innovations giving the industry optimism in the future of the sector, despite the uncertainties posed by Brexit. Experts from London and Jersey welcomed the more streamlined and fast-track regime, under which funds for up to 50 investors could be established in 48 hours.
Opening the conference, Geoff Cook, CEO, Jersey Finance, flagged research by Preqin which showed that asset managers are forecasting substantial increases in their allocation in alternatives, a further positive sign for Jersey, including 62% to private debt, 53% to infrastructure and 48% to private equity (Preqin Investor Outlook: Alternative Assets H1 2017).
He said: “We are well placed to benefit from the current uncertainties in the markets. Our market access arrangements with Europe continue, we are a sound, well governed, risk averse jurisdiction with enduring commercial links to London, which will appeal to international investors looking for stability and certainty.”
Later, Tim Morgan, Vice Chairman, Jersey Funds Association, reported that deal flows across all asset classes were positive and that there was further opportunity to build business based on the huge asset management capabilities of London and the structuring expertise in Jersey. Mr Morgan spoke on a panel which considered the impact of Brexit and regulation such as BEPS, with John Maxey, Tax Partner, Deloitte; Deborah Lloyd, Chairman, The Association of Real Estate Funds; and Mike Jones, Director, Policy, Jersey Financial Services Commission.
Conference panelists also highlighted the importance of the symbiotic relationship that endures between Jersey and London. Jonathan Pugh-Smith, legal counsel, Bregal Investments LLP; James Duffield, Director, Aztec Group; Robert Mellor, UK Asset Management Tax Partner, PwC; and Jane Pearce, Managing Director, Vistra, all agreed that the relationship would be unaffected by Brexit.
The conference, at 8 Northumberland Avenue, also included a keynote address on the political landscape from the leading political journalist Nick Robinson, who also moderated the conference panel sessions, and a presentation from Tim Harford, behavioral economist, journalist and broadcaster.