Recent employment figures for Jersey revealed that the number of people employed in the finance industry here grew by in 2018 to reach an all-time record high of almost 13,800.

That was followed by a positive set of indicators in the latest quarter’s business tendency survey, which showed that finance firms are overwhelmingly positive on current and future employment, indicating that the figure could rise even further in the coming months.

It’s welcome news of course, that should send a clear message to investors around the positive sentiment running through our industry at the moment, and it means that the size our industry is driven by the largest financial services workforce of any Crown Dependency or Overseas Territory.

To add some further context, it also means that our workforce is around the same size as the whole of KPMG’s workforce in the UK, twice the size of broadcaster ITV, and around three times the size of online retailer Asos. It’s a considerably sized workforce.

But there’s more here than just a figure. To borrow a phrase, we are more than just the sum of our parts. When you drill down into the figures, it’s clear that we are not just a ‘finance industry’, but a diverse community – an organisation even – that offers an extraordinarily sophisticated set of skills, deep pools of knowledge and a broad range of specialist expertise, more than most organisations can offer – from banking, trust and funds professionals, to sustainability, digital and change management experts.

It’s important because that is our USP, our people. It is that knowledge, expertise and skill set that enables us to play such a positive role in the global economy and that has to be our differentiator in the future.

We’re doing some work at the moment on productivity to better understand how we can enhance further the value of the sector in the face of rising input costs and technology. And we’ll make those findings available when that work is completed – it’s vital, because we clearly need to add value to the local community, and we’re doing that in an environment that is increasingly technology-driven, competitive, and where fees are being squeezed.

But our capabilities and our true value is in the good we can deliver collectively, as a circa 14,000+ workforce – not just in monetary terms but in how we are enhancing communities further afield too.

We are enabling philanthropic investment in charities; making it easier for investors around the world to pool their assets and put it to work; bringing about tangible change through infrastructure development in developing countries; facilitating investment in renewable energies; allowing companies large and small to trade and grow internationally; creating jobs around the world; and helping people in all corners of the globe to realise their ambitions.

And we can do that only because of the quality of our people working together. It’s a powerful attribute to have and one that we can and should be proud of.