30 January 2024
Sights on the Horizon – for Local Impact
This week, we’ll be holding our annual Global Horizons event. It’s our opportunity to update members and stakeholders on our plans and priorities for the year. And, as the name suggests, our team will highlight at the event why our global connectivity and reach in particular is so important for our future as an IFC.
Time and again we are told by our membership base that our international capability is absolutely pivotal in why families, fund managers, companies and investors choose Jersey as their jurisdictional partner, to help them meet their ambitions.
It’s why we continue to focus on our core markets in the Gulf region, mainland China and South-East Asia (we formally launched our presence in Singapore last year), Africa (specifically Kenya and South Africa) and the US – with our New York office celebrating its fifth anniversary this year.
In particular, at Global Horizons this year we’ll be unveiling and talking through our new four-year plan, with our previous plan having come to an end in 2023. It’s a plan that aims to position Jersey as a clear leader in providing future-focussed financial and related professional services globally.
We’ll discuss why Jersey’s stability as an IFC and the certainty it offers investors is critical in a world that is currently suffering from a ‘polycrisis’ – recovering from a pandemic, inflation and cost of living challenges, geopolitical unrest, wars in Europe and the Middle East, and disrupted energy supply chains.
We’ll explore how Jersey, through its private wealth, funds, banking and corporate sectors, is helping to facilitate the efficient deployment of capital around the world, activity that is helping to contribute some £170 billion to global GDP, supporting more than five million jobs.
We’ll delve into how we are embracing technology to enhance our productivity and maintain our competitive edge; and how we are nurturing a sustainable finance ecosystem, aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
It’s all exciting stuff – but it’s also at times things like this that I’m reminded why we are doing all this. Our purpose. The value we add.
Yes, it’s about driving positive impact in markets around the world. But it’s also about something much closer to home – supporting firms here in Jersey and helping them to thrive.
It’s about giving local people exciting and varied job opportunities.
It’s about how we, as an industry, are contributing to our own Island economy.
And it’s about how we are supporting those working in other sectors, from construction and agriculture to hospitality and tourism.
Figures show, for instance, that our industry accounts for one fifth of the total workforce but contributes almost two-fifths (37%) of our Island’s economic output (GDP) and the majority of our local tax revenues; money that goes towards the delivery of public services.
Our own figures also show that our global team exceeded our most recent annual target in terms of inward investment opportunities, new business and new jobs created, all of which benefit local firms and our local economy. Further detail about that can be found in our Annual Report.
We know too that our industry collectively spends around £350 million each year on local goods and services – that’s almost £1 million every single day.
And we know that for every job created in the finance industry another is created in another sector in Jersey.
So, as we focus on our ‘global horizons’ again this year, we remain acutely aware of our responsibility as an industry as to why we are doing all this – to help our Island prosper.
Our ability to achieve all this depends on very much on our collaborative approach, the support of our government, of our regulator, of other industry bodies, of other stakeholders and, of course, of our membership base.
Every year, for instance, we reach out to our circa 170 membership base of finance firms in Jersey to gain feedback on the activity we’ve done and, crucially, what we can do better. In our most recent survey, 97% said they were favourable towards Jersey Finance – that’s an overwhelmingly positive endorsement of what we are doing, but also a reflection of our joined-up industry thinking. The fact that we held over 900 meetings with our membership base over the course of the year also underlines how seriously we take our Member engagement.
With that in mind, I’m really pleased that we are continuing to focus on our local impact this year – in particular around careers, recruitment and skills, which remain key issues among our Members.
We are continuing, for example, to up our engagement with local schools, with our team hosting events and speaking to students increasingly about the diverse and evolving career opportunities offered through finance and professional services. We’ve also recently launched a new video for students that aims to dispel some of the misconceptions around working in the finance industry.
We’re also continuing to evolve our Rising Stars Awards, which aim to celebrate local talent, and I’m looking forward to our ‘Ready’ summit in March, which will bring together CEOs, managers and future talent in a new and innovative way, to explore what success looks like to them, where our skills gaps are, and how we should be evolving as an IFC in their eyes.
The impact we have as an IFC around the world is intrinsically linked to the impact we have at home. That synergy is not lost on us.
By focussing on nurturing an innovative, forward-thinking, engaged ecosystem, we can continue to offer a platform that can retain its leading position, remain attractive to investors, and deliver impact around the world. And that in turn will pay dividends for Jersey.
Chief Executive Officer, Jersey Finance