We often talk at Jersey Finance about the role Jersey plays in supporting international finance – it is our remit after all to drive forward innovation and represent Jersey’s expertise among investors and other stakeholders in markets all around the world.
The geopolitical environment we find ourselves in today, with uncertainty and instability across Asia, Middle East, the Americas, Africa and of course Europe with Brexit, means that it has been vital for Jersey to diversify the markets it serves over recent years.
Around 50% of the £1.3 trillion Jersey manages and administers on behalf of global investors comes from Europe – but the rest comes from markets further afield, including North America (14%), Asia Pacific (12%), the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa.
This increasingly diverse mosaic is why we launched our first ever ‘Global Jersey’ webinar series last year – a day-long virtual forum that highlighted our global reach as a finance centre, attracting around 1,200 finance professionals from 30 different countries. We’re looking to build on that again at our forum this year on 14 July.
It’s also why we are undertaking further major research this year, to get an up-to-date picture of the value Jersey adds not just to the UK and Europe, but to global investment flows. The findings of this important new research project will be invaluable in providing insights into Jersey’s increasingly global reach.
However, while we remain focussed on our international remit, we are also acutely aware of the role our industry plays in the local community too – and this is particularly the case in 2021 as we mark the 60th anniversary of our finance industry.
Research has shown that for every ten jobs created in Jersey’s finance industry, nine are supported elsewhere in other sectors; every £1m generated by the finance industry supports another £300,000 elsewhere in the community; and we know that the industry is providing a route for our young people to develop skills and earn qualifications, with around 3,000 finding their first job in finance over the past decade.
We forget our local roots at our peril – because it is the industry’s connection with the local community that gives us our licence to operate and our ability to thrive. History tells us that when the industry does well, the island does well, and vice versa.
Never has that been more apparent than in the last 12 months, as we saw hundreds of people from across the industry volunteer with charities and public sector initiatives, to support those suffering from the effects of the pandemic. That’s on top of the regular and ongoing support, volunteering and fundraising done out of choice by people who work in the industry. Tax payments made by the 13,500-strong financial services workforce, which fortunately was able to successfully and rapidly transition to home working, also helped to support the Island’s economic stability throughout the pandemic.
It’s really important that we endeavour to maintain that momentum this year as part of our anniversary celebrations, under the banner ‘together we shine’, recognising that our industry does not exist in isolation, but that it is precisely because of our interconnectedness with the local community that we, and the island, can be successful.
To that effect, we are pleased this year to be partnering with the Association of Jersey Charities, a fantastic organisation that helps drive professionalization across the charitable sector and facilitates grants to a broad range of charities. This year we are encouraging our members to fundraise for the AJC, to enable them to continue to make a significant impact across the community and asking our member firms to support charities by providing their professional expertise too. Individuals from around 20 firms have already come forward to offer their expertise, pro bono.
We’re also working with a number of local organisations as part of our efforts to engage with the community in different ways – Visit Jersey and Jersey Uncovered, to give those working in the industry, and their families, the opportunity to explore our beautiful island through a series of guided walks; JT, who are profiling the anniversary in this year’s directory; and Jersey Post who are producing special 60th anniversary stamps, to be released in October.
We are also continuing to collaborate with Durrell, Jersey Heritage and ArtHouse Jersey to support community initiatives and promote our unique culture, heritage and natural environment. Recently, I recorded an episode of ‘The A-Word’ podcast with ArtHouse Jersey, alongside Amy Bryant, during which we talked about the importance of creativity in finance and how creative thinking and innovation is fundamental to business, including the finance sector.
And tomorrow, (4 June) at the Santander Café in St Helier, we’re providing an opportunity for people to find out more about the industry, the diverse personal finance services firms here offer to local people, and career opportunities in the industry at an Ask the Experts ‘information clinic’ event.
It’s all a reflection of just how seriously we take our role within the local community. In the wake of the pandemic and in our anniversary year, that local connection has never been more important.