Our strategy refresh in the wake of the global financial crisis over a decade ago really focused our efforts and made clear that our global connectivity is at the heart of our platform.
For more than a decade now, driven by that strategy, our global overseas markets strategy has fuelled our industry’s growth and played a pivotal part in cementing Jersey’s positive reputation amongst a growing number of global intermediaries. Jersey is very much a forward-thinking jurisdiction and our global footprint is the envy of many other IFCs around the world.
We are conscious though that, whilst broadening our reach and expanding our proposition into new markets is supportive of our growth ambitions as an IFC, it is important to continue to focus on maintaining those relationships in what is an increasingly complex, sophisticated and competitive environment.
That is why we continue to work closely with the Government of Jersey, the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC), Digital Jersey, Locate Jersey and Jersey Finance Member firms to deliver a joined-up strategy that can ensure Jersey has a financial services eco-system whose boundaries reach far beyond its own shores.
Over the past two years, of course, it has been more difficult for our business development teams to be travelling and meeting with contacts in our core markets face to face, including the Middle East, Greater China, Africa, India, the US and the UK. However, they pivoted admirably during the pandemic, to a more digital approach, engaging in remote meetings and events.
As we work through 2022, it is fantastic that our team has been able to travel globally once more, reinstate our comprehensive events programme and get out into the markets and communities to build relationships and expand our programme further.
In particular, we were able to hold our first ‘roadshow’ since the pandemic, in Nairobi, Kenya in mid-2022 during a month of activity in Africa that also took in Rwanda and South Africa – a market we are returning to in late 2022 – whilst we also held events in 2022 spanning the Middle East (Dubai, Riyadh, Jeddah and Kuwait), the US and of course, London.
As our Africa roadshow reflected, the continent remains a key global partner for Jersey, a region with great potential which we have the expertise to nurture. For more than two decades, Jersey has earned a reputation amongst African investors as a jurisdiction of choice for private wealth management and now Jersey is seeing diversification in terms of the services it can provide investors with links to Africa.
On the one hand, we are seeing an uptick in demand for supporting outbound investment into new markets and sectors such as philanthropy, impact investing and alternative assets. On the other hand, we are also seeing a growing number of Jersey firms working with African businesses to provide robust access to pools of capital in key investor markets, such as London, resulting in much needed inbound capital flows into the continent.
Indeed, it was a key message delivered at our roadshow that Jersey is in a prime position to be at the forefront for supporting new – and critically important – waves of investment into Africa, as the continent recovers from the pandemic.
Meanwhile, it is hard to believe that this year marks the third anniversary of our office in New York and in that time Jersey has seen the value of US fund assets under administration rise by almost 50%, driven by our simple proposition of offering US managers a gateway into Europe. We have also diversified our proposition and seen a rise in interest in Jersey supporting the US securitisation market, including collateralised debt obligation (CDO) and collateralised loan obligation (CLO) work, in large part being redirected to Jersey away from Caribbean jurisdictions.
It is particularly exciting that we are undertaking our first US roadshow series in late 2022 which will take our proposition to US markets outside of New York, including Chicago, Miami and San Francisco, as we look to expand our proposition in supporting US fund managers and enhance our visibility in what is undoubtedly a growth market.
The Middle East remains fundamental to our outreach programme and Jersey continues to be seen as the preferred IFC of choice in supporting international objectives of Middle East investors and families. Our links with Middle East investors are becoming more diverse, building on our traditional private wealth capabilities and moving more into alternative investment solutions and emerging, specialist opportunities, such as tech and digital assets.
Having marked the 10th anniversary of our UAE office last year, we also published some ground-breaking research on Islamic wealth management and we are also building stronger links with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia focusing on inbound and outbound investment.
Finally, 2022 marks a significant year in terms of our Asia strategy. Having been successful in establishing our reputation in Asia through our Hong Kong and Shanghai representation, we are continuing to evolve our strategy for the region in line with global trends by establishing a presence in Singapore to further enhance our profile in the region.
With the broader ASEAN region being acutely focused on economic recovery, globalisation, sustainability and fintech in the post-pandemic era, a presence in Singapore can capture significant benefits in supporting investors in the region, complementing existing domestic arrangements by offering new international solutions, whilst driving growth and job creation in Jersey too.
Our constantly evolving global focus reflects just how outward looking Jersey is as an IFC and underlines the extent of our global footprint. As our regional activity shows, Jersey’s finance industry acts as a very significant cog in the global economy, helping manage and administer in excess of £1.4 trillion of global assets and making a positive impact in all corners of the globe by doing so.
This was highlighted in our ‘Global Value Chains’ research in 2021. The UK is, unsurprisingly, the most significant destination of capital, with Jersey’s financial services sector supporting an annual average of £62 billion of UK GDP, representing approximately 2.9% of total UK output. Europe is the most dominant continent for impact through capital deployment, followed by Asia (including the Middle East) and North America, then Oceania and South America.
Overall, it is an impressive impact for an IFC the size of Jersey. We are able to deliver that impact thanks to Jersey’s stability, certainty, impressive experience and expertise, high quality regulatory and legislative framework and commitment to innovation. Particularly in these unprecedented times, all of these traits will remain highly attractive to global investors.
As a jurisdiction, we are playing our part in helping the world economy to move forward and our global connectivity is central to our ability to do that. Jersey will continue to help channel capital to where it is needed most in the world and we look forward to many more years of forging long-lasting, robust relationships with key global partners.