Despite such a backdrop, however, those attributes of resilience and innovation have continued to serve us well and I hope the opinions of our contributors in this issue of Jersey ~ First for Finance exemplify why we continue to play a positive and meaningful role on the international stage. Also, if there is one takeaway from the past year, it is that Jersey is increasingly adopting a global outlook and establishing a distinct presence on that international stage.
The last year has seen a doubling down on those efforts to authentically drive our aspiration for global connectivity – a concept we believe to be pivotal in differentiating ourselves as an IFC of note.
Consequently, we have continued to evolve and diversify our overseas engagement and events programme through our own
channels but also working collaboratively with the Government of Jersey, the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) and through international networks such as the World Alliance of International Finance Centres and the UN’s Financial Centres for Sustainability.
In 2022, we took our message to new markets, including hosting our first ever US Roadshow, taking in new cities such as Miami, San Francisco and Chicago, as well as New York where we have had an office for more than three years now.
Elsewhere, we also took our proposition to South Africa with events in Johannesburg and Cape Town and we visited Kenya as a part of our Nairobi Roadshow.
In the Gulf region, we held a number of events including a women in leadership series and a private wealth conference in Dubai, which drew a full crowd.
Significantly, in Asia, we also evolved our strategy by establishing a new presence and business development lead in Singapore, made possible by the support of the Government of Jersey.
We have also sought to get deeper insights into the perceptions of Jersey among global business communities through a revamped survey. Gratifyingly, its findings were positive, with more than eight out of 10 global gatekeepers speaking highly of Jersey and Jersey Finance. That is a good endorsement in a competitive and complex landscape.
Globally Focussed Innovation
It is this global mindset that has driven product innovation in more recent times.
If we take Jersey’s funds sector as an example, innovative structures like the Jersey Private Fund (JPF) – which has provided a streamlined, go-to product for the international funds community with more than 630 formed since the structure was brought to market some six years ago, holding assets totalling in excess of US$76 billion – have built the Island’s reputation as a jurisdiction of note.
It is by always having an eye on where there is a need and how we can fulfil that need which keeps Jersey ahead of the curve. That is why earlier this year we introduced the Jersey Limited Liability Company (LLC). The new LLC structure will significantly enhance Jersey’s proposition as a leading jurisdiction for supporting global – and in particular US – alternative fund managers, offering familiarity and considerable flexibility.
Such an approach has allowed the Island’s funds sector to consistently grow over the past two decades to an industry with assets under management standing now at well over US$600 billion.
Meanwhile, when it comes to innovation in the technology space, our digital ambition is still for Jersey to be recognised as the easiest IFC to do business with remotely in a digital world.
Our Fintech Demo Day, as well as regular fintech updates and community of interest groups, continue to drive the conversation around innovation and we have established an important new working relationship with Jersey’s Cyber Emergency Response Team.
Critically, having initially launched a fintech strategy in 2016, we have looked to evolve our approach to add greater flexibility and ensure we can nurture fintech innovation to enhance productivity and improve efficiencies.
These drivers will help guide the way that we look at fintech moving forward, ensuring that Jersey’s finance industry can deliver world-class service to international clients in an increasingly virtual world and empower firms to support greater productivity and satisfy growing regulatory and reporting requirements.
Thanks to our forward-thinking approach, digital infrastructure and depth of digital expertise, Jersey is setting out its stall as a world-class centre for fintech and that will become increasingly important in the years ahead.
One trend that is set to continue gathering pace is that of environment, social and governance (ESG) investment.
We are now two years on from the launch of our sustainable finance strategy, which sets out our aspiration to be recognised as a leading jurisdiction in the field of sustainability.
We have achieved a lot in that period. We have undertaken a major audit of our sustainable finance capabilities, worked with the Government and regulator to create a framework for sustainable finance, we have supported the ESG upskilling of hundreds of people in industry locally and we have become a member of FC4S, a global collective of international finance centres working to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement.
This year marks the end of our initial two-year plan and so 2023 will see us establish next steps to support the realisation of our sustainable leader aspirations. We are fortunate in Jersey to be home to some true innovators in this field who are capable of driving those ambitions forward for the future.
Over the coming pages, some of the Island’s leading minds will provide their thoughts on a number of key themes on the horizon for Jersey’s IFC and I sincerely thank all those contributors for making this latest edition of Jersey ~ First for Finance so insightful.
We have come through an intensely challenging period as an IFC and while the future is unlikely to be plain sailing, I can say with certainty that we will continue to work hard to remain competitive, innovative and globally focussed so that we retain our standing as a leading jurisdiction.