As assets of US-based fund promoters jump by 148% over the past five years Europe has been gaining a lot of attention from US managers in recent years, with Dublin and Luxembourg the primary beneficiaries.

But Jersey has now added itself to that list.

The promotional body for the financial services industry in the Channel Island, Jersey Finance, has opened a New York office to take its offering across the pond.

“There’s a clear opportunity for Jersey to be a bridge between the United States and Europe,” Philip Pirecki, head of business development for the Americas at Jersey Finance, told International Adviser.

Back to the start

The idea of creating a link between Jersey and the US began around five years ago, when New Jersey was celebrating the 350th anniversary of the founding of the colony.

“Jersey and New Jersey started doing some cultural exchanges between the two jurisdictions, and that quickly led to a commercial exchange,” Pirecki said.

While the decision to open an American office was five years in the making, it was a necessary one if Jersey wanted to tap into that market.

“If you really want to be present in the US market, you need a consistent, permanent presence in the states,” Pirecki added.

“Since our focus in on the funds side, we thought that that concentration was greater in New York.”

Funds focus

Pirecki is based in the states and will be running the operations over there, splitting 80% of his time on funds and 20% on private wealth, Elliot Refson, director of funds at Jersey Finance, told IA.

That is because, even though there are many Jersey firms working in the private wealth arena in the US, the offering is “far more fragmented”, he added.

“We see the crossover between funds and private wealth, but our primary focus certainly, initially, is very much on the funds offering,” Refson said.

That is due to the fast growth Jersey has been experiencing from US managers.

“The assets of US-based fund promoters in Jersey have risen by 148% over the past five years,” he said.

Pirecki added: “[Jersey Finance’s] member firms have been growing their business in the US, and they’ve been doing that with measurable success, and being able to assist them, that’s a good reason for doing it now.”

Gateway to Europe

What Jersey has to offer is access to both Europe and the UK, especially with the shadow of Brexit looming ahead.

“If you’re looking to raise capital in Europe, Jersey is a very good platform to do that; if you’re looking to deploy capital into Europe, likewise,” Pirecki said.

Refson added: “When it comes to the EU, we have our private arrangements in place.

“Jersey’s access to the UK market is guaranteed under the private placement agreement there, and that has been recently enhanced by our regulator [Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC)] in the event that EU law no longer applies there.

“So, we are in a very strong position to bridge the gap between the EU and UK in both the pre- and post-Brexit environment.”

You can read the full article in situ here.