Are you familiar with Andre Gide’s infamous saying: man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore?
Grant Barbour, Managing Director at Ocorian, moved to the Channel Island of Jersey from South Africa in 2000 and today is still living on the Island – a perfect example of a man who explored new oceans!
Jersey is a jurisdiction of choice for South Africans seeking wealth management solutions. Its political and economic stability, breadth and depth of its financial services expertise and robust legislation are all factors that attract an international clientele. The enviable quality of life and work-life balance found in Jersey is similar to the environment found in South Africa.
Jersey is home to more than 600 South Africans. As a high-quality, forward-thinking international finance centre (IFC), Jersey holds £5 billion in trusts for South Africans and high-net worth individuals and families (Statistics Office Jersey, December 2017). Latest insights into Jersey’s funds sector show a growing interest in the IFC acting as a platform to help capital raising in Africa – a positive indication of how IFCs can support the economic development of the African continent. Last year, South African managers accounted for the seventh-largest pool of capital globally among Jersey-based fund promoters, having seen a 38.7% year-on-year increase (Monterey Jersey Fund Report, Monterey Insight 2021).
The relationship between Jersey and South Africa is not new. In fact, it goes back over two decades with South African organisations setting up shop in Jersey such as Standard Bank, Alexander Forbes, Ashburton investments and Nedbank investor, to mention a few – indicating a symbiotic relationship between the two regions. It is not unusual to see asset managers, trustees and bankers from Jersey travelling to South Africa and vice-versa. Jersey has direct flights to major UK business centres, facilitating fast and frequent travel opportunities to major European and worldwide destinations.
South Africa is a beautiful country and it was a really tough decision to leave in early 2000. Both my extended family and my wife’s family still live in South Africa; we are still fiercely patriotic and visit often. Having said that, Jersey has now become our home.
It offers a fantastic environment in which to raise children and the professional opportunities available on the Island are second to none. It is safe, ordered, has a world-class legal system and financial services industry, excellent health care and a fantastic educational system. It also has clean Atlantic air, and you are never far from a beach! My family and I are enormously privileged to be living on this beautiful Island.
Beyond the finance and legal sectors, the Island values its children and young people, demonstrated not in the least by its top-class education system and quality healthcare services. Agricultural links can also be found between Jersey and Africa through the Jersey cow breeding program – with Zambia the latest African country to sign up for the programme.
For South Africans looking to expand or relocate their businesses, Jersey is a low tax jurisdiction with some of the lowest tax rates in Europe. And for South African fund promoters wishing to access EU capital, Jersey’s excellent third country access to the EU market – through National Private Placement Regimes (NPPRs) – is an attractive ‘gateway’ to Europe.
There are historical links between Jersey and South Africa, too. For instance, Jersey-born Thomas Benjamin Davis founded the University of KwaZulu Natal – he moved to South Africa when he was about 16 years old.
With award-winning beaches, clean and serene pure sea air, the highest quality hotels, restaurants and leisure activities, Jersey offers a relaxed lifestyle in a tranquil yet well-connected location, (Jersey has the fastest broadband in the world as confirmed by the Worldwide Broadband Speed League in 2021) with a world-leading IFC at its centre. People looking for the perfect mix of family and business life will find all of the necessary ingredients in Jersey. The lifestyle attributes found on the Island match those found in South Africa – one of the many reasons prompting South Africans to relocate to Jersey, a perfect second home for the community.