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Growth For Jersey's Alternative Investment Funds Sector

by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
12 January, 2016

The number of Jersey-registered alternative fund managers marketing into Europe through national private placement regimes (NPPRs) under the EU Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) rose significantly again over the final six months of 2015, according to new figures from the island's regulator.

As at December 2015, 104 alternative fund managers (AIFMs) had been authorized in Jersey to market into Europe through NPPRs, up 24 percent compared with June last year. Over the same period, the number of Jersey alternative funds (AIFs) being marketed into Europe through NPPR authorization stood at 230, a 12 percent increase compared with June 2015.

Further statistics collated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission show that, as at September 2015, the net asset value of all alternative funds being administered in Jersey grew by 12 percent year-on-year to stand at GBP159bn (USD229bn), including rises of 21 percent in hedge, two percent in private equity, and 16 percent in real estate funds.

Geoff Cook, Chief Executive, Jersey Finance, commented: "Jersey has worked hard to maintain simple and efficient access to European markets and it is extremely pleasing that the tried and tested private placement route continues to prove attractive for non-EU managers and funds. Backed up by the recommendation by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) that Jersey should be granted a pan-European passport in due course, managers are clearly finding peace of mind in Jersey's long-term proposition."

"The trend we are seeing is definitely one of building genuine fund management substance in the jurisdiction and this is having a knock on effect in ancillary areas. It was pleasing to see at the end of last year, for instance, asset management software company TORA establish a presence in Jersey and MUFG Investor Services acquire UBS Asset Management's Alternative Fund Services business as part of their expansion strategies."

Ben Robins, Chairman of the Jersey Funds Association, highlighted the ongoing popularity of NPPRs and the confidence managers are reporting in Jersey when he gave a talk entitled 'Marketing Non-EU AIFs & AIFMs in Europe' at the Private Equity Forum's AIFMD Conference in London in November 2015. He said: "The recommendation from ESMA last year was clearly very welcome and put Jersey in a very promising position for future passport marketing, but it is equally good news that the existing marketing route into Europe via NPPRs is working well for Jersey managers in key EU Member States, and continues to grow in popularity. Jersey saw some significant private equity and real estate fund launches towards the end of 2015 and practitioners are reporting a strong pipeline of business as we head into 2016, spanning private equity, real estate, hedge, debt, credit and infrastructure funds."

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