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Jersey Hosts Successful 2015 Funds Conference

by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
30 March, 2015

Jersey Finance has hosted its annual London Fund Conference, which looked at upcoming offerings from the territory and the increasing role the island is playing for US fund managers targeting European investors.

The panel at the event highlighted the strong potential for Jersey to build on its track record in the real estate and private equity fund asset classes, galvanize its hedge fund offering, and diversify further into alternative asset classes.

Citing predictions that alternative assets will grow by more than nine percent per year to reach GBP13 trillion (USD19.2 trillion) by 2020, panelists also identified alternative asset classes as an area of growth for Jersey. A number of managers have chosen to establish a presence in Jersey in recent years, and the latest figures show that the value of hedge fund business in Jersey grew by 46 percent in 2014.

The event discussed Jersey's ability to act as a domicile for fund business, as, although it is outside the EU, it has a private placement regime in place to offer an Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive-compliant route for fund managers into Europe. This can enable US managers to access global and European capital without the onerous requirement of obtaining an AIFMD passport.

The conference was attended by more than 300 funds professionals and was moderated by former Newsnight anchor Jeremy Paxman.

Geoff Cook, the CEO of Jersey Finance, said: "A key message to come across at this year's conference was that, whilst there are clearly ongoing challenges for funds domiciles, Jersey is well placed to rise to those challenges and not only retain its appeal for international fund structuring, but to grow into new and emerging areas and in new alternative asset classes such as infrastructure investment. There is genuine confidence in Jersey's platform and in its ability to manage the high standards required globally."

"The global growth in alternative funds offers Jersey some real opportunities, with investors becoming more international in their decision making and alternatives no longer sitting in the periphery of investment decisions but now sitting at the core of investment portfolios. Europe remains key for Jersey and, eight months since its introduction, AIFMD has not turned out at all to be a barrier to entry for Jersey, whilst we are also seeing more interest from managers in overseas markets, including in the US, and this is an area where we will be focusing greater efforts in the months ahead."

"The latest figures for Jersey's finance industry, collated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission for the period ending December 2014, show that the net asset value of funds under administration in Jersey grew over the final quarter of last year to stand at GBP228.9bn, an annual increase of 19 percent. The value of Jersey's hedge fund business grew by 46 percent, real estate grew by 32 percent to its highest ever level, and private equity maintained a steady increase of five percent."

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