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Jersey's GCC Roadshow Notes Recent Trends

by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
15 June, 2015

Jersey Finance's annual Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Roadshow, held recently in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, focused on banking and wealth management industry trends.

The roadshow focused on the impact of international initiatives on transparency and information exchange in the banking and private wealth management industries, and on the international finance landscape.

Participants heard that investors in the GCC territories – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman – are increasingly diversifying the allocation, location, and structuring of assets, and moving into European debt and distressed real estate.

In line with this trend, the value of Jersey funds invested in alternative asset classes such as private equity, property, and commodities rose 17 percent in the first quarter from the same period last year.

The roadshow explored how the automatic exchange of information, as well as increased sensitivities to reputational issues, might prompt a reconfiguration of the international financial center landscape.

Speakers, panelists, and roundtable participants highlighted Jersey's already strong position in facilitating Middle Eastern private wealth management and investment ambitions and securing new business from the Gulf. Geoff Cook, the CEO of Jersey Finance, said: "The international financial landscape is evolving at a fast pace, driven by the emergence of new regional markets alongside an increasing political focus on transparency, information exchange, and tax policy. Against this backdrop, it's important that private client and fund professionals alike have accurate, robust, and impartial information to help them make their decisions and plot a safe path for the future."

"Jersey has invested a significant amount of time and energy into positioning itself right at the cutting edge of information exchange, and for that reason we feel we are more agile than other jurisdictions in our ability to help investors successfully diversify."

"The certainty that Jersey can offer the private wealth community will be a real competitive advantage for the jurisdiction as investors increasingly seek centers that can offer high standards and effective asset protection capabilities," he said.

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