Shifts in regulation and changes in attitudes towards reputation are prompting a rise in the inward migration of alternative fund managers to Jersey, delegates at a major annual funds conference have heard.
The conference, entitled Clear Direction, took place on March 3 at 8 Northumberland Avenue and was attended by more than 300 London, UK and European funds professionals.
Discussing trends within the alternative fund space, panellists at this year’s Jersey Finance London Funds Conference agreed that a growing focus on governance, substance and reputation was presenting opportunities for Jersey to affirm itself as a major centre for fund management as well as fund servicing.
Delegates also heard that AIFMD is still considered the biggest regulatory issue for funds professionals and panellists agreed that, whilst the trend is towards a more exacting regulatory environment, flexibility remains key for alternative managers and Jersey was ideally positioned as a result of its existing private placement access and ESMA-verified passporting potential as a third country under AIFMD.
Geoff Cook, CEO of Jersey Finance, said: “What was encouraging from this year’s event was to hear panellists confirming that the opportunities we identified for Jersey’s funds industry some time ago are now coming to fruition, not least that the jurisdiction is seeing tangible growth in alternative fund management business. Figures now place Jersey in the top ten centres worldwide for hedge fund management business, and we are also seeing a strong emergence of infrastructure and debt fund business to complement our existing strength in the private equity and real estate asset classes.
“Whilst some centres are struggling to come to terms with this new world of regulation, led by AIFMD and now BEPS, Jersey’s proactive approach to transparency and substance is positioning it strongly as a sustainable finance centre, whilst our desire to embrace technology and fintech is proving attractive to managers who are faced with increasingly complex due diligence, reporting and efficiency challenges. There is real confidence in Jersey’s platform and in its ability to absorb the increasingly high global standards and, as a result, we fully expect this pattern of growth and the inward migratory trend to continue.”