A recent Funds Europe roundtable in association with Jersey Finance discussed how Jersey can retain its appeal among next-gen investors by embracing digital innovation and sustainable finance.
Elliot Refson (Head of funds, Jersey Finance)
Joel Hernandez (Partner, Mourant LP)
Chris Patton (Head of funds, Intertrust Group)
Matthew Satchell (Senior funds and institutional director, IQ-EQ)
Ashley Vardon (Head of private equity, Sanne Group)
Jersey’s fund centre has demonstrated strength and resiliency in the face of uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, having witnessed continued growth in alternative funds. But to flourish in this competitive world, Jersey must also focus on meeting the modern needs of funds and ‘next-gen’ investors.
For this roundtable, Funds Europe contributing editor Stephanie Baxter was joined by a panel of five experts to discuss the developments in Jersey’s fund sector over the past year and find out how the jurisdiction is supporting increasingly important trends shaping and disrupting the sector, such as digitisation, fintech and sustainable finance.
Jersey Finance’s Elliot Refson kicked off the roundtable discussion by comparing the Jersey of 20 years ago, when it was typically perceived as an expensive and overregulated jurisdiction, to the Jersey of today.
“Jersey’s offering today is seen as proportional and competitive, and the reason is that 20 years ago Jersey set out to adopt a number of international standards and to be the gold standard for international finance centres. Other jurisdictions have been forced to play catch-up to Jersey’s position.”
Refson pointed out that, as a jurisdiction, Jersey has a very joined-up approach between the Government of Jersey, the regulator, and the industry. “As an example, in 2014 Jersey regulated the first ever bitcoin fund at a point in time when the whole crypto area was exploding. So, we at Jersey Finance have put together a group of crypto asset managers who will help the jurisdiction determine the areas of greatest interest.”
He added: “We can then present ourselves to the government, which will determine the risk profile Jersey is willing to take which, in turn, can go to the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) to support and direct regulation in this area. It is this pragmatic, joined-up approach – always looking ahead at the risks and opportunities – that has kept Jersey a leader among the international finance centres worldwide.”
Joel Hernandez, of law firm Mourant, supported the notion that Jersey is a leader in that respect, saying the jurisdiction offers “the complete package”.
He added: “It’s not just one element of its regime that’s popular. It’s actually a whole balanced approach for a regime. We have government, industry, and also the regulator, working [together] as one towards a common goal, [ensuring] Jersey remains an internationally respected finance centre.