Flexible funds regime
IQ-EQ’s Matthew Satchell highlighted the island’s reputation and experience in the private equity (PE) market, as well as its quick-to-market flexible funds regime, and how that approach is being harnessed to enhance Jersey’s appeal as a destination for digital assets and sustainable finance.
“We’re seeing digital innovation and sustainable finance as two of the fastest-growing investment areas in recent times,” he said. “The use of existing PE expertise is being flipped in a way that works for such areas. As regards digital assets, the same policies, procedures and methodologies are being used in the acquisition of companies that issue tokens, as opposed to those that issue shares.
“As a result of our strength and abilities in the PE space, we can transfer those skills across to digital assets and companies operating in the digital space, issuing those types of securities, which is a big positive for Jersey.”
Jersey Private Funds (JPFs) were introduced in 2017 to target the private funds market. Hernandez described it as a “resounding success” with more than 500 funds authorised since 2017.
“It hits the real sweet spot, it caters for up to 50 professional or sophisticated investors with non-intrusive proportionate regulation,” he said. “It is really attractive not just for the managers launching digital asset funds, but also the mainstream PE and real estate funds.”
Intertrust’s Chris Patton noted that Jersey’s ongoing appeal has also seen its workforce grow. “Since 2015, the number of people employed in Jersey’s fund administration sector has grown from around 900 to over 1,500. So, in five to six years, we’ve almost doubled the workforce,” he said.
He added that the types of people coming to Jersey to work are bringing in a range of additional skills. Meanwhile, the existing workforce is beginning to focus on specialising in digital and sustainable finance.
He said: “At Intertrust, we are supporting staff wishing to undertake two different ESG courses. There’s a flagship CFA Institute Certificate in ESG Investing. It’s a six-month course, taking students through the full suite of what is ESG, where it was ten years ago, and why it is becoming so important to investors. And we have an internal course, which we’re rolling out across the team, so that everyone [in our business will better understand] the importance of [ESG].”
JPF guidance was recently updated with a sustainable investment clause. This means that funds will have to include ESG-related information in their marketing documentation and investor reporting, such as how they define sustainable investment, how they measure sustainability of investments, and on what basis sustainability is being measured.