AN ability to remain agile in a changing landscape, deliver innovative solutions and offer a platform of stability are key differentiators for Jersey’s funds industry that are resonating clearly with managers and investors, according to the chairman of the Jersey Funds Association.
JFA chairman Tim Morgan gave his update at the association’s recent annual dinner, attended by more than 350 funds and wider industry professionals. He also gave an overview of the current funds landscape, the ongoing work of the JFA with its key stakeholders in Jersey, and future opportunities for the Island’s funds sector.
It was the first physical return to events for the JFA since 2019, since when all updates had been provided digitally.
Pointing to the fact that Jersey’s funds industry recorded another new record high of fund assets being administered at the half-way point in 2021 (£436bn), with private equity and venture capital increasing by 21% year-on-year and the number of Jersey Private Funds rising to 456, Mr Morgan said: ‘The latest figures show that Jersey’s focus on alternative investment funds continues to provide a stable platform of long-term capital. From the start, it was clear that the pandemic was affecting participants differently.
‘Large, well-known sponsors with strong platforms continued to fundraise. Conditions were more challenging for new and smaller investment groups. However, many have, in any case, proceeded with the raising of successful, small, first funds and club deals, and that correlates with the continued growth in the number of JPFs we have seen. It’s a real endorsement of Jersey’s appeal and expertise.’
In addition, Mr Morgan, who is also a partner at Maples Group Jersey’s office, highlighted the importance of the Island’s funds industry, maintaining momentum in delivering innovative solutions to global investors:
‘Jersey has continued to test innovations in digital assets, as well as increased amounts of structures aimed at sustainable technologies and related assets, which is very positive. In addition, significant changes have also occurred in the administration space. Increasingly, tech is a key component of how services are being provided, which is enhancing how governance, risk management and compliance are managed in practice. Jersey service providers have been impressive in adopting a digital-first approach over the past year and this is undoubtedly a key part of our success.’
Meanwhile, he also highlighted that shifts in global geopolitics, regulation and competition were providing challenges, Jersey’s focus on maintaining a perfect ecosystem for alternative funds was putting it in a strong position.
‘The political environment is volatile: the change in US administration; increased pressures from the EU and OECD in relation to tax; numerous policy initiatives from the UK in the post Brexit and post pandemic environment; upcoming elections in Germany and France. All this means that there is a need for continual engagement in relation to Jersey’s position internationally. At the same time, jurisdictionally, the competitive environment is intense,’ he said.
‘However, Jersey’s ability to pivot in an agile manner, in particular between JPFs and more narrowly-held joint venture and co-investment vehicles, is valuable and provides popular, efficient solutions.
‘At the same time, Jersey has an incredibly strong culture of partnerships with the JFSC, government, and other industry elements all working together on areas of opportunity or concern for our funds and wider finance industry. This is a real differentiator for us, as we continue to focus on our core message – that Jersey offers a unique ecosystem to provide a platform of stability in a rapidly changing market.’
Entertainment at the event, held at the Trinity Showground, was provided by comedian and writer Jo Caulfield and London-based singer-songwriter and former Jersey Young Musician of the Year Sam Walwyn.
The main sponsor of the dinner was Mourant, while silver sponsors were BNP Paribas Securities Services, IQ-EQ, Ogier and PwC, and the champagne sponsor was Carey Olsen.