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Alternative Market Briefing

Escape to the mountains, Part 1: Are UK taxes a good reason to move south?

Friday, October 16, 2009

By Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque London:

Part one of a four-part series on the possible migration of UK hedge funds to Switzerland.

Consulting firm Kinetic Partners LLP recently told Bloomberg it had helped 23 hedge fund firms move from London to Switzerland in the past 18 months. "Since April, we've started moving another 15 managers, all of a significant size," said David Butler, a founder of Kinetic. "I believe 20% of the hedge fund managers will leave London in the next two years, and many of them will go to Switzerland because there is already a club there for them to join. Once something like this gets momentum, it is very hard to stop."

This is quite a statement - considering London, with around 1,000 hedge funds (figures vary between 900 and 1,400) is home to 80% of the European hedge fund industry. This is compared to Switzerland, which hosts around 3% of it, most of which being funds of hedge funds. According to IFSL, an independent organisation representing the UK financial services industry, London's share of the global hedge fund industry was around 18% and New York's share slightly more than 40% in 2008.

"There has been a lot of talk about people moving to Switzerland, but more talk than actual moves. Some of this may be because hedge funds [a......................

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