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Jersey, 6th-largest jurisdiction by AUM, not affected by Brexit but prepares for further influx of managers

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The channel island Jersey, a British Crown dependency which has been enjoying administrative separation since 1204, is a fairly small island, but with 118.2 square km it’s also over twice as large as Bermuda. Although Jersey’s allegiance is to the British Crown, it is not a part of the United Kingdom and is not represented in the British Houses of Parliament. This means that Jersey is a self-governing parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy, with its own financial, legal and judicial systems, and the power of self-determination. The EU Commission confirmed that Jersey is within the Union as a European Territory for whose external relationships the United Kingdom is responsible, however it is not fully part of the European Union.

Jersey is currently the world’s sixth-largest jurisdiction by AUM and it is continuing to grow. About 70% of the assets in the jurisdiction relate to alternatives. From a population of about 100,000, over 13,000 people work in financial services across a broad range of disciplines from the professional services, tax advisory, legal, through administration services, management, banking, and fiduciary. Out of an annual cohort of about a thousand people coming out of Jersey’s local education system, 420 came into the finance sector in 2014.

Jersey has been regulating hedge funds since 1988 and is the only offshore centre on IOSCO Committee 5

Jersey has been regulating hedge funds since 1988. It is the only offshore centre that sits on IOSCO Committee 5, which is the one that comes up with the global rules. Jersey’s early implementation of equivalent legislation to the AIMF Directive on an opt-in basis was recognised by the EU and allows Jersey based funds to play in Europe and to access European-based investors using the National Private Placement Regimes. In 2015, ESMA advised the European Commission on the extension of AIFMD passport to non-EU jurisdictions, and their advice concluded that no obstacles exist to the extension of the AIFMD passport to Jersey, putting Jersey at the front of queue of third countries waiting for the AIFMD passport from ESMA. It is important to remember that in this context of EU legislations, third countries here is the whole world outside the EU, including the US, Cayman Islands or Hong Kong. Obviously, managers can also opt out completely from AIFMD and have efficient segregated structures or management vehicles accessing the rest of the world’s capital.

Not affected by Brexit

It is not envisaged that Brexit will impact on Jersey’s existing market access rights to the EU for financial services, as Jersey typically accesses the EU market through its own bilateral agreements which are independent from the UK's relationship to the EU. Managers can definitely market Jersey funds into the majority of the EU/EEA using the Private Placement Regimes, and they are likely to be first in line for the passport when that becomes available to third countries.

Alternative investment managers like Altis, Brevan Howard, BlueCrest or Systematica all have operations in Jersey, attracted by aspects like the time zone, geography, English language, short commutes and because generally Jersey is a beautiful place to live and work.

The inaugural Opalesque Jersey Roundtable took place in June 2016 in St. Helier, Jersey, with:

  1. Mike Jones, Jersey Financial Services Commission
  2. Stephen Hedgecock, Altis Partners
  3. Oliver Morris, KPMG
  4. Rober Milner, Carey Olsen
  5. Alistair Rothwell, Fairway Fund Services
  6. Richard Corrigan, Jersey Finance
The group also discussed:
  • Jersey’s solution to BEPS and attractive taxation
  • The three major drivers for a manager to come on to the island
  • Are proposed changes to the UK’s tax regime surrounding issues like management and performance fees and non-doms likely to have an impact on where managers base themselves?
  • What is the situation re. staffing, infrastructure, housing and office space in Jersey? Is it true that there’s a 1-gigabit capacity fiber internet connection for every household?
  • What is Jersey’s financial regulation like, and where is it heading? Why is the island putting a special focus on FinTech?
  • Altis Partners (Jersey) Ltd. was founded in February 2000 and re-domiciled to Jersey in 2005. What has been Altis’ experience since then? How have they seen the island change and evolve?
  • What support do managers get in Jersey when setting up funds or locating there?
  • Higher standards: Why non-executive Directors may need a specific regulatory licence when they have more than six directorships.

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