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Are Channel Islands fiduciary firms going to opt for stock market listings rather than private equity funding?


Does failure in business really lead to success? And why flexible working hours are the must-have work benefit


The innovations that are revolutionising healthcare – and the role that virtual reality could play in business



just two questions that show discrimination in interviews still takes place


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So much for a quiet summer


N THE CHANNEL ISLANDS, summer is the

time when, traditionally, pretty much nothing happens from a business standpoint. Islanders either head off on their summer holidays or stay at home and enjoy the delights that the islands have to offer. Fridays become part of the weekend and lunch breaks get stretched just a little bit longer. And with most of Europe taking a break from desks and offices, it’s generally a time to catch a breath and take stock. Well that’s what usually happens. This summer felt slightly different – at least if the news on the website is anything to go by. For a start, there were what seemed like a larger number of people being promoted or moving from one company to another. It felt as if a massive pack was being reshuffled on both islands. A number of major deals and acquisitions were announced, and a host of fiduciary and law firms set up offices in other jurisdictions. And then throw into the melting pot the good news that ESMA named Guernsey and Jersey as the only two jurisdictions (out of six) to be recommended for third-party passports under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD). So much for not much happening. It’s been a similar story here at BL. The summer is normally a time when we take a

breather between the two biggest issues of the year – our May Wealth Edition and the funds issue that lands in November. But not so this time round. We’ve not only been working on our forthcoming funds conference in Jersey in October and our trusts conference in Guernsey in November, but we’ve also managed to find time to launch a one-day writing course, the first of which takes place on 18 November (see page 38 for more information). Following requests from a number of firms, we’ve put together this course so that people can improve their writing skills and create copy and articles that are sharper, more readable, and perfect for the audience they are targeting. We’re very excited about this new development, and Nick Kirby, our Editor-in-Chief, is very much looking forward to teaching the first of these courses. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy this issue of the magazine, which we think has a really fascinating spread of articles – from private equity and IPOs, through to how a careless word can seriously damage your firm’s reputation. Enjoy your read!

This summer, it seemed like a larger number of people were being promoted or were moving from one company to another. It felt as if a massive pack was being reshuffled on both islands

The BL team

Outstanding support. Blossoming business. To find out how Active Group can assist you and your business contact David McCloskey or Richard Bray on 01481 711822 or email

Business Incubation Consultancy Company Secretarial Regulatory, Compliance and Risk Support Human Resources

Active Services (Guernsey) Limited and Active Fund Services Limited are licenced in Guernsey by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission.

september/october 2015 3

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Guernsey companies law takes a step forward Changes to companies law in Guernsey are set to make firms easier to incorporate and administer – and it’s hoped they will give the island a competitive edge too. John Rochester, Managing Associate at Mourant Ozannes in Guernsey, explains some of the key points



he Companies (Guernsey) Law, 2008 celebrated its seventh birthday earlier this year. When it was introduced in 2008 it heralded a new dawn for Guernsey’s corporate landscape – representing modern, practical, flexible and user-friendly companies legislation. Like any other seven-year-old, however, company legislation can’t simply be left to its own devices. If it is to grow up to fulfil its potential, it must be nurtured. It requires constant monitoring, care and attention. What’s more, companies law must respond appropriately to the evolving demands of its users and react to changes in the global economy and practice. And

that means that the law itself must change and be updated – which is exactly what happened in Guernsey this summer. But just why were the changes needed and how will they help? Industry, law firms, fiduciaries and other users on the island have been active in providing feedback on the Law. Now, following a lengthy but productive consultation period, the States of Guernsey has responded to that feedback and announced the most significant revisions to the Law since it first came into force – in the guise of the Companies (Guernsey) Law, 2008 Amendment Ordinance, 2015. The changes have been introduced

september/october 2015 71

71 bl guernsey


Recent changes to companies law plus other news from the bailiwick


BL Jersey

BL jersey Jersey’s quest for employment rights


As a swathe of employment legislation comes into force, and with more slated over the next couple of years, is Jersey finally catching up with the UK and the rest of Europe when it comes to workers’ rights and protections?

9 News

28 conduct risk

52 the power of coffee

A round-up of the latest business news from the Channel Islands and beyond

How employees’ words and actions can damage a firm’s reputation

Do we increasingly rely on coffee to get us through the day? And how much is too much?

14 Appointments

Key considerations if you’re thinking of selling your firm

Recent key hires for Guernsey and Jersey businesses

18 Interview Jo Cox talks about life as Chief Commercial Officer at telco Sure International, the future of tech and the role of women in business

Finance 22 IPO vs PE Fiduciary businesses have often turned to private equity in order to grow, but are IPOs a strong alternative?

33 Selling a business

business 40 business failure Does failure in business increase the chance of success in the future?

45 discrimination How direct, and more subtle, discrimination happens in interviews

48 flexible working Are we waving goodbye to the traditional nineto-five day as employees demand flexible hours?

Words: Kirsten Morel


t may surprise you to know that Jersey has left it until this month (September 2015) to enact legislation that prohibits discrimination on the grounds of sex. Given that it was only last year that Jersey brought in its first discrimination law, it’s good to know that sex discrimination is high enough on the list for lawmakers to enact specific regulations just a year later. Under the Discrimination (Jersey) Law 2013, which was enacted in 2014, the island’s government has adopted a step-by-step approach, which tackled racial discrimination at the outset,

with other forms – most notably sex discrimination – to follow. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this new discrimination law has stolen pretty much all of the headlines. But additional legislation coming into effect also brings with it a raft of measures designed to improve working conditions for islanders, as Dexter Flynn, Solicitor at Jersey law firm Voisin, explains. “The new rights to be introduced by the Employment (Amendment No.8) (Jersey) Law 2014, in respect of maternity leave and pay, adoption leave and pay,

BL is published six times a year by Chameleon Group +44 1534 615886

BL Guernsey


BL guernsey

september/october 2015 75

75 bl Jersey

technology 57 health innovations

The impact of new enployment legislation, plus other Jersey news

Ten health innovations that are changing people’s lives and helping us to live longer


63 foreign exchange Technology hasn’t yet had a disruptive impact on the FX market – but that may be about to change

67 virtual reality It’s still seen as sci-fi by many, but developments in virtual reality could well change the way business is done

The Agenda From sitting on a pile of money and sipping vermouth to taking a spin in a snazzy Merc, we’ve got it all!


The BL Global Discussion Forum

Follow us @blglobalnews Office: Floor One, Liberation Station, Esplanade, St Helier, Jersey JE2 3AS © Chameleon Group Limited, all rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Views expressed by our contributors are their own and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of Chameleon Group. While every effort is made to achieve total accuracy, Chameleon Group cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions.


Financial writer David checks out the current state of play for growth firms in the finance industry – and discovers that IPOs are providing a viable alternative to the traditional private equity route.


While he may be too young to remember the joys of ‘old school’ amusement arcades, tech writer Ben is well aware that virtual reality has come a long way – even if it still has a long way to go.


It’s a double header as Kirsten takes a look at the role of technology in foreign exchange as well as examining what changes to employment law in Jersey will mean for companies and employees.


It’s both sides of the coin as Dave looks at the mess that employees can get in when using social media or dealing with customers, as well as how employers can get questions all wrong in interviews.

september/october 2015 7

WE HAVE EXPERTS IN YOUR AREA, IN YOUR AREA. With unrivalled local knowledge and experience, no-one understands the needs of the local market like we do. To speak to our Channel Islands team, call (01534) 282076.

The Royal Bank of Scotland International Limited trades in Jersey and Guernsey as Coutts & Co Channel Islands and as Coutts. The Royal Bank of Scotland International Limited. Registered Office: P.O. Box 64, Royal Bank House, 71 Bath Street, St. Helier, Jersey JE4 8PJ. Business address: 23-25 Broad Street, St. Helier, Jersey JE4 8ND. Regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission. Guernsey business address: P.O. Box 62, Royal Bank Place, 1 Glategny Esplanade, St. Peter Port, Guernsey GY1 4BQ. Regulated by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission and licensed under the Insurance Managers and Insurance Intermediaries (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2002 and the Protection of Investors (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 1987, as amended. Calls may be recorded.

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Speakers announced for Guernsey Trusts Conference BL EVENTS HAS announced the first group of

speakers for its senior-level trusts conference in Guernsey this year, with leading figures from the island and the City confirmed for the event. The ‘Guernsey Trusts Conference: A Shock to the System’ will take place from 9am to 3.15pm on Wednesday 11 November at the Duke of Richmond Hotel, St Peter Port. The event, produced in partnership with AO Hall and supported by Microgen Financial Systems, follows May’s highly successful Jersey Trusts Conference. Confirmed speakers so far are: lG  illian Browning, Director of Fiduciary Supervision Policy and Innovations Division, Guernsey Financial Services Commission (pictured) l Paul Buckle, Group Partner, AO Hall, Guernsey l Gavin Ferguson, Managing Partner, Appleby, Guernsey l Andrew Holden, Barrister, XXIV Old Chambers, London lP  hillip Howell-Richardson, Commercial Mediator, Independent Mediators, London lG  eoffrey Kertesz, Associate, Withers, London l E ason Rajah, Barrister, Ten Old Square, London l E wan Mackay, Associate, AO Hall, Guernsey lT  ony Mancini, Head of Tax, KPMG, Guernsey lA  lison Ozanne, Partner, AO Hall, Guernsey lS  aleem Sheikh, Senior Partner, GSC Solicitors, London l J onathan Smith, Partner, Wyvern Partners, London lA  lison Vine, Head of Private Client Services, Deloitte Offshore, Guernsey The event will bring together senior speakers and delegates from Guernsey, Jersey and the City to hear about and discuss issues, opportunities and challenges in Guernsey’s trusts industry now and in the immediate future.

Ogier leads the way on CISE listings LAW FIRM OGIER continues to lead listings on the Channel Islands Stock Exchange (CISE), according to the most recent half-year figures. Ogier has acted on 533 securities listed on the exchange (a 24.3 per cent market share) and holds a 33.1 per cent share of the combined bond and special purpose vehicle (SPV) market, having sponsored 524 of the total of 1,582 listed entities. The firm is the leading sponsor for SPVs, having listed 69 (as of 31 July 2015) the largest share of any Channel Islands law firm. More than 220 securities have been listed on the exchange since the start of the year, with Ogier acting as sponsor to almost one-third of these. n

The agenda for the day includes a variety of panel discussions, presentations and breakout sessions on the following subjects: lA  re trusts under threat? lC  onsolidation in the trust sector lS  ettlor control and influence lR  eputational risk lC  ourts jurisdiction to convene parties l Beneficiaries’ rights to information and trustees’ rights to require indemnities lT  echnology and trusts lT  he psychology of trust disputes lA  re trusts fit for purpose? Carl Methven, CEO of BL Events, says: “After the success of last year’s event, and our conference in Jersey earlier this year, we are delighted to be able to confirm such a high-calibre group of speakers – with even more to be announced before the event itself.” Delegate rates are £395 for the day and can be booked by visiting or emailing n september/october 2015 9

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Volaw sets up in Cyprus

Rising islands stars make Citywealth Future Leaders List A SELECT NUMBER of Channel Island

VOLAW GROUP HAS established a presence in Cyprus, so that

international private and corporate clients can benefit from organising their activities through the island. Through its subsidiary companies based in Limassol, Volaw will assist with the management and control of Cypriot-registered companies, as well as offering advice regarding the statutory obligations for companies incorporated in Cyprus. Clients with Cypriot structures may also benefit from the full range of fiduciary services provided by Volaw Group, including the structuring and managing of financial affairs and wealth structuring requirements. Cyprus is a member of the EU and has an extensive network of double taxation treaties with other jurisdictions. International clients benefit from its tax regime, with a 12.5 per cent corporate tax rate on trading, 0 per cent for non-resident companies and zero capital gains tax. n

Date set for Ombudsman launch JERSEY’S STATES ASSEMBLY and Guernsey’s States

of Deliberation are to consider legislation that sets 16 November as the date on which the Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman (CIFO) will start resolving complaints about financial services. CIFO is a pan-Channel Islands organisation set up by law in the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey to resolve complaints about financial services provided in or from Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and Sark. It is independent and will provide an informal, speedy, effective and free alternative to going to court.  CIFO will cover events from 1 January 2010 (if the financial services provider was in Jersey) or 2 July 2013 (if the provider was in Guernsey/ Alderney/Sark). Time limits for referring complaints may apply. This is particularly important for Jersey complaints relating to events in 2010 that haven’t already been considered by the financial services provider. Such complaints should be promptly referred to the financial services provider. If the complaint remains unresolved, it should be referred promptly to CIFO once the office opens. CIFO won’t have powers to investigate complaints until 16 November, subject to approval by Jersey and Guernsey. n

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practitioners have been featured in the Trustees section of the Citywealth Future Leaders List. The inaugural list aims to identify the young rising stars in the private wealth industry. All the young professionals have been recommended by their directors, senior peers or clients. Those featured from the Channel Islands are: l V ictoria Blackburn, Manager, Crestbridge Family Office Services, Jersey lD  onna Brehaut, Assistant Trust Manager, Nerine Group of Fiduciaries, Guernsey lM  arina Le Gallez, Assistant Trust Manager, Nerine Group of Fiduciaries, Guernsey lC  hris Mourant, Trust Officer, Fairway Trust, Jersey lG  rant Skyrme (pictured), Senior Administrator - Real Estate, Equiom, Guernsey n

Appleby sells fiduciary business in buy out APPLEBY, A PROVIDER of offshore legal,

fiduciary and administration services, has agreed to sell its fiduciary business. This includes the corporate administration, trust administration and fund services businesses. The fiduciary business will become an independent entity, owned and managed by its management team and led by Chief Executive Farah Ballands. The buy out, for an undisclosed sum, is backed by private equity firm Bridgepoint  and completion of the transaction is subject to certain conditions, including regulatory and legal approvals. n


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SandpiperCI ties up sale of Cimandis SANDPIPERCI HAS completed the sale of its wholesale foodservice and distribution business, Cimandis, to the Bidvest Group, a global group of companies employing over 145,000 people in five continents.  Its main UK business, Bidvest Foodservice, employs more than 4,500 people and provides a comprehensive range of products and services to the foodservice, distribution and retail sectors from 28 regional distribution and support centres. The sale, which was announced in April, completed in early August. At the time of the announcement, Sandpiper CEO Tony O’Neill said: “This sale completes the dedicated retailer strategy we announced when we acquired CI Traders more than seven years ago. Since then our company has sold pubs, hotels and manufacturing units and this final divestment allows Sandpiper to focus on the continued development of our local retail businesses, along with the introduction of key franchise brands into mainland Europe.” Andrew Selley, Chief Executive of Bidvest Foodservice, added: “In line with our decentralised model, it is our intention to continue operating Cimandis as an autonomous and independent business, following the model we already successfully employ with our other recent regional acquisitions.” Cimandis’ current management and staff will transfer to Bidvest. n

cise reports Buoyant first half of the year CONVERTIBLE BONDS WERE prominent among 203 newly listed securities in what was a successful first half of the year for the Channel Islands Securities Exchange (CISE). The number of new listings is up 14.7 per cent on the same time last year and takes the total number of listed securities on the CISE to 2,226 at the end of June 2015. During the first six months of 2015, the market capitalisation of the CISE grew by £26.9bn (9.1 per cent) to reach £322.2bn at the end of June. One of the notable listings was a closed-ended fund from Russian private equity specialist Baring Vostok, which currently has more than $3.7bn of committed capital for private equity investments in Russia and the surrounding region. The second half of 2015 didn’t perhaps start in such a strong fashion, when the CISE’s anticipated acquisition of the European marketplace for SMEs, the Danish-based GXG Markets A/S (GXG), fell through at the last minute. The CISE’s wholly owned subsidiary, the Channel Islands Securities Exchange Authority (CISEA), had planned to acquire the assets of GXG, including use of its trading system, its London offices and three London-based members of staff. However, it was announced at the end of July that the CISE, having conducted extensive due diligence, had decided to take the deal no further. n

ESMA grants Channel Islands third-party AIFMD passports

THE EUROPEAN SECURITIES and Markets Authority (ESMA) has recommended to the European Parliament, Council and Commission that Jersey and Guernsey be among those ‘third countries’ granted a passport under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD).  The recommendation follows ESMA last year issuing a Call to Evidence for them to consider whether to extend the AIFMD passporting regime beyond EU Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) managed by EU Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFMs).  ESMA assessed six jurisdictions – Guernsey, Hong Kong, Jersey, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States of America. They were selected based on factors including the amount of activity already being carried out by entities from these countries under the national private placement regimes (NPPRs), EU national authorities’ knowledge and experience of dealing with their counterparts, and efforts by stakeholders from these countries to engage with ESMA’s process. ESMA’s Advice concludes that no obstacles exist to the extension of the passport to Guernsey and Jersey, while Switzerland will remove any remaining obstacles with the enactment of pending legislation. No definitive view has been reached on the other three jurisdictions due to concerns over competition, regulatory issues and a lack of sufficient evidence to properly assess the relevant criteria. Following ESMA’s recommendation, there is a period of up to six months for the EC to propose legislation and for the European Parliament and Council of Ministers to agree the third-country passporting rules apply to Jersey and Guernsey AIFs and AIFMs. n september/october 2015 11


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Enhance opens Singapore office THE ENHANCE GROUP, a fintech and investment

oversight company with headquarters in Jersey, has opened a new office at the Hong Leong Finance Building in Singapore. The move follows the opening of offices in London and the Cayman Islands in the past year. The Singapore office will service existing and prospective clients across key Asian jurisdictions, and will meet the demands of the rapidly evolving fiduciary sector in the region. Director Richard Sayers, who is a founding member of Enhance Group, spearheaded the opening and will be responsible for the foundation and management of the new office. n

Lansdown trebles stake in Ravenscroft STEPHEN LANSDOWN, THE Guernsey-based

co-founder of financial services company Hargreaves Lansdown, has trebled his shareholding in Ravenscroft. Pula Investments, Lansdown’s family office, has increased its shareholding in Ravenscroft – the Channel Islands independent stockbroking and investment management firm – from 9.36 per cent to 27.86 per cent at a cost of more than £9 million. The changes in share capital have been approved by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission, the Jersey Financial Services Commission and the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority. n Jon Ravenscroft, Group Chief Executive Officer of Ravenscroft (left) and Stephen Lansdown

12 september/october 2015

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Done Deals Ogier has acted for Golden Star Resources in connection with its $150 million financing obtained from Royal Gold. The financing consists of a $20 million term loan from Royal Gold and a $130 million stream transaction with Royal Gold wholly owned subsidiary RGLD Gold AG. Golden Star Resources is an international gold-mining and exploration company producing gold in Ghana. The financing will facilitate the development of the company’s Wassa and Prestea underground mines located in the country. Ogier has also acted for VSA Capital in its role as financial adviser to Digital Train, a company incorporated in the BVI, and its group company parent, NetDragon Websoft, in connection with an £84.1 million recommended cash offer for the entire issued (and to be issued) share capital of Promethean World, a company listed on London Stock Exchange. Promethean World operates in the education technology market. NetDragon Websoft is a company incorporated in the Cayman Islands whose shares are listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and is an online game and mobile internet platform developer and operator in China.   Carey Olsen has acted for Market Tech Holdings on a £200 million placing on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM Market in a move that is designed to facilitate a step up

to the LSE’s main market this year. Market Tech Holdings owns various markets in Camden, north London, and the company has acquired other substantial sites across Camden with a view to bringing them together under the iconic Camden Market brand. Mourant Ozannes has advised Greystar Real Estate Partners on the £600 million acquisition of a portfolio of London student accommodation properties known as Nido from Round Hill Capital, and the associated financing of that acquisition. The three developments within the Nido Portfolio (one each in Notting Hill, Kings Cross and Spitalfields) total 2,375 student beds. Mourant Ozannes also advised Greystar on its acquisition of Assam Place in London for £110 million.  Bedell Cristin Guernsey has advised the Unite UK Student Accommodation Fund (USAF), in which the Unite Group has a 22 per cent stake, on both the Guernsey and Jersey law aspects of its acquisition of a 2,100-bed student accommodation portfolio for £271 million. The portfolio, acquired from Ahli United Bank (AUB), represents the entire AUB UK Student Accommodation Fund and comprises eight modern, high-quality assets located across seven prime student accommodation markets that complement USAF’s existing portfolio. n

L O C A L LY F O C U S E D . G L O B A L LY C O N N E C T E D .




There’s Wealth in Our Approach.TM


The value of investments may fall as well as rise. You may not get back the full amount that you originally invested. This advertisement is issued by Royal Bank of Canada (Channel Islands) Limited (“the Bank”) on behalf of RBC® companies that comprise RBC Wealth Management in the British Isles The Bank is regulated by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission in the conduct of deposit taking and investment business and to act as a custodian/trustee of collective investment schemes in Guernsey and is also regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission in the conduct of deposit taking, fund services and investment business in Jersey. The Bank’s General Terms and Conditions are updated from time to time and can be found at Registered Office: Canada Court, St Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Islands, GY1 3BQ, registered company number 3295. Deposits made with the offices of the Bank in Guernsey and Jersey are not covered by the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme; however, the Bank is a participant in the respective Deposit Compensation Schemes in Jersey and Guernsey (“the CI Schemes”). Links to the official websites which provide details of the respective CI Schemes are available on the Jersey and Guernsey pages of our website Copies of the latest audited accounts are available upon request from either the registered office or the Jersey Branch: 19-21 Broad St, St. Helier, Jersey JE1 8PB. ® / TM Trademark(s) of Royal Bank of Canada. Used under licence



Jackie McLaughlin has joined Hawksford as its Group Regulatory, Compliance and Risk Director, covering international operations. She will support the business by managing regulatory, compliance and risk frameworks, governing committees, working groups and policy management. She will also act as a company Director. Jackie has more than 20 years’ experience in the sector. She joins Hawksford from Minerva, where she was Head of Compliance and Risk. Prior to that, she spent six years as a Senior Regulatory Consultant at Sator Regulatory Consultants.

Independent consultancy group BWCI has promoted Carl Stanford to Partner. Carl joined BWCI in 1995 as an actuarial trainee in the pension actuarial team, qualifying as an actuary in 2004. He spent the next eight years advising local and UK pension schemes and led several actuarial software projects to enhance BWCI’s in-house actuarial valuation models. Carl was promoted to Senior Manager in 2006 and in 2012 took responsibility for the investment team. He has continued to work on software development and to provide investment and pensions advice to clients.

Vistra has named Jane Pearce as Managing Director of its Jersey office, where she will lead the corporate, fund administration and private client trust business. She joins Vistra from the States of Jersey Chief Minister’s Department, where she consulted on proposed regulatory changes in the funds industry. Since starting her accountancy career with Ernst & Young in 1991, Jane has worked at Deutsche Bank, Gartmore and Kleinwort Benson, where she gained experience in complex investment structures. Until 2014, Jane was a Partner and Group Director of the Ogier Group.

Global fund services provider Moore Management has appointed Andrew Maiden as a Director. He will work with Head of European Fund Services Jon Trigg and Head of Guernsey Fund Services Mark Douglas to support strategic objectives and grow Moore’s European client base. Andrew will split his week between Moore’s Jersey HQ and the Guernsey office. Andrew has worked at Northern Trust in Guernsey for 17 years, joining as Accounts Administrator and working his way up to Vice President, Head of Guernsey Relationship Management and Senior Client Relationship Manager.

The Guernsey branch of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) has a new Chairman. Alasdair McLaren, a Director at First Names Group in Guernsey, replaces Paul Hodgson, who is Managing Director of Butterfield Trust. Paul has successfully completed his four-year term and hands over a strong and vibrant branch to the new Chairman. Alasdair has been an active member of the STEP Committee locally for many years. He sits on the STEP Council nationally and has served as Treasurer. He also serves as a committee member of the Guernsey Association of Trustees, where Paul is Deputy Chair.

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PERFECT MATCH! Former Royal Bank of Scotland International Head of Technology Ian Goddard has joined fintech firm InfrasoftTech as Head of Crown Dependencies. His remit is to significantly grow the size of the business within three years, much of it through enhanced local services and solution development. Over his 30-year career, Ian has worked across the entire spectrum of technology and spent 17 years with RBSI in the technical arena. He took up his new post at the beginning of August and leads a team of more than 50 staff, most of whom are based in Jersey.

Global trust and corporate services provider Equiom has appointed Peter Greenhill Head of e-Business. Peter joins from the Isle of Man Government’s Department of Economic Development where for the past two years he has been CEO of e-Gaming Development and Director of e-Business. Based at Equiom’s Isle of Man office, Peter takes up his new role from October, driving forward the Group’s e-business offering. Prior to the Isle of Man Government, Peter worked as a strategic consultant and has held senior positions in e-gaming and e-business companies around the world.

Mourant Ozannes has recruited Catherine Cadman as its Global Head of Knowledge Management. Catherine joins the law firm from Irwin Mitchell, a UK firm with a solid reputation for innovation in knowledge management. As well as leading the knowledge management function, Catherine will chair the knowledge committee and she will also be responsible for implementing the firm’s knowledge strategy. She will work closely with Partner John Rainer, who has recently been appointed to the full-time role of Knowledge Partner.

Offshore law firm Appleby has appointed trust and fiduciary specialist David Dorgan as a Partner in its Jersey Private Client & Trust group. David has been practising law in Jersey since 2003 and has developed a significant specialism in private and commercial trusts and foundations. In his new role at Appleby, his focus is on providing technical advice on the establishment and ongoing administration of trusts and foundations, which are tailored to meet the practical and commercial requirements of the company’s clients.

Wendy Martin has been promoted to Partner of EY UK EMEIA. A specialist tax adviser, Wendy joined EY in 2013, where as a member of the senior leadership team she has directed the firm’s corporate and international tax services. Under her leadership, the firm has developed and promoted tools such as FATCA kEY and EY FIRST, to support businesses in complying with these new regulations. Wendy has also led the EY team on BEPS and Diverted Profits Tax issues. Before joining EY, Wendy worked for the States of Jersey as Director of Tax Policy, with responsibility for developing and implementing all aspects of domestic and global tax policy.

The BL JOBS BOARD brings together top employers and star talent Looking to take your next step up the ladder?  Get online and start searching now – it’s completely free!

Want to attract your next big hire? Post your latest position and connect with your next big name To get involved contact Carl Methven +44 (0) 1534 615886 +44 (0) 7797 796377 september/october 2015 15

In partnership with:

A BL event channel islands funds forum 2015

stepping into the light

thursday 1 october RADISSON BLU WATERFRONT HOTEL, Jersey 9am-3pm Delegate rate: £395 five hours cpd available The agenda for the day includes a variety of panel discussions, presentations and breakout sessions covering the following: • What’s in store for the islands’ funds industries in the coming year? • The opportunities offered by infrastructure and natural resources • Is technology disrupting the funds industry? • Can the islands make a mark in African private equity? • Fund administration – what do board members need to know? • A review of the funds legal landscape • Are investor demands leading to a decline in the blind pool? • Current trends and issues in fund liquidation and restructuring • Guernsey vs Jersey – is there really much difference? For more information and to book your place, visit or email Sponsored by:

Supported by:


From selling mobile phones in the 1990s, Jo Cox has risen up the telecom ranks to Chief Commercial Officer at Sure International, a key Channel Islands player. Here she talks shop, technology and why she’s never felt out of place as a woman in business

TELL US A LITTLE about yourself, your

background and what you’re doing now. I’ve been in the telecoms industry for 23 years – all my professional life. I originally took a year out of uni and decided I would earn some money before working out what I wanted to do next. I went to Vodafone in Newbury, where I lived – it was Racal Vodafone at the time – and I loved it from the minute I walked in the door. At first, my job was ‘Churn Specialist’, dealing with people cancelling their mobiles. At the time, selling 10 mobile phones a month was a big deal – they were the big ‘briefcase’ mobile phones that cost about £1,000 a month, so you had to be a top-end exec to afford one. I watched Vodafone grow, moved into helping them run their big corporate centre, then into sales, dabbled in Vodafone paging for a while, then pagers died a death and were overtaken by BlackBerry. Now it seems they’ve had their time, which goes to show that tech needs to keep changing or it will die off. I spent 19 years of my career in Vodafone and had about 40 different jobs in that time. My last job was supplying Novartis, a really big pharma company, across 73 countries. My role was to make

18 september/october 2015

How has Sure’s change in ownership, from Cable & Wireless to Batelco, panned out – has it resulted in increased investment in the islands? As you can imagine, because C&W were preparing us for sale, they needed to make us a lean, mean operating machine. Batelco are the opposite – they want to invest, they want to grow us. What’s good about the Batelco relationship is they have shareholders and want to see ROI, but

they’re also looking at the long term rather than the short term. And the Foreshore acquisition is a classic example of that. We had to put a business case to Batelco, say ‘trust our judgment, we understand this industry’ – and as long as the numbers stack up they’re prepared to take a risk with us and let us acquire and grow. So we manage to be nimble, yet have corporate backing behind us. You mention Foreshore – what was the reason for that acquisition? We wanted a data centre in Jersey, and acquiring Foreshore meant we didn’t have to build one from scratch. We had a very strong portfolio in Guernsey, but by owning a data centre in Jersey as well, we can offer Jersey customers on-island data centre hosting or off-island customers a choice of three jurisdictions – Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man – for data centre and cloud platforms. We were previously partnering with Foreshore, so we knew their business and reputation well, but the acquisition gives us a lot more operational control and efficiency and consistency across our business. If you look at the Foreshore services that sit in there, there are a lot of services that Sure is about to move into – V-cloud services, for instance – and they have a great NOC [network operations centre]. These are things we need in order to extend our services and go forward. So what else is going on right now? Enterprise is very service-led, so we’re thinking about the additional layering – service management, reporting and

Words: Nick Kirby Pictures: Chris George

sure they had consistency of service and products on one big global contract. It taught me loads – how to manage a virtual team, how to engage the Vodafone board to make sure they knew what was going on, managing complex P&Ls, working with different cultures. It was the best thing that happened to me from a learning point of view. I was then headhunted by Sure in Guernsey – or Cable & Wireless as it was then – nearly three years ago. They had an enterprise sales side, but it didn’t have the polish and customer centricity that it needed to have. It was my job to bring in consistency, governance, best practice, professionalism… all of that stuff. So I came over, moving my family with me. A year ago, I was appointed Chief Commercial Officer, which encompasses all the product lines across retail and enterprise. I still maintain the enterprise sales team. I look after the retail sales team, all the retail stores across Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man. I also look after all of marketing, professional services and the data centres. So it’s quite a wide remit – and I love it!


interview jo cox september/october 2015 19


diversifying cloud services. At the moment, there are a lot of people looking at cloud, but many aren’t sure about going into public cloud – there’s a lot of risk involved. Companies are looking at hybrid models. We’ve just decided to pull away from Sure TV, because in order to do it properly you have to get the big players such as BT Sport and Sky engaged, and we just don’t have the size of market that they’re interested in. We engaged with BT Sport, but they wanted us to connect thousands of customers a month – and we’re not going to get those figures across Jersey and Guernsey. So we’ve decided to slowly withdraw Sure TV as a result. But that doesn’t mean we’re not going to diversify our platform – you’ll see us looking at things like ‘smart homes’, where you can control everything, such as turning off your lights, from your devices. Does having a restricted customer base spread across three islands force you to think differently? What I think we should do is shake off those shackles and look at global markets. Just because we’re in the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man doesn’t mean we can’t play globally. What we should be trying to do is create an innovative solution that nobody has created around the world – let’s say an amazing health solution run by a mobile device that nobody else has thought of and that can go global because health is everybody’s problem. Sometimes it doesn’t even need major tech to create a solution. If you look at people managing malaria across Africa, that is done through SMS – people texting their stock levels for malaria tablets. People think of using tech to its Nth degree, when it could be some of our basic services that solve a very large problem. In recent months, JT has announced a possible merger with Airtel/Vodafone. What do you make of this and does it pose a threat to Sure? I don’t think that Airtel ‘leaving’ the market is such a big deal as they only provided mobile – and if you look at the way the market is going, many customers prefer to get all their telco services from one supplier, so I understand why it’s happening. In a way, it’s inevitable. Airtel would find it hard to get traction against JT and Sure because we are full telco providers. Airtel-Vodafone’s strength is in Vodafone’s marketing and brand presence. It will be

20 september/october 2015

I don’t think women should be singled out as being somehow different. people should stop talking about it. In my entire career, I’ve never felt a gender gap

interesting to see if Vodafone remove their brand as a result of this acquisition. I assume they will, but you never know. Pricing is an issue that often crops up in comparison with the UK/EU for services. What can be done to bring prices down? There’s a perception that we are really expensive, but if you measure us against the UK, our rates aren’t that different. If you look at our fixed line and broadband services, they’re actually either in line with, or slightly less than, the UK. The cost of mobile services when phoning into and out of the islands needs looking at – and we are going to look at it, how we can bring the UK into our rates. But there has to be a balance because if the UK makes an investment in fixed line or the cloud, for instance, they get the return much quicker because they have a much bigger market. We’ve invested £10 million in the mobile network and it will take years to recoup that. And before we come out of that, we’ll be looking at the 5G network and spending another £10 million. The other thing is that Guernsey is an expensive jurisdiction for staff and we are growing our Jersey and Isle of Man businesses. So we have to start looking at whether our staff are best located in Guernsey or more evenly split across the islands, for instance. You mention 5G, but when you rolled out 4G there were performance issues. Were they just teething problems? We swapped our entire network – moving from Nokia to Huawei. We thought it

would be a like-for-like replacement, but from a technical point of view there were lessons to be learned because we were dealing with very different kit. What happened was that some people who didn’t have great service before have great service now, and some who had great service now have a poorer service. Now that we’ve come out of this side of the build, we’re optimising – so the one thing I would say to the people who are complaining is please register your fault, or please register your discontent with the service you are receiving because it might not be the network. We’ve had some handset issues. You have to have a 4G handset and some iPhones were playing up – we actually had some people who had really old SIM cards that were running 2G. We swapped out 600 SIMs in one day in Guernsey. I would always encourage people to call customer services or pop into the store and get them to run a test on your phone. Having said that, we are working to improve the network issues where we know they exist. We hear a lot about voice services being replaced by data services such as Skype. Do they pose a threat? The reality is that Skype and WhatsApp use data, so people need broadband or a really good 4G service in order to use these services – and more and more people are video conferencing through 4G on their mobiles. So what we are going to see is data services and bundles becoming more


important. People won’t unlimited calls or texts; they’ll want unlimited data. And that trend has already started. Technology runs through everything you do. What are your views on the achievements of Digital Jersey and Digital Guernsey and what role do telcos have to play? I’ll start by saying that I think what they’re doing is very positive. But I have real concerns about Digital Guernsey. It needs a clear manifesto and someone dynamic at the front – those things are missing. What Digital Guernsey sets out to achieve is right. It has the potential to turn Guernsey around and put it on the map. But it has to be led by someone dynamic and entrepreneurial, who has a vision, and the thing that is failing at the moment is that vision is not clearly articulated. If you asked a number of people across the island ‘what is Digital Guernsey and what is it trying to achieve?’ there would be no single definitive answer. At the moment, they’ve been getting a lot of advice, but someone needs to take hold of it and say ‘this is what it’s going to do’. Yes, it might change over time, but someone has to start it with ‘this is what it’s going to do and this is how

we’re going to do it’. And I don’t think there’s that clear messaging coming out of it right now. Is it a good thing for the island? Absolutely – 100 per cent. There are incredibly talented people on this island, but it’s about creating something those people want to attach themselves to. At Sure, we are ready to support this project as much as we can, but no one is telling us what they need. We’ve been talking to Startup Guernsey and Digital Guernsey about giving start-ups their first six months’ connectivity free if they’re attached to either organisation, but it comes back to my point that there is no clear direction. They need to be prescriptive and say to us ‘this is what we want from you, Sure, can you do it?’. They also need to think about the name, as they are putting themselves in a box if they call themselves Digital Guernsey. I don’t have an answer for what it should be called, but people are walking about thinking they’re talking about coding as opposed to creating the right environment for people to come and hot desk and share ideas. No one is correcting that view.

FACT FILE Name: Jo Cox Age: 41 Position: Chief Commercial Officer, Sure International Married to: Adrian Children: Darcey, 4, and Harrison, 6 Hobbies: Reading, running, singing, dancing, living life to the max Interesting fact: I’m a trained soprano singer

There is considerable media coverage on the lack of women in tech and on the gender pay gap/glass ceiling. What’s your take on this? I don’t think women should be singled out as being somehow different. People should stop talking about it. In my entire career, I’ve never felt a gender gap. I’ve never felt I haven’t been considered for things because of my gender. I wouldn’t want to be considered for a job because of my gender. If you look at a lot of industries, it’s natural that as women have children, many choose not to come back to work. That’s a choice. I’ve had two children and both times it hasn’t affected my career or the choices I’ve made or the salary I can command. The door has always been open for me in whatever direction I’ve wanted to head. And I don’t think that’s because of my gender; it’s because I can articulate what I can do for that company. If you look at telecoms, there are certain areas of our business that are male led. Quite frankly, do I want to climb up a pole or go down a drain in the ground to fix some pipes? No, I don’t. But I’m sure if I chose to do that, the door would be open to me. And I don’t believe that I’m in any different pay bracket to my peers. In fact, at Vodafone I was probably one of the best paid in the group. I don’t really buy it. When women talk about it I think it detracts from all the amazing things that women do in business and how we are very successful. How do you see telecoms/tech developing in the islands over the next 12 to 18 months? I don’t think technology will change that much. It will get faster and you’ll get more for your money. There will have to be better customer service – people expect that and telcos haven’t necessarily been great on that. Customers will also expect more transparency on what they’re getting for their money. And there’s going to be a lot more self-servicing in-store and online. Then what you get is layering on top of the technology – people using a lot more apps and more smart home devices and starting to manage their lifestyle more through their device. The Apple Watch is just the beginning. People might be on the fence about it, but Apple is always two years ahead of the curve. People have running apps, meditation apps and more on their phone, and that is going to crescendo into one big lifestyle management layer on top of the technology we provide today. n NICK KIRBY is Editor-in-Chief of BL september/october 2015 21


Jersey and Guernsey’s financial services industries have witnessed a considerable amount of M&A action in recent years, but does an IPO provide a better alternative to traditional private equity?

Words: David Burrows

IN RECENT YEARS, we’ve seen a large number of finance companies in the Channel Islands growing through private equity (PE). Since 2003 there has been a steady stream of firms benefiting from PE investment, including the likes of TMF, Equiom, Hawksford, Ipes, Intertrust, First Names Group and JTC Group. It’s arguable that such activity is increasing, given the need for firms to remain competitive in a global marketplace. That said, the attraction of financial companies to PE firms is a relatively new development. As Jonathan Smith, Partner at Wyvern Partners in London, explains: “The onset of regulation from 1999 had two effects. It introduced the compliance burden, making it harder for the smaller players to operate profitably. But perhaps more importantly it allowed third-party investors (predominantly private equity) to have full visibility on the underlying client base.” Prior to the 2000s, PE investors were deterred from

22 september/october 2015

the sector because of a lack of clarity over companies’ ultimate beneficial owners (UBOs). When that changed, appetite for investment picked up. In effect, 100 per cent retrospective Know Your Customer (KYC) removed the last barrier for PE to invest in the sector. Given the changed landscape, are we seeing a trend in a particular type of company turning to private equity? For example, are the PE deals more on the funds or trusts side – or are most of the companies involved in both sectors? Nigel Le Quesne, Group CEO and Chairman of JTC Group, suggests that there is no huge bias. “If you look at the firms that have PE backing, most of them are involved in both sectors, but you might find a different emphasis applied depending on their target market and target investor audience.” There is a trend for companies to follow one PE deal with another. When this happens, it’s usually the


ALTERNATIVE OPTION Private equity, however, isn’t the only way for ambitious companies to finance growth. Recently, companies have opted for a totally different route – an initial public offering (IPO). As a prime example, Sanne had a very successful IPO on the LSE. So could this be the way of the future for other companies?  Le Quesne sees IPOs as a positive development – they provide companies, and investors, with more options, as well as demonstrating the value that markets are placing on quality financial services firms. “IPOs have always presented a possibility for fiduciary businesses to grow and I’m sure they will continue to exist alongside PE backing and private ownership well into the future. The key for their long-term success will be clearly articulating the offering of the businesses – which can be challenging – and then keeping the performance promises made in the beginning.”  Certainly Sanne’s IPO in April demonstrates that it can be a realistic route for other players in the industry who are able to present a compelling investment case. What’s interesting about Sanne, however, is that the company had previously gone down the private equity route, but this time it decided to list. Sanne Group CEO Dean Godwin explains the thinking

behind this. “In 2012 Sanne partnered with Inflexion, a private equity investment business, to continue our strategy of building a high-quality fiduciary business through organic growth, complemented by strategic acquisitions. This partnership proved very successful. But businesses with private equity partners need to be mindful that such relationships will inevitably end as part of the standard investment lifecycle.” Now, in 2015, Godwin believes the IPO route offers the best opportunity for Sanne to build on an already strong operational platform and drive strategic growth. He also insists it recognises the quality of the business that had been built over the past decade while ensuring the continuity of management going forward.

INVESTOR CONFIDENCE So, is any increased enthusiasm from companies to list the result of renewed investor confidence postrecession? Le Quesne isn’t entirely convinced. “The post-recession argument is partly true, but that impacts many sectors, not just financial services,” he says. “The reality is that more investors now understand financial services businesses, which in turn drives interest and creates confidence. There’s also a ‘momentum’ effect, where one or two successful deals create a platform for others to follow.” For companies weighing up their options, deciding between PE and IPO may simply be a case of finding the route that suits the strategic growth plans of the september/october 2015 23

PE firm that calls the shots. As Smith points out: “In most cases they look to sell to the highest bidder, which is typically another private equity interest.”


company involved. Le Quesne thinks so. “At the end of the day, it’s a case of horses for courses and fundamentally it has to be about what’s right for the business and putting the business first. If that happens, the performance will follow and investors will get the returns they want.” Godwin agrees that the most appropriate route varies depending on the business and the circumstances. “In the end it comes down to the investment characteristics and where a business is in its lifecycle,” he says. “Sanne was able to present a compelling investment case to the market, which ultimately made the IPO route possible.” Given that PE and IPOs continue to appeal to companies based in the Channel Islands, what are the pros and cons of each approach? Certainly you need to be of a certain size and scale before an IPO can be considered, so to some extent PE presents a more accessible option for smaller, high-growth businesses. “From my own experience I can say that PE investment into a fiduciary business can act as a superb shot in the arm and allow it to deliver a strategy that meets the ever-increasing and changing needs of clients without compromise on service or fees,” says Cengiz Somay, CEO of First Names Group. “To achieve this, however, the collaboration must be with a PE investor that has taken the time to understand the business, there should be a cultural alignment between the business and the PE investor, and the level of investment into the business must be right. Where a fiduciary business is of sufficient size and has real global scale, going down the IPO route may well be appropriate.”

PROS AND CONS A potential negative of an IPO is that once listed, there is far greater visibility over what is happening to the firm – this may not always be what a company wants. On the positive side, IPO fiduciary businesses make very good listed companies as they typically offer strong cashflows, good dividend yield and steady revenue growth. Listed trust companies can take a longer-term view on certain investment decisions as they aren’t constrained by the PE fund lifetime. They also enable staff to own shares in the business, which can improve motivation and employee retention rates. What’s more, the lower risk/return characteristics of the financial sector are arguably better suited to public markets than to PE ownership. The ambitious returns required by PE funds (20-25 per cent) are higher than the ‘natural’ returns of the sector. And as Smith points out: “Pressure to enhance margins can lead to accelerated price increases and an under-investment in staff.” He warns that short PE time horizons can lead to pressure to grow rapidly and to short-term investment decisions. The fixed-term nature of PE also means that, periodically, there is some form of ownership change, which can take effort and consume resources. Nevertheless, private equity can be hugely successful in taking a business to the next level. It just means that a clear focus and good management are essential if its growth ambitions are to be realised. The suitability of PE or IPOs must be considered on a case-by-case basis and companies may shift their focus from one to the other as the firm matures. Both options appeal to businesses looking to grow through acquisition but, as Simon Schilder, Partner at Ogier, explains, when considering which route to take, the size of the company’s revenue and its valuation will be an influencing factor.  “Irrespective of the strength of its operational platform and profitability, if it’s too soon in a company’s lifecycle, it risks struggling to get sufficient investor attention to really capitalise on undertaking an IPO,” he says. “By contrast, private equity backing may make it easier for a company for whom an IPO is too early in its lifecycle to continue its growth potential under private ownership, before coming to the market at a later date when its private equity backer looks to make its exit.”  n

THE PROFESSIONAL VIEW “IPOs have always been a possibility for fiduciary businesses to grow, and I’m sure they will continue to exist alongside PE backing and private ownership well into the future. The key for their long-term success will be clearly articulating the offering of the businesses – which can be challenging – and keeping performance promises.”  Nigel Le Quesne, Group CEO and Chairman, JTC Group “As a listed company, you have access to the capital and equity markets. A key part of Sanne’s future growth story was to continue to acquire businesses that complemented organic growth and delivered scale in existing asset classes and jurisdictions, as well as taking the business into new markets. A listed company is often recognised as a strong acquiring candidate due to its stability of ownership and disciplined approach.” Dean Godwin, Group CEO, Sanne Group [IPOs] will become the route for many trust, funds and corporate administration businesses when they are generating strong cashflow, strong dividend yield, good margins and steady revenue growth. These businesses are a very attractive proposition for institutional investors. However, a decision to IPO comes down to a number of factors particular to a business. ‘IPOing’ isn’t cheap, and the ongoing listing costs and associated architecture can be substantial.” Cengiz Somay, CEO, First Names Group  

if it’s too soon in a company’s lifecycle, it risks struggling to get sufficient investor attention to really capitalise on an IPO

DAVID BURROWS is a freelance finance writer

24 september/october 2015

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A BL event


A SHOCK TO THE SYSTEM Are regulation, consolidation, operational challenges and external demands putting the traditional trust model at risk?

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Wednesday 11 November Duke of Richmond Hotel, St Peter Port 9am - 3.15pm

Five hours CPD available For more information and to book your place, visit or email In partnership with:

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BL 08.30 REGISTRATION, NETWORKING AND REFRESHMENTS 09.00 WELCOME Nick Kirby, Editor-in-Chief, BL magazine 09.10 PANEL: ARE TRUSTS UNDER THREAT?  Are amendments to existing legislation and the introduction of new rules threatening the traditional Channel Island trust model? Has the role of the trustee become too high-risk? Our panel of experts will cover the threats and challenges created by broader issues such as CRS, FATCA, AML, the introduction of a Register of Trusts and beneficial ownership of companies. Confirmed speakers: Alison Ozanne, Partner, AO Hall (Moderator); Saleem Sheikh, Senior Partner, GSC Solicitors; Alison Vine, Head of Private Client Services, Deloitte Offshore 10.00 CONSOLIDATION IN THE TRUST ARENA There has been considerable consolidation/M&A activity in Channel Island trust companies. Why is this, and is it set to continue? Is it reflective of activity in the UK? Does it signal the death knell for smaller, independent trust companies or rather those companies that occupy the middle ground? And what of companies choosing to IPO rather than taking the private equity route? Speaker: Jonathan Smith, Partner, Wyvern Partners 10.30 SETTLOR CONTROL AND INFLUENCE To what extent can a settlor retain control over assets placed in trust? Is a reserved powers trust the perfect solution for the ‘controlling’ settlor? To what extent are letters of wishes used to maintain control and influence. In this session, our speaker will present a summary of the practical considerations for trustees and give an overview of the current law. Speaker: Paul Buckle, Group Partner, AO Hall 11.00 BREAK 11.30 REPUTATIONAL RISK Tax avoidance continues to be a hot topic, with more celebrities, politicians, actors and the like being splashed across the press. Do such stories – regarding the use of offshore trusts – create a reputational risk for the Channel Islands? While not illegal, should the islands refuse to administer any such structures? What is the scale of the problem? How much has this been cancelled out by IGAs and other agreements? Is this now more prevalent in Caribbean jurisdictions? And ultimately is this nothing more than political point-scoring and the media looking for sensational headlines? Speaker: Tony Mancini, Head of Tax, Guernsey, KPMG Channel Islands


12.00 BREAKOUT SESSIONS (Delegates choose Session 1 or Session 2) Session 1: Courts jurisdiction to convene parties – “They can’t make me!... Or can they?” What powers are available to the Guernsey Court where a party decides not to attend proceedings? What are the consequences for that party in doing so, and how does the use of these powers affect proceedings? These are some of the issues on which our speakers will encourage discussion. Speaker: Andrew Holden, Barrister, XXIV Old Buildings Session 2: Beneficiaries rights and indemnities – “It’s on a need to know basis. And I need to know!” What information and documentation is a beneficiary of a Guernsey trust entitled to receive from the trustee, should they ask for it? Are there any circumstances where a trustee can refuse to provide such information? To what extent should trustees seek indemnities? This session will focus on beneficiaries’ requests and how trustees can manage these requests in accordance with their legal duties. Speaker: Ewan Mackay, Associate, AO Hall 12.45 BUFFET LUNCH 13.30 TECHNOLOGY AND TRUSTS How is technology changing the face of the trusts sector in the Channel Islands and what opportunities is it presenting? From the challenge of cybercurrencies held in trust, to virtual trustees and managing digital assets. And what of AML and KYC being made simpler? Speakers: To be confirmed 14.00 THE PSYCHOLOGY OF TRUST DISPUTES Disputes are a common feature of trusts and take many forms – but what are the key drivers? From long-standing family issues to sudden demands from beneficiaries, what can trustees do to mitigate such issues and, indeed, recognise them and cut them off before they get out of hand? Speaker: Phillip Howell-Richardson, Commercial Mediator, Independent Mediators 14.30 PANEL: ARE TRUSTS FIT FOR PURPOSE? With all of the above sessions in mind, are trusts, especially those structured in the Channel Islands, currently fit for purpose? With foundations already an alternative to trusts, and other vehicles such as private trust companies, are we likely to see a reduction in the traditional model and an increase in alternative structures? Confirmed speakers: Gillian Browning, Director of Fiduciary Supervision Policy and Innovations Division, Guernsey Financial Services Commission; Gavin Ferguson, Managing Partner, Appleby; Geoffrey Kertesz, Associate, Withers (Moderator); Eason Rajah, Barrister, 10 Old Square 15.15 CLOSING REMARKS


SIX HSBC STAFF went go-karting in Birmingham

in July as a team-building exercise. Dressed in racing overalls and balaclavas, they figured it would be amusing to get a photo of themselves using a coat hanger in a mock beheading of an Asian colleague wearing an orange jumpsuit. Someone then put the image on Twitter, it spread to the local news, and then went global. The bank’s reserves probably doubled that day thanks to the swear box in the HR department. Welcome to the world of conduct risk, at least one area of it. Conduct risk has no standard definition, but managing it is a regulatory requirement for UK financial services. As well as other areas such as staff remuneration and dealing with conflicts of interest, it covers how representatives of the company act and how the company treats its customers. And in the age of social media and 24-hour rolling news, both sides of this PR equation have become incredibly sensitive. “Execs go out for a drink, have some beers and can happily chat away,” says Peter Derrick, Head of Risk and Compliance at law firm Ogier. “But you never know who’s listening. It’s the same with airport

Words: Dave Waller

lounges – you don’t know who’s looking over your shoulder as you read confidential papers.” Derrick points to the case of Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, who failed to cover his notes ahead of an important meeting about the bailout this summer. Senior counter-terrorism officer Bob Quick did the same back in 2009, potentially compromising a major anti-terror operation. Both cases caused a media uproar. And this happens all too easily these days – social media provides plenty of rope for people to hang themselves very publicly. In March, Roy Cullinan, an RBS senior investment banker, sent messages to his daughter bemoaning ‘boring’ meetings. This may be understandable, but it shows little respect for customers, especially considering the bank is four-fifths owned by the taxpayer. And as The Sun pointed out, Cullinan took home £4 million in bonuses and ‘plans to axe 14,000 jobs’. Cullinan and RBS soon parted company. Putting your foot in it isn’t new. As Tom Vesey, CEO of Risk to Reputation, explains: “Social media is just a manifestation of technology. People have always

How employees at all levels conduct themselves in public and on social media can reflect positively on a company – or blow up in its face. but just what are the risks and how can they be managed?

Watch what 28 september/october 2015


say and do september/october 2015 29




chatted, shared secrets and misbehaved. But social media is much quicker – and it can really explode.” Another danger of the social media age is that companies can easily find themselves in public discourse with customers and don’t necessarily handle it sensitively. Take Manchester restaurant 47 King Street West, which responded to a bad review on Facebook from a bride-to-be by posting a message that her hen group was ‘bottom of the barrell’ [sic] and ‘chav cheap trash’ who ‘wouldn’t know fine dining if it slapped them in their ugly faces’. Then there’s the pub manager who, in 2011, got into a nasty slanging match with two customers on Facebook after they verbally abused her. She was dismissed for gross misconduct. This doesn’t just happen online – but social media will often take an isolated incident and make it far worse. Last year, a Lidl employee in Birmingham was filmed having a meltdown with a customer over a plastic bag, and shouted such delights as “I was having a good day until I saw your fucking face” and “Die, you Muslim, die”. Needless to say, that clip went on to do OK on the internet too. Whether it’s execs inadvertently telling their shareholders how dull their meetings are or team members telling customers in no uncertain terms what they think of their opinion, the solution to such potentially explosive situations is simple – company representatives must be cautious about what they say and do, both personally and professionally. Be aware of where you are and whether what you’re saying is appropriate.

STRATEGIC LEAD It’s not just down to the individual, however. The organisation needs proper processes in place when it comes to social media. “If a junior in the finance department spots a mistake on the accounts, they know they can liaise with a superior to fix it,” says Vesey. “But in the constant flow of social media, most companies haven’t woken up to the fact that they need to change their governance. If you don’t respond fast on social media, it can spin out of control, but equally you can’t just put a 20-year-old in charge as they may not yet understand the principles that should govern behaviour.” Conduct can be kept under control and out of the public eye. Much of that is down to awareness and training and instilling a culture of

Last year, a Lidl employee was filmed having a meltdown with a customer over a plastic bag, and shouted such delights as ‘Die, you Muslim, die’. Needless to say, that clip went on to do OK on the internet

30 september/october 2015

responsibility in the company. “If someone is having a go at you or your company over the internet, you have to co-ordinate any response to that and carefully manage the process,” says Derrick. “It’s the same with the media. A quick response is often necessary, and that it’s dealt with by one person, with a properly co-ordinated response. For everyone else the simple answer is ‘no comment’. When you’re with friends and family, it’s even more simple – you shouldn’t talk about anything to do with clients at all.”

RISK CULTURE GUIDANCE The Financial Stability Board has published guidance on risk culture, which includes setting the tone at the top and monitoring it, offering incentives to keep people in line with what you want, and accountability. Parameters must be set – if no one is to talk to the media, make that clear. If social media is to be handled by one person only, make that clear. It shouldn’t be the end of the world if something does happen – you can use the response to demonstrate the preferred approach to conduct risk management. Show that it’s a chance to learn rather than blame people for failing at a tick-box exercise. “The main thing is, don’t invent 15,000 rules,” says Vesey. “They’re usually ignored. Instead make it value-based. Reach out to all staff, letting them know they’re the guardians of your reputation. That way everyone becomes vigilant to promoting and protecting it. Do this by sensitising all members of the company to their responsibility – bonuses, company values and their jobs and those of their colleagues are at stake.” Vesey cites IBM as a good example. As part of their annual reviews, its staff have to read out loud and sign a one-page conduct statement that includes how they’ll protect the values of the company to protect people’s jobs. This covers social media conduct. “The advantage is people can’t then say ‘I didn’t know’,” says Vesey. “It’s a very good way of anticipating conduct risk.” There’s plenty that can go wrong in this equation – it’s called conduct ‘risk’ after all. But that doesn’t mean everyone needs to shy away from the public eye and modern forms of communication. It’s easy to read the headlines and fear the worst, but papers have always sought comment and team members have long slagged people off. And, as the Lidl example shows, it’s not just social media that’s causing this. “For each high-profile case of a social media gaffe, there are thousands of customers fuming on call lines because they’ve been mistreated,” says Vesey. “It would be ridiculous for companies to be smug, writing someone off as ‘just some tosser trying to get attention’. But to get paranoid about it is equally silly. Think it through and manage the problem. Managers have always had to deal with this.” If you’re unsure, there’s one simple piece of advice that remains as pertinent now as it ever has: if in doubt, keep your trap shut. n DAVE WALLER is a freelance writer

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32 september/october 2015


When the time comes

to sell…

It’s the nature of the beast – companies sell up to other, often bigger, firms for all sorts of reasons. yet while it might be tempting to do so, you shouldn’t necessarily bite the hand off the first suitor to make advances

Words: Dave Waller


vintage daytime TV shows, then the Channel Islands would have to be Supermarket Sweep. Plenty of companies have been rushing down the aisles to buy up smaller operators – from JTC Group acquiring Kleinwort Benson’s fund administration arm, to Equiom making a range of buys, including the Lloyds and Ardel trust companies. These are just a couple of examples from an action-packed financial services sector. And the trend stretches further. Look at Guernsey-based aviation company ASG Group selling up to Bailiwick Investments; Jersey’s Arcade Creative being acquired by marketing and advertising agency Oi; and Guernsey media and design agency Coast selling up to Hamilton Brooke in July. So what drives smaller companies to sell? In the land of tech start-ups, this kind of thing is ingrained in the DNA – companies will often launch, with one eye on selling out to a giant such as Facebook or Google in the not-too-distant future. It’s easier for them, as they have IP and patents that are easy to get a handle on. In financial services, things tend to september/october 2015 33


If a company can show that the client book won’t slam shut once the current owner leaves, and that income down the line is guaranteed, they’ll be able to drive a harder bargain

happen a lot more organically. These days, however, circumstances are changing. Many smaller financial services firms are struggling to keep up with the costs of an ever-evolving compliance and regulatory landscape. Selling is, in some cases, the only way to avoid going out of business. The US’s Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is one driver, anti-money laundering legislation is another. And there’s a raft of new stuff coming down the pipe as well – not least the EU’s Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) and transparency on beneficial ownership. “This constant drip of new regulation adds overheads for all financial services businesses,” says Wayne Atkinson, Group Partner at offshore law firm Collas Crill in Guernsey. “So there are economies of scale to be exploited. If you have a team of 10 and one of them is a compliance officer, that’s a different cost base to having 20 people where one is the compliance officer.” There’s another reason so many companies are up for sale. Because the Channel Islands’ financial services sector is relatively mature, many owners are reaching the point in their career at which they need to retire. Selling represents a way out.

MUTUAL ATTRACTION Generally speaking, larger companies don’t need their arm twisting to pull out the chequebook – they make a beeline for a smaller company for a range of reasons. It could be that it has a talented team or is in possession of a particular methodology. Snapping up the brand leader in a new field such as image rights structuring, meanwhile, may bring the buyer a level of prestige, as well as extra work. Often the larger company will be after the smaller firm’s client book – companies will even buy a whole company because it has a strong relationship with a sought-after individual, according to Ewan Spraggon, Head of Assurance and Advisory Services at Baker Tilly in the Channel Islands, who works with companies looking to buy. He agrees that motives depend on the health and needs of the buyer. “We’ve seen both extremes – companies buying businesses that aren’t performing that well, with the intention of bulking up their revenue stream, and those buying teams of such high quality that they know it will improve their own,” he says. Any company that can show it boasts some or all of these features will be at a natural advantage when it comes to sitting around the negotiation table. If it can prove it has a team that’s not only very skilled but loyal too, one that won’t be able to walk out on a

34 september/october 2015



month’s notice and will react well to being managed by someone new, the buyer will be assured they’ve made a good acquisition a month or a year after the deal. The same goes for the client book – if the company can show the client book won’t slam shut once the current owner leaves, and that income down the line is guaranteed, they’ll be in a position to drive a harder bargain. So with all this juicy deal money flying around, and the overwhelming burden of compliance increasing, more companies will be tempted to sell. It’s a case of putting yourself out there in the financial services community, delivering high-quality business and waiting for the right partner to come along. The good news is they probably will. “We’ve had plenty of clients coming to us asking: ‘Do you know of anyone looking to sell?’,” says Atkinson.

GET YOURSELF NOTICED There are ways to stand out here. First up, build a good reputation. Incentivise your staff to ensure they’re on board with the change, and ensure that your house is in order – that all property leases and communications with the regulator are up to date. But much of your bargaining power will come down to what your company offers – knowhow is attractive, as is market positioning. Finally, it’s crucial that relationships, both within the business and its wider network, are balanced correctly. “If the success of the business revolves around the owner, then the other company isn’t buying the business, they’re buying that owner,” says Spraggon. “So try to manage how the business is run. Ensuring that it’s not reliant on an individual can increase the value of the proposition.” Get these elements in place and people will come knocking. But while it may seem straightforward, it is of course perfectly possible to get the process wrong. Just like dating. In fact, the two are strikingly similar – at least when it comes to desperation. “If you’re obviously looking for an exit, people may well be less keen, oddly enough,” says Atkinson. There are plenty of other factors that can disrupt a potential sale. A suitor will expect to conduct thorough due diligence – and this will unearth any processes that are being run in a haphazard fashion. Habits that seem perfectly functional to the business in question may be unfathomable to an outsider. And any difficulties at this stage could scupper the deal. Finances and reporting are, in fact, a potential minefield. Most companies will be buying a business for its future revenue stream. The big risk is that this doesn’t materialise as intended because clients aren’t happy with the product or aren’t getting the service they should be. Keeping a paper trail that shows this is all in order gives the buyer comfort that the business is being run correctly. Companies are sometimes bought for a lower multiple than others because this hasn’t been handled right. The current trend may be for a high volume of deals, but it’s not necessarily a flash in the pan. In fact, given the ongoing pressures of compliance costs and the maturity of the financial services industry in the Channel Islands (which means many owners are now naturally looking to reduce their commitments), there’s no reason to suggest that the volume will drop in the short to medium term. And while these issues tend to be cyclical – you’d always expect independents to spin out of the larger entities that form from these acquisitions – things may well be different this time. Spraggon says: “It’s harder to set up independent companies now because of the burden of compliance regulation, both in the money it costs and the time it takes up.” n


Let them come to you. You’ll get further by focusing on getting your house in order than by running around shouting that you’re for sale. Build your reputation and your USP and potential buyers will do the work.


Prove your financial health. You’ll need to produce an in-depth report – the vendor due diligence – that proves your house is in order.


Prime your team. No company will want to buy a smaller business of any quality if there’s a risk that its best people may head out the door when things change. Encourage your team to buy into what’s happening.


Ensure your book of business is sticky. Buyers will want assurance that your company’s clients are going to be there when the takeover dust settles.


Don’t panic. A sale will work better if you focus on running a quality business while staying active in the industry. These things take time and buyers don’t jump at the first chance – a courtship may be what’s needed.

DAVE WALLER is a freelance business writer september/october 2015 35

Demand for NavOne drives Touchstone expansion Since its launch in May 2014, NavOne, the Touchstone-developed Microsoft Dynamics business solution for Trust and Company Administration organisations, is fast becoming the system of choice for fiduciary companies. Specialist focus on this demanding market has allowed Touchstone to develop a best-of-breed product. The rapidlygrowing business is recruiting to meet client demand for NavOne consultancy, deployment and support as well as ongoing product development. Clients, from small family office firms to large international financial organisations, reference NavOne’s flexibility, power and ease of use as key selection factors and are pleased by its cost of implementation compared to other alternatives. The solution is an effective replacement for diverse legacy systems.

Demand for NavOne is further boosted because it’s built on Microsoft Dynamics NAV, which benefits from Microsoft’s significant R&D spend. Our clients appreciate the flexibility of deployment on their own IT infrastructure (on-premise) or via a centrally hosted facility (Azure Cloud).

The speed of implementation and cost advantage of a cloud-based solution are often critical factors for smaller family office firms. One such client describes how they were able to take advantage of NavOne’s benefits in a basic technology environment and pay for their system on a low-cost monthly-basis. The Senior Partner comments, “We don’t really have an existing system to replace nor have any dedicated IT personnel to help us implement and maintain a new system. Fortunately, NavOne is available on-line and has a stylised small family office system for us to road-test at any time of day or night. We could quickly see the benefits of using the system and went live within weeks of signing up.” The Touchstone team has witnessed a significant adoption of NavOne technology by clients who are migrating from solutions such as Viewpoint, Jobstream, and Microgen products.

Peter Le Brocq

Managing Director Touchstone





Superior features, market expertise and trusted Microsoft platform are a winning combination. We engaged independent advisors to help us select a new system and shortlisted 5Series, NavOne and ViewPoint. NavOne was selected as being best in class. Being a mainstream Microsoft business product used by many thousands of businesses around the world certainly helped with our final decision. NavOne Customer Guernsey

NavOne has been developed by a team of talented professionals based in Jersey and Australia. Their experience and expertise come together to deliver a highly specified solution that is customised to fit demanding clients’ requirements perfectly. Touchstone’s systems are installed in jurisdictions around the world, and this market expertise is recognised and valued by clients. The chief executive of a medium-sized Jersey trust business selected NavOne to replace their Unity system. He says, “The size and talent of the NavOne team really impressed. They have an encyclopaedic knowledge of the sector and impressive client references. This was critical to our decision in selecting NavOne and we have been delighted by the quality of the NavOne team and their willingness to go that extra mile.” Touchstone recently won the prestigious “Technology Vendor of the Year” title for the second successive year at the CityWealth Magic Circle Awards ceremony, and Microsoft recently announced Touchstone as 2015 UK Finalist in the Microsoft Dynamics Regional Partner of the Year Award. All this, along with investment in product, staff and markets has resulted in dramatic growth in the Touchstone and NavOne business. The business has doubled in size over the last four years both in turnover and team headcount and Touchstone expects this growth to

continue, as fiduciary clients continue to recognise the clear advantages of the solution. It is intent on building its team in Jersey, Australia and the UK mainland. Skilled applicants should contact Peter Le Brocq, Managing Director, to apply. Touchstone is a Microsoft Gold Partner, with competencies in Enterprise Resource Planning and Customer Relationship Management. Our relationship with Microsoft means that our clients benefit from the highest level of innovation and a deep understanding of the Microsoft roadmap, as well as the support of Microsoft’s considerable Research & Development commitment to future-proof technology. With offices in Jersey, the Channel Islands, and Sydney, Australia, we are the wealth management division and a wholly owned subsidiary of the Touchstone Group, one of the largest suppliers of business software and consultancy services to mid-sized UK organisations. For more information please call us, visit our website, or follow us on Twitter.

0800 298 2430 @touchstoneOne





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It’s become something of a cliché – that in order to succeed in business you have to have failed monumentally at least once. But does this really give your business the edge?

Do you have to fail to succeed? 40 september/october 2015


Words: Emma De Vita

FAILING IN BUSINESS – so long as you’re an entrepreneur, preferably in tech – has never been so cool. Did you start a high-risk venture that flopped? Well, never mind. Write your mea culpa, post it on your website, then book yourself onto a failure convention where you can seek solace from other gung-ho entrepreneurs who wear their flops like badges of honour. If you work for a large organisation, why not arrange a celebratory failure party? In the past, business cock-ups would have been a major source of embarrassment. But in these unpredictable times, where fleetness of foot and creative big thinking can lead to spectacular success (though more likely dismal failure), risks that go wrong aren’t such a bad thing. Blame business heroes such as Steve Jobs or Richard Branson if you like. If failure is inevitable, why not make the most of it? “No one ever has a career in business, or any other field, which doesn’t involve some failures,” says John McLaren, Chairman of Barchester Group, which provides strategic and corporate advice at board

level to international companies. “The only difference with entrepreneurs is that the unsuccessful outcome is far more visible to the wider world.” In more conventional jobs, failures tend to result in the stalling of a career trajectory by failing to get a promotion, being given the chance to jump to another job or just getting the boot. “This is less spectacular than going bankrupt, but the failures are there all the same,” adds McLaren. If failure is to be celebrated rather than swept under the carpet, then a certain mindset must be cultivated. “Today’s customers and markets are changing so rapidly that you need to continually be in a state of innovation,” says Alexsis Wintour, Founder and Director at Marbral Advisory. “That means being fearless of failure and reframing this into learning lessons, gaining experience and moving forwards.” But failure means nothing without learning the right lessons or changing complacent behaviour. “It shouldn’t be forgotten that we can focus too much on the beneficial side effects of prior failures,” says McLaren. “Real successes can be equally important lessons – and far more pleasurable.”

Entrepreneurs’ failures might seem more numerous than for the rest of us, but Wintour argues that the risks they take are often very calculated. “They are brave enough to invest in new concepts and recognise that some will not make it and some will,” she says. Karen Jones, CEO of Citywealth, explains how three companies that she has worked for have failed. “Two were because of a lack of understanding of how long it can take to generate income versus costs, and the ability to lose money to multiple ‘good ideas’ or trying to be too perfect. The third was because of a market downturn and no cash reserve,” she says. So what do we typically learn from our failures? “Early on, I had enthusiasm but a lack of business acumen – the basics, like understanding and generating cashflow, and negotiating or navigating inevitable business problems,” reflects Jones. “I was naive and I learned by painful experience. “But the worse things are your own personality and capability faults, which just show up like the sun shining every day. The world celebrates us as a success but you kick yourself every day for some thing you wish you did better.” Jones’ hard-won advice for entrepreneurs includes guarding your money, launching enough products or services so that a steady income is generated throughout the financial year, and having enough reserve cash to cover low-income periods. What’s more, make time to talk and listen to everyone in your business so that

september/october 2015 41



Failure is a wake-up call that something is wrong. It’s tough, horrible, but allows change and breakthrough. And it usually allows time for reflection that you rarely get in business because everyone is in a race

you have a real understanding of what everyone is up to – “because the boss is the one who gets the blame for financial or legal mess-ups”, says Jones. Also learn that while ideas are great, they can sap money and energy. And finally, “stop style drift – that is your staff deciding to wander off with their own agendas”. Wintour argues that the source of most failure comes from a lack of leadership. “I’ve just been involved in scoping a large transformation project, and there is nothing wrong with the technical content, it’s just that people’s hearts are not in it,” she says. “The success of the project would require the leaders giving up too much personally for the organisation to succeed.”

IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE Failures for entrepreneurs are immediate and painful, but mistakes made by large organisations are a different experience. While there might be a shift in how we perceive failure for the former, for the latter – unfortunately in many organisations – it’s still something to hush up, blame others for and quickly forget. If a large, successful company with the best brains in business launches a service or a product that’s a flop, then serious misorganisation is probably the cause, says Professor Chris Bones, Joint Managing Director of digital specialists Good Growth. “This is when you have talented people with the right strategy that ends

42 september/october 2015

up being badly executed,” he says. “The failure might be down to a poor understanding of the market, not testing the product or perhaps going for a big bang at a time of great uncertainty.” What you end up with is “a huge amount of blame”, he adds, with everyone involved trying to absolve themselves of it. Why? “Because most large organisations reward perfect management, not perfect disasters,” says Prof Bones. “Most businesses’ attitude towards failure is atrocious. Management expects you to be perfect, but there is no such thing as a Mary Poppins manager.” Whether failure is big or small, does having it in your past really make you a better businessperson? “For any person to continue improving their business, they have to keep learning in all sorts of ways,” says McLaren. “Previous failures can be one useful input, though not the only one, and perhaps not even the most important.” Most people still feel ashamed of their failures, though the level of their embarrassment depends on how recent the failure was and whether or not there was massive incompetence or any moral opprobrium involved. “Provided the failures don’t have these connotations and were long enough ago for the person to

have evidently learned the lessons, there’s no reason why failures can’t be seen as honourable scars,” says McLaren. “Whereas some decades ago, if employed in a large organisation, it was probably possible to keep your nose clean, be a safe pair of hands, and avoid any serious risk either for the individual or the corporation,” he adds. “Today that is much harder. Any organisations, even very large ones, that take little risk will over time produce below-average performance. So risk-taking is unavoidable.” Hence to Silicon Valley, where “the biggest parties are held to celebrate failure,” says Wintour. “In the Channel Islands it’s taboo,” she says, but argues that failure is “something we will have to get used to as our society needs to become more creative, innovative and take some risks”. But do some people actually crave mistakes? Prof Bones has a theory. “The most successful people, whether leaders, innovators or change catalysts – people who like to get things done – are able to live with failure. They think about a failure not to cast blame on themselves or anybody else but to make sure they’ve learned from it.” The really interesting thing, he adds, is that people never seem to say they’ve learned from someone else’s mistakes – it’s always their own. Ultimately, then, is failure really that significant? “Failure is a wake-up call that something is wrong,” says Jones. “It’s tough, horrible, but allows change and breakthrough. And it usually allows time for reflection that you rarely get in business because everyone is in a race.” Wintour encourages her team to take a few risks and try something new. “If they fail, we’ll all be there to help pick up the pieces, see what happened and move on.” n EMMA DE VITA is a freelance business writer

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Did you really just ask me that?

Words: Dave Waller

“WILL YOU BE going back to Jamaica to work?" isn’t a particularly illuminating question to ask in a job interview. But it’s even worse when the candidate isn’t Jamaican but French – with the interviewer making an assumption based on the applicant’s ethnicity. This is just one example from a disconcerting body of questioning unearthed when UK employment lawyer Thomas Mansfield asked recent job applicants to share the worst question they’d been asked at interview. Candidates revealed they’d been probed on everything from PMT, intraoffice dating and plans to have children, to whether they’d be able to flirt with customers to make them stay longer. And there we were, thinking interview discrimination had been consigned to the past. It hasn’t. “We still see discrimination on a day-to-day basis,” says Sharon Peacock, Technical Director at Law At Work in Jersey. “We see it on the grounds of gender, but also age and disability. And it’s not necessarily getting any better.”

In fact, the problem of discrimination is more widespread than ever, covering race, sexuality, marital status and even, in the Channel Islands at least, whether the interviewer knows your parents. It’s still a small place, after all. However, while the examples here are shocking because they’re so blatant, they tend to be the exception nowadays. A tighter legal framework and improved company processes mean such overt discrimination in interviews is rarer than it once was. Nevertheless, more subtle discrimination, where an interviewer is guided by assumptions or unconscious bias, remains prevalent. “Covert forms of discrimination get their tentacles into every corner,” says Peacock. “People make a whole load of stereotypical assumptions and value judgments during interviews, and this can result in certain groups being disadvantaged in the workplace.” Anecdotal evidence from recruitment lawyers suggests that women commonly encounter interviewers who ask about september/october 2015 45

We might think interview discrimination is becoming less of a problem, but the sad fact is that it does exist. Sometimes it’s quite subtle, but some interviewees are still being asked questions that are downright offensive


their home life and make assumptions about their commitment to the role. In the past, interviewers have assumed a woman wouldn’t want to travel because she was a mother with young children or that she wouldn’t want to work beyond nine-to-five. “Dealing with maternity can be a stumbling block for employers,” says Jessica Roland, Managing Partner at law firm Mourant Ozannes in Guernsey. “No one’s going to say they won’t take you on because you’re of a certain age and have kids. Instead you’ll just become less attractive as a candidate, while someone else becomes more attractive.” More subtle discrimination may come from the natural tendency to veer towards the familiar. People tend to recruit their likeness. “People don’t intentionally set out to do it,” says Helen Ruelle, Head of Employment Practice at Mourant Ozannes in Jersey. “But intention is irrelevant in the eyes of the law – if you discriminate, you discriminate. And it’s not just white middle-class males; female employers often recruit a lot of women.” One common defence for subtle discrimination is that the person interviewing has a definite view of the sort of person they want for the job. And that they know best. But it doesn’t work like that. “It’s not necessarily that person who is right for the job,” says Jeralie Pallot, Managing Director at Rowlands Recruitment. “Interviewers, however, can take a personal like or dislike of someone and then imagine them in a work environment. A good team fit, or whether someone’s the same, is not really something you can gauge.”

BURDEN OF PROOF If recruitment is a minefield for the employer, proving you’ve been the victim of such subtle discrimination can be just as hard. The candidate may point to their qualifications – why is this new graduate getting the job when I’ve got 15 years’ experience? – but a proper claim requires evidence. And ascertaining whether staff had equal opportunities training, whether there’s a robust policy in place and what was communicated between the interviewer and HR can be hard to pin down. Then there’s the need to identify patterns – are the male staff in an organisation

46 september/october 2015

Candidates have been probed on everything from PMT, intra-office dating and plans to have children, to whether they’d be able to flirt with customers to make them stay longer

promoted rather than female staff, for example? If the employer proves evasive on these matters, it could add to the evidence of discrimination. However, if they’re asking their male applicants the same questions about childcare as they are the women, then it won’t count as discrimination. As you’d expect, while the nature of the discrimination may be subtle, the fallout for the interviewer found guilty of discriminating will probably be anything but. “I’d imagine most disciplinary policies would list discrimination as a form of gross misconduct,” says Jenna Ide, Employment Lawyer at Thomas Mansfield. “The employer can probably dismiss the employee without any notice.” This could prove especially intense in a location such as the Channel Islands, where the accused will then have to go and pick up their kids from school in the full glare of the local press and the gossip grapevine. For this reason, there’s every chance that the accused would want to redirect attention back onto their employer. “They could point out that they’d never had any training,” says Shelley Kendrick, Director of recruitment firm Kendrick Rose. “So the organisation could find themselves in another claim with the employee saying: ‘I don’t know what I’m meant to be doing and you should have told me’.”

? In a cruel twist, however, a claimant could find themselves suffering, even if their claim proves to be successful. “When the claim becomes public knowledge, other employers may think twice about taking them on,” says Ruelle. “Yes it’s wrong – they were successful and the employer was to blame – but their reputation can be damaged nonetheless.”

REPUTATIONAL DAMAGE There have been relatively few claims under Channel Islands racial discrimination laws, for example, partly because people don’t make the claims – they’re fearful about the impact it will have on their chances of employment. There’s one other potential victim when it comes to reputation: the company itself – especially if the case is sufficiently interesting to make it into the papers. Who wants to work for a racist or sexist company? For this reason, plenty of claims are settled before the tribunal hearing, with the employer using confidentiality clauses to ensure the applicant keeps everything quiet. All of this may be about to come into sharper focus – in Jersey at least. Existing discrimination laws have just been bolstered by the introduction of a sex discrimination element (Guernsey’s discrimination law has been in place since 2005). Yet the experts on the islands


YOU CAN’T SAY THAT! Here are some real-life examples of what has been said to applicants in job interviews

Are you wearing stockings?

Lie on the table and I’ll be in in a minute

You can’t be a director and a mother

I’m not sure we should employ a Polish person

Your skin looks amazing for your age

don’t expect this change to lead to a glut of claims. The maximum award in Guernsey for sex discrimination is three months’ pay, plus another six months for unfair dismissal, which may not be worth the publicity and potential damage to the individual’s career prospects. Companies may feel they will have to walk on eggshells to avoid a potential claim, but staying on the right side of the law isn’t just a question of legality, or even of decent moral behaviour. There’s a good business case for it too. “A diverse workforce that reflects your customer base is good for business,” says Ruelle. “It leads to innovation of thought and people getting things done.” As for the specifics of conducting the interview, it’s relatively simple. “If you genuinely need to know the answer to give them the job, then it may well be fine to ask the question,” says Peacock. “But if it has nothing to do with job, you really shouldn’t be asking it.” n

Do you bake cakes?

Are you planning to start a family soon?

Do you have appropriate clothes to work with male colleagues?

I’m not sure our residents would like a gay guy looking after them. What do you think?

DAVE WALLER is a freelance business writer september/october 2015 47


Flexible working is the way of the future – or that’s what productivity experts would have us believe. Yet it seems there is still some way to go before we free ourselves of the daily grind

The times they are a’ changing 48 september/october 2015

Words: Jack Flanagan

EIGHT FIFTY-NINE. Is there a sweeter time? You’re not just on time… you’re early. Managers are pleased. Colleagues are envious. You may even develop an affectionate nickname – ‘8:59’ – which, though it sounds chastising, secretly praises you for being early. What a difference a minute makes. OK, perhaps this is a little over the top. In fact, 8.59 might be the worst time of day as, having fought your way through the rush hour, you sit down at your desk one more time, ready for eight hours of relentless grind. However, you’ve probably noticed the winds of change. There’s been demand from workers, and work theorists, to offer much more flexi-time to employees, with working hours based on conversations between managers and staff, not the traditional nine-to-five. It’s argued that this boosts productivity by giving employees ownership of their work/life balance. Tech companies love flexible working hours. Politicians love the sound of them – David Cameron has campaigned for years to ‘change the work culture’ in the UK in this way. France and a number of states in the US have actually introduced legislation against working long hours and protective clauses for employees who seek flexi-time. In the UK, employees with at least 26 weeks’ service can put in a request for flexible working hours. And in September this year, Jersey enacted legislation giving employees the right to request flexible working hours as long as the request is

based on the need to care for dependents. Advocates say that old shift patterns are doomed to ‘presenteeism’ – with employees merely putting on a front of being productive as the hours tick away. They say managers must step back and rethink effective ways of working. Of course, theory is one thing, practice is very different. Katie Bellingham, Director of Focus Group, which provides HR outsourcing services, says countries such as the US and microcosms such as London could adopt modern styles of working, and this can be put down to hypercompetitiveness stimulating innovation. She isn’t entirely convinced, however, that such thinking will reach the cool shores of the Channel Islands any time soon – where beaches (or bars) are generally well populated by 5.30pm. “It’s very hard for people to move away from it. It’s built into our history,” she says.

EXPANDING HORIZONS Joshua Pines, Corporate Developer Lead at Sirenum, a cloud-based platform that clients use for scheduling, monitoring, paying and managing staff, says that change elsewhere in the world is very visible. “The number of people, and their

There’s been demand for more flexi-time, with hours based on conversations between managers and staff, not the traditional nine-to-five

companies, who are totally comfortable with flexi-time is exploding,” he says. “Over a brief period – 18 months – it’s become noticeably more common. “You can see it when you go to coffee shops – it’s not just the writers and the start-ups any more; it’s everybody.” For a number of reasons this shouldn’t come as a shock. For one, nine-to-five working hours just aren’t practical. Parents drop out of their jobs to raise their children; summer holidays are a nightmare for working parents; and many of life’s little chores tend to occur during the working day – doctor’s appointments, burst pipes and important deliveries. Plus, the reality of being a professional has changed drastically. People travel more, and the freelance lifestyle is increasingly accepted as a career choice. This in turn has broadened our understanding of how productivity happens – beyond being nailed to one’s desk. Office guidelines and cultures have had to update to cover not just in-house staff but people on the periphery as well. Unsurprisingly, increasing awareness has inspired in-house staff to ask: what about the rest of us? ‘Millennials’, ‘Gen Ys’ – or just good old ‘twentysomethings’ – have also played a part in the culture shift. These employees tend to want non-traditional benefits to their jobs. Gen Y workers often emphasise abstract benefits – such as a good work/life balance and a ‘sense of meaning’ – as the important characteristics of a job. Millennials expect flexible work hours so they can take on other assignments, learn and travel more (see page 50). If you want to retain Millennials, you need to make sure flexibility is part of their contract. Thanks to digital communities such as GlassDoor – where employees rate employers – we have new evidence about what works and what doesn’t. The company released a report in July, which september/october 2015 49



found time and again that employees mentioned ‘flexible working hours’ as key to a positive work/life balance. In a 2014 issue of the Harvard Business Review, a researcher summarises these sentiments (and their impacts) by saying: ‘Employees report greater engagement in their jobs, higher levels of job satisfaction, stronger intentions to remain with their employers, less negative and stressful spillover from job to home and vice versa, and better overall mental health.’ Any good manager will recognise that this is not something to sniff at.

POWER TO THE PEOPLE Christopher Cabrera, CEO of Xactly Corporation in California, is an advocate of this new way of working. About a third of his 350 staff across the world work flexi-time. “We have 100 sales people in a very flexible work program,” he says. “We’ve found it extremely beneficial [for productivity]. We don’t sweat about where people are; the results speak for themselves. “We’ve eliminated vacations – [staff] can take as many days off as they want, and the fact is that they take less. It’s been great. We’re treating people like adults and they’re acting like it.”

He reiterates that this is a worker-led initiative: “People want to be free to do the things they want to do,” he says. And he doesn’t worry about metrics beyond the bottom line. “From a productivity standpoint, that’s easy to track in sales. If we saw a downturn in revenue we’d change tactics, but we’re seeing the opposite.” Another staunch proponent is KPMG – 70 per cent of its employees work flexi-time to some degree, as revealed in an article on Ingrid Waterfield, the firm’s Director of People Powered Performance (P3), explains that at KPMG, and the firms they advise, they don’t call it flexible working but ‘agile working’. “We ask businesses to drive performance and be the most productive they can be, and as a part of this to ask themselves how they can keep their workforce engaged and motivated. They need to not just look at the work that employees do and where they do it, but what inspires them.” It’s managers who need to take the helm, she says. “It’s clear that leadership has a key role to play, and what they’re seen to do disseminates down the ranks.” She cites an example within her own company. “At KPMG we have a tax compliance department where work is

very seasonal. So we ran some workshops with employees to come up with a more agile working format. Now people [in these departments] work very long hours through January and February, have the next few months off and then come back – but they have a regular salary.” According to Waterfield, the group’s performance is 10 per cent higher than the rest of KPMG. She has some tips for businesses who consider shaking things up. “It pays to take a step back. Spend a little time thinking innovatively, and be very clear in your expectations when communicating with employees. That doesn’t mean changing working hours – but I’d challenge every organisation to ask themselves ‘is this how we have to do it?’.” And this is really what it comes down to – perspectives. Understanding work purely as the number of hours spent at a desk is a narrow view. By the same token, following the trend just because others are doing it is arguably naïve. Companies need to find the balance between what works well for their staff and also for themselves. n JACK FLANAGAN is a freelance business writer

Top six factors: what Millennials want from a job £


to be given Competitive pay and benefits


to be able to work flexibly and be on track for promotion

have paid 74% toparental leave

colleagues, including my boss, who support my efforts 74% toto have work flexibly to meet my professional and personal goals


to work flexibly and informally when needed

overtime 69% toto keep a minimum Source: EY Global Generations Survey, 2015

50 september/october 2015


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Plenty of people rely on that cup of java to get themselves going in the morning – but does coffee really get you firing on all cylinders? and how much is too much?

52 september/october 2015

Words: Gemma Long IN THE PAST 15 years the UK has seen rapid expansion in the coffee shop sector – you can’t walk down any high street without being bombarded by Costa Coffee, Starbucks, Caffe Nero or a host of smaller chains or independents. And something else is commonplace – people walking into work in the morning with their little cardboard cup full of coffee goodness (unless they opt for the ‘gut rot’ provided in the company kitchen, that is). Many people can’t start their work day without coffee – they insist it helps them concentrate and keep going. According to a 2014 Pressat survey, 70 per cent said their working ability would be affected without a daily mug of coffee. But is this really the case? While some research suggests that coffee has positive effects on concentration levels – and even on ethics – at what point does it start to have a negative effect? Louise Dunn, a qualified personal trainer in Guernsey, specialises in helping people


Power In memory, reasoning and concentration tests, those who had been given caffeine all scored moderately higher than those given a placebo. The team concluded that there was no reason for healthy individuals who already used caffeine within recommended limits to stop doing so. So far so good for coffee advocates. But how and why could caffeine make you more ethical as well? Research published in the March 2014 issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology, which built on a 2011 study, showed that sleep deprivation contributes to unethical behaviour at work by making you more susceptible to social influences – such as a boss telling you to do something deceptive. By drinking as little as two cups of coffee a day, caffeine might help make the sleep-deprived more honest because they are more awake, the report argues. Co-author Michael Christian suggests that any employers keen to reduce the

likelihood of misbehaviour should make sure people aren’t putting in too many long hours without a break. They should avoid scheduling tasks that require a great deal of self-control when looming deadlines make long hours unavoidable. He also makes two further suggestions – allocate nap rooms at the office and don’t skimp on the free coffee.

MAKING IT PERSONAL Of course, not everyone reacts to caffeine in the same way. Everyone has a different lifestyle, nutritional habits, stressors, hormone levels and previous experience with caffeine, which means it has the potential to affect some people more than others. While one person might seem to have a laser focus after one strong cup, someone else might be a gibbering mess. Dunn argues that it’s not only the level of consumption, but where the mind and body are at the time of consumption september/october 2015 53

combine exercise and healthy eating in a sustainable way. Reliance on caffeine is something she deals with almost every day and she points to the clear physical effects that it can have. “When someone says ‘I can’t’ it tends to be more in the mind and routine than reality,” she says. “However, coffee – or more accurately caffeine – stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, which does increase heart rate and adrenaline levels within the body, giving you that get-up-and-go feeling.” Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine released a paper in 2010 which found that caffeine helped to improve workers’ memory and concentration as well as reducing the number of mistakes they made. The team, led by Katharine Ker, reviewed the findings of 13 studies from around the world, involving shift workers, mostly in their 20s, in simulated working conditions.





Amount of money spent on coffee in Britain last year

Amount of coffee consumed per person per year in Britain

Amount of caffeine a human body will absorb at a given time – any more provides no additional stimulation

200MG Recommended daily caffeine limit for pregnant women

When European coffee was sold in pharmacies as a remedy

37% Proportion of coffee drinkers who take it black

that will have a major effect. “If you’re conscious of and open to the potential of caffeine, there’s a chance you are more likely to benefit,” she says. One thing to consider is that the effect of coffee at work can be short-lived. People often find themselves flagging and heading back to the kitchen or the coffee shop for another ‘hit’. Sound familiar? Chantelle Spriggs, a nutritional adviser in Jersey, says there is an ebb-and-flow effect with caffeine as it blocks receptors in the brain by binding with the chemical adenosine, which promotes sleep and suppresses physiological arousal. “You get an energy burst, which gives you a buzz, but this is short-lived, so you come crashing back down until you get the next fix of caffeine,” she says. “If that next fix doesn't come, you may experience headaches, drowsiness and irritability.” On the other hand, caffeine intoxication isn’t uncommon. “Caffeine intoxication can lead to a sensation of jitteriness and nervousness, an inability to sit still and focus,” says Spriggs. Because caffeine raises adrenaline levels in the body, it can be addictive. “Your body can also become reliant on that stimulus mentally and physically, whether it be from you getting a break, the social interaction associated with coffee, part of your routine or the effects on the body,” says Dunn. Katie Bellingham, Director of Focus Group, which provides human resources

54 september/october 2015

consultancy services, says she has clients who have introduced hot water taps or vending machines into the office to cut back on the time it takes to boil a kettle. “I think it’s as much about the social experience as it is about the intake of caffeine,” she says. “For somebody who is sat at their desk most of the day, [it means they get] to go for a short walk, have a change of scenery, away from screen – it’s a break from the mundane.”

BEAN COUNTING All of this brings us back to one question, however – how much is too much? The latest advice from the EU’s food safety watchdog is a daily limit of 400mg of caffeine, which equates to four cups of instant coffee. Seeing as your Starbucks double espresso weighs in at roughly 160mg, three would take you over your limit. It’s also recommended that pregnant women limit their intake to 200mg a day. And don’t forget that energy drinks such as Red Bull, fizzy cola drinks and even chocolate contain caffeine and contribute to your daily total. The European Food Safety Agency warns that those who break the limits run the risk of a host of health problems, from anxiety and sleeplessness to heart rhythm disturbances and heart failure. Its comprehensive review of literature on the subject also shows links between high caffeine intake in pregnancy and having

Source: Roast and Post Coffee Company


a baby that is underweight. The NHS warns that too much caffeine can cause a miscarriage. But just as one survey makes one claim, another survey claims the contrary. A team of scientists from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, whose research was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology this year, claims that drinking four or more cups of coffee per day has been linked with increased survival rates among colon cancer sufferers. Regular consumption has resulted in a 42 per cent reduction in the disease returning. Perhaps all this just sends out a confusing message. And as long as you’re enjoying your coffee then why not screw the consequences? But if you’re worried, a first step could be to keep a diary of exactly how much coffee you’re drinking on a daily basis, and if it seems like too much or that the side effects are becoming unpleasant, then consider reducing your caffeine intake or even cutting it out altogether. We’re not likely to turn into a wateronly workforce any time soon, says Dunn, despite the evidence to suggest that drinking water is far better than anything else to hydrate your body. “Reaching for a coffee is much ‘easier’ and if we can function on the easy option, we will,” she says. And besides, coffee sure tastes better. n GEMMA LONG is a freelance business writer


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The use of technology to combat health issues around the globe is seen by many as the next Holy Grail. From simple solutions such as video gaming to more complex nanotechnology, it’s a fascinating and fast-moving field. Here are just 10 new ways in which tech is being used to improve – and indeed save – lives

10 top health tech innovations

Words: Jess Furseth

september/october 2015 57


One day, a little sticky patch for monitoring life signs may be standard for anyone who enters a hospital. That’s the hope for SensiumVitals, which is currently undergoing clinical trials. “Our product is targeted not at intensive care, but at patients where monitoring is a manual process every four to six hours,” says Anthony Sethill, CEO of Toumaz Group, the British semiconductor company behind this innovative new device. “We believe there are many clinical situations where continuous monitoring would be more effective clinically – and therefore economically.” For example, up to 30 per cent of patients develop complications after gastrointestinal surgery. Being able to monitor patients continuously would not only mean catching problems quicker, but also that people could go home sooner and have their vital signs transmitted remotely. Both these issues are likely to increase patient comfort and save money for the NHS.

Image: Sensium Healthcare




It’s not quite Facebook, but for people with Crohn’s disease and other inflammatory bowel conditions, is a lifesaver. Established in 2011, this network allows users to trade information about symptoms and treatments. is closely monitored by the medical establishment as an example of a patient-controlled social network, where people take charge of their own treatments. “This has very quickly become a global community of people sharing information about their conditions. They in turn talk to the clinicians treating them, and that has improved the dialogue globally,” says John Farenden, Director of EY’s ‘Let’s Get Digital’ initiative, which aims to support and accelerate the use of digital technologies in health and social care. “Using basic social media tools, this has made a huge impact on the lives of tens of thousands of people.”


Talk about a literal interpretation of wearable technology – Cyrcadia Health has developed a bra that can detect cancer. The garment is embedded with patches that track changing temperatures in the tissue, which can be indicative of tumour growth. Early trials showed an 87 per cent success rate in detecting tumours, including in dense breast tissue where small lumps can go undetected. The idea behind the garment is not to wear it all the time, but to provide a simpler and more comfortable screening method than some of today’s more invasive procedures.

58 september/october 2015

Image: Cyrcadia Health



Image: Quanta Fluid Solutions



It’s the Nespresso of dialysis – Quanta Fluid Solutions is developing a compact, portable dialysis machine that people can use themselves. This could be a significant money-saver for the NHS, as people could have dialysis treatment in the comfort of their home. “A percentage of patients are suited for home dialysis once they’ve been trained. We know that would save the NHS about £15,000 a year per patient,” says Martin Hunt, a Director at the NHS’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). Hunt heads the NIHR Invention for Innovation programme, a funding scheme aimed at advancing healthcare technologies. The NIHR, whose funds only go to companies with proof of concept after robust screening, has funded Quanta twice. “Research teams need to take into account not just the medical impact, but also how new devices can provide value for money,” says Hunt. “If you get better patient outcomes, generally speaking there should be some associated cost saving along the clinical pathway.”





Earlier this year, 3D printing technology from Stanmore Implants was used to create a replacement pelvis for a patient who’d lost his to cancer. The new part could be made more precisely with a 3D printer than standard methods. Another UK company using 3D printing to create body parts is Fripp Design and Research, whose technology can create soft tissue organs such as eyeballs, noses and ears – all based on scans from the patient. “3D printing now allows us to create body parts. The technology is actually no longer the problem,” says EY’s John Farenden. “The challenge is how we make best use of it and improve the outcome and experience for patients, as well keeping an eye on cost.” In an effort to make the product more commercially viable, Fripp has become the first company to use 3D technology to print directly in medical-grade silicone.

Image: Manchester Metropolitan University/Fripp Design and Research

Sending microscopic devices into the body to treat illness in a non-invasive manner is a science fiction dream that’s quickly becoming real. Earlier this year, researchers at the University of California successfully delivered treatment projectiles into the stomach of mice, in an effort to explore whether this can be done in humans to treat stomach problems such as ulcers or gastritis. A similar principle is behind antibody-drug conjugates, which are already being used to treat patients – a molecule-scale payload of cancer drugs is delivered directly to tumour sites, leaving the surrounding tissue undisturbed.

september/october 2015 59


image: Christofer Toumazou



Imagine a USB stick that contains a whole laboratory – this is Christofer Toumazou’s Lab-on-a-Chip. It may sound impossible, but this tiny device provides quick results to medical tests and can analyse DNA within minutes. Without having to use a laboratory, Lab-on-a-Chip can reveal how large a dose of medication a patient needs or whether they’re at risk for genetics-based diseases such as diabetes or cancer. The technology, which is being developed by DNA Electronics, could one day mean doctors will be able to look into our future to treat us, not just into our past. “Tying the genome to different risks associated with cancer is likely to become increasingly significant. You could then use the collected data to understand which drugs give the best results, using millions of data points,” says Toumaz CEO Anthony Sethill. He predicts Big Data and analytics will become increasingly relevant in healthcare prevention.



It’s the sort of gadget you see on Star Trek – a device that heals skin and bone instantly. Here on earth, Mark Bass at the Department of Biomedical Science at the University of Sheffield has created a small, handheld ultrasonic emitter that accelerates tissue repair. It’s not quite sci-fi, but the device can reduce healing times by up to 30 per cent. That means the patient is more comfortable and there is less chance of infection. The researchers have been able to reverse certain healing defects caused by diabetes, age and congenital disorders, and hope to be able to prevent the formation of chronic wounds soon.



Therapy becomes play when necessary yet tedious exercises are made into a game. To help stroke victims regain functionality in their arms and hands, Limbs Alive has created a Wii-style video game. More than 100,000 people in the UK suffer from strokes each year and up to 80 per cent never fully regain the use of their limbs. Therapeutic video gaming is a growing area for the National Institute for Health Research, says Director Martin Hunt. “We insist on patient involvement throughout the development process. It’s one thing to have a solution using a tablet computer, but for elderly patients with mobility issues that may not work for them.” Effective video game therapies can reduce the cost of treatment and make it more fun, so the patient is less likely to give up.



Relief from chronic pain is a big ask, but Quell from NeuroMetrix uses non-invasive nerve stimulation to tackle pain, kicking in within 15 minutes of use. A single charge provides 40 hours of relief, be it back pain or nerve-related aches. Quell was a hit at this year’s CES consumer electronics tradeshow, which is usually dominated by phones. And EY’s John Farenden says here’s an increasing crossover of mainstream gadgets and health. “Consumer technology businesses are pushing on with technologies to improve health, as we see with Apple Watch and Jawbone.” The jury’s out on whether the cost of these gadgets translates to better outcomes, but, says Farenden: “We will see people increasingly using those technologies to better understand their own health.” JESS FURSETH is a freelance health and technology writer

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all change for foreign exchange? Words: Kirsten Morel

THE ABILITY FOR digital technology to disrupt and then revolutionise entire markets is enormous. We’ve already seen the music, publishing and travel industries changed beyond all recognition. Today, public transport and the hospitality sectors are under assault from the likes of Uber and Airbnb. In the financial arena, we are all used to online banking and are moving slowly towards a world of cashless payments. These changes have made life much easier for consumers. Yet despite such technological advances, the financial services industry itself hasn’t changed a great deal. The big-name banks and institutions are the same ones that dominated decades ago. And while they have successfully adopted technologies that help deliver better services to their customers, they are yet to come under serious threat from competitive and disruptive new technologies and businesses.

Yes, Bitcoin raised some eyebrows and peer-to-peer lending is growing, but they still remain ‘areas of interest’ to the big institutions rather than a genuine threat. The foreign exchange (FX) market is an excellent example of the slow pace of change in the financial services industry. Until recently, individuals and companies were pretty much at the mercy of market movements, with banks and FX firms setting seemingly arbitrary buy and sell prices for currency and then slapping healthy charges on top. This does seem to be changing gradually – perhaps most notably in the money transfer sector, which we will come to later. But the pace of change is hardly cheetah-like, and this is what is puzzling about the FX sector, especially when we examine the institutional arena. By volume, FX is the largest market in the world, which, according to the

Foreign exchange is the world’s largest financial market. While technology has been slow to take advantage of the opportunities it offers, are we slowly seeing signs of change?

september/october 2015 63

Bank of International Settlements’ Triennial Market Survey, was trading at an average of $5.3trn per day in April 2013. It’s easy to think that an unregulated market of such staggering proportions would attract disruptors in their droves. If more than $5trn a day is being swapped from one currency to another, then surely the prospects for doing business in an entirely new way and capturing some of those very healthy commissions would prove irresistible to a money-motivated tech-head? Not so, says Trevor Charsley, Senior Market Advisory Consultant at global currency exchange firm AFEX, which is about to open an office in Jersey. “Technology is fantastic, but what is often overlooked is expertise,” he says. “Having access to someone who can be on the end of the phone and is able to explain the situation is important.”

MINIMISING RISK The personal touch is important in the FX market because, aside from spot transactions, the type of services that institutions are looking for can be complex. “The space I work in – offshore and asset management – has seen growth in the need to hedge,” says Charsley. “Five years ago there was very little hedging, but now the need is greater and the market has grown.” Hedging is all about taking the risk out of FX transactions. “It creates a stable platform so that clients can concentrate on building their business with certainty,” explains Charsley. That doesn’t mean all offshore companies are looking to hedge. The market for spot transactions is important to the Channel Islands’ finance sector as it looks after both its business and its private clients. The key difference between hedging and a spot transaction is that the latter is entirely at the whim of market rates – today’s transaction can quite easily be a better (or worse) deal than tomorrow’s, but there’s no way of knowing for sure. The only place for clients to look to improve the deal is to reduce the margin taken by their partner on the other side of the exchange. It’s in this area that companies in the islands are wising up to the potential for cost reduction. “The industry has become more aware of the margins that banks are taking,” says Kevin Moore, Head of Treasury Services at

five years ago there was very little hedging, but now the need is greater

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Jersey-based Enhance Group. Driven by the aim of providing an FX function that essentially provides a better service to clients by undercutting the traditional bank driven model, Enhance has developed a foreign exchange platform in partnership with fintech provider Ebury. “We sat down and looked at what the sector would need and devised a platform that we thought would suit the industry,” says Moore. “We concentrated on full transparency. There’s no middle man, there’s no hard mark-up.” Despite claiming savings of up to 75 per cent on transactions for some clients, Enhance doesn’t see the system’s success as being purely a result of price benefits. Having listened to potential users during development, it was clear the market needed a less complex, more transparent method for exchanging currencies. “It’s a fast and highly complex market, but it shouldn’t be,” says Moore. “We wanted to allow the client to see the process and put a fair price on it.”

SENDING MONEY HOME Institutions will always dominate the $5 trillion-a-day forex market, but there’s no doubt that the market is worth a great deal at the individual level. Moore has seen a “massive increase in the volume of tickets that go through in the £0-£100,000


value range”, as his main clients – trust companies – pass on the benefits of the Enhance platform to their private clients. We may look out for the best deal when buying currency for our annual holidays, but our tendency is still to turn to the banks or the post office for these one-off exchanges – any price difference is minimal, so it’s not worth looking any further for the very best prices. This isn’t the case for individuals who are part of the $600bn per year remittance market. Research by the World Bank estimates that the growth in the movement of migrants around the world has led to this market growing at a rate of 3.75 per cent annually, with a huge bias of money sent from the West to the East. The US sends 22 per cent of that $600bn, while India receives 12 per cent. Until recently, the only players in town for migrants looking to send money home were the wire transfer companies such as Western Union. However, that is changing as entrepreneurs look to use technology to provide competition in a sector that has changed very little over the decades. London-based Lithuanian start-up TransferGo is doing exactly that. In two years it has gained 77,000 returning customers who are looking to cut the cost of sending money to friends and relatives. “The main goal of TransferGo is to create frictionless payments for people and to make it cheaper and easier. We cut the cost of sending money abroad by up to 90 per cent,” says TransferGo’s Brand and Marketing Communications Manager, Guste Sadaunykaite. Currently focused on serving migrants from Central and Eastern Europe, but looking to expand geographically, the company’s founders developed the service

following their own dissatisfaction with the market when they were migrants. “We work in 33 different countries and have developed partnerships with 60 banks to deliver our ‘local in, local out’ model,” explains Sadaunykaite. This model dispenses with the need for a transfer network. Instead, online users deposit local currency into TransferGo’s bank account in the country in which they work and the company pays it from its account in the destination country to the intended recipient. Being online and using the existing networks provided by their banking partners has enabled TransferGo to cut the cost of international remittances. And that means migrant workers see less of their earnings being taken. Claiming transaction growth of 20 per cent per month and having exchanged more than $100 million so far, TransferGo’s model appears to be working in the marketplace. Although it remains tiny within the size of the global market, the business could be the beginning of the end for the wire transfer companies’ dominance of the growing remittance market. The initial success of Enhance and TransferGo – and companies like them – suggests the FX market is changing, driven by the opacity of the traditional wire transfer and banking models. However, FX is a complex market and the changes we are seeing today are principally confined to spot transactions. When it comes to risk management in the form of hedging, there is every chance that the personal touch delivered by firms such as AFEX will be with us for a long time to come. n KIRSTEN MOREL is a freelance financial writer

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Seeing into the future

Words: Ben Jordan

“Forget it all, Neo. Fear, doubt, disbelief... Free… your… mind” Morpheus, The Matrix

IT’S PHILOSOPHY 101. Come on, we’ve all seen The Matrix. We all want an answer to that great unknowable proposition: ‘Are we living in a simulation?’ Throughout history, philosophers have debated the simulation theory. Eggheads such as Plato, Descartes and Michio Kaku have wound themselves in knots trying to distinguish between reality and artificial simulation. How do we know that what we call reality isn’t our brains plugged into a computer simulation by some advanced race of machines in a bleak dystopian future? Does

this sound paranoid at all? Well, think again. Coming soon to a living room near you is a revolution in simulated reality that would have blown Plato’s toga off. Tech giants including Microsoft, Facebook, Samsung, Sony and Google have all made significant investments in developing virtual reality (VR) products for the mass market. For any child of the 80s, VR conjures up images of cumbersome retro-gear that would have cost a small fortune, of emotionally blackmailing your parents into parting with their hard-earned cash for a 30-second

Virtual reality has come a long way from grubby amusement arcades of the 1980s, but even with all the hype and excitement around the latest developments, are there limits to how far it can go?

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Image: Oculus Rift

The Oculus Rift headset (left) allows users to be completely immersed in a virtual environment

go in the VR arcade, or of remembering that brief moment of elation at being able to gaze up at a pixelated sky before being incinerated by a low-flying pterodactyl. Insert Coin Now. In the mid-90s, Nintendo released their Virtual Boy to much fanfare. Marketed as the first portable video games console capable of displaying ‘true 3D graphics’ out of the box, it promised to ‘immerse players in their own private universe’. It was poised to change the world of video games forever. After a short shelf-life, it was taken off the market after only six months, becoming Nintendo’s lowest selling console. Ask Ronnie Isherwood, Chairman of British Computer Society Jersey why and he’ll tell you the problem was clunky, expensive hardware, unrealistic graphics, poor in-game stability and latency. As such, he understands scepticism about VR. “How can we take it to the next level? There will only be mass economic capacity when lots of people buy into it, and that’s how the industry will be able to drive costs down for the consumer market,” he says.

BREAKING NEW GROUND Fast-forward to today and, while it’s expected there will be huge competition in a resurgent VR sector, it’s all about the Big Three – Sony’s Project Morpheus, Oculus Rift and Microsoft Hololens. Oculus Rift began its life as a Kickstarter project in 2012. The Rift, as it’s known, is an exquisitely designed VR headset that allows the user to experience immersive virtual environments. At the 2014 Game Developers Conference, Sony also announced Project Morpheus, a VR headset to be used with the PS4. Although no official release date

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has been announced, several titles are compatible with the headset, including a knee-knocking VR version of Paranormal Activity. For those on a budget, Google offers a poor man’s VR in the form of Google Cardboard. Headsets are built from simple, low-cost components, the schematics for which can freely be downloaded. Users can then follow the assembly instructions to create a headset themselves from cardboard and slot in their smartphone. It’s similar to Samsung’s Gear headset, which also works in combination with a mobile device. Oculus VR has also partnered with Facebook to develop a virtual social network with a realistic way of interacting. As Oculus inventor Palmer Lucky said in a recent interview: “People already spend hours a day on Facebook. What if it was truly engaging and immersive, rather than a filtered version of your real self?” Or how about Oculus Cinema, which visualises a movie theatre so you feel like you’re sitting in the audience? With the new multiplayer mode on the Gear VR headset for Samsung phones, your friends can sit next to you too. Just remember, no rustling.    In a giant leap for humankind, there’s even a kickstarter project to create a VR experience of the Apollo 11 moon landing. And it doesn’t take much imagination to consider the applications for the adult


VR can be used as a professional training tool to simulate real-world scenarios, from defusing a bomb and controlling a riot to learning complex tasks such as open-heart surgery

entertainment industry. Porn has always pioneered new media, and there’s enough commercial potential to give Hugh Hefner a hard-on. Alongside the sexy stuff, there are practical business applications too. Many tech companies see potential in being able to visualise data sets for business intelligence. Enter the Microsoft Hololens, unveiled at the E3 games conference this year, which is a selfcontained adjustable headset capable of projecting 3D objects over real world spaces.  

REAL WORLD APPLICATIONS Mark Loane, CEO of C5 Alliance, a company specialising in IT solutions for business, enthuses about the applications. “The Hololens promises huge advances for top-level meetings. A camera can now spatially map a boardroom and project non-real objects onto the board table: building plans, financial data, infographics, 3D video. The clever part is that it’s ‘world-locking’ – a 3D digital object such as a ball can be dropped on a real-world table and it will stop short. It knows the physical parameters of the real world.” Architects can visualise a building before construction starts, allowing their clients to take a virtual tour of their design. An engineering firm can stress-test a structure and experiment with new compositions in 3D. These capabilities will help keep costs down by spotting flaws at an earlier stage. As Loane explains: “I can use a Hololens unit to build an object in 3D and see it in a real-world scenario, and then I can 3D print it. This will allow me to view my design from every angle so that I study it in context before I build it. This could save resources in beta-testing and prototyping in future.” VR can also be used as a professional training tool to simulate real-world scenarios, from defusing a bomb and controlling a riot to learning complex tasks such as open-heart surgery. And it will be possible to host conferences, with thousands of delegates having real-time interactions in a virtual space. Loane believes VR can be used as a tool to visualise complex data sets for his clients. “We see VR as a

development platform and are trying various ideas to visualise digital information. It represents a new way of interacting with information, so our clients can see virtual models of financial data to develop business intelligence for financial markets.”

REALITY CHECK This said, Loane thinks initial uptake of VR devices may not be high, despite the stunning possibilities. “You have to be careful to develop technology that can be monetised. We’re fortunate we have a large team of business analysts and specialists, and we can clearly see the applications in financial visualisations. It’s far-out R&D, and we’re just poking at the digital frontier. A lot of people are sceptical but I think VR is enabling whole new concepts for business and leisure markets.” One newly formed Channel Island company with faith in the commercial viability of VR is Vizuality, which publicly demonstrated the possibilities of their Full Motion Virtual Studio earlier this year at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Jersey. Their studio allows users to simulate the experience of driving a Formula 1 car or pilot one of the Red Arrows. There are even plans for creating virtual worlds and buildings. The company is working on a wireless version of the Oculus Rift headset. This will have the advantage of allowing the wearer to move without feeling the motion sickness traditionally associated with sitting in one place physically while being virtually moved around another. But will VR just be the plaything of boffins and millionaires? “I have the resources to support pioneering tech, and the geekiness to play around with it,” says Loane. “But that’s where the good stuff starts. We need to be at the frontiers of this new technology and there are always opportunities. “You sometimes need to see tech used in a real-world context, in the business community, with real-world problems to solve. That’s when you see how it can add value. That’s the part of the reason why we want early access, so we can play about and see how it can be used.” Much of the next-gen technology will be launched next year. Oculus Rift is due to be released in Q1 2016 – the package comes complete with an Xbox One controller. Microsoft hasn’t confirmed a release date for the Hololens, but it’s also likely to be next year.   It’s clear we are a long way from creating a virtual reality that is indistinguishable from the real world. But the commercial potential of a digital environment that allows business users to read facial expressions, create virtual copies of real-world objects and hold international conferences without having to use multiple applications, is red hot.   That said, if businesses are to start using VR widely, developers have a long to-do list to address the problems of the past. They must make products affordable; easy to use; able to collaborate with others; free from motion sickness and slowdowns; and with a long shelf life. If not, it’ll be Game Over for good. n BEN JORDAN is a freelance technology writer september/october 2015 69

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Guernsey companies law takes a step forward


he Companies (Guernsey) Law, 2008 celebrated its seventh birthday earlier this year. When it was introduced in 2008 it heralded a new dawn for Guernsey’s corporate landscape – representing modern, practical, flexible and user-friendly companies legislation. Like any other seven-year-old, however, company legislation can’t simply be left to its own devices. If it is to grow up to fulfil its potential, it must be nurtured. It requires constant monitoring, care and attention. What’s more, companies law must respond appropriately to the evolving demands of its users and react to changes in the global economy and practice. And

that means that the law itself must change and be updated – which is exactly what happened in Guernsey this summer. But just why were the changes needed and how will they help? Industry, law firms, fiduciaries and other users on the island have been active in providing feedback on the Law. Now, following a lengthy but productive consultation period, the States of Guernsey has responded to that feedback and announced the most significant revisions to the Law since it first came into force – in the guise of the Companies (Guernsey) Law, 2008 Amendment Ordinance, 2015. The changes have been introduced september/october 2015 71

Changes to companies law in Guernsey are set to make firms easier to incorporate and administer – and it’s hoped they will give the island a competitive edge too. John Rochester, Managing Associate at Mourant Ozannes in Guernsey, explains some of the key points

to ensure the Law remains up to date and, where possible, offers a competitive advantage against other offshore jurisdictions. To users of the Law, the changes are mostly predictable, with those ‘wouldn’t it be good if we could do that?’ issues mostly dealt with. The changes will be of interest to users of Guernsey companies. They have an impact on all types of Guernsey company, from single member property holding vehicles to protected cell companies and listed companies.


Many changes are directed squarely at making Guernsey companies easier to incorporate, administer and use

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Many of the changes are directed squarely at making Guernsey companies easier to incorporate, administer and use. One of the primary ways in which this is done is by further deference to the memorandum and articles of a company, rather than matters being prescribed by the Law. An example includes the quorum for class meetings, which was previously prescribed by law and is now subject to the memorandum and articles. As a reflection of the increased use of Guernsey companies by users in the Far and Middle East, a Guernsey company can now be incorporated with an alternative name expressed in non-Roman alphabet, characters or script, which need not be the same as the company’s principal name. Certain small companies will be exempted from having to comply with some formalities in relation to meetings and resolutions. Helpfully, the Ordinance has also modified a number of voting provisions, to clarify that, for example, even in respect of a unanimous resolution, non-voting shareholders aren’t entitled to vote. In addition, there are provisions releasing some companies from the requirement to prepare a director’s report, subject to the passing of an appropriate resolution. Greater flexibility, too, has been introduced in relation to the issue of new shares. Restrictions on issuance are no longer contained in the legislation – directors will now have the power to issue shares as authorised by the company’s memorandum and articles. The requirement for directors to sign a certificate stating the consideration for and terms of issue has also been lifted.

SIMPLIFIED CORPORATE ACTIONS In a further development of Guernsey’s innovative protected cell companies (PCCs), a cell of a PCC will be able to convert into a stand-alone company. This will be helpful in asset-holding structures, where an asset-holding cell can now be converted into a stand-alone company in anticipation of a sale or public offering. Similarly, captive insurance, investment management, technology or other incubation PCCs will be able to ‘release’ the relevant cell once the product or technology no longer needs the cost-saving benefits of the PCC. The procedures for certain corporate actions – such as migrations, amalgamations and takeovers – have also been updated, bringing them into line with other jurisdictions and streamlining the processes: l I t is now possible for different types of company (for example, those limited by shares and those limited by guarantee) to amalgamate. The changes also introduce a simplified short-form process for amalgamations between Guernsey companies and their overseas subsidiaries; lT  he timetable for company migrations has been shortened – the accelerated process should help ease a number of historic frustrations with what can otherwise be a relatively straightforward corporate action; and lT  he squeeze-out provisions have been refreshed to be more closely aligned with equivalent provisions in the UK, and to allow the squeeze-out to proceed as soon as thresholds are met without having to wait for the lapse of prescribed time periods. Certain changes have also been made in the realm of the director of a Guernsey company. While directors must state the nature and extent of any interest in a transaction, there is no requirement to determine and disclose the monetary value of that interest. These changes to the Law are helpful for users of Guernsey companies and their various advisers and service providers. They reflect Guernsey’s continued drive to be recognised as a leading offshore jurisdiction offering a user-friendly, flexible and practical corporate environment. n

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New owners take over Oatlands Village


atlands Village, a tourist attraction in Guernsey that went into administration last year, has been sold to new owners who intend to return it to its former glory. The village, which comprises 11 retail units, an outside activity area, a miniature golf course, two fields and a 75-space car park, was placed into administration in September 2014, although the tenants have continued to operate there. All of the tenants have been informed that the site has been sold. The new owners – Les Piques Cottages owner Chris Coles and Guernsey-based investment company Bailiwick Investments – formed a joint venture and completed on the six-acre site in August. The purchase price has not been made public, although Oatlands was on sale for £1.95 million, having initially been placed on the market last year for £3 million. “We hope we can make Oatlands beautiful again and a favourite destination for locals and visitors, not just in the spring and summer but throughout the whole year,” said Coles. “What we envisage is going to take time, investment, hard work and cooperation between our company, the occupiers and the government.” n

number of Guernsey insurers tops 800


he number of international insurers licensed in Guernsey has broken the 800 mark, according to the latest figures from the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC). In the first six months of the year, the GFSC licensed 45 new international insurers, bringing the total to 816. This compares with 797 international insurers at the end of December 2014 – a net growth of 19. The new licensees comprised six limited companies, two protected cell companies (PCCs), 30 PCC cells, one incorporated cell company (ICC), two ICC cells and four life policy cells. Further data on the new licensees reveals their owners originate from a range of locations – such as the UK, Cayman Islands, Finland and Switzerland – while the range of businesses written includes insurance linked securities and insurance lines covering property, after the event legal expense and longevity risk. n

island to hold first fintech hackathon


uernsey’s first Fintech Hackathon, co-organised by Startup Guernsey and the Digital Greenhouse, is to take place on 9-11 October in St Peter Port. During the 48-hour challenge, individuals and teams from the island’s business and technology communities will collaborate to create technological solutions for Guernsey’s financial services sector. The event is sponsored by KPMG, with prizes for the most creative and innovative of the solutions sponsored by C5 Alliance. The prizes include access to professional services, mentorship and skills that will help take the winning ideas to the next level. More than 50 individuals from 20 local businesses in the local professional services and technology sectors attended the recent launch of the event at KPMG in St Peter Port. According to Jennifer Strachan, CEO of Startup Guernsey, the event is about inspiring participation in the burgeoning area of fintech. “Hackathons are all about stimulating collaboration, sometimes between unlikely bedfellows, to inspire new ideas that are of benefit to a wider cause or community,” she said. “Guernsey has immeasurable potential to excel in the fintech space, primarily because of its track record in traditional financial services. By pairing some of our best and brightest in that industry with the island’s promising digital talent, we hope to begin to tap into this.” The next in a series of informal networking events being held in the run-up to the hackathon will take place on 23 September. The FinTech Hackathon will take place from 7pm on Friday 9 October. Entries for teams and individuals can be made online at Eventbrite. More information on the event can be found at Digital Greenhouse Guernsey ( n

(L-R): Matt Thornton (C5 Alliance), Neale Jehan (KPMG), Jennifer Strachan (Startup Guernsey) and Mike Culverwell (Digital Greenhouse) september/october 2015 73

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BL jersey Jersey’s quest for employment rights

Words: Kirsten Morel


t may surprise you to know that Jersey has left it until this month (September 2015) to enact legislation that prohibits discrimination on the grounds of sex. Given that it was only last year that Jersey brought in its first discrimination law, it’s good to know that sex discrimination is high enough on the list for lawmakers to enact specific regulations just a year later. Under the Discrimination (Jersey) Law 2013, which was enacted in 2014, the island’s government has adopted a step-by-step approach, which tackled racial discrimination at the outset,

with other forms – most notably sex discrimination – to follow. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this new discrimination law has stolen pretty much all of the headlines. But additional legislation coming into effect also brings with it a raft of measures designed to improve working conditions for islanders, as Dexter Flynn, Solicitor at Jersey law firm Voisin, explains. “The new rights to be introduced by the Employment (Amendment No.8) (Jersey) Law 2014, in respect of maternity leave and pay, adoption leave and pay, september/october 2015 75

As a swathe of employment legislation comes into force, and with more slated over the next couple of years, is Jersey finally catching up with the UK and the rest of Europe when it comes to workers’ rights and protections?

flexible working, and parental leave can be encapsulated under the umbrella term ‘family-friendly rights’,” he says. “They emulate, to an extent, the rights and associated employer obligations relating to employees with family and care commitments, which have developed and expanded over the past 30 years in the UK. “Consequently, all employers must be alive to the family-friendly rights, which they must accord to their employees.” For many larger employers, particularly if they are part of international companies, the new law won’t change much because they usually transfer the policies they use in the UK, or elsewhere, to the island. That said, there are plenty of employers likely to be directly affected by the new law, which covers the areas set out below.

FLEXIBLE WORKING Employees now have the right to request flexible working hours as long as the request is based on the need to care for dependants. Applicants must have been employed by the same employer for 15 months and they are only entitled to make one request every 12 months. “It’s a right to request flexible working,” says Vicky Milner, Advocate at Callington Chambers. “It’s not a right to flexible working. The thing I particularly like and support is that this isn’t limited to mothers. It’s open to fathers looking after children or people looking after elderly relatives.”

ANTE-NATAL CARE/MATERNITY LEAVE The new law gives employees the right to paid time off for ante-natal care and compulsory paid maternity leave of two weeks from the birth. Depending on their length of service, employees are also entitled to an additional six weeks (unpaid) leave if they have been employed for less than 15 months, and 16 weeks for more than 15 months service prior to the birth. While the law defines time periods for maternity leave, Claire Kingham, Senior Associate at Viberts in Jersey, says there are additional benefits. “One helpful thing with the legislation is that it encourages employers to keep in touch with people on maternity leave,” she says. “The law encourages discussion between employers and employees, which is a good thing.”

ADOPTION AND PARENTAL LEAVE Jersey’s employment law recognises that there are more ways than one to become a parent and for the first time it provides

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EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS Another easy-to-overlook aspect of the new law is that it abolishes the need for employees to work more than eight hours per week in order to be protected by certain employment rights – including the right to a written statement of terms, the right to a minimum notice period and the right to bring an unfair dismissal claim. While these latter changes appear innocuous, they could have quite an impact on casual work, possibly discouraging people to employ cleaners or gardeners in an informal manner and encouraging the use of agencies that will administer the employment in accordance with the law, rather than individuals taking the risk of finding themselves in front of a tribunal. Despite this risk, Malcolm Ferey, Chief Executive of Jersey’s Citizens Advice Bureau, believes the promise of greater protections is worthwhile. “The eight-hour rule has been dropped to recognise the fact that some people work multiple jobs of less than eight hours but don’t have these protections, which is something that we welcome,” he says.

SET IN CONTEXT If an employee feels that they were dismissed for a family reason or another reason that falls within the scope of the new law, they are entitled to bring a claim to the Jersey Employment Tribunal, which can award compensation of up to £10,000. Looking at the bigger picture, there is general agreement that Jersey’s employment law has been behind the times and that the new statutes are necessary, even if they don’t provide for quite the same rights as Jersey’s neighbours. “This still leaves us far behind most of Europe,” says Ferey. “But it’s still a big step forward in terms of workers’ rights.” Island residents are quite accustomed to the slow adoption of social legislation that citizens of most European countries would take for granted. It has taken 13 years since Jersey adopted a human

rights law for the island to bring in antidiscrimination legislation. “I think it’s slightly embarrassing that Jersey didn’t have these laws,” says Kingham. “We needed this legislation to comply with human rights legislation, so we probably had to bring this in.” On the other hand, Milner sees a benefit in the island taking its time. “It’s surprising that we don’t have these sorts of measures in place, but Jersey’s environment is different to the UK and coming to this slowly is a good thing,” she says. “Having less legislation in place is a good thing.” Ultimately, the new laws recognise an evolving society in which traditionally defined gender roles are changing, both at home and at work. “The reality is that the way people work and progress their careers is changing,” says Ferey. “Women want more from their careers and men often want to offer more care and responsibility. If flexible working is handled properly, then employers don’t have much to worry about.”

BUSINESS IMPACT From a business perspective, it’s the effect of these laws on the employer that is of concern. “It will be critical for larger employers to ensure that their approach to training and procedures is carefully

it’s wrong to concentrate on the potential litigation risks. The new law is a significant opportunity to ensure a better, more diverse and more inclusive workplace

mapped out so that employees are in no doubt as to the standards expected, and that if and when issues arise, they are dealt with appropriately,” says Huw Thomas, Counsel at Carey Olsen. “While smaller employers are less likely to have this ‘distance’ between management and staff, they will also be less likely to have the HR resources to deal with the more complex areas of the law,” he adds. “However, the UK experience demonstrates that tribunals do take the size and resources of an employer into account in dealing with discrimination issues. “In relation to family-friendly rights such as flexible working and maternity leave, the law is sufficiently straightforward to be manageable even for smaller employers.” As well as getting to grips with new processes and procedures, there’s also the cost that companies have to worry about, and when looking at the new laws it’s quite possible that cost is all they will see. “The introduction of paid compulsory maternity leave will have a direct financial impact on businesses,” says Flynn. “Unpaid ordinary maternity leave, adoption leave and parental leave bring with them the burden on businesses of absent employees. Recruiting staff to cover periods of maternity leave, administrative and HR costs are also another consideration for business owners.” It would be a short-sighted employer, however, who didn’t see that there were benefits to be had. As Flynn points out: “Employers may find that they can use the flexible working policy as a tool to support and retain their most talented employees.” Once the dust has settled, the question that many a business leader will be concerned about is whether or not they are more likely to find themselves facing litigation. The short answer is ‘yes’, but initial signs are that the system won’t be in danger of becoming overwhelmed. “It could lead to more litigation, although there have been few claims involving allegations of race discrimination, which was outlawed in Jersey last year,” says Thomas. “However, it’s wrong to concentrate on the potential litigation risks, in my view. The new law is a significant opportunity to ensure a better, more diverse and more inclusive workplace and should therefore be viewed as a positive development.” n KIRSTEN MOREL is a freelance writer september/october 2015 77

for adoption leave of eight weeks for those with less than 15 months employment prior to the adoption, or 18 weeks for more than 15 months. The law also recognises that there is often more than one person involved in parenting and stipulates that employers must give two weeks’ unpaid leave to a person (father, spouse or civil partner) who will be caring for a child or supporting the mother or adopter.

Alternative funds underpin stable second quarter


anking and funds activity remained stable in Q2 2015, the latter underpinned by strong alternatives. Figures from the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) for the quarter to June 2015 show that, while the net asset value of regulated funds under administration in Jersey fell by about 3.5 per cent to £218bn, that’s the third highest level since 2009 and nine per cent up on June 2014. Alternative asset classes continued to do well, with total alternatives – hedge, private equity and real estate funds – increasing 15 per cent year-on-year and real estate and private equity values rising slightly on the quarter. Further JFSC figures, relating to the EU Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive, show 205 Jersey funds are being marketed into Europe through national private placement regimes, up 10 per cent on December 2014. And 84 fund managers gained private placement authorisation, up 40 per cent on the previous six months. The total value of banking deposits in Jersey institutions fell by just over 2.5 per cent to £133.5bn. Other significant figures include: lT  he total number of regulated

collective investment funds fell by 24 from 1,322 to 1,298 over the quarter lA  t the end of the Q2 there were 126 active unregulated funds lT  he value of total funds under investment management stood at £20.3bn at the end of Q2 lT  he total number of live companies on the register was 33,425. Jersey Finance Chief Executive Geoff Cook said: “These figures paint a welcome picture of consistency and stability during a quarter when figures are traditionally flat. A significant event was the 11th hour bailout for Greece, which revealed the future weakness of the eurozone. Sterling strengthened significantly too, which decreased the sterling equivalent value of foreign currency-denominated deposits by about £4.2bn. This was the primary reason for the quarterly decrease in the total value of Jersey’s banking deposits. “The reduction in the value of regulated funds under administration reflects downward revaluations in equity funds and specialist hedge funds. Currency revaluations had a negative impact, whilst slight increases were seen in the value of regulated private equity and real estate funds.” n

Jersey signs tax agreement with Seychelles


he Government of Jersey has signed a double tax agreement (DTA) with the Republic of Seychelles. The agreement was signed in London at the end of July by Assistant Chief Minister Senator Philip Ozouf for Jersey, and High Commissioner Marie-Pierre Lloyd for the Republic of Seychelles. Senator Ozouf said: “I am delighted to have signed this DTA with the Republic of Seychelles. We attach considerable importance to the DTA as part of our general policy of developing business links with Africa and in particular in supporting inward investment.” n

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JFSC signs two new agreements


he Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) and with Danish financial services regulator Finanstilsynet. The MoUs provide a framework for the JFSC to exchange confidential regulatory information and co-operate with the regulators in both countries regarding the supervision and regulation of firms under their respective authority. The Swiss MoU will facilitate co-operation in the supervision of collective investment scheme asset managers based in Jersey who provide their services in Switzerland through a Swiss branch. This MoU is the first cooperation agreement of its kind to be signed under Swiss legislation (Article 18 of the Swiss Federal Act on Collective Investment Schemes). On signing the Danish MoU, John Harris, Director-General of the JFSC, said: “I am delighted to sign this Memorandum of Understanding with Denmark’s financial service regulator – the first such bilateral accord between the Commission and a regulator in one of the Nordic countries. The MoU follows increased dialogue between us and our Danish counterparts over the past 12 months.” The JFSC now has MoUs, either on a bilateral or multilateral basis, with regulators in more than 90 countries. n

BL Jersey

Wendy Lambert named Chair of Jersey Business board


endy Lambert is the new Chair of the board of Jersey Business, succeeding Peter Funk.  A Jersey-qualified solicitor, Wendy has more than 25 years’ experience in providing legal and training advice to Jersey businesses in all industry sectors. She was a member and Chairperson on the Employment Forum Wendy Lambert with fellow Jersey for a number of years and Business board members more recently has been a member of the working committee developing the Control of Housing and Work Law. Wendy takes over from Peter, who became Chairman in February 2012, when Jersey Business was established by the Economic Development Department of the States of Jersey to support the growth and development of companies on the island. He recruited Jersey Business’s board and the advisory team, which now includes nine experienced business practitioners. n

steady picture for Jersey property


he latest House Price Index, released by the States of Jersey Statistics Unit, includes figures that demonstrate relative stability for the island’s property market. The highlights are: lO  n a rolling four-quarter basis, the mixadjusted average price of dwellings sold in Jersey during the year ending Q2 2015 was £424,000 – this is one per cent lower than in the previous quarter and four per cent higher than the corresponding quarter in 2014 lO  verall housing market activity, on a rolling four-quarter basis, was two per cent higher than in the previous quarter and seven per cent higher than the corresponding quarter of 2014 l S hare transfer transactions accounted for almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of all eligible flat sales in Q2 2015. The statistics also examine house prices by property type: lO  ne-bedroom flats recorded higher mean prices than in the previous quarter (up to £216,000 from £201,000) l Two- and three-bedroom houses and two-bedroom flats all recorded lower mean prices l Four-bedroom  houses recorded largely unchanged mean prices. n

JFSC warns against fraudulent website


he Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) has issued a public statement with regard to the potentially fraudulent activities of the China Merchants International Corporation (CMIC) and its website The statement, under Article 25(d) of the Financial Services Law, has been made to warn investors and others against dealing with unauthorised financial service providers. According to the JFSC, CMIC has not received authorisation to conduct financial services business within the meaning of the Law. The Commission had recently been made aware that CMIC is offering investment advice to Jersey residents through unsolicited telephone calls. In the statement, it states: “1. CMIC has never been registered, nor applied for registration, under the Financial Services Law. Therefore any financial service business, as defined in Article 2 of the Financial Services Law and carried out by CMIC since 1 July 1999 is in breach of Article 7 of the Financial Services Law. 2. From documentation held by the Commission, it appears CMIC and [its] website display warning signs of being set up for a fraudulent purpose.” Any person who has had dealings with CMIC is requested to contact the Commission directly. n september/october 2015 79

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The Agenda is compiled by BL’s Fashion and Lifestyle Editor, Thom O’Dwyer, with additional material by Danny Cobbs, Peter Dean and Jeffrey Chinn of Hettich Jewellers in St Helier


1. SKELETON IN THE CLOSET Just in time for Hallowe’en, the Hat Stand Valet, complete with skull, is just what the doctor ordered for the well-dressed man who abhors creases, wants all his accessories at his fingertips come morning and has a wicked, macabre sense of humour. London-based e-shop Gentleman’s Valet Company started life as a bespoke furniture maker. However, the company’s founder, Sam Brown, decided to focus attention on making handmade wooden valets. Last March, Richard James, one of the foremost ‘New Establishment’ tailors in Savile Row kitted out his entire shop with Brown’s amazing skull-topped Hat Stand Valets, which attracted mass media attention. The luxurious men’s clothes valet – which can be customised to the client’s specifications – is handmade and finished in carefully selected oak or walnut. The skull has been moulded and then plated with a bronzed finish by sculptor Seamus Moran to match the bronze-plated steel legs. It’s a sculptural, handcrafted, tongue-inchic ‘must’ for every dapper chap! From £2,973, www.gentlemans


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2 3

THE AGENDA 2. PREMIER SCENT After decades of waiting, one of fashion’s most iconic designers, Azzedine Alaïa, has released his first-ever fragrance. Beloved by the va-va-voom vixens and supermodels of the 90s, the Alaïa Parfum bottle is an ode to the laser-cut leather he has used in his collections since 1992 and is topped with a gold-threaded bobbin-like cap. Alaïa’s brief to Marie Salamagne, from the new generation of the renowned Firmenich perfumery, was that he wanted the scent to have ‘the smell of cold water on hot chalk’ – a vivid childhood memory. But he didn’t want the wearer to be able to isolate any ingredient individually. His vision was to tell a story through fragrance. The overall impression is womanly, knowing and sophisticated, but with a definite teasing sense of fun. Misty and mysterious. Although it contains notes of freesia and peony, it is manifestly not a floral scent. The final skin impression is peppery with a hint of musk. This fragrance has both depth and longevity, capturing Alaïa’s genius in its total refinement. From £42 for 30ml, Harrods and good department stores nationwide

4. RUBBER NECKING This has got to be the ultimate eco-conscious fashion accessory for any environmentally friendly gentleman looking for style and character in the upcoming frenetic party season. It also promises to be a real cocktail party ice-breaker because this classic black bow tie – handmade to order by bicycle upcycler Tubnub in Leipzig, Germany – happens to be fashioned from an inner tube! It won’t break the bank and will certainly be a conversation starter. £9.45,


3. MAPLE STAPLE If coconut water – once billed as Mother Nature’s sports drink – is still your top nutrition tipple, think again. Coconut water is sooo last year. The hottest new health drink to hit the market is maple water – the pure refreshing liquid collected from maple trees in spring. It’s naturally hydrating and exploding with nutrients, with just a hint of maple. Native Americans enjoyed drinking fresh maple water to celebrate the arrival of spring and to rejuvenate their tired bodies after the long winter. In fact the word Wahta – the Canadian-produced drink pictured here – actually means ‘maple’ in Mohawk, one of the indigenous tribes in north-east Canada and the US. Containing half the sugar of coconut water, it’s loaded with vitamins and polyphenols, is rich in minerals and is a good source of calcium. It’s also gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan-friendly and totally nonGMO. As it says on the carton, it’s the perfect beverage to refresh, replenish and revive. Chin-chin! £13.99 (250ml x 12) and £24.99 (250ml x 24),

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5. FROM LITTLE ACORNS At the 2015 designer catwalk shows, one of the major trends for ear ornamentation was the unbalanced look. Be it a single, larger-than-life statement earring or the more approachable yet still quirky trend for mismatched earrings, the look was everywhere. From Oscar de la Renta, JW Anderson and Nina Ricci to Céline, Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior, mismatched earrings were definitely the ubiquitous, edgy new accessory. The beauty is in the irregularity. The mismatched look is fun to wear – perfect for the girl who isn’t afraid to attract comment and thrives on wow-factor attention. The chain drop earrings above are the perfect evocation of autumn’s falling leaves. Designed by Devon-based jeweller Harriet Bedford, the mismatched earrings feature a delicate oak leaf for one ear and a carefully rendered acorn for the other, both in solid sterling silver. Perfectly pretty and utterly feminine. £119.95,


6. CHEAP CHIC Evening dresses and party frocks are the crown jewels of every girl’s wardrobe. And with the ‘season to be jolly’ moving closer, last year’s party dazzler just will not do. So loads of parties and nights out is likely to mean only one thing – a colossal credit card statement come February. Wrong! Thanks to London-based online shopping site Cocosa, that needn’t be the case. Already a fashionista favourite, and considered the crème de la crème of discount e-shopping, Cocosa is a members-only site that’s free to join. And its expert team of international buyers are out scouring the globe for the best bargains, so you can expect to find discounts of up to 80 per cent on top designer clothes, accessories, make-up, as well as other beauty products, homeware and even designer children’s wear. Name any top designer label and you’ll find it on Cocosa’s site at some point. Take the elegant and utterly feminine silk chiffon gown shown here. Designed by illustrious designer Alber Elbaz for Paris fashion house Lanvin, you’d have paid £1,530 for the dress hot off the catwalk. On Cocosa, it went for an amazing £205! In another recent sale, a Vivienne Westwood Red Label leather jacket was reduced from £981 to £489. You can also find Victoria Beckham jeans marked down from £230 to £35. Cocosa is a veritable treasure trove of designer bargains. What more could a girl ask for come Christmastime?

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7. SELIM CHANCE Senior female City bankers are increasingly investing their bonuses in expensive jewellery rather than blowing it on ephemeral designer shoes and handbags, according to recent press reports. A decade ago around 85 per cent of fine jewellery was bought by men as gifts. But the gender split is said to be much more even now. Men tend to buy in December, women in January, buying perhaps something they may have wished for at Christmas but didn’t get. The necklace pictured here would cheer up any woman’s jewellery box. French-Lebanese jeweller Selim Mouzannar opened his first workshop in 1993 in Beirut. Since then he has attracted international attention and is now part of London jeweller Annoushka’s Visiting Designers Programme. His jaw-dropping collections draw on his Lebanese heritage, interweaving traditional and contemporary styles. This Selim Kastak Necklace is inspired by the history of the Ottomans, featuring Victorian-style fob watch chains in 18ct yellow gold with golden tassles, ornaments and 10.8ct of rose-cut diamond embellishments. This stunning piece would look just as beautiful worn with a favourite pair of jeans and a silk blouse as it would with a red carpet gown. A real bobby-dazzler. £73,000, 8. BOTTOM DOLLAR Who hasn’t dreamt about sitting on a pile of money? Well, thanks to KSL Living you really can. The hybrid chair pictured here will undoubtedly make your dream come true. This unusual but eminently practical piece of furniture – designed by Biwei Pan, a student at ESAD de Rheims in France – transforms from a comfortable postmodern chair into an equally comfortable flat bed, with the help of a metal support rest. Ingenious! Chairs come in $100 or $1 designs and each piece is personally signed by the quirky designer. A perfect addition for those post-pub sleepovers. €329,


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Image: Dan Marsh

9. MARBLE MASTER Last June, Jersey-born sculptor Mark Guest had his first exhibition on the island in over a decade. It was a sell-out. The man possesses an inspired virtuoso talent. Small wonder then that he won the coveted Desmoulin Sculpture prize in 2000, and now has pieces represented by the Garden Gallery in the UK. He is passionate about stone sculpture and keeping its language vital and contemporary. Working in granite, limestone and marble, his work uses the traditional sculptural language of form, space and gravity. Some works are polished so thin that they become almost translucent. Depending on size, volume and the stone used, domestic scale sculptures are priced at between £2,000 and £6,000. Pictured here in all its luminous splendour is Head, sculpted from the finest Estremoz marble. A definite museum piece for the future. Buy it while you can! £4,500, contact the artist direct at

10. SKIN BUZZWORD Deborah Mitchell, who founded the Heaven Skincare brand, has revolutionised the beauty (and now grooming) industries with her top-secret, anti-ageing, restorative potions and elixirs. Mitchell is especially proud of her new men’s range – and apparently 30 per cent of her clients are male. But it is the A-list celebrity women and royals who have trandformed her

into the Queen Bee of skincare. This is the women who, being vehemently antiBotox, perfected her own totally natural, organic anti-ageing potion – patented as Abeetoxin – which is made from bee venom, honey and a natural form of the toxin that’s used in Botox. Her bestselling bee venom mask is apparently a favourite with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Victoria Beckham can’t live without the Age Defiance cream. And Kylie Minogue is partial to the Orange Flower Cell Renewal Hydrogel. Simon Cowell, Robert Downey Jr, Peter Andre, Jack Nicholson and, of course, David Beckham are also all known known to be Heaven Skincare devotees. Mitchell was once quoted as saying: “You can recognise my [celebrity] clients because they are the ones who look amazing.” Pictured here is the Bee Sting Facial Kit. Without question, the bee’s knees of age-defying beauty! Bee Sting Facial Kit from £190,

september/october 2015 85

11 11. MODERN CLASSIC Once upon a time, supercars were all about desirability and speed and not much more, writes Danny Cobbs. It was all about maximising power. Passenger comfort and fuel efficiency took second place to the quest for sub-four-second 0-62mph time and a top speed to beat the rivals. But that was then, before a new crop of eco-friendly supercars (an oxymoron?) appeared on the scene. Still offering F1 performance, this elite group of cars boasts low running costs and all the creature comforts of a long-distance cruiser. Step forward the Mercedes-AMG GT S, the latest supercar from the Mercedes camp and a direct replacement for the SLS. And although it’s nearly a third cheaper than its predecessor, the AMG GT S is still hardly the stuff of budget motoring. However, it seems a small price to pay once you take a closer look. It is spectacularly gorgeous,

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inside and out. The design is proportionally classic – long bonnet, teardrop cabin, its front-mid engine layout pushing the passenger area as far back as possible. The SLS signature gullwing doors have been replaced by a pair of conventional opening ones, increasing the overall headroom. Power comes in the form of a new 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 linked to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Not only is it fast – 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds, top speed 192mph – but the way it delivers all of its 510hp in such a refined manner is incredible too. And, by returning 30.1mpg, it can also claim green credentials. The Mercedes-AMG GT S is much more than a curio or an anomaly. It beautifully and succinctly illustrates exactly what can be achieved when a mainstream car maker decides to build a supercar to beat the best. £110,500,


12 12. ONE TO WATCH Let’s face it, Italians know a thing or two about making things looks good, writes Jeffrey Chinn at Hettich Jewellers. Take a Lamborghini Countach or an Arco floor lamp – these aren’t just a car and a lamp, they are icons. With that sort of design flair hardwired into the genes, it’s a sure bet that an Italian-designed watch is going to be something special. Team that with Swiss construction and a whole tradition of innovation in technology and you’ve a glimpse into what makes Panerai watches so covetable. Aesthetics inspired by Italy and build rooted in Swiss heritage create a winning formula. Instantly recognisable bold proportions, crafted engineering and some pretty exquisite design combinations make these watches real statement pieces. Their high performance comes from their origins – they were created for the Italian Navy. And with high tactility and performance to match, you’ll want to try one of these on your wrist. One of our favourites is the striking new Luminor 1950 Regatta 3 Days Chrono Flyback Titanio with a black dial, titanium case and rubber strap – it’s a real head (and wrist) turner. Price tbc,


13. BETTER BEARDS The beard has been reborn. And it isn’t just Shoreditch hipsters who are sporting stubble and full beards, these days City guys are into the facial fuzz as well. It’s generally believed growing a beard or the ubiquitous four-day growth is a big time saver. Wrong! Having a beard involves just as much time in front of a mirror as not having one. Perhaps more. We not only have the full beard and the fashionable stubble, we also have the ‘beardstache’ – carefully manicured stubble and a strong, prominent ‘tache, as sported by Fifty Shades mega star Jamie Dornan. The trend is the latest blow for the razor industry, but on the plus side it has opened up a whole new category of grooming products that every cosmetic company and leading designer has tapped into. And this includes Tom Ford. You can keep your beard in top condition with his luxurious conditioning beard oil that softens and nourishes, leaving the beard soft and smooth. There’s also a beard comb, designed to glide through the beard to smooth unruly hair and distribute oil evenly and neatly. Beard oil, £40; beard comb, £28,

september/october 2015 87


14. LASH-TASTIC Created in 1994 by superstar make-up artist François Nars, Nars Cosmetics has developed a cult following among modern independent women and top models. September sees the launch of its new Nars Audacious Mascara for autumn 2015. Using an advanced formula that stays soft and flexible for unprecedented buildability, this is one mascara that lets you go to extremes. The eye’s the limit! Enriched with moisturising humectants and conditioners, it imparts a silky finish without smudging, clumping or flaking. It also has real staying power. Nars’ elegant lash-catching brush evenly grips and coats lashes from root to tip, while separating, lengthening and amplifying with every stroke. Available in two shades – Black and Black Moon – this mascara will undoubtedly be in every stylish girl’s Birkin bag in no time. £26,

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15 15. ON THE CARDS What started in 2006 as a small luxury bespoke wedding stationery design consultancy based in Jersey has blossomed into a multi-award-winning greeting card and stationery firm of note. Ananya – Sanskrit for ‘without equal’ – offers a wide range of deluxe stationery and greeting cards inspired by traditional and contemporary themes but with a sophisticated and multi-cultural appeal. In addition to the usual Christmas and Valentine’s Day range, its extensive card selection includes Dewali, Eid, all the major Jewish festivals, Chinese New Year and even Hallowe’en. From design to printing, every aspect of the product is artfully considered and meticulously executed. The brand has excelled with its wedding stationery, but Ananya has expanded its portfolio to include one-off corporate stationery for any company event, business function or commercial launch to the company’s specifications. Naturally, company Christmas cards are one of the cornerstones of Ananya’s corporate bespoke service. This is stationery for today and cards with a sophisticated, modern look. Everyday cards from £2.50,

16. BITTERS AND TWISTED Vermouth has long sat patiently gathering dust in the drinks cabinet, awaiting the rare moment when a cocktail or food recipe calls for it to be dusted down and used, often sparingly. But that is about to change, writes Peter Dean. Europe’s hippest new vermouth, Belsazar, has got mixologists nodding in approval as it challenges us to think differently about this fortified wine. For a start, this one doesn’t hail from Cap d’Agde or the Italian coastline. It’s made in the Black Forest – the deeply untrendy part of Germany noted for chocolate cake and bracing walks. But just as Monkey 47 (also made nearby) turned perceptions about gin-making on their head, so is Belsazar with vermouth. The difference is in the artisanal approach, a craftsmanship that small-scale production allows and which has arguably been lost from the major brands. Four varieties – Dry, Red, Rosé and White – taste superb on their own or, made with mixers, allow the unique flavours to shine out. Belsazar Dry with tonic and a slice of orange peel is a revelation. And it makes classic cocktails such as the Negroni and Manhattan all taste refreshingly different. The secret is in the mix of macerates, the quality of the wine used from the nearby Zehringer winery, the fruit brandy from the Schladerer empire and the use of grape must as natural sugar. The wine is filtered slowly and aged in stone casks. The artisanal approach doesn’t come cheap – expect to pay up to three times the amount of a leading vermouth brand – but once you’ve had your eyes opened there’ll be no turning back. From £24.39 for 75cl,




17. JEAN GENIUS Despite the fact that Robert Revilla – Bobby, as he is known in the fashion trade – only opened the doors of his London-based bespoke tailoring establishment in September 2011, he has already attracted a strong UK following, as well as a sizeable international clientele. Not surprising when you examine his fine workmanship, impeccable tailoring and singular sense of style. Hugely popular men’s style magazine ShortList bestowed sartorial style kudos on Revilla when he made it onto its 2014 Brit List as ‘a talent to watch’. He was also accorded the moniker ‘Britain’s rock and roll tailor’. In addition to his superb tailoring, the main man has just added an exclusive bespoke denim service to his burgeoning business. Teaming up with the iconic American denim brand Blue Delta, his aim is to provide the same sartorial excellence for jeans that the well-dressed man demands for his tailored wardrobe. Revilla calls the process ‘building jeans’, working with the client on the leg cut, fit, denim weight, even the thread colour, to create the perfect pair of jeans. It ain’t cheap, but guys, you’re worth it. First pair bespoke jeans, £599; follow-up pairs, £499,

18. ESSENTIAL ELEMENT A Paul Smith suit has long been an essential in every style-conscious man’s wardrobe. Now Britain’s foremost designer has created something for every man’s fragrance wardrobe too – Paul Smith Essential. Inspired by the simple elegance of fine tailoring and with an eye firmly on the tiniest detail, this woody and sweetly aromatic scent is the very embodiment of the Paul Smith style: effortless, contemporary, surprising and eminently wearable. It’s a contemporary take on a traditional woody aromatic fragrance, opening with a burst of the crisp, clean, invigorating sweet-sourness of yuzu fruit. Notes of rosemary, sage and lavender creep in, adding a deliciously herbal character, which finally gives way to the warm masculine base notes of cedarwood, patchouli and musk. A perfect aromatic touch for the City-based Renaissance Man – cool, confident, smart, elegant and totally irresistible. From £19.50 for 30ml, available from 16 September at department stores


september/october 2015 89

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Appleby is the leading provider of offshore legal, fiduciary and administration services. Uniquely positioned in the key offshore jurisdictions of Bermuda, BVI, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, Mauritius and the Seychelles, as well as the international financial centres of London, Hong Kong and Shanghai. We are also the only firm to have offices in all three British Crown Dependencies. Our services include: l Corporate l Dispute Resolution l Private Client & Trusts l Property Members of the Jersey and Guernsey offices regularly advise London City and international law firms on all legal aspects of offshore corporate, finance and investment fund transactions and arrangements in the Channel Islands. For more information visit our website Michael Cushing Managing Partner, Jersey +44 (0)1534 818 395 Gavin Ferguson Managing Partner, Guernsey +44 (0)1481 755 603

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Deloitte LLP Deloitte LLP offers professional services to the UK and European market. The company has the broadest and deepest range of skills of any business advisory organisation and employs over 14,400 exceptional people in 28 offices in the UK and Switzerland. We provide professional services and advice to many leading businesses, government departments and public sector bodies and publish many influential studies and thought leadership pieces. Deloitte LLP employs 160 professionals across the Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man offices. It is the UK member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its global network of 150 member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Deloitte provides audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. Deloitte brings world-class capabilities and high-quality service to clients, delivering the insights they need to address their most complex business challenges. For further information please do not hesitate to contact: John Clacy, Partner, Guernsey Phone +44 (0) 1481 724011 Greg Branch, Partner, Jersey Email: Phone: +44(0)1534 824325

About EY EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transactions and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities. Our strong network has enabled us to build close working relationships with our colleagues in EMEIA and across the world. This allows us to respond quickly to our CI clients’ needs, drawing upon our industry experience across all our services lines. To discuss how we can support your business, please contact one of our partners below: Mike Bane, Partner, Assurance and TAS E: T: 01481 717435 Andrew Dann, Managing Partner, Assurance E: T: 01534 288655 Geraint Davies, Partner, Assurance E: T: 01534 288639 Chris Matthews, Partner, Assurance E: T: 01534 288610

Grant Thornton Limited is a leading Channel Islands accountancy and consultancy practice with offices in Guernsey and Jersey. We are the Channel Islands member of Grant Thornton International, one of the world’s leading organisations of independently owned and managed accounting and consulting firms. We provide a range of services in the Channel Islands that include: l Audit l Accounting services l Insolvency, Recovery and Reorganisation l Forensic accounting l Data forensics l Out-sourced Accounting and Payroll services l Private Client services l Tax services l Business Risk services For more information please contact: JERSEY OFFICE Adam Budworth Director Business Advisory Services E T +44 (0) 1534 885885 GUERNSEY OFFICE Dave Clark Managing Director E T +44 (0) 1481 753400

David Moore, Partner, Assurance and Advisory E: T: 01534 288697 Peter Willey, CI Head of Tax E: T: 01534 288 212 Wendy Martin, Executive Director, Tax E: T: 01534 288 298 David White, Head of Tax, Guernsey E: T: 01481 717 445 september/october 2015 93


i2Office Guernsey offers a more flexible and lower cost alternative to the traditional long term lease with prestige serviced offices and meeting space in Royal Chambers on St Julian’s Avenue, St Peter Port, Guernsey. i2Office provides high quality serviced offices for rental on flexible, competitive terms with top-grade technology services. The offices can accommodate all sizes of operations, from small start-up teams to companies looking to house more than 50 people, either for a project, an interim period whilst refurbishing or moving offices, or for a long term real estate solution. i2Office Guernsey also offers a business lounge plus meeting space to accommodate board meetings, seminars, training and events for 2 to 150 people.

The Intertrust Group is a global quality leader in the trust and corporate services sector, providing a broad range of specialised administrative services to multinational corporates, financial institutions, alternative investment funds and private clients from every corner of the world. Intertrust in Guernsey is one of the Channel Islands leading fiduciary companies offering a range of trust and corporate services, fund administration services, taxation services and compliance out-sourcing services. With over 130 experienced and highly qualified staff and a presence in Guernsey which goes back to 1900, Intertrust Guernsey can provide professional, personal and multi-jurisdictional services for clients all over the world.

i2Office operates high quality serviced offices and meeting rooms in over 25 locations in the UK, including Mayfair and the City of London as well as major cities such as Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.

For further information, please contact:

For further information please contact:

Phone: 44 (0)1 481 211 000

Michelle Morley General Manager


i2Office Guernsey Ltd The Rotunda Royal Avenue St Peter Port Guernsey GY1 2HL

Intertrust Guernsey P O Box 119, Martello Court, Admiral Park, St Peter Port, Guernsey GY1 3HB guernsey

A leading accountancy practice, with offices based in Jersey and Guernsey, KPMG in the Channel Islands provide audit, tax and financial advisory services. KPMG’s global network enables us to draw on our international resources and skills to meet our clients’ needs. We address complex business challenges with methodologies and processes spanning markets and national boundaries. Fundamental to KPMG’s approach is our focus on industry sectors. Our vision is simple, to turn knowledge into value for the benefit of our clients, people and capital markets. For further information please contact: Neale Jehan Head of Audit Andrew Quinn Deputy Head of Audit, John Riva Head of Tax Tony Mancini Executive Director, Tax Ashley Paxton Head of Advisory

Tel: 01481 760000 Email:

Robert Kirkby Executive Director

94 september/october 2015 To advertise in the directory in print or online contact Carl Methven on + 44 (0)1534 615886 or

Marbral Advisory are the largest providers of change managers in the Channel Islands. Our portfolio of clients covers many sectors; Legal, Logistic, Utilities, Financial and Government. Our team provides businesses in transition and change with the professional support they require to achieve their business objectives and goals. Change requires governance, great communication, drive, and innovation to succeed. Our success has been built on delivery. Whether clients need seasoned Programme and Project Managers, highly skilled and experienced Business Analysts, Human Resources Consultants, PMO designers. Project Administrators, or training we can provide these resources. Marbral also provide a number of services to individuals actively involved in or wishing to instigate change, with coaching and mentoring support either at their offices, or within private consulting rooms. Marbral are continuing to grow and extend their range of exciting services including group facilitation, career support and a suite of technical change and personal effectiveness training courses.

Minerva is a family owned business that has been in existence in Jersey for over 35 years. As a leading independent provider of trust, corporate and fund administration services, we focus on internationally active clients located in sub Saharan Africa, India, the GCC and Europe. We firmly believe in the value of personal relationships and are familiar with how our clients and professional intermediaries operate from a cultural and business perspective within these regions.

Our lawyers are tenacious in litigation and pragmatic on transactional matters. Our forward thinking, imaginative and meticulous attitude has ensured that we have built a growing network of loyal clients. Have a look at our website to find out more at

For further information, please contact:

For further information please contact

John Wood Managing Director

Dispute resolution and Court work rebecca.morley-kirk@parslowsjersey. com

For further information, please contact Alexsis Wintour – Principal Consultant Tel: 00 44 1534 744303 / 00 44 7700 33333 Kenan Osborne – Principal Consultant Tel: 00 44 1534 744303 / 00 44 7700 753753

T +(0)1534 702930 E

Chris Shield - Principal Consultant Tel: 00 44 1534 744303 / 00 44 7829 736810

Whatever your needs, be you a corporate client or an individual instructing a lawyer for the first time, you will find Parslows lawyers and staff efficient, experienced and approachable. Above all, you can be sure that we will work in partnership with you to reach a positive outcome.

In addition to Jersey, we provide services from a number of offices based in key jurisdictions including London, Geneva, Mauritius, Dubai, Singapore and Amsterdam, as well as affiliate offices in Kenya, India and New Zealand.

Minerva Trust & Corporate Services Limited PO Box 218 43/45 La Motte Street St Helier Jersey JE4 8SD Channel Islands

Jamie Pestana - Principal Consultant Tel: 00 44 1534 744303 / 00 44 77977 99601

As a full-service law firm, Parslows regularly act for clients in all fields of law from corporate commercial trust and commercial litigation to conveyancing, personal injury claims, family law, wills and probate.

Corporate Commercial Trust Personal legal services Property and conveyancing Risk & Regulatory SME Parslows, 17 Broad Street, St Helier, JE2 3RR 01534 630530

➔ september/october 2015 95


Specialty: Bespoke IT Development & Business Consultancy Our Products PureClient is a new pioneering client data management platform that will maintain client records for any entity or relationship. Built with an integrated customer due diligence and risk assessment tool, PureClient has 4-eyes control throughout that will ensure your business can trust the data within it. Designed to support FATCA, PureClient provides the necessary transparency to enable “look-through reporting” that is needed to manage sophisticated structures and automatically identify U.S. or other high risk entities and relationships. PureClient will automatically manage new, outstanding and renewable KYC and ensure entity documentation is stored and quickly retrievable on the integrated document management platform. PureFunds is a powerful and intuitive investment administration platform supporting Hedge Fund, Mutual Fund, Private Equity and Real Estate businesses within a single application. PureFunds multi-currency transfer agency platform brings a new and dynamic approach to dealing and administrative activities ensuring that all client, fund and company registers are automatically updated. The flexible straight- through batch processing functionality will automatically process, file and email all client correspondence. This functionality will minimise business risk and deliver many efficiencies without compromising control, integrity or security. To find out more how Puritas can help your business. Contact Mike Feighan Head of Business Development T: +44 (0) 1534 874100 E:

96 september/october 2015

Understanding reputational tax risk In the current tough economic climate, tax authorities are under pressure to maximise revenues and prevent tax leakage, and attitudes to offshore financial centres are hardening, fuelled by coverage in the press. Users of offshore centres not only need to ensure their tax structuring is robust, but also that it stands up to public scrutiny. Have you considered the reputational risk buried in your client base? We can help you: l R  eview your client portfolio and identify risk areas. l D  evelop client take-on procedures that evaluate the business risk associated with tax structuring. l R  eview tax risks including substance and management and control in practice. l A  ssist your clients in dealing with tax enquiries and investigations. The goal posts are moving; make sure you and your clients are not caught out. Contact Jersey – 01534 838200 Contact Guernsey – 01481 752000

Rathbone Investment Management International is part of the award winning Rathbone Brothers PLC (“Rathbones”), which was established in 1742. Rathbones is a leading provider of discretionary investment management services for private investors, charities and trustees. We enjoy the stability afforded by being a FTSE-250 listed company with significant critical mass (£28.3 billion of funds under management as at 30 June 2015). We offer a range of tailored investment options: l Bespoke portfolio management l Multi-manager portfolios l Unitised portfolios (the RIMI Strategies Funds) Our services are delivered by a team of innovative and experienced offshore professionals based on an understanding of a client’s specific investment and risk objectives, backed-up by the performancedriven Rathbone investment process and encompass the full universe of assets. For further information please do not hesitate to contact: Jonathan Giles, Managing Director Phil Bain, Director Vaughan Rimeur, Director + 44 (0) 1534 740550 Rathbone Investment Management International Limited is regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission To advertise in the directory in print or online contact Carl Methven on + 44 (0)1534 615886 or

Rowlands has been actively supporting businesses in Jersey for almost 40 years. With a wealth of experience, in-depth market knowledge and a genuine enthusiasm for people, careers and resourcing we are well positioned to help you make the most of your recruitment opportunities and to secure the best possible people for your business. Our performance is based on honest, effective personal relationships and it is our aim to provide you with a long term, valuable resource that will help to improve your business. The services we provide have developed through client demand; building a reputation for professionalism and confidentiality. Our services include: l l l l l l l l l

Permanent Recruitment – all levels Executive Placements Temporary/Flexible Solutions Contract Recruitment Graduate Services Pre Employment Screening Outplacement Services Psychometric Testing Remuneration Survey

For more information on these services and how we could support you and your resourcing strategy please contact: Jeralie Pallot Managing Director Rowlands Recruitment, Trinity House, Bath Street, St Helier, Jersey JE2 4ST T: +44 (0)1534 626722 E:

At Santander Corporate Banking, we believe in building long-term relationships by placing you, the customer, at the heart of all we do. We’ll strive to become your partner, not just a finance provider and we’ll take the time to listen to you and understand your business needs. We’re setting a new benchmark in corporate banking with a team of experienced Relationship Directors based within a Corporate Business Centre in Jersey. Every business and organisation is different which is why we’ve assembled a range of products and services, together with tailormade solutions in day to day banking, deposit taking, treasury and lending. We are consistent in all we do; a true relationship bank that has earned the trust of our customers by doing what we say, when we say. To start working with us today, contact our team on 01534 767750. Wil Beaumont Richard Le Breton – Senior Relationship Director John Macready – Relationship Director John Beattie – Relationship Director

We are an award winning, established law firm with a multi-facet approach to law. Renowned for our integrity, accountability and vast legal network, we build longstanding relationships with clients who return to us time and again. This is substantiated further by our Lexcel status, recognising us for excellence in legal practice management and client care. Representing clients across the Channel Islands, UK and Europe, we act as their strategic legal partner utilising our off-shore expertise and international reach. We understand your business is unique and that you require a bespoke solution to meet your business needs and responsibilities. In this way, we ensure our services are aligned to your legal requirements - whether you are a global corporation, a business start-up, a national government or a private client. Our range of bespoke legal services includes: l Personal l Commercial l Dispute Resolution l Property l Employment l Family For expert legal advice that can redefine your business, please contact us today. E: T: +44 (0) 1534 888 666 W:

Samuel Dawes – Relationship Director september/october 2015 97

20 questions with ALEXSIS WINTOUR


Tea or coffee? Always coffee – I’m particularly into soya lattes right now! Favourite TV programme? Come Dine With Me / My Kitchen Rules / Masterchef. I’m a sucker for a cooking competition.

Cats or dogs? Both. And birds, rabbits, tortoises, goldfish… all animals really, except for spiders. Sorry spiders, but you give me the creeps. Can you swim? Yes, I love to.

Fondest childhood memory? The smell of fresh paint when I would visit my Dad’s building sites.

First job you had? Washing dishes in my Dad’s restaurant. I think that would be classified as child labour now.

Favourite holiday destination? The Channel Islands. Why go anywhere else? I have a staycation most weekends!

Worst job you’ve done? Waitressing in my Dad’s other restaurant. I’m very clumsy and I only lasted one service before being asked to work back in the kitchen.

Scariest thing that has happened to you? A ghost hunt at Elizabeth Castle in St Aubin’s Bay. We were cut off by the tide and ended up in the dark German tunnels with dowsing sticks searching for ‘energies’. Terrifying, but we raised lots of money for Anthony Nolan. Your best quality? I’m very calm, great in a crisis. Something about yourself you would change? I’m always willing to help others, whether that’s supporting their charities or assisting them with personal development. I should probably leave more time to recharge my batteries, but helping others is something that I love and find hard to resist. Last meal on death row? Afternoon tea. The works – little sandwiches, big fat cakes and scones with lashings of jam and Jersey cream!

What did you want to be when you were growing up? That’s easy. I love animals, so I wanted to be a vet. Dream job? A vet. Any hobbies? Swimming, walking my dogs with my husband, spending as much time as possible enjoying this beautiful island. Something that drives you nuts? When change is given, cashiers balance the coins on top of the notes. If they did it the other way round, no one would drop money as the change would be grasped easily in the palm of their hand. Best bit of advice received? Martin Bralsford (NED of Marbral Advisory) always says to me: “Nothing is as good or as bad as it first seems”. And it’s so true. Buzzword you hate the most? I hate the term ‘reaching out’. I think it’s such an Americanism. Why can’t people just say ‘get in touch’?


Favourite flavour ice cream? The only ice cream is Mr Whippy. DOGGY DAYDREAM

Something about you that people might be surprised by? I can play the tuba and toured Scotland in a big band. ALEXSIS WINTOUR is Director and Founder of Marbral Advisory

98 september/october 2015


just the


the strategic choice for

employment law Our employment law team provides specialist employment law advice to businesses across all industries and to private individuals. Our lawyers are members of the Employment Lawyers’ Association and regularly appear in the Employment & Discrimination Tribunal where they have an excellent track record. We deal with both contentious and non-contentious employment law issues and can also provide in-house training on developments in the law. We understand the issues and can find pragmatic and effective solutions.

Our employment law team can assist you with all your requirements: Contracts of Employment and Directors’ Service Agreements

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Unfair Dismissal

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Regulatory Issues for Directors and Officers

We’re here to make a difference. Replacing stale, familiar norms with dynamic, valuedriven performance, we’re raising industry standards by challenging standard practice. Across Corporate Services, Fund Services and Private Wealth, our relentless pursuit of excellence is the new benchmark.

ELIAN.COM Regulatory information is detailed on



BL Magazine Issue 40 September/October 2015