BL Magazine Issue 64 September/October 2019

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investing in cannabis transport • managing the media guernsey insurance • onshore pe interns • geopolitics and wealth


the us is back ISSUE 64 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019

chasing the american dream

With a network of offices spanning the world's leading financial centres, we can support your business objectives with the full spectrum of offshore legal services. Our global reach is underpinned by extensive experience in our jurisdictions and by longstanding connections with both industry bodies and other professional advisers.


With you wherever your business takes you OFFSHOR E L AW S PECI A LI ST S B E R MU DA CAPE TOW N







you provide us with valuable insight One of the great things about producing Businesslife is that we get to talk to the CEOs of the Channel Islands’ leading companies – CEOs who are engaging with global business on a daily basis. It gives us valuable insight into the opportunities and challenges on the horizon, and some fantastic ideas for us to explore within the pages of this magazine. Two of the articles in this issue were borne out of such conversations. The first, our cover feature, explores the re-emergence of the US as the leading centre of wealth creation. For some years now, the global growth story has focused on China and other emerging economies. For our recent City Edition, we asked RBS International CEO Andrew McLaughlin for his view on the shift in the world economic order from a powerful West to an increasingly influential East. As the Chief Economist of Royal Bank of Scotland for many years, he had a ringside seat at this transition. So it surprised us when he said the biggest thing he had seen happening since the 2008 financial crisis was the US skilfully reestablishing its dominance in the global capital markets and in investment banking. We knew Jersey Finance has already begun the groundwork for opening an office in New York this October. When Bart Deconinck, a well-known figure in the trust world and Executive Chairman elect of Zedra, told us that the country where things are really taking off is the US, we knew we had to find out more. You can read our interview with Deconinck on page 54 and, on page 32, we talk in more detail to him, Jersey Finance CEO Joe Moynihan and JTC’s Michelle Le Herissier about the increasing number of opportunities America is offering the offshore business community. Strong GDP figures, rising wages and an energy revolution are driving wealth creation in America, which is responsible for 50% of global asset management generally, and possibly even more in the alternatives space, according to Moynihan. GEOPOLITICS AND WEALTH The other trend that our conversations with CEOs has prompted us to explore is the growing focus on asset protection rather than wealth creation as high-net-worth individuals become increasingly nervous about worrying geopolitical events around the world. On page 26, we hear more from Deconinck about this, and also from Mort Mirghavameddin, CEO of Trust Corporation International, who tells us that the

days of tax-led initiatives are numbered and the focus is shifting to the political landscape around the world (page 18). Out of challenge, however, comes opportunity. Jersey and Guernsey are proving to be safe places for those living in unstable regions to place their assets. It is not, says former Jersey Finance CEO Geoff Cook, something that the islands ought to feel diffident or awkward about. If we are to be a safe haven, though, wealth owners need to be able to get here and be supported by experienced and talented professionals on the ground. On page 38, we explore the deep concerns within Guernsey’s business community about the slow progress on improving air links to the island – something on which Mirghavameddin also comments in his interview with us. For many, the nightmare scenario is becoming a support act to a betterconnected business community in Jersey. Talent is another area where business leaders want the islands to collectively step up. Recruiting from other international finance centres is one way of staffing our sectors with the brightest and best but it is not a long-term strategy. On page 12, Sean Cheong, Training Principal at Collas Crill, stresses the need for Channel Islands companies to start growing their own talent. The good news is it is already starting to happen. On page 61, we find out how companies such as Ogier, VG and IQ-EQ are developing the younger generation of employees. MINDSET MATTERS Finally, in the last issue, we covered a topic that, while uncomfortable to talk about, is of fundamental importance to the success of the business sector: mental ill health among employees. A key message was that prevention is better than cure. Jade Ecobichon-Gray is a Jersey-based entrepreneur who founded Mindset Matters – a start-up that works with businesses to help develop a positive organisational mindset. Read more about what that means on page 14, and at Enjoy the issue. n

Strong GDP figures, rising wages and an energy revolution are driving wealth creation in America, which is responsible for 50% of global asset management

Eila Madden is Editor-in-Chief of Businesslife

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A schedule for you A Guernsey - Jersey schedule with a wide choice of daily flights means you can make the most of your time away from the office and travel at times to suit you and your business.


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*Fares are one way including taxes and charges, only available on, subject to availability. Available for travel until 27.10.17. Route operated by Blue Islands. Route information correct at time of going to print. No debit card fees apply. Bookings made by credit card and PayPal will incur a fee of 3% of the total transaction value, with a minimum charge of £5.00 per booking.

*Guernsey - Jersey route operated by Flybe and Blue Islands. Blue Islands is a Flybe franchise partner. Flight frequency and fares from £29.99 one way apply to Blue Islands operated flights only. Available on, subject to availability. Available for travel until 27.03.20. See for full schedule details. Route information correct as of 01.09.19. Any flights booked are subject to the General Conditions of Carriage found at Flybe does not charge processing fees for payment by debit or credit cards or PayPal.




54 58 10 Regulation watch


Deloitte’s Jo Huxtable on the impact of changes in global tax rules


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


6 News

38 transport

The latest Channel Islands business news

Guernsey’s government is under pressure to improve air links

8 Appointments Recent people moves in Jersey and Guernsey

44 private equity

12 Comment

Onshore or offshore? PE firms face a dilemma

61 training and development

Trust Corp CEO Mort Mirghavameddin on plans to turbocharge the business

48 insurance

Why businesses need to invest in training the younger generations

26 geopolitics and wealth

Zedra’s Bart Deconinck on the firm’s new tie-up with private equity firm Corsair Capital

18 Interview

Political unrest is sending HNWIs on a flight to safety

32 the US The new market of choice for trust companies

Guernsey is on the cusp of a new phase of innovation in insurance

54 interview

58 cannabis The well-regulated Channel Islands offer a safe space for this new investment bet

64 public relations How to get fruitful results from engaging with the media

The importance of homegrown talent, and why workplace wellbeing initiatives aren’t delivering


The knowledge The euro turns 20, how to deliver customer satisfaction, air taxis, plus more

82 20 questions Intertrust’s Marie McNeela, on celebrating Mardi Gras and jamming doughnuts

contributors The BL Global Discussion Forum


Follow us @blglobalnews Office: Meadowlands, La Rue a la Dame, St Saviour, Jersey JE2 7NQ © 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.

Our private equity specialist Amy Carroll tackles one of the big dilemmas currently facing the sector: should it bow down to pressure from investors and the public to move interests to onshore jurisdictions?


After a period of absence to run the news desk at LinkedIn, we welcome back Orlando to BL’s team of writers. In this issue, he finds out how geopolitics is affecting wealth managers.


Regular BL contributor Alexander takes a trip into the new world of cannabis investment for this issue. Also, don’t forget to dip into his brilliant section, The Knowledge, on page 69.


In this edition, Jon tackles our cover feature on the re-emergence of the US as a leading centre of wealth creation. He talks to some of the CI’s leading trust companies about this turn of events.

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in the NEWS TILNEY AND SMITH & WILLIAMSON IN MERGER TALKS London-based wealth manager Tilney has confirmed that it is in merger talks with wealth manager Smith & Williamson, which has operations in Jersey. The firm says a merger would create an integrated UK wealth management and professional services group with more than £45bn of assets under management. Discussions are ongoing and a further announcement will be made as and when appropriate.

CRYPTOCURRENCY EXCHANGE PLATFORM TO LAUNCH IN JERSEY Secure mobile communications provider Criptyque has obtained a Jersey virtual currency exchange licence to operate its cryptocurrency exchange platform, PryvateX, which opens for registration soon. The team behind Criptyque is building a secure and private ecosystem and, in addition to PryvateX, offers an encrypted messaging platform (voice, text and email) and a hardened cryptocurrency

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wallet. To work with PryvateX, Criptyque has also developed PryvateCoin, which is designed to facilitate trades on the exchange and keep down fees. Teams from Carey Olsen and JTC assisted Criptyque in obtaining its licence. GUERNSEY FINANCE TARGETS SOUTH AFRICA PRIVATE WEALTH Guernsey Finance is to lead a roadshow to South Africa in September to raise awareness about Guernsey as a secure and robust jurisdiction that can provide asset protection with substance. “We will be discussing trust and company structures, family office opportunities and substance,” says James Crawford, Guernsey Finance International Business Development Director, who will be leading the trip. “We are looking forward to explaining what Guernsey can offer a firm’s clients in terms of private wealth structures, promoting Guernsey as a specialist centre, building on our existing private wealth relationships and connecting our Guernsey delegation with firms that would generate a potential business opportunity.” DIGITAL JERSEY FORMS GLOBAL NETWORK OF AMBASSADORS Digital Jersey has set up a global network of entrepreneurs and executives to champion the island’s tech sector. Under the Digital Jersey Ambassador Programme, key figures will promote work being done in Jersey and identify new opportunities for people and businesses working in digital industries locally. Audrey Lescot,

Policy Officer at Digital Jersey, said: “Jersey’s digital diaspora means there’s a ready-made network of people with the potential to amplify our key messages. What was missing was a formal ‘umbrella’ for them to group under, which is why the programme has been formed.” So far, around 12 people who travel the world for business have signed up to the programme. It gives them access to digital hubs with which Digital Jersey has signed memoranda of understanding globally, as well as a private online portal to share news, events, projects, collaboration requests and opportunities to connect with other ambassadors. OCORIAN AND ESTERA TO MERGE Inflexion Private Equity is to acquire funds, corporate and trust services provider Estera from Bridgepoint. On completion of the investment, Estera will merge with Inflexion’s existing portfolio company, Ocorian, to form a global corporate service and fund administration business. n


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Done Deals MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS Guernsey-headquartered financial services group Oak, launched in March, is to merge with Jersey-based fiduciary business Fairway Group to create a consolidated business that can evolve globally. Oak has offices in Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Jersey, Luxembourg, Malta and Mauritius. The consolidation is subject to due diligence and regulatory approvals. IQ-EQ has completed the acquisition of Peru & Partners, a Paris-based private equity consultancy and fund administrator. Established in 2009, Peru & Partners adds fund administration, CFO services, GP and portfolio company accounting, and valuation services to IQ-EQ’s existing Paris business, Equitis, which offers fund management and escrow services. The new team will be integrated into the IQ-EQ group, but Peru & Partners will initially retain its brand. Jersey-based financial services business LGL Group is to acquire tax accounting firm Totalserve Management (Luxembourg). The transaction adds to LGL’s presence in Luxembourg, where LGL Corporate Luxembourg (LGLL) has been its servicing company since 2015. After a transitional period, the Luxembourg operations of LGLL and TML will be merged and their services marketed under the LGL Group brand. TML’s current owners will join LGL to lead the merged business. n

Mourant has advised private equity firm CVC Capital Partners on establishing CVC Strategic Opportunities II, which exceeded its €4bn target to reach total commitments of €4.6bn. It is CVC's second fund targeting investments with scope for capital appreciation over a longer investment period than the firm's traditional PE strategies. The Mourant team was led by LP Partner Felicia de Laat, with Counsel Matt McManus and Associate Olivia Palloch, working with lead counsel Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Jersey administrator Saltgate. Appleby has acted as BVI, Cayman Islands and Jersey counsel for Vanke Property (Overseas) in relation to a due diligence exercise on five BVI, Cayman and Jersey targets and their subsidiaries in an acquisition and connected transaction involving a total cash consideration equivalent to HKD1,138.34m. Jersey counsel was provided by Managing Partner Wendy Benjamin. Carey Olsen has acted as lead counsel for the States of Jersey Development Company in the sale

of IFC 5 for £47.6m. Providing 69,000 sq ft of Grade A office space, IFC 5 has been sold to a local Jersey resident and property investor. The Carey Olsen team for the sale was led by Partner Alex Ohlsson, with support from Senior Associates David Taylor, Will Whitehead and Rebecca McQuillan. Collas Crill acted for the local resident and property investor, led by Partner Pamela Doherty and Of Counsel Fiona Wilson. Collas Crill has also acted as Guernsey counsel to SafeCharge International Group on its takeover by 11411802 Canada Inc (a whollyowned subsidiary of Nuvei Corporation) by way of a Guernsey scheme of arrangement. SafeCharge, whose shares were listed on the AIM market of London Stock Exchange, specialises in e-commerce payments. Canadian company Nuvei is also involved in e-commerce, primarily in the US and Canada. Collas Crill worked with London-based Addleshaw Goddard in advising SafeCharge. Its team included Partners Sean Cheong and Wayne Atkinson and Senior Associates Simon Heggs and James Tee. n

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Appointments Mourant has recruited Gavin Frost as Chief Finance Officer, based in Jersey. Gavin joins from law firm Eversheds Sutherland in London where, for the past five years, he has served as Head of Commercial Finance. Prior to that, he spent nearly 15 years in the wealth management, corporate and retail banking sectors. Much of this was at RBS Group, with three years as Finance Director of Coutts & Co and a year as Interim Finance Director at RBS International. In his new role, Gavin has responsibility for Mourant’s international finance team and operations. He will also sit on the firm’s management committee and operations committee.

Hawksford has hired Daniel Hainsworth as Global Head of Corporate Services, to lead development of the company’s international corporate offering. Daniel has more than 20 years’ experience in the financial services sector and joined Hawksford via a corporate acquisition in 2012. He was promoted to Corporate Director in 2015 and joined Hawksford’s company board, and in early 2018, was appointed Head of Corporate Services, EMEA. In his new role, Daniel will be responsible for the overall strategic direction and performance of the group’s corporate services business, overseeing staff across 12 jurisdictions.

JTC has appointed Wendy Holley, its Chief Operating Officer, to the PLC board as Executive Director of the group. On the board, Wendy will focus on developing JTC’s shared ownership model and overseeing global employee representation at a senior level. Wendy has over 25 years’ experience in financial services operations. She joined JTC in 2008, having spent 12 years with Mourant Services in a senior HR role. In her role as Chief Operating Officer, she is responsible for evaluating and developing the operational strategy of the group. A significant part of her role includes acquisition integration.

Standard Chartered Bank has named Henry Baye as Chief Executive Officer, Jersey, responsible for overall country strategy for the bank, which serves clients from retail banking and private banking segments. Henry brings 22 years’ experience across distribution, wealth management and personal lending. Most recently, he was Head of Retail Banking, Ghana and West Africa, for Standard Chartered, and he has held senior roles in Barclays Bank Ghana and Universal Merchant Bank Ghana. At Standard Chartered, he has led major projects, including the recent launch of the bank’s first Digital Bank in Cote D’Ivoire.

Private wealth manager Nedbank has appointed John Harris to its board as a Non-Executive Director. John retired a year ago after 12 years as Director General of the Jersey Financial Services Commission and a member of the Board of Commissioners. Prior to this, he was International Finance Director in the Government of Jersey, where he had responsibility for all aspects of the government’s policy on maintaining the island’s position as a global finance hub. John has also spent 22 years working for NatWest Bank in the UK, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong, Nassau and the Channel Islands.

Corporate, fund and trust administration business Belasko has appointed Paul Lawrence as its Chief Executive Officer, based in Jersey. Before joining Belasko, Paul served as global Head of Funds at Intertrust, based in London, for three years. Prior to this, he spent more than eight years at Elian Global, initially leading the Jersey real estate business but moving on to establish the firm’s Luxembourg office in 2013. Paul subsequently assumed responsibility for fund services at Elian, relocating to London. Earlier in his career, he also worked for Barclays Wealth in Jersey and Walbrook Trustees.

Altair has recruited Ian White and Clare Chalmers as consultants to deliver a new board effectiveness service. Clare’s career has included investment banking with BZW and Credit Suisse, during which she devised management and client audit systems. She has worked as a board evaluation consultant since 2007 and has for the past three and a half years run her own board advisory consultancy. Ian, a qualified lawyer, has worked with Sherwood PSF Consulting for the past year and as a consultant with in-house legal teams and coaching executives. He has also held senior roles at Allianz, Morgan Stanley and Openwork.

Funds specialist Sophie Reguengo has been promoted to Partner in Ogier’s Jersey investment fund team, joining Niamh Lalor and Emily Haithwaite to create an allfemale-led investment funds legal team on the island. Sophie has been with Ogier for almost two years, having previously worked with Walkers and Mourant Ozannes. An experienced investment funds and regulatory lawyer, she acts for a wide range of real estate and private equity managers. As Partner, Sophie will play a central role in Ogier’s funds and regulatory offering. She is a founding member of Lean In Jersey and an advocate for equality in the workplace.

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The Equiom Way We are a global professional services provider, working with you to navigate the twists and turns on the journey towards achieving your ambitions. Our proactivity and passion for progress will guide you forward, going beyond exceptional service to develop deep and meaningful client relationships. We provide an unrivalled breadth of bespoke end-to-end wealth protection and business support services to private and corporate clients. We deliver those services 'The Equiom Way' – with passion, reliability and responsiveness. Equiom (Jersey) Limited and its afďŹ liates are regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission. Equiom (Guernsey) Limited and Equiom Trust (Guernsey) Limited are licensed by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission.


A global tax reset


Tax Partner, Deloitte Guernsey

Fairness and transparency are the hallmarks of a new globally coordinated approach towards tax regulation. But there are questions about whether the changes are adequately resourced and aligned to principles of data privacy


he past decade has seen significant, dynamic changes in global tax policy. This has been driven to an extent by the financial crisis and austerity, which have led governments, the media and therefore the general public to raise questions about large multinationals and highnet-worth individuals and whether they are paying their ‘fair share’ of tax. The result has been a global tax reset, driven predominantly by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which has taken the key role in setting the new direction for tax policy across the world. The OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project was the first phase, culminating in the 15 action reports published in October 2015, which focused on addressing perceived inequities and inconsistencies in the global tax landscape. The second phase, the Programme of Work on the Tax Challenges Arising from the Digitisation of the Economy, concerns how tax should be distributed between governments depending on the activities of taxpayers. It includes proposals that could have a significant effect on countries with low effective rates of tax. It is not limited to the taxation of the digital economy. These discussions are still in progress, and it will be important for the Channel Islands to remain engaged. Transparency and reporting Equally important, and still evolving, is the drive towards greater transparency. The aim is to minimise, or even extinguish, the opportunity for income and profits not to be declared and taxed, and to restore faith in the international tax system. Due to the global nature of businesses, families and wealth management,

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this is best addressed through global standards, which bring consistency and minimise loopholes between countries. Regimes such as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) and Country-by-Country Reporting (CBCR) are all in force. FATCA and CRS require financial institutions to report information relating to clients’ financial accounts to tax authorities, enabling them to check that income and profits are being reported on the tax returns of individuals. CBCR is aimed at large multinationals, which must report information about the profits, people and activities of the group, which tax authorities can use to undertake high-level transfer pricing and BEPS risk assessments. What lies ahead In the meantime, however, there are new tax disclosure rules just around the corner. BEPS Action 12 set out specific Mandatory Disclosure Rules (MDR), which would require service providers and intermediaries to disclose certain cross-border arrangements that result in non-reporting for CRS purposes or that could mean the non-disclosure of beneficial ownership information. The EU has decided to introduce its own version of MDR in the form of DAC6. The EU adopted DAC6 on 25 May 2018 and EU member states are required to introduce legislation by 31 December 2019. The new rules will require EU service providers, intermediaries and taxpayers to report details of cross-border arrangements where they have certain hallmarks and, in some but not all cases, where there is a tax benefit. The Channel Islands are not bound to introduce DAC6, but as part of the commitments made to the EU Code of Conduct, the islands have agreed to introduce some form of mandatory disclosure rules as part of ongoing obligations to maintain high standards of tax transparency. Rather than DAC6, the Channel Islands may decide to introduce the original OECD version of MDR, where the focus is on arrangements that undermine reporting obligations under CRS or where the use of an opaque vehicle could result in non-disclosure of beneficiary information to tax authorities. With the rules on tax transparency casting an ever wider net, the obvious questions are whether tax authorities are realistically going to be able to process the information and, if so, whether they will be resourced to follow up the many queries and anomalies that will inevitably arise. There is also another fundamental question about how this constant strive towards obtaining information conflicts with principles of data privacy. Tax professionals will need to be prepared to deal with the fallout on both fronts. n

We believe in building successful, long-term relationships. We are Butterfield.

At Butterfield, we specialise in assembling the best people, products and services to create bespoke financial solutions for wealth management and the financial intermediary market. It is a skill Butterfield has honed over 160 years in banking. Although much has changed over that period of time, our core values, entrepreneurial spirit and unrelenting focus on our clients’ needs, remains at the heart of everything we do.

Butterfield Bank (Guernsey) Ltd PO Box 25, Regency Court, Glategny Esplanade, St. Peter Port, Guernsey GY1 3AP

To find out more about Butterfield’s personalised wealth management services, please contact one of our Business Development Advisers: GUERNSEY +44 (0)1481 711521 or e-mail JERSEY +44 (0)1534 843333 or e-mail

Butterfield Bank (Jersey) Ltd PO Box 250, St. Paul’s Gate, New Street, St Helier, Jersey JE4 5PU

THE BAHAMAS • BERMUDA • C AYMAN ISL ANDS • GUERNSEY • JERSEY • SINGAPORE • SWITZERL AND • UNITED KINGDOM Butterfield Bank (Guernsey) Limited (“BBGL”) is licensed and regulated by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (“GFSC”) under the Banking Supervision (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 1994, The Protection of Investors (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 1987 and the Regulation of Fiduciaries, Administration Businesses and Company Directors, etc (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2000, each as amended from time to time. Company Registration No. 21061. BBGL is a participant in the Guernsey Banking Deposit Compensation Scheme. The Scheme offers protection for ‘qualifying deposits’ up to £50,000, subject to certain limitations. The maximum total amount of compensation is capped at £100,000,000 in any 5 year period. Full details are available on the Scheme’s website or on request. Butterfield Trust (Guernsey) Limited (“BTGL”) is licensed and regulated by the GFSC under the Regulation of Fiduciaries, Administration Business and Company Directors, etc, (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2000, as amended. Company registration No 31645. BBGL and BTGL are both registered under the Data Protection (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law 2017 and are registered for the purposes of The Companies (Guernsey) Law 2008. Their registered office is P.O. Box 25, Regency Court, Glategny Esplanade, St Peter Port, Guernsey GY1 3AP. Butterfield Bank (Jersey) Limited (“BBJL”) is regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission to conduct deposit taking business under the Banking Business (Jersey) Law 1991 (as amended), investment business, fund service business and money service business pursuant to the Financial Services (Jersey) Law 1998, (as amended). BBJL is registered under the Data Protection (Jersey) Law, 2018 and is registered with the Jersey Registrar of Companies for the purpose of the Companies (Jersey) Law 1991 (as amended). BBJL’s registered office address is St Paul’s Gate, New Street, St Helier, Jersey JE4 5PU. Company registration number 124784. BBJL is a participant in the Jersey Bank Depositors Compensation Scheme. The Scheme offers protection for eligible deposits of up to £50,000. The maximum total amount of compensation is capped at £100,000,000 in any 5 year period. Full details of the Scheme and banking groups covered are available on the States of Jersey website, or on request. BBGL, BTGL and BBJL are wholly-owned subsidiaries of The Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son Limited. Photo by Lachlan Dempsey on Unsplash.

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The importance of homegrown talent


Partner and Training Principal, Collas Crill Guernsey

Gone are the days when poaching from the City was a viable recruitment strategy. Add into the mix Guernsey’s housing laws, and the island’s businesses are left with a clear message: put training and development higher up the agenda


y the time you read this, our fresh crop of trainee solicitors in Guernsey and Jersey will have completed their induction into new roles, joining thousands of trainees across the country in the first step of their professional lives. For some, it may be their first foray into a reallife working environment after at least four years of study (graduate and postgraduate). Training normally takes two years, but may be reduced where prior relevant experience can be shown. A trainee is expected to rotate through different ‘seats’ while training to experience a range of practice areas and to develop relevant and transferable skills. There may also be an opportunity for secondment to other offices within the group, to a client’s in-house legal team or to a friendly leading UK firm. New to the game Training and development are important in any business, but vital in professional services firms. Compared with the UK, law firms in the Channel Islands are, surprisingly, relatively new to offering formal training contracts. The reason for this is not clear. There may have been an expectation that City lawyers, jaded by late nights and long commutes and susceptible to the prospect of a more balanced lifestyle (and better weather), would readily fill any gaps in offshore firms. Judging by intense competition among the top firms in London in recent salary wars, this method of recruitment of junior lawyers may no longer be effective. While we may be relative newcomers to training, the quality of offshore training is generally high. It is the responsibility of the firm to allow its trainee to ‘learn on the job’ in a supportive environment. This does not mean trainees should be wrapped in cotton wool, cosseted and kept a safe distance from the

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front line. Far from it; trainees generally thrive in teams that provide appropriate supervision in a challenging environment. The benefits are not all one way; lawyers of varying seniority hone their teaching, supervisory, delegation and people management skills in the process. Those used to running solo practices eventually adapt to life with an enthusiastic and capable trainee and, dare I say it, may even enjoy the engagement. It is well known that firms that invest in training have higher success rates in recruitment and retention of talent. Collas Crill has been training solicitors for over 10 years in Guernsey, with a retention rate (on qualification) of over 80%. Collas Crill in Jersey launched its training programme three years ago. In a tight market, the ability to grow your own talent must be embedded in a firm’s strategy. As every generation of young(er) professionals tells us, things are different now. Not every recruit seeks a professional career for the long term; many will experience at least three job moves within a decade. Work-life balance (once considered aspirational or a luxury) is increasingly important. For some, the prospect of an overseas secondment is high on their list of priorities. We are expected to accommodate not only functional training needs but also the ambitions of individual trainees. Building pipelines early Firms in Guernsey have to work within restrictive housing laws, which can make it difficult to recruit from outside the island. This has resulted in some firms building their pipelines early. Collas Crill starts its search for talent at pre-university stage. In Guernsey, we partner with schools to provide coaching to sixth form students for an annual Moot competition – a mock judicial proceeding set up to examine a hypothetical case as an academic exercise. Many firms offer short-term placements to secondary school students, as well as bursaries to undergraduates, with the promise of work experience during term breaks and summer holidays. A paralegal scheme (usually for one year), if managed well, can be an excellent opportunity for someone who is undecided to be gainfully employed in a law firm before applying for a training position – an unofficial try-before-you-buy plan for both sides. Every organisation that runs a training programme recognises it is a long-term commitment. It can be expensive in terms of hours devoted to teaching and supervision. A decent programme doesn’t simply roll out qualified lawyers at the end of two years like a conveyor belt. However, a byproduct of good training is that it strengthens the business’s own culture as well as its brand. n






Why workplace wellbeing isn’t providing a return on investment

JADE ECOBICHON-GRAY Founder, Mindset Matters

From lunchtime yoga to mental health awareness training, wellbeing initiatives are on the rise in the private sector. But where does ‘mindset’ fit in, and how important is it for businesses to focus on mindset when tackling wellbeing?


indset is fundamental to a strategic and proactive wellbeing strategy, but it is very often overlooked by businesses. Workplace wellbeing initiatives are too often rushed through to implementation under the false belief that they will work as a sort of cure-all for an increasingly exhausted and stressed-out workforce. Alternatively, businesses take a reactive, individualised approach to wellbeing, with support being provided only to those employees who are simply no longer able to keep trucking on. It is fair to say that neither approach is working as imagined, with just under a third of private sector employers reporting that their initiatives have resulted in lower sickness absence, and only one in five saying it has increased staff productivity. (Health and Wellbeing at Work survey, 2019, Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development). Mindset matters So where do we go from here? Now is not the time to throw out the baby with the bathwater and limit workplace wellbeing initiatives. On the contrary, now is the time to invest further. However, there is a caveat here. Further investment needs to be evidence based. It requires authentic buy-in from senior management, an ability to evaluate its effectiveness, and it is as much about the wellbeing of the business as it is about the wellbeing of staff. This is where mindset becomes so important in the creation of a strategy that is not only proactive, but also provides a return on investment. It is crucially important that employers support colleagues who are experiencing mental ill health. But very often, doing just that and little else does nothing to support the

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larger proportion of the workforce in building a positive mindset as a protective factor against experiencing mental ill health. Wellbeing interventions that seek to increase personal resilience, a sense of gratitude, positive self-talk and an investment in mindfulness, result in employees developing sustainable coping mechanisms against life stressors and a greater internal locus of control. This shift in mindset moves individuals away from attributing negative thoughts, feelings and situations to external forces that are beyond their control. Rather, they feel more confident in their own ability to overcome stressors, to face the challenges and to thrive both personally and professionally. A blended approach Wellbeing should not be just a top-down approach, neither should it be just bottom-up. The responsibility for improved organisational wellbeing cannot and should not sit solely with employees. Creating a blended approach that also tackles the mindset of the business is key to establishing a successful strategy that benefits both employees and the business itself. Businesses should be encouraged and supported to undertake work focusing on the business mindset they wish to foster and promote – and be encouraged to see this as a constantly evolving thing. Growth mindset businesses welcome and encourage change, see opportunity in grey areas and do not view employees as having fixed skills in relation to the work they undertake. This supports employee wellbeing through an understanding of the Broaden and Build theory (Frederickson, 1998), whereby employees who are encouraged to collaborate, innovate and accumulate knowledge in a variety of different areas broaden their awareness and change their overall mindset. Supporting businesses to see wellbeing as intimately linked to a growth mindset is a crucial factor in supporting employees to become more resilient, adaptable, positive and, most importantly, well. n

Consciously Independent.

Your partner of choice for trusts, funds and pensions. At Fairway Group, we keep our clients’ best interests at heart. As a truly independent fiduciary group, we are nimble enough to react to changes and understand the individual needs of each relationship through a director-led, dedicated team. We can be trusted to get it right every time. Find out how. Contact Graeme Fairlie: +44 (0)1534 511771 Visit Follow us on Follow us on Follow us on Follow us on

Fairway Group is a registered business name of Fairway Trust Limited, Fairway Fund Trustee Services Limited, Fairway Fund Services Limited and Fairway Pension Trustees Limited. Regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission ( JFSC).

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RBC Race for the Kids supports youthful minds to help end the stigma around youth mental health The proceeds from Race for the Kids Jersey will help support Mind Jersey’s group Youthful Minds and start the conversation about mental health among young people on the island ONE OF THE challenges around seeking

treatment for mental health is the stigma that goes with it. This is particularly true among children and young people, who may not know how to seek services and fear being judged if they ask. On Jersey, with a population of just over 100,000, young people face the added difficulty of living in a small community where people tend to know each other, says Mary Bichard, 15, a volunteer with the group Youthful Minds. “We’re such a small island that gossip travels very quickly,” she says. “I think that can definitely make the stigma a lot worse.” Youthful Minds, which works with mental health awareness charity Mind Jersey, hopes to reduce that stigma. The group is staffed by volunteers aged 11-25, and aims to raise awareness about mental illness and improve mental health services in Jersey for children and young people. “The big thing we’re trying to do is to start a conversation with people so that mental health is not such a feared and stigmatised thing and people can discuss it – because it’s the lack of understanding that causes that stigma,” says Bichard. The group works with primary and secondary schools to change public attitudes about mental illness and help educate young people on how to seek help. This year it partnered with a local theatre group to create a stage production for secondary schools called Talking Heads. Bichard herself has benefited from that support and says the organisation has

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helped her build confidence to deal with her own issues and help others do the same. “It’s such a supportive group,” she says. “I’ve been referred on to other services through the people here and learned about things I didn’t know anything about.”

FUN RUN Key to that mission is the RBC-sponsored Race for the Kids fun run, which will take place on Sunday 29 September and provides the bulk of Youthful Minds’ funding. Proceeds from last year’s inaugural Jersey race helped the group to expand its presence through more of the island’s 44 schools. This year, it’s hoping to use funds to expand its social media presence, hold awareness days and distribute branded merchandise, such as clothing and badges, to spread its message. RBC participates through its funding of the race and also provides hands-on help, such as putting together ‘wellbeing bags’ to distribute among schools and health services offices across the island. The bags are filled with items such as stress balls, face masks and colouring books and are aimed at under-18s and children. The race also helps Youthful Minds to gain name recognition, which is a key aspect of its awareness campaign. “The race is definitely a big thing over here,” says Bichard. “So having us being the charity that they’ve chosen helps people get a better understanding about what we do and what we can offer people.”

Last year, 700 people participated in the Jersey race and £20,000 was raised. All told, the race – which takes place in several cities around the world, including London, New York and Toronto – has raised C$47m (around £29m) for charities. “Supporting young people remains a key and integral focus for the bank, whether through charitable initiatives or working with like-minded organisations.” says David Bailey, Chief Operating Officer at RBC Wealth Management. “Our partnership highlights our determination to support and develop the next generation of islanders.” Youthful Minds’ next step is to continue to build its relationship with the government’s Health and Community Services department to make sure mental health care is properly staffed and accessible to young people, says Bichard. “Although we’re working well with services at the moment, we want to try and improve what they offer, because services can often overlook young people’s voices,” she says. “And that’s a big thing we do; we try and make sure that services hear us and what we need.” n


RBC RACE FOR THE KIDS Jersey, Channel Islands To sign up for the race or for more information, please visit the website at

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Sign up to our 2.5k or 5k family fun run as part of the RBC Super League Triathlon Jersey weekend and support Mind Jersey Sunday 29 September, Waterfront Gardens Race starts at 12:00 noon with family entertainment before and after in the fanzone PLUS the world’s best pro athletes racing in the final from 14:00

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as Mort Mirghavameddin approaches his first anniversary as CEO of Trust Corporation, reflecting on the past 12 months it is clear he’s ready to put his foot down and deliver on a new strategy he believes will enhance the Guernsey-based company

Words: Eila Madden Photos: Paul Mariess

What was it like to work in the City at the time of the Big Bang? It was a fantastic time because it really was a Big Bang. The floor of the London Stock Exchange, the options traded on the side, the floor of LIFFE – there was much more human interaction on the floors. Working in the Stock Exchange building itself was exciting, aside from the IRA bombs that were going off every now and then. The visitors’ gallery bomb happened during my time at the Stock Exchange, as did the Commercial Union bomb. So, aside from outside influences, it was a massively exciting time of change. The Americans, Japanese, Germans, French were all coming in. It really created a very diverse environment. By 1995, people were beginning to hire ‘professional’ compliance officers and I was headhunted to join Guinness Mahon.

18 september/october 2019

I was Group Head of Compliance at a very young age – 29 years old – and two years after that we were taken over by Investec Group, which asked me to head up their group compliance department. I continued in this role for a further two years and was then invited by the Chief Executive of Investec Group to consider taking up a role as Chief Executive of Investec Bank in the Channel Islands. My initial thoughts were: “I’m in compliance; I haven’t got the knowhow of the commercial aspects of banking”. However, inspired by his belief in me, I took up the position and in 2000, the year of the millennium, I came to the Channel Islands at 34 years old. How did you feel about being a CEO at that age? Was it daunting? I think I was probably the youngest Chief Executive of a bank on the island at the time. I recall the table at the Association of Guernsey Banks – I was definitely the youngest person there. With the firm at a low ebb, the only way was up. For me, it was an opportunity to

The way to win is to create the rules of the game yourself. and if you play by your own rules, you win. That was the outlook we instilled at Investec

create something that was an improvement on what was before, so I never really looked at the downside of things. Plus, I felt I had a bit more energy and was more hungry to succeed than, with respect, some of the other incumbents who were comfortable in their surroundings. Were they surprised to be dealing with such a young CEO? To be honest, I’m not sure what their impressions were. I just thought about who we were and how we could win. The way to win is to create the rules of the game yourself and if you play by your own rules, you win. That was the outlook we instilled in the team. I believe Investec Bank Channel Islands was originally established to be the banker for the in-house asset management company so, since inception to the time that I arrived, it was a service provider to another part of the group that was doing well. When I arrived, we decided that it ought to stand on its own two feet and create profitability for the shareholders in a manner that was acceptable. Our vision was that we would like to double the size of the bank every four years. We were making roughly £1m a year when I arrived; we were making roughly £24m a year when I left in 2009. How did you make that happen? The secret of the success was to have a clear, strategic direction and to have a group of people who absolutely believed in that. The culture and values at Investec created an environment that allowed ordinary people to perform extraordinarily. I wouldn’t say we were any better in terms of qualifications or entrepreneurial skills than any other bank around in the market, but as a cohesive team, I would have put us up against anybody and be confident we could win. I think that sense of confidence is what really created our differentiator. As an example, relatively early on in my time there, we went away on an offsite trip and people from the various departments

What’s your background and how did you get to where you are now? I was originally awarded a scholarship to go and study quantity surveying in Portsmouth, but I quickly realised that a career in financial services was going to be more rewarding. Bear in mind that I am one of Thatcher’s children. It was a matter of getting on your bike and getting on with it. And in those days, as a 20-year-old, it was drummed into you that you had to get on the property ladder and that was the primary motivation. My career in financial services started at the London Stock Exchange in 1986, which was the time of the Big Bang. I was in a department called Membership, which essentially was allowing the ownership of British stockbroking firms, for the first time, to be outside of the UK. Subsequently, the regulatory environment came to be and a regulator was established. Most of us, who had worked at the London Stock Exchange, were assumed into a company called The Securities Association, which was really the very first regulator of stockbrokers and bond dealers under the umbrella of the Securities Investment Board.



interview Mort Mirghavameddin

september/october 2019 19


How important is independence to your proposition? On the one hand, being independent is great because we’ve been to a number of pitches recently where one of the first questions was: “Are you independent?” They’re asking because there have been some bad private equity investments in the sector and the stories have permeated across the industry. There is probably good private equity out there too, and there are other good third-party investors, such as family offices or patient capital. So independence is positive on the one hand because it allows you to win more business. On the other hand, if you’re supported by a wall of money behind you, as we have seen recently with some of the other now non-independent offerings, they can go and pick and buy various assets across various geographies and enlarge their overall geographical and general offerings.

Why did you leave Investec? We had achieved our goals, and I noticed a gap in the market, where the banks had retreated from providing credit finance. I saw an opportunity to set up a credit fund dealing with real estate financing. We were probably the first real estate credit fund that provided mezzanine finance at the time. Unfortunately, I think we were too early. Now, there are probably 200 such funds, but we were the first and investors didn’t really understand the opportunity. The company’s still going today and I’m told it’s built up quite a substantial sum, so things did turn around in a nice way. I was then offered the opportunity to lead a Jordanian bank based in London, called Jordan International Bank. Again, this was what appeared to be a turnaround situation, a bank that had floundered for many years. It probably had a net loss of £36m between the 1980s until the day I arrived. During my six years there, my team and I gave back the shareholders their £36m of losses. I then took a little break, as my wife and I had our first child. And then in October 2018, Trust Corporation rang and asked me to come and be their new CEO. In a nutshell, tell us what Trust Corporation does. Trust Corporation was established 16 years ago by three lawyers from Wedlake Bell – Mike Betley, Mike Heyworth and Jon Plimley. We’re an independent trust and fiduciary company. We look after the affairs of high-net-worth individuals. We administer offshore companies, naturally in accordance with substance rules. Last but not least, we also have a fund administration operation. We look after some private equity funds ranging from midsize to, say, more than $2bn. What would you say is your unique selling proposition (USP)? The fact that our founders have come out of private practice and understand on a very technical basis the detail of what’s being proposed creates a USP for us. The ratio of directors to clients here is formidable, as is the hands-on approach – directors see and sign everything that goes out of the firm. There is a good balance of delegation, but responsibility sits with the

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if you want a firm without any compliance complications or skeletons in the cupboard, Trust Corporation has maintained a brilliant record to date

people who work and direct the business. Attention to detail is fantastic, so in terms of errors, litigation or claims on insurers, there isn’t any of that. The relationships are much deeper here than in many companies I’ve seen. The response times are quicker. Also, the fact that the lawyers have been in private practice means they can collaborate with our key advisers to create innovative planning techniques.

Would you consider giving up your independent status at some point? We have been approached on numerous occasions, because we’re considered one of the best, if not the best, of the midsize independents. Our employees are first class, from the director down, so if you want a firm without any compliance complications or skeletons in the cupboard, certainly Trust Corporation has maintained a brilliant record to date. If we were put on the market, I think somebody would snap us up relatively quickly. However, we will probably rule it out at the moment. Our people are confident enough to deliver on our strategy. If we do ever consider this, it’s more likely to be with somebody that fits with us culturally and strategically, and has a very long-term view that would benefit us and our clients. We wouldn’t enter into a relationship with a third party lightly. I wouldn’t rule it out, but I wouldn’t say it’s for tomorrow. One of your first tasks as CEO has been to conduct a review of the company’s strategy. What sort of conclusions have you drawn from this review? We’re currently reviewing which niches of the business we can really enhance and put on the front foot. The darling of the market at the moment is the fund administration area, so there is obviously going to be a bit more emphasis there. There will probably be more activity in the corporate and substance arenas, but don’t be surprised if we do things that are not necessarily historically or particularly recognisable in the trust sector. I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag, but we shall be looking at other symbiotically linked activity that will enhance our offering. However, the review is not concluded. We’re looking at strategy, operations,

put down what in business-speak you might call ‘big, hairy, audacious goals’ – and some of them were laughable. Let’s say the lending book was £28m and the Head of Lending said, “I’d like to be at £200m” – that was a tenfold increase. But not only did we smash the £200m, I think we achieved £700m towards the end.


We get straight to the point, managing complexity to get to the essentials. Every piece of work is a collaboration. We listen actively, asking the right questions, focused on what really matters. We deliver targeted, pragmatic advice with absolute clarity. To the point. Legal Services British Virgin Islands Cayman Islands Guernsey Hong Kong Jersey London Luxembourg Shanghai Tokyo

september/october 2019 21


FACT FILE Name: Mort Mirghavameddin Age: 53 Position: CEO, Trust Corporation International Home town: London First job: London Stock Exchange Family: Wife, 19-month-old daughter Hobbies: Golf Did you know: I left Iran for the last time at the age of 15 in 1980 and can empathise with some of the world’s refugees

systems, IT, people – the whole shebang. That will probably take us through to October, after which we must put our foot down and deliver. What is mission-critical is to ensure that we continue our practice of hiring the very best people who can talk to existing and potential clients as equals rather than subordinates. We’ve got to try and continue to hire very, very good practitioners. That’s our challenge. What are the challenges for the trust sector as a whole? Tax transparency across the globe is an issue that needs careful consideration. The days of tax planning or tax-led initiatives are numbered, I would say. It’s much more about the political landscape around the world. Certainly in the emerging economies – Russia and the Middle East – quite a lot of asset protection is coming to the fore. So structures will

The days of tax planning or taxled initiatives are numbered. It’s much more about the political landscape around the world

22 september/october 2019

be more about what I call traditional trusteeship than tax-based trustee offerings. I think succession planning is becoming much more important too. The newer generation of money has a completely different outlook to the older generation of money. The activities of the beneficiary will be different to those of the settlor, who may have had a preservation outlook. But the beneficiary may want to be giving and gifting and engaging with green initiatives or philanthropy in a meaningful manner. We as a firm have got to be aware of that – if we are not and we carry on in the traditional manner, we may find ourselves withering on the vine. Part of our strategic review is to create an environment in which we can get much closer to our clients and the next generation. Is Brexit a challenge for Trust Corporation? It’s not an issue for Trust Corp per se, but it could be an issue for Guernsey at large. Let’s assume the worst-case scenario for the moment – that Britain crashes out of the EU with no deal whatsoever. If you’ve got a situation where there are potentially 10 years of hardship, then I can see the UK becoming an offshore centre to the rest of Europe itself. I can see it really usurping the Channel Islands. Whether or not that creates a scenario in which Guernsey is irrelevant is what exercises me personally. I don’t think it will ever get to that, but that’s my ‘elephant in the room’. Does the recent change in leadership in the UK give you confidence that Brexit will be a well-managed process? As far as Mrs May and Brexit were concerned, it was a bit like asking a vegan to be in charge of the meat board. Whilst Boris may not be palatable to most, he was elected in his own democratic party’s way. He did believe in Brexit from the get-go and at least he’s going at it on the front foot – rather than what happened with Mrs May,

which is that our European friends and allies felt they had a soft touch in her, and we are where we are three years down the line and not one inch further forward. Ideally, you want to have a deal. One should be concerned that Boris has put a red line in the sand, even if it gives him some strength in negotiations. If it’s a bluff, the issue is whether the bluff will be bought by the Europeans or not. Trust Corporation is a Guernsey-based business. Do you share the concerns of some business leaders on the island that a lack of transport links is hurting it? When I first arrived in Guernsey, British Airways used to come here. Flybe has increased its flights to Heathrow, which is a positive, but it has taken away the other routes, which is a negative. Going Aurigny – I’m really sorry to say this, but I find even spelling Aurigny for the outside world quite difficult. Tiny things like that just create more barriers. You do hear that sometimes clients justify where they’re going to put a piece of business, based on whether there’s a flight that’s convenient to them from Heathrow to wherever they need to get to. If that link doesn’t exist, it’s a negative against Guernsey. So, personally, I would like to see more flights around what I regard as business hours. You’re about to hit your first anniversary as CEO of Trust Corporation. How are you reflecting on this? This is probably the first time I’ve come into a situation where the firm wasn’t in a holding pattern, at best. This is a firm that’s grown from nothing to where it was when I arrived, so it’s doing well. My challenge is to take that group of people, provide them with practical tools and techniques and inspire them by creating a vision and a journey that’s palatable to them. Year two will be about embarking on that journey. n

Appleby’s Channel Islands team of legal specialists advise global public and private companies, financial institutions, and high net worth individuals, working with them and their advisors to achieve practical solutions, whether in a single location or across multiple jurisdictions. Appleby Guernsey +44 (0)1481 755600 Appleby Jersey +44 (0)1534 888777


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Can we overcome emotion when investing? Slowing down, analysing your decisions and double-checking your assumptions can lead to better investment outcomes, finds Chris Woodward, Jersey-based Trainee Investment Manager at Quilter Cheviot Investment Management

DO YOU CONSIDER yourself a brave person? Are you willing to find out? This was the killer question behind Derren Brown’s 2018 TV show, Sacrifice. In the show, Brown attempts to get US citizen Phil to take a bullet for another man, a Mexican immigrant who is being attacked by a biker gang. Phil has already expressed anti-Mexican sentiments during his recruitment for the show, so it is surprising when he eventually intervenes to save the life of the Mexican man. By subtly promoting Phil’s empathetic side in the weeks before the shooting incident, Brown apparently changes how Phil would act, leading Phil to save the life of a man he would otherwise have allowed to die. What’s particularly interesting about Sacrifice is that it raises the possibility that we are all able to ‘hack’ our brains to simplify our lives and make ourselves better. And this has parallels with investing, where trying to make rational decisions without the fog of human emotion is of paramount importance. In fact, Barclays Bank estimates that emotions lead the average investor to suffer between 2% and 3% in foregone returns every year. Of course, Brown’s experiment is slightly different to the area I wanted to look into. Sacrifice demonstrates how emotions can lead us to act in a certain way. My own thought was whether we could

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start to rule out emotion completely. So I started to look into the role of emotions and investing, and I came across quite a few interesting discoveries.

MAKING DECISIONS WITHOUT EMOTION Fortunately, the role of emotions in decision-making has received a lot of attention in recent years. There is even a new discipline for this, neuroeconomics, which brings together neuroscience and economics and looks at how the two can provide insights into their respective fields.

Thanks to the work of neuroeconomists, we have studies comparing how different people make investment decisions. In ‘The dark side of emotion in decision-making’, published in Cognitive Brain Research, Baba Shiv, George Loewenstein and Antoine Bechara looked at the decisionmaking process of people with brain damage due to substance dependence, specifically looking at whether their decreased emotional reactions allowed them to take better investment decisions.1 Introducing the study, Shiv, Loewenstein and Bechara cite the real-life example of someone with brain damage who was driving a car that hit an icy section of road. While the other drivers hit their brakes in panic, the driver’s lack of emotion – specifically fear – allowed him to remember that not hitting the brakes was the correct reaction. The study went on to look at three groups of people – people with brain damage, no brain damage, and brain damage due to substance dependency. Each participant was given $20, which they were told to treat as real as it was their compensation for taking part in the study. Over 20 rounds, they had to decide between two options: invest $1 or do nothing. If they invested, they had a 50/50 chance of either losing their $1, or keeping their initial dollar stake and gaining an additional $2.50. As the expected value on each round

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($1.25) is higher than if one does not invest ($1), the correct decision would have been to invest in each round. If you did invest in each round, you would have only a 13% chance of earning less than if you just pocketed the $20. The results of the study showed that people with brain damage – from substance abuse or not – tended to make decisions that maximised profits more than those without brain damage. Those with brain damage ‘were not influenced by the emotional reactions associated with the outcomes of preceding rounds, so that they were more predisposed to taking risks’.2 Of course, this does not mean that we should all try to disregard human emotion completely. As the authors of the study put it, many of the participants with substanceinduced brain damage suffered from poor decision-making in real life, and their better performance was ‘likely the direct consequence of the emotional indifference about losses, and their willingness to risk punishment in order to obtain reward’.3

CAN WE BECOME BETTER INVESTORS? But if emotion can hold us back from taking the right decisions, can we actually suppress our emotions to make us better investors? To an extent, this is what a lot of people do already. Staying invested no matter what, or drip-feeding money into markets on a regular basis are both strategies that remove the need to take decisions and thus remove the wrecking ball of emotion. There is plenty of research on how we can take better decisions. Perhaps the most interesting example is the Good Judgment Project (GJP), the brainchild of CanadianAmerican scientist Philip Tetlock. Tetlock wanted to test the accuracy of expert predictions and find out whether their specialist forecasts were any better than those of the man in the street. In 2011, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) – a branch of US intelligence – launched a competition to identify cutting-edge methods to forecast geopolitical events. Five scientific teams competed to generate forecasts on the type of

When forecasters practised assigning precise probabilities to the predictions, for example, they became better at distinguishing finer degrees of uncertainty.

When answering a question, the majority of us reach for the simple answer. Few people bother to check that the value of their answers actually adds up

questions US intelligence agencies needed answering every day. The competition was unprecedented, partly because it was one of the few attempts to measure the accuracy of US intelligence forecasts, but also because it generated an unparalleled dataset on what forecasting methods worked. More than one million questions later, Tetlock’s GJP emerged on top. In year one, the GJP team managed to beat the official control group by 60%. In year two, that gap widened to 78%. By the end of the second year, the GJP team was doing so well that IARPA dropped their academic competitors. The team had even managed to outperform intelligence analysts who had access to classified data. How could a team of outsiders perform better than America’s foremost intelligence experts? The answer to this question lies in how far you are prepared to analyse your decisions. Tetlock and his team identified a group of individuals – superforecasters – who were particularly skilful at making predictions. These individuals were far more open-minded in their thinking and deliberately tried to cultivate their forecasting ability.

ANSWER, CHECK THE ANSWER, REPEAT Much of what happens is about doublechecking yourself. Take the following question, for example: you have two tokens in your pocket, which together are worth £1.10. If token one is worth £1 more than token two, how much is token one worth? If you immediately answered £1, think again. The correct answer is actually £1.05. When answering a question, the majority of us reach for the simple answer. Few people bother to check that the value of their answers actually adds up to £1.10. If you do, you quickly discover your elemental mistake and come up with the answer relatively easily. Making better investment decisions might therefore appear deceptively simple – you think carefully about your decision and then double-check your assumptions. This is hard to do in practice though. If you want to become a better investor, slow down and think. And if you don’t have time to slow down, you can always appoint a bespoke investment manager! n


For more information, please contact Chris Woodward, Trainee Investment Manager, Quilter Cheviot Investment Management, at The dark side of emotion in decision-making: when individuals with decreased emotional reactions make more advantageous decisions. Shiv, Loewenstein and Bechara. Cognitive Brain Research 23 (2005) 2 Ibid., p89 3 Ibid., p91 1

Investors should remember that the value of investments, and the income from them, can go down as well as up. Investors may not recover what they invest. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Any mention of a specific security should not be interpreted as a solicitation to buy or sell a specific security. Quilter Cheviot Quilter Cheviot, part of Quilter plc, is one of the UK’s largest discretionary investment firms and can trace its heritage to 1771. The firm is based in 12 locations across the UK, Jersey and Ireland and has total funds under management of £24.1bn (as at 30 June 2019). Quilter Cheviot focuses primarily on structuring and managing bespoke discretionary portfolios for private clients, charities, trusts, pension funds and intermediaries. Quilter Cheviot Limited is registered in England with number 01923571, registered office at One Kingsway, London, WC2B 6AN, England. Quilter Cheviot Limited is a member of the London Stock Exchange; is authorised and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority; has established a branch in Jersey and is regulated under the Financial Services (Jersey) Law 1998 by the Jersey Financial Services Commission for the conduct of investment business in Jersey and by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission under the Protection of Investors (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 1987 to carry on investment business in the Bailiwick of Guernsey; is regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority as a Representative Office (and its business name in Dubai is Quilter Cheviot Limited (DIFC Representative Office)). Quilter Cheviot Europe Limited, trading as Quilter Cheviot and Quilter Cheviot Investment Management, is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Registered in Ireland: No. 643307. Registered Office: Hambleden House, 19-26 Lower Pembroke Street, Dublin D02 WV96. Accordingly, in some respects the regulatory system that applies will be different from that of the United Kingdom.

september/october 2019 25

Geopolitics and wealth

Tensions China between Kong and Hongrotests soar as p continue

The flight to safety Words: Orlando Crowcroft

Economy contracts 0.2% Iran nuc deal in t lear atters 26 September/October 2019


Geopolitics and wealth

Asset protection is climbing the agenda for wealth managers as geopolitical developments put clients on edge

MIDDLE EASTERN TENSIONS Many of those clients come from the Middle East where, in 2008, Jersey Finance established an office in Dubai. Cook, who was Chief Executive at the time, says the investment has paid off. Ten years on, with rising tensions with Iran and the conflict in Yemen, Jersey – along with Switzerland – attracts a great deal of business from the region. “The long-term trend in that region has always been to create some wealth elsewhere, or invest elsewhere, as a sort of risk-spreading mitigation,” says Cook. The way has been forged by sovereign wealth funds in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which have been extremely active in buying up high-profile assets – including London’s tallest building, the Shard – in the UK. Now, as tensions rise in the Middle East, wealthy families and individuals – many of whom were educated in Europe – are doing the same. It isn’t just conflicts in neighbouring states that have high-net-worth individuals in countries such as Saudi Arabia looking at asset protection. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s 15-month crackdown on prominent businessmen in Saudi

Arabia – which, in 2017, saw hundreds detained in Riyadh’s Ritz Carlton – has reminded Saudis how fragile the political environment can be. “I think it’s fair to say it might have focused people’s minds in a way that it hadn’t until recently,” says Alexa Saunders, a Partner at Carey Olsen. Bart Deconinck, Zedra’s Executive Chairman elect, points to another Middle East trend: patriarchs of wealthy Saudi families looking for Shariah-compliant estate planning structures for female children. It comes as political reforms in Saudi Arabia have ended the country’s restrictive ‘guardian’ system, under which

the conversation with people from the Middle East is: ‘Can you set me up a structure so my daughters can inherit my assets like my sons can?’

women could not travel without a male family member or husband. The Crown Prince has also ended the decades-old ban on women driving. Deconinck says: “Now, the conversation with people from the Middle East is: ‘Can you set me up a structure so my daughters can inherit my assets like my sons can?’”

EUROPEAN WOBBLES But unlike in previous years, when Middle East-based clients may have seen Europe as a financial safe haven, Europe is looking anything but stable in 2019. In Germany and Holland, far right parties are on the rise – and actually in power in Hungary, Poland and Italy. And the UK under Boris Johnson looks increasingly like it will crash out of the European Union at the end of October without a deal. Even worse than a no-deal Brexit, say wealth managers, is the alternative: a left-

IT’S DIFFICULT TO see the world in 2019 as anything but a perfect storm. And with rising tensions in the Middle East, an escalating trade war between the US and China and the continuing fallout from Brexit, it’s a year that could get worse before it gets better. But veterans of the finance industry have been heard to remark that they’ve seen all this before – back in the 1970s, when an Arab oil embargo, a devastating US stock market crash and political turmoil in the UK wracked the global economy at the height of the Cold War. Then, as now, instability often translates to good business for the offshore finance industry. A convincing case can be made for the world’s wealthy that it isn’t a bad idea to have some assets stashed away somewhere safe when the world goes to hell in a handbasket. “We are a beneficiary, if you like, of some of the instability elsewhere. For clients affected, having somewhere stable to go is a massive benefit,” admits Geoff Cook, an independent Director and Consultant. “I don’t think we need to feel diffident or awkward about that.”

September/october 2019 27


Geopolitics and wealth

son says n h o J s i r o B e EU with v a e l o t K U deal or without

the turmoil in Europe has refocused the minds of high-net-worth individuals away from minimising their tax burden and towards asset protection

28 September/October 2019

wing Labour government under Jeremy Corbyn, with the prospect of new wealth taxes and nationalisation. Rachel Winter, Associate Investment Director at London-based Killik & Co, says the firm is positioning portfolios away from industries such as utilities, which Corbyn has promised to renationalise. “It is a bigger concern for us than Brexit. The consequences of a Corbyn government would be worse for the market than a nodeal Brexit,” she says. One of the biggest challenges in 2019 is the pound, she adds. Traditionally, Killik & Co has invested heavily overseas, benefiting from a weak pound, but with sterling recently falling to historic lows against the euro and dollar, the concern is how far it will go. “We just do not know what’s going on with the currency,” Winter says. While the weak pound was initially an upside for overseas investors buying property in the UK, falling residential prices in London have tempered that trend. In July, it was revealed that real estate prices in London had fallen by 4.4% in a year, its biggest decline in a decade. As a result, clients have been looking at markets in Sydney, Paris and the US, including Florida, California and New York, says Deconinck. More generally, the turmoil in Europe has refocused the minds of high-net-worth individuals away from minimising their tax burden and towards asset protection, should radical changes occur in previously stable countries. Deconinck says: “If you had conversations with clients 10 years ago, it was all about minimising their tax burden and estate planning. Today, it’s about topics such as: what if we have Brexit and Jeremy Corbyn? Can I get my assets out of the UK? Can I protect myself against nationalisation?” Cook is more bullish, and believes there is still confidence in Europe from international clients. Despite the political landscape, European states are not

MBS c on pro rackdown busine minent from S ssmen Arabia audi countries that suffer from high levels of corruption or financial crime, or a genuine risk of states themselves breaking down. “They tend to be regarded as fairly sound in that respect, which is why people want to invest in them – because they feel their assets are safe and aren’t going to be misappropriated,” he says. “I don’t think that has changed.”

THE US RE-EMERGES Meanwhile, an unlikely source of positivity in all this turmoil has been across the Atlantic in the US, where, despite an erratic leader, a trade war and one of the most divisive election campaigns in modern memory, managers see a huge growth area. It helps that since the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) in 2010, which instituted automatic reporting of information on US citizens to the IRS, firms are far less likely to become involved unknowingly in handling non-disclosed funds from American clients. A lot of advisers used to give the US a wide berth because the consequences of being involved with non-disclosed funds were so severe, says Cook. But the advent of FATCA means that you can now expect to be fully regulated. Deconinck, for one, believes that the economic state of play in the US has been overlooked as the headlines focus on President Donald Trump’s social media accounts. For his part, America represents a strong market for the wealth management sector going forward, and is where Zedra will be concentrating its efforts. “We’ve all been a bit put on the wrong foot with regards to the US,” he says. “It has become energy independent. There is tremendous wealth creation. On top of that, you have more and more people investing in the US, buying real estate there. People see it as a safe haven. If you look beyond all the noise around the presidency, it is a very strong economy.” n For more on the rise of the US, see page 32

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The US

The land of opportunity

As Asia stalls on the road to dominating the global wealth markets, the US is re-emerging as the market of choice for many trust companies. Should more Channel Islands operators be chasing the ‘American dream’? and what are the pitfalls?

Words: Jon Watkins Illustration: Thinus Slabber

32 september/october 2019

energy revolution driven by the development of shale gas as factors in America’s re-emergence as a strong economy and leading centre of wealth creation. Zedra has been preparing for this for some time. “We started with a very careful move into the US two years ago, opening our office in Miami,” Deconinck says. “That’s given us a handle on US processes and, in the foreseeable future, we will ramp that up considerably by creating our own domestic presence there, servicing trust structures in the US. That’s an area that we see is growing very fast. It’s where wealth is accumulating. “The second thing we’re looking at is the funds space – private equity funds, real estate funds, specialised funds. We hope we can land an acquisition in the next six months with regards to that.”

GOING GLOBAL Deconinck is not alone in his view of the US as once again being a land of opportunity. Jersey Finance is also ramping up its activities in the region, in line with a policy over the past 12 years or so to internationalise its business and reduce its reliance on the UK and Europe. The industry body has been pretty successful in doing that, with a focus on the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Hong Kong and, to a lesser extent, Africa, says Joe Moynihan, its CEO. Although it hadn’t focused that much on the US, a number of Jersey’s financial services firms have been doing business on behalf of US customers in the more recent past. In light of that, Jersey Finance started to explore the possibility of launching a New York presence with a focus on the funds space. Its aim was to make the market aware of Jersey’s ability to act as a conduit, either for investment into Europe and the

AFTER THE FINANCIAL crisis of 2008, much attention was thrust upon Asia’s emerging markets as the world’s wealth management experts searched for new areas of growth. In some respects, these markets haven’t disappointed. China has seen the greatest growth in billionaires of any country – from just 16 in 2006, the country was home to 373 billionaires by 2018, with an accumulated wealth of $1.2trn. In the same year, the growth rate of billionaires in Asia Pacific was three times that of the US. However, China’s economic growth has failed to meet expectations and, as a result, the region’s expected dominance of the world’s wealth stage hasn’t quite come to fruition. And now the US is seeing renewed appeal as the leading centre of wealth creation. “Ten years ago, when the economists were making their presentations, they would show graphs predicting the future GDP of the US versus that of China – and it showed that sometime around now, China would have overcome the US in terms of total economic wealth,” says Bart Deconinck, Executive Chairman elect at trust, corporate and fund services specialist Zedra. “But it hasn’t happened. China’s economy is still at less than half the US economy. “We simply haven’t seen the numbers we were told we would see. They said there was going to be GDP growth of 9%. Then they told us it would be more like 6% and, if you actually look at the import/export figures, which are really the only figures you cannot manipulate, the reality is the economy is at 3%-4%.” The US has done a fantastic job of recovering from the financial crisis of 2008, Deconinck adds, pointing out that California and Texas would likely rank among the 10 biggest economies in the world in their own right. He cites strong GDP figures, rising wages and an

The US

september/october 2019 33

The US UK or to attract investors from those jurisdictions, particularly in the alternative investments area – private equity, real estate, infrastructure – and with a focus on institutional investors. “That route is now pretty well tried and tested and, given the amount of fund management centred in the US, it was felt there was still a significant opportunity for us to do more business,” Moynihan says. “The US is responsible for 50% of the global asset management generally and we think that percentage is even higher in the alternative space. So we got approval to set up an office there, we have identified premises, we have begun recruitment and we expect to have the office formally up and running in October.” One business already up and running in the US is JTC. Michelle Le Herissier heads the company’s operations in South Dakota, one of four states that have modern trust laws – the others being Delaware, Nevada and Wyoming. JTC set up in South Dakota in 2017 to offer trust administration services and has sales teams in Miami and New York. Le Herissier says JTC was drawn to the region by a number of appealing factors. “The trust laws are very flexible but also the taxes for non-US residents are great – so it has the appeal of traditional offshore centres such as the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. It’s just gained traction that I don’t think anyone could have foreseen and it’s fantastic that people are wanting to do business here.”

EVERYONE’S INTERESTED Will the US’s continued growth as a wealth centre drive other Channel Islands businesses to build their activities there too? Deconinck certainly thinks so. “Particularly in the funds space, we’re seeing a lot of interest from the main islands operators and there are some targets that the investment bankers are promoting,” he says. “As always, everyone does the same analysis and research, so when some players start to move, others do too. “From our perspective, I’m glad we did our analysis two years ago and opened a Miami office. At the time, we didn’t have the firepower to make a big acquisition,

The trust laws are very flexible but also the taxes for non-US residents are great – so it has the appeal of traditional offshore centres such as the Channel Islands and Isle of Man

34 september/october 2019

EXPERT VIEW Christopher Jehan, Chairman of the Guernsey Investment & Funds Association (GIFA), says Guernsey is picking up business from the US Guernsey’s financial services policy framework has identified the United States as a key primary market for the island, and GIFA has also identified it as a market for renewed focus. There has already been some success with the US market for Guernsey’s funds industry. Guernsey is home to the fourth highest number of funds and securities sold into the US under Regulation D Private Placement, outside of the US and Canada. The island is now seeking to capitalise on that success, especially given that one of the traditional jurisdictions used by US fund managers, the Cayman Islands, is facing the triple threat of implementing economic substance, a less-than-favourable report from the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force, and a public register of beneficial ownership being forced on it by the UK Parliament. More recently, Guernsey has become home to structures that were formerly domiciled in Delaware but are now seeking to escape the punitive Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income regime, implemented by the Trump administration.

but we do now, so that’s an exciting move for us.” Moynihan agrees: “It’s fair to say we are seeing a rise in the number of Jersey-based firms ramping up their activity in the US. A number of our firms have carried out acquisitions there. Because our firms are now much bigger operators and much more global, quite a number of them now have US subsidiaries or US affiliate offices. “And we think that us raising the profile of Jersey off the back of our US office will also raise the profile of our local providers.”

THE CHALLENGES Despite the appeal of the US market and despite the opportunities it offers, entering the market is not without its challenges. Deconinck points to the legal environment as the biggest hurdle. “Every state has different statutes on the books, every state has a different regulatory framework, some have different ownership rules – in Delaware, you can’t have foreign control of trust companies. That is the challenge for businesses looking to operate across the US,” he says. “You need to be pretty focused and very clear about what your proposition is,” adds Moynihan. “It’s a question of going in with your eyes open, but for the professional players that get their proposition right, there will be opportunity. The opportunities are clearly big. We are excited to see the growth of Channel Islands operators in the region in the coming years.” n

Reaching the minds other publications can’t reach




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“What is it all for?”

UBS Wealth Management Jersey Director and Senior Client Advisor Marc Nightingale addresses the challenges of modern-day succession planning

36 september/october 2019

WE ARE IN constant communication with our clients, and a question frequently raised that can be one of the trickiest to answer is: “What is it all for?” The truth is, the question of what wealth is fundamentally for has no single answer and is a deeply personal matter for most individuals. Is wealth simply to be enjoyed by the people who have made it? Those with children and grandchildren usually feel a sense of responsibility to their descendants. However, setting them up in life without taking away their drive and incentive for success can be complicated. Many families face real challenges and dilemmas when it comes to making plans for transferring wealth to the next generation. UBS has often been the facilitator of conversations about what can be very emotional and even life-defining themes. Much discussion about wealth transfer focuses on minimising tax liabilities, but that can miss the bigger picture. Aspects

such as future relationships, marriage and divorce can be the most significant risk factors impacting the wealth of a family.

EXPERIENCED ADVISERS At UBS, our advice is based on our experience of working over many years with individuals and families who have faced similar challenges. Parents sometimes have opposing views on how best to set up their children in life or to involve them in the planning process. Increasing house prices and school fees have placed greater emphasis on these two aspects of succession planning. Creating a sense of fairness between siblings with different interests and skills is also often one of the biggest challenges. Additionally, family structures are getting more complex and the decisions being made may affect multiple generations. Deciding when to tell children or grandchildren about the extent of wealth is often a difficult decision.

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Some wealthy individuals also want to balance the needs of their children with philanthropy. Discussions are often raised about the selection of projects that have the most impact and how the importance of this type of investment is communicated to beneficiaries. Transferring wealth from one generation to the next can have its difficulties. One approach may be not to think about it as ‘succession planning’ at all. There is unlikely to be one single moment when the entire family gathers to agree the shape of any settlement. Most situations will be different, reflecting a family’s values, its wealth levels and its approach to parenting.


Managing wealth is about more than seeking the highest financial returns. it is part of a much broader conversation about long-term financial planning

My role as a Client Advisor at UBS is to help families understand what the purpose of money really is for their situation. Managing wealth is about more than just seeking the most secure investments and highest financial returns. At its best, managing wealth is part of a much broader conversation about long-term financial planning, which continues over many years and even decades. Wealthy individuals will ask themselves any number of challenging questions: “What are my overall goals? What do I want to achieve in the rest of my life? What are my children’s goals? How can I best help my children reach those goals?” Wealth planning, including the transfer of wealth to the next generation, should be sufficiently flexible to deal with changing priorities and withstand future challenges. In the past, a wealth manager might have focused on the investment aspects, without being part of these more subtle and complicated interactions. Facilitating essential conversations about the most complex and sensitive issues is also vitally important to overall wealth planning. The financial products and solutions may, in the end, be relatively simple to find. When thinking about succession planning, the difficult part is always helping clients find an answer to the important question: “What is it all for?” n


For more information on how UBS Wealth Management in Jersey can provide support, please contact Marc Nightingale: Marc Nightingale, Senior Client Advisor UBS AG, Jersey Branch 1, IFC St Helier, Jersey JE2 3BX Tel: 01534 701173 Email:

UBS AG, Jersey Branch is authorised and regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission for the conduct of banking, funds and investment business. © UBS 2019. All rights reserved.

september/october 2019 37


The States of Guernsey is facing pressure from business to improve transport links, or become a support act to Jersey. So what needs to change?

2019 HAS BEEN a good year for Guernsey Words: David Craik

38 september/october 2019

Airport. Since January, it has recorded month after month of growth, culminating in the most recent Civil Aviation Authority figures demonstrating June passenger traffic numbers of 79,034, up 7% on the same time last year. However, it hasn’t always been like this. The growth has been particularly welcomed by the Institute of Directors (IoD), the Chamber of Commerce and the Guernsey International Business Association, which declared it the “first meaningful recovery in air traffic after a decade of decline”. Between 2010 and 2018, Guernsey recorded a 9% drop in passenger numbers compared with a 24% rise in the Isle of Man and 15% in Jersey. This has hit Guernsey’s economy. A PwC analysis of 2017 tourism figures found that

problems with connectivity contributed to the island missing its annual visitor growth target of 3%. In addition, the island’s business groups estimated last year that if the prevailing passenger trend continued, it could cut £100m per annum from Guernsey’s GDP by the mid 2020s. “Businesses are locating themselves on Jersey rather than Guernsey,” says Tony Mancini, Chairman of the Guernsey International Business Association. “The two islands are fairly similar on measures such as taxation and regulation, so what determines where you are going to put your company? One is going to be transport, especially with the requirements for more business to be done on the islands as part of new economic substance laws. Jersey, with more airlines serving it, must be in a stronger position.”

Until recently, Guernsey had two main air carriers – the States of Guernsey-run airline Aurigny (flying to the UK, including Gatwick) and FlyBe franchise operator Blue Islands (also flying to the mainland, including London City). In comparison, Jersey is served by major operators such as British Airways and Easyjet. James Ede-Golightly, a committee member of the IoD in Guernsey, says: “In 2018, we were seeing a lot of frustration amongst our members about high fares, poor connections and a lack of choice. It was deterring business investment on Guernsey and proving to be a difficult place to reach for clients and prospective employees.” The IoD identified air infrastructure as well as the lack of airlines as a major headwind. “If you look at the runway

lengths of all UK airports with over half a million passengers a year, Guernsey has the shortest,” Ede-Golightly states. “The challenges of operating from Guernsey have contributed to the loss of major airlines over the last 20 years as they moved to larger aircraft. Moreover, in recent years a relatively restrictive closed skies licensing regime also limited the attraction of Guernsey to new operators and pressure on incumbent operators to offer competitive fares. Something had to change.”

OPEN SKIES Last July, the States of Guernsey deregulated the industry, with all routes except the lifeline routes to Alderney and Gatwick being exempt from the need to hold a local air transport licence. Both Aurigny and Blue Islands expressed

concerns that ‘unfettered’ competition in ‘sub-scale markets’ would lead to less choice of routes and frequency of yearround services. “One of the risks of open skies is that operators can cherry-pick the more profitable services and schedules, and if a licence is not dependent on a minimum service level, there is a potential loss of connectivity during off-peak times or slower, loss-making travel months, which business relies on,” says Rob Veron, Chief Executive of Blue Islands. “We believe there is a role for an authority to manage the sustainability of air and sea travel to and from the islands.” Since open skies, there have been eight new routes added, including Blue Island flights to Southend, Logan Air flights to Edinburgh and a new FlyBe route to

september/october 2019 39


Infrastructure Heathrow. The latter – which initially covered the summer season and, if current discussions go well, will also cover winter – came with an £825,000 States subsidy. “Southend has proven to be popular with business travellers because of its easy access to the City of London,” says Veron. The Heathrow route has also been praised by business. “The Heathrow plane is very full when it takes off in the afternoon and our members and their clients and customers have changed their meeting schedules around it,” says Mancini. “I used it to go to Luxembourg and found it much quicker than using Gatwick. That would take you all day.”

MORE NEEDED Ede-Golightly also welcomes the changes, but cautions that more needs to be done. “We need several years of this new competitive environment to create the confidence to build businesses and hotels and invest on the island as passenger numbers stabilise and grow.” Evidence can be seen in the recent investment pledges of hotel groups Premier Inn and Travelodge to open in Guernsey. “It wouldn’t surprise me if they have looked at the willingness of public policy to support a recovery in passenger traffic,” says Ede-Golightly. He believes Guernsey could also do more to attract the larger short-haul operators. For that to happen, the runway would need to be extended to 1,700 metres, as recommended in a PwC report into Guernsey’s air infrastructure last year. “The Isle of Man is served by British Airways and Easyjet, as well as other operators; there is no reason to suggest that Guernsey is too small,” he says. “The government could fiscally incentivise the operator to run the right type of services

and frequency to meet the island’s needs and stimulate the economy.” Tim Robins, an airline pilot and former council member of the Guernsey Chamber of Commerce, agrees that runway investment is still badly needed. “There is an argument that the turbo props used by Aurigny and Blue Islands are adequate for Guernsey demand, but I feel we are almost excluding ourselves from a group of airlines that may want to fly here,” he says.

WILLING OPERATORS Easyjet withdrew an air licence application to run a route to Guernsey in 2014. “This followed a thorough commercial and operational evaluation, taking account of the continued uncertainty surrounding the States’ sole operator policy,” says Easyjet UK Country Manager Ali Gayward. “We work closely with the airport should there be new opportunities in the future.” In contrast, it has flown more than two million passengers from Jersey since launching services in 2008. “Our Jersey capacity increased by around 9% last summer and we see the demand quite equally for both leisure and business travellers,” Gayward says. Robins contends that both Easyjet and British Airways have made it clear to the States of Guernsey that they would consider running routes if the runway were 1,700 metres long. This is backed up by Charles Parkinson, President of the government’s Committee for Economic Development. “If they had a runway they could operate off, they would talk to us,” he says. “We are willing to invest and put public money behind other routes, including into continental Europe. We are open to proposals from other airlines.” However, this spring the States

We need several years of this new competitive environment to create the confidence to build businesses and hotels and invest on the island as passenger numbers grow

40 september/october 2019


decided not to go ahead with PwC’s recommendation that a cost-benefit analysis of building such a runway extension be carried out. Deputy Lyndon Trott declared that such an extension could require “bulldozing parts of St Peters”. It would lead to a “huge and complex” planning inquiry and enormous investment – £700,000 to complete the analysis – on which there may never be a return. Robins describes it as a huge missed opportunity. “The States decided by just one vote not to continue. Withholding funding on vital airport infrastructure while continuing to pump millions per annum into a loss-making States-owned airline is a strategy many business owners have started to question,” Robins says. “There are two distinct camps in government: the pro-business lobby, who believe an extended runway and more competition is a no-brainer, and those who don’t want anything to change. “The latter camp had to be pulled kicking and screaming into supporting open skies. Some of those deputies now accept reluctantly that it has done some good things, but they still don’t really see the need for it to challenge Aurigny’s role.”

AURIGNY DIVIDE As much as there is a divide on a runway, there is equally a divide over Aurigny. Is the airline an economic enabler or detractor? According to its 2018 annual report, it posted a £4.4m annual loss, down from £5.2m in 2017. It also cited investment in aircraft, technology to ensure safer landings in bad weather, and new routes such as Southampton after open skies. Despite this, Robins, who sat on the

If we don’t sort out the transport situation, there is a danger that we become a service sector to Jersey

2017 Aurigny Review Panel, believes that it has failed. “It can’t drive demand,” he says. “I understand why the States feel they need an airline to protect the ownership of the island’s slots at Gatwick. Aurigny has an important role to play in serving the routes that other commercial operators couldn’t, or maybe wouldn’t, operate year-round. However, it requires a disciplined and rational approach to ownership by the States as shareholder.” As an example of what a new mandate would look like, he mentions links from the island to international airports. “Aurigny needs to engage in code share partnerships with other airlines to ensure smoother connections for travellers. However, they

have never pushed this adequately,” he says. A reform of Aurigny is necessary, given the changing environment, agrees Ede-Golightly. “We need more competition to sustain a recovery in passenger numbers, but accelerating this exacerbates the existing challenges to Aurigny’s business model, and the island still relies on it for a large proportion of its air links,” he says. “Aurigny has said that its costs per passenger are around £20 higher per oneway flight than British Airways or Easyjet would be on an equivalent Guernsey-UK route. To simply cover the difference, Aurigny needs some combination of premium ticket pricing and government support. It is a complex problem but it needs to be resolved.” Parkinson believes that Aurigny should be operating as a commercial airline and not require public subsidy. “There is a divide in the States over transport issues,” he confirms. Veron says opposing factions need to come together. “Like all social and economic policy, we must look at this in the round, considering the island’s tourism product and economic diversification plan. It is not simply a question of how people travel, but why a visitor might travel here,” he says. Progress might emerge from the Guernsey election in 2020, during which transport is set to be a key factor. The 2020 Association, a new political group, has pledged to endorse candidates who support the new runway and increasing the size of Guernsey’s harbour. Mancini sums up the importance of improved transport links to business: “If we don’t sort it out, there is a danger that we become a service sector to Jersey.” n

september/october 2019 41

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Timing is everything. When disaster strikes you need immediate action. As the only locally-owned and independently operated chartered loss adjuster, we have, for the past 15 years, offered unrivalled service and expertise in respect of both commercial and domestic insurance property claims throughout the Channel Islands.

Acting on behalf of locally based insurers and brokers happens 42 september/october 2019

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Profile: Richard and Julie-anne

Headington, Channel Islands Adjusters

LIKE ANY YEAR, 2019 has had its ups

and downs, and one of the secrets of any successful person or business is learning to roll with the punches during challenging times. But imagine if every situation you dealt with was another person’s disaster. What if almost every phone call announced a devastating situation and it was your team called upon to assess the situation and guide your clients through the next steps? That’s a reasonable description of a normal day in the office at Channel Islands Adjusters, led by husband and wife team Richard and Julie-anne Headington. Chartered Loss Adjusters are the industry experts in navigating the process in the event of an insurance claim. It’s a specialist area requiring expert knowledge and skills, along with a full understanding of the insurance industry. For a couple who deal with disasters every day, Richard and Julie-anne are incredibly optimistic, rational and reassuring. Not surprising, considering they have combined experience of more than five decades in the industry and established CI Adjusters 15 years ago. “I suppose, if you think about it, no one ever really wants to be contacted by a loss adjuster,” admits Richard, “because inevitably it means that you’ve had an issue in your home or business. The thing is, as we always say, ‘It happens’. And when it

does, you need the right people on hand to help guide you through the process so that you can get back to normal life as soon as possible.” 2019 has been another milestone year for Richard and Julie-anne, who were the first married couple in the world to both become Chartered Loss Adjusters. Earlier this year, they celebrated their 10,000th case and Finance Director Julie-anne became both an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute and a Chartered Insurance Practitioner. With her Chartered Loss Adjuster status, this means she is now ‘double chartered’ and joins Richard as the only two loss adjusters in the Channel Islands to hold this ‘double chartered’ status. Spend an hour in CI Adjusters’ office and it becomes clear that no two days are ever the same. The team bounce in from and out to site visits, assessing damage to residential and commercial properties across Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney, Herm and Sark. Most commonly, this is water damage, fire or storm, but it can encompass any accident or mishap in the home that’s large enough to warrant their specialist knowledge. “What you have to remember,” says Julie-anne, “is that every case we deal with is personal and every disaster is relative to the individual experiencing it. Some people face moving out of their homes or vacating (L-R) Julie-anne Headington, Aaron Slattery, Josh Smith, Richard Headington and Tracy Le Page

business premises for extended periods, and all of the challenges that come with that can seem devastating. Our job is to make that process as smooth as possible, helping with everything from alternative accommodation to getting the right contractor on site who can complete the job to the client’s specification.” Key to their roles are specialist knowledge and strong relationships with the panel of Channel Island insurers and contractors. Alongside Richard and Julie-anne is a team they describe as “the future of the loss adjusting industry in the Channel Islands”. Both Josh Smith and Aaron Slattery have passed their final exams to become Chartered Loss Adjusters and, by the end of 2019, will also be ‘time qualified’, making the team the most qualified by far in the Channel Islands. The crew is ably assisted by Office Manager Tracy Le Page, and the pride in their team and camaraderie is tangible. Julie-anne explains: “Tracy, Josh and Aaron’s hard work and dedication mean that the islands will benefit from locallygrown loss adjusters leading the industry for the next 40 years or more.” As for the future, the team isn’t stopping at its latest set of qualifications, with more on the horizon. Josh and Aaron are currently studying for the British Damage Management Association’s Insurance Technician qualification and Tracy is studying for her Loss Adjusting Certificate. Meanwhile, Richard is helping to share the company’s expertise in the CI market with the wide range of insurers offering services in the islands. He says: “Our local knowledge means claims are more likely to complete to both the client and insurer’s satisfaction, which is a win-win for everyone.” Julie-anne adds: “It’s exciting times – and we wouldn’t have it any other way.” n


For more information, visit

september/october 2019 43

Private equity

THE CHANNEL ISLANDS have been playing host to a who’s who of private equity since the asset class was in its infancy in the early 1980s. Many of the industry’s biggest and most successful brands have grown up on the shores of Jersey and Guernsey, including Apax, Permira, KKR, Cinven, BC Partners and Coller Capital. However, populist rhetoric and negative media coverage – including the recent publication of the Tax Justice Network’s Corporate Tax Haven Index – have rallied public opinion in opposition to offshore centres. As a result, investors in private equity funds are increasingly piling pressure on managers to relocate. A small but growing number of firms, including Nordic star Altor, have retrenched to home territories. More commonly, however, firms have packed their bags for Luxembourg. The reality is that these relocations are all about optics, and there is no rational reason for investors to favour onshore jurisdictions. “The Channel Islands are not tax havens, we do not offer preferential tax regimes and we don’t facilitate tax avoidance,” says Annette Alexander, a Guernsey-based Partner at law firm Carey Olsen. “We are market leaders in terms of tax transparency and are on the OECD white list. Most recently, the European Union [EU] has confirmed that we have met their concerns regarding economic substance requirements. We’re often more compliant than the onshore EU alternatives.” Andy Sloan, Deputy Chief Executive, Strategy, at Guernsey Finance, says: “The issue is that populist opinion is a couple of decades behind reality. We have the highest anti-money laundering ratings on the planet. We are at the forefront of tax transparency. According to the facts of the day, all this should be put to bed as a non-

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issue. Certain political campaigners are acting as if it’s 1999, not 2019.” But this is a public relations battle, first and foremost. And it’s one that the Channel Islands’ rivals are waging without mercy.

PASSPORT TO SUCCESS The biggest beneficiary of the onshore trend has undoubtedly been Luxembourg, with its well-oiled PR machine advocating the advantages of its onshore EU location, and, in particular, its compliance with the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD). Luxembourg may be a relative newcomer, but it is already the second most popular domicile for private equity funds. Indeed, the Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry estimates that there is somewhere in the region

Many find the current Luxembourg relocations all the more flummoxing, given the regulatory burden that has befallen EU-domiciled funds since AIFMD was implemented

Words: Amy Carroll

of €400bn of private equity funds now residing within its borders. The much vaunted AIFMD fundraising ‘passport’, however, has not been the panacea that it was widely expected to be. Passporting was intended to allow private equity funds to market in any European country without having to gain separate approval from each country’s regulator. But the process is not entirely seamless. Some regulators have imposed additional compliance and fee requirements on top of existing charges, so friction remains. Many find the current Luxembourg relocations all the more flummoxing, given the heavy regulatory burden that has befallen EU-domiciled funds since AIFMD was implemented six years ago. The cost of a Jersey or Guernsey structure is understood to be around 40% lower than a structure that’s AIFMD compliant and, contrary to the Luxembourg marketing spiel, they do not restrict a manager’s ability to market funds in Europe. The fact is, only 3% of private equity firms are registered to market in more than three countries. And Switzerland, the UK and the Netherlands alone represent two thirds of private equity fundraising, according to Preqin. Most managers simply don’t require access to every single European jurisdiction, significantly diluting the stated benefits of the passport. The national private placement regime (NPPR) used by Jersey and Guernsey allows access to 22 of the 28 EU member states on a bilateral agreement basis, and without the punitive compliance overhead that comes with administering in Luxembourg. Furthermore, both Jersey and Guernsey were among the small handful of jurisdictions to be given an ‘unqualified and positive assessment’ by the European Securities and Markets Authority, meaning they will be at the front of the queue once

Private equity firms are coming under growing pressure from investors to move onshore. But the case for the Channel Islands remains compelling

Private equity

Onshore or offshore? The PE dilemma

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Private equity the third-country passporting regime is finally activated. “The NPPR is proven, smarter and faster. The benefits of the passport were always far more myth than actuality,” says Sloan. “Investors often don’t appreciate the regulatory costs of a Luxembourg structure – or the lower service levels. “People like dealing with a familiar business environment. They understand our common law approach. In fact, research we conducted this year showed that more than two thirds of managers would disaggregate their global and European distribution to reduce costs. They are starting to recognise that a one-stop onshore model is a more expensive and inflexible approach.” “There is a misperception that the only viable way to market alternative funds in Europe is through an AIFMD passport,” adds Elliot Refson, Director of Funds at Jersey Finance. “That misperception stems from a misunderstanding of the proposition offered by NPPR regimes and a lack of awareness about how private fund placement works – and how well it works.” Carey Olsen’s Alexander says private equity firms are increasingly requesting that NPPR not be turned off when third-country passporting becomes available, as originally planned. “NPPR is a valuable and effective alternative and as inefficiencies with the passport become apparent, managers are increasingly appreciating its virtues.”

HOME OR AWAY? There is no denying the pressure that private equity firms are facing to move their business onshore – although there are

managers are starting to recognise that a one-stop onshore model is a more expensive and inflexible approach

many who would argue that Luxembourg does not truly fulfil onshore criteria for investors concerned about reputation. “It is an offshore jurisdiction in an onshore location,” says Alexander. “Some onshore financial centres are becoming more like a tax haven. Some firms are in Luxembourg, for example, just to gain access to an extensive network of tax treaties and to take advantage of low effective tax rates that can be achieved through obtaining tax rulings.” Indeed, despite continuing calls for onshore migration, the Channel Islands have a compelling story to tell. Well established as a jurisdiction of substance, Jersey and Guernsey provide

The Channel Islands


a proportionate, stable and supportive regulatory regime. The funds industry is integral to the region’s prosperity and a perennial priority for rule makers. Expertise and service levels are also superlative, while there are those who believe that Luxembourg is struggling to keep up with the pace of demand. “The Channel Islands are a key jurisdiction for the domiciliation, management and administration of private equity funds, offering flexible investment structures, expertise and an ease of doing business,” says Refson. “We are also a jurisdiction where you can put the government, regulators and industry in one room, which leads to a collaborative and innovative environment. “At the end of 2018, Jersey was administering almost €320bn – a 15% increase year on year. Thinking about this in terms of onshore and offshore is a complete distraction. Managers need to be thinking about where the expertise and appropriate regulatory environment can be found. The Channel Islands provide that solution.” Sloan concludes: “We are living in an era of global populism and, increasingly, we are having to fight the corner not of offshore, or financial services, but of capitalism and free trade itself. “But I think the pendulum will swing. The public will recognise the reality of where we have been for a long time. And private equity firms will continue to take advantage of the flexible, proportionate and cost-effective administration that the Channel Islands can offer.” n


how the jurisdictions stack up for Private equity funds Channel Islands



Long track record of serving private equity

Relative new entrant but growing fast


Stable, proportionate and light touch regulatory regime

AIFMD compliant


Low-cost administration at launch and throughout the life of a fund

Higher regulatory requirements and costs

Market access

NPPR allows widespread distribution in Europe and beyond

AIFMD passport allows free and unfettered access to European markets


High service levels and mature infrastructure

Rapidly evolving infrastructure, but may be struggling to keep up with demand

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Private equity CORPORATE




World class fiduciary and administration services With 550 experienced professionals across 11 offshore and onshore jurisdictions, our people are the stars of our business. Collaborative, experienced and armed with substantial technical expertise, they provide quality solutions to your specific requirements. Call Jersey on 01534 844 844 or Guernsey on 01481 742 742 to find out more. Follow us

Regulatory information is available at

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Guernsey’s insurance industry has a rich history of innovating to meet changing market needs. It might be on the cusp of the next growth spurt

Insurance innovation rolls on in Guernsey Words: Paul Bryant

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OPTIONS FOR CORPORATE INSURANCE BUYERS Captive insurance has been the backbone of the Guernsey insurance industry for decades. Initially, this market served only large corporate insurance buyers who could set up their own insurance companies as subsidiaries and use them as efficient vehicles to self-insure risks (hence the word ‘captive’). They also gave direct access to reinsurance markets without having to work through other insurance companies or intermediaries. According to Guernsey Finance, the first captive insurer was incorporated on the island in 1922, with Guernsey now being home to the captive insurers of more than 20% of the FTSE 100. Paul Sykes, Managing Director at Aon Guernsey, says a captive insurance company gives its owner the flexibility of a ‘make-or-buy’ decision. If insurance prices are high, or if cover isn’t available through the insurance industry (such as for some cyber risks), corporates can self-insure through their captive (a ‘make’ decision). If prices are low, they will tend to use commercial insurance markets (a ‘buy’ decision). In the late 1990s, Guernsey found a new growth engine for its captive industry by pioneering the concept of cell companies (commonly known as cell captives). These consist of a single regulated insurance entity housing multiple cells, with each cell enjoying legal segregation of its assets and liabilities – akin to a ‘mini-captive’. By spreading the significant overhead costs of an insurance company across many cells, it became feasible for smaller companies to enjoy many of the benefits of a captive. New opportunities continue to be found for Guernsey’s captive and cell captive expertise and infrastructure. Since 2014, a significant market has been developed using these vehicles to help pension funds offload longevity risk – the additional costs to the pension fund of members living longer than expected – onto insurance markets. As many UK defined benefit (DB) schemes closed to new members (according to the Pension Protection Fund, only 12% of DB schemes remained open to new members in 2018), they have tried to make their outstanding liabilities as predictable as possible. One way to do this is to purchase reinsurance

cover for these risks through a transaction known as a longevity swap. Captive structures in Guernsey have been a popular vehicle for these transactions – allowing direct access to reinsurance markets and avoiding intermediary fees. High-profile transactions include the BT Pension Scheme, which in 2014 set up its own captive insurance company in Guernsey and reinsured $16bn of its longevity risk. In 2015, the Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund used a Towers Watson Guernsey cell captive structure to reinsure $1.5bn of its longevity risk.

NEW-LOOK INVESTMENTS FOR CAPITAL MARKETS The post-financial-crisis era presented Guernsey’s insurance sector with an opportunity to tap into a new client base – institutional investors – which it grabbed with both hands. Quantitative easing policies of leading central banks boosted the volume of capital available for investment, which was in turn deployed across nearly all asset classes and led to the prices of different asset classes, such as equities and bonds, rising together and becoming more correlated. This prompted many investors to look for alternatives with returns uncorrelated to these mainstream assets. The insurance sector was able to provide a solution via insurance linked securities (ILS). Investors could allocate capital to ‘insurance risks’ – typically providing reinsurance capital to pay for losses from natural catastrophes, and profiting if these losses were less than expected – with returns being largely uncorrelated to equity or bond returns. According to Willis Towers Watson, capital allocated to ILS globally grew at a compound annual rate of 20% between 2009 and 2018, and reached $93bn in 2018. It’s a market poised for even more growth. Cedric Edmonds, a Partner in the Portfolio Management team at Solidum Partners, a Zurich-based investment management company specialising in ILS (which has been issuing ILS in Guernsey since 2010), says: “There is a lot more potential; I would describe it as a market in its early teen years. Demand from investors is strong because of the non-correlated risk profile. And from the supply side, there are many insurance risks that haven’t yet come to the ILS market.” According to Stewart McLaughlin, Risk Consultant at Robus Group, some ILS managers are already bringing life insurance risks to the ILS market, which is growing steadily. He says that there is also potential for cyber and mortgage indemnity risks to make their way into ILS products. Edmonds has been at the forefront of technical innovation in the Guernsey ILS market. In 2016, Solidum lost its access to Euroclear and was struggling to find a cost-efficient settlement option for an ILS it wanted to issue. Incumbent settlement houses and large banks either didn’t want to do such a small ($14.8m) ILS transaction or were charging fees that made it too expensive. So Solidum designed its own solution. It created a proprietary electronic settlement system, using blockchain technology, which disintermediated banks and settling houses and dramatically reduced the transactional costs of the ILS issue. Potential investors were approached and, if interested, were required to set

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GUERNSEY HAS CARVED out a clear niche in the insurance industry. Whereas jurisdictions to which it is often compared – Malta, Gibraltar and Luxembourg – tend to focus on their European Union (EU) distribution capabilities (through ‘passporting’ rights that come with EU membership), Guernsey is at the forefront of insurance ‘capital management’. It occupies a space at the intersection of the insurance and investment industries, helping the insurance sector to attract capital and manage it efficiently, and helping capital markets find attractive insurance-related investment opportunities. Dominic Wheatley, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance, summarises: “Guernsey’s insurance sector has mostly concentrated on services to the ‘corporate world’ – responding to market needs; being innovative, agile and flexible; and identifying specialist niche areas where we can excel, rather than competing for ‘volume’ insurance business.”


The Guernsey hybrid should reduce transactional costs because there is one regulator to deal with, one board of directors, one auditor, one time zone

up a node on the blockchain and given a unique cryptographic key. They would then log onto their node, use their key to decode the trade and confirm the transaction. The ILS asset would then be swapped for currency on the blockchain. The system has also made secondary trading in these securities far easier and cheaper. Solidum has now concluded around 20 ILS transactions worth $50m on the blockchain. Another recent innovation is the ‘Guernsey hybrid’ – a regulated cell company and investment fund within a single legal entity – which was approved by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) in March 2019. Currently, many ILS managers have their investment funds based outside Guernsey but use Guernsey-based cells to deploy this capital. Christopher Anderson, a Partner at law firm Carey Olsen, who pioneered the hybrid, believes this new structure should prove attractive to ILS fund managers, especially those based outside Guernsey. “They will be able to raise their fund and issue the reinsurance policy within the same legal entity,” he says. “This should reduce overhead and transactional costs because there is one regulator to deal with, one board of directors, one auditor, one time zone, so it should be very efficient.” ILS also has the potential to tap into the fast-growing environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing space. For example, natural catastrophe insurance can play a role in disaster relief following

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climate-change-induced events. Some funds might be eligible for Guernsey Green Fund status (a regulatory kitemark issued by the GFSC). And funds or securities could also qualify for TISE GREEN status if listed on The International Stock Exchange (TISE) (see ‘Averting catastrophe’, Businesslife City Edition 2019 for more details). “This is an area where the breadth of our industry provides advantages and enables us to contribute to climate change, both in the insurance of increasingly regular natural catastrophes and in providing the investment funds needed to deliver the objectives of the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement,” says Guernsey Finance’s Wheatley. “This is reflected in the ambition and objectives of Guernsey Green Finance, our wide-ranging initiative in the green and sustainable finance space.”

SERVING INSURTECHS Another trend gaining traction in the industry is ‘insurtech’. It can mean many things, from artificial intelligencepowered systems that make claims management more efficient by studying millions of images of damaged cars or buildings and estimating repair costs in seconds, to online sales of insurance-on-demand, which allows consumers to insure cameras or musical instruments for only a few days or even hours. It’s this latter category of customerfacing insurtechs that’s opening up a new area of growth for Guernsey’s cell industry. Some are structured as managing

general agents (MGAs), which provide underwriting services to an insurance company, and are looking to put up risk capital for the insurance portfolio that they manage. Nick Pester, Partner and Head of Insurance and Insurtech at Capital Law, and mentor at Startupbootcamp – a multinational accelerator with a focus on insurtech – says there was a first wave of innovative but niche insurtechs. These were becoming the distribution partners of insurance companies, acting as brokers or agents but not taking insurance risk onto their own balance sheet. This is starting to change, he says. “Many insurtechs are now three or four years old and venture capital companies that invested in them are getting more comfortable with having their money used for risk capital. Previously, they wanted it used to build a customer base and operational capacity. So we’ll be seeing more insurtechs taking insurance risk.” Wheatley sees a clear opportunity for Guernsey. “We are seeing MGAs use cell structures to invest their own capital and ‘share’ a portion of the underwriting profits or losses they usually pass on to their insurance company principals,” he says. “On top of that, Guernsey is ideally suited to smaller, niche insurance operations, with the ability to help them as they scale up. We have our own insurtech VC community, outsourced service providers such as compliance services, and a regulatory environment conducive to innovation.”

WHY GUERNSEY? Edmonds sums up why Solidum uses Guernsey for its ILS products: “We first issued ILS in Guernsey in 2010. At that time, it was really something new. We


spoke to various jurisdictions, and Guernsey was the only one to adopt an attitude of ‘we haven’t done that before, but we understand what you are trying to do and we can help you do it’. We have always found the regulator very approachable and willing to discuss doing something different.” He continues: “The rest of the ecosystem is also conducive to our business. TISE is very good – we were the first to list ILS in Guernsey back in 2011 – as are the service providers.” Aon’s Sykes says a testimony to the success of Guernsey’s innovation over the years is that other jurisdictions have tended to imitate Guernsey. “We have the experience and the culture to drive innovation, and our regulator has an innovation unit that’s ahead of its time,” he says. “But the commercial reality is that imitation creates competitive pressure and profits can be competed away. So while innovation is great, it’s not necessarily about being first to market (remember that Google wasn’t the first search engine). It’s probably more important to be able to scale new developments to critical mass, as we have done in captives and ILS. That’s the challenge.” Wheatley concludes: “I think we are in an enviable position. In many ways we are unique, not competing with major markets such as London and differentiated from other ‘niche’ jurisdictions. Our reputation is strong in terms of delivery – we would probably be regarded as the grandfather of strategic captives and a significant player in other areas such as ILS. And in terms of ethics, we are one of the few offshore jurisdictions on the EU tax whitelist. “Our ability to compete on talent is also in a robust state. We have a lot of homegrown talent, with around 1,000 people working in the insurance industry, and an ability to attract key skills to the island. We have the highest proportion of actuaries per capita in the world, and an experienced pool of non-executive directors, and advisory expertise as well.” In terms of competitor jurisdictions, Robus Group’s McLaughlin sees Guernsey in a unique position, and a distinct regional winner when it comes to the intersection of capital and insurance markets. He says: “Bermuda is at the forefront in the Americas, Singapore appears to be gaining traction in Asia, while Guernsey dominates this market space in Europe, with onshore EU jurisdictions focusing much more on passporting.” He also cites recent regulatory developments in the UK as something to watch. In 2018, the UK introduced cell legislation, positioning London as a potential direct competitor. However, McLaughlin believes this will be a positive factor. “I consider it will be more of a complement,” he says. “Developments in London are likely to result in significant growth of the overall cell and ILS market, rather than a case of taking business away from Guernsey. “I am confident we will see new ILS products coming out of London. It could be the rising tide that lifts all ships.” n

GUERNSEY: A PRIME LOCALE FOR YOUNG INSURANCE TALENT Jean-Pierre Bourgaize of Willis Towers Watson – 2019 winner of the Chris Le Conte award for Young Achiever in Guernsey Industry, presented by the Guernsey Insurance Institute Association – considers how the younger generation sees the Guernsey insurance sector For you, why Guernsey and not a larger insurance centre such as London? There is definitely an opportunity to fast-track a career. Young professionals often get early career exposure to some of the newest and most innovative insurance products. We also get to rub shoulders with the most senior client executives early in our careers. These are huge opportunities and not something you would typically get working for a large company in London, where you can spend a longer time doing the ‘legwork’ and not being involved in more complicated tasks and senior client interactions. On a personal level, Guernsey is a great place to raise a young family. It’s got good schools, children have access to almost any hobby, and it’s a safe and idyllic place to live. Is the island a haven for homegrown young insurance talent as well as offshore talent? It’s both. With education standards on the island being very high, the financial services industry has a strong demand for local talent and also encourages further education on-island, via organisations such as the Chartered Insurance Institute. Some people move away but it’s certainly not the majority. And even those who do, tend to come back in their mid 30s. We also see a good proportion of talent from all over the world. Multinational businesses usually advertise posts internally across their organisations and the Guernsey posts are popular. People like the combination of the island life and being close to the insurance hub of London. Can this level of attractiveness be maintained? I think it can get even stronger. Technology and close ties to London work in Guernsey’s favour. More companies are encouraging remote working, and videoconferencing as a way of interacting with clients and colleagues is still on the rise. So it’s becoming even easier to be based in Guernsey, gain experience of Guernsey’s insurance specialities, and at the same time gain experience of the London market. The other technology angle that works in Guernsey’s favour is the trend towards the use of big data and advanced analytics in insurance. Guernsey is a leader in these fields, which resonates with the younger generation.

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Advertising feature St Peter’s House

Why Jersey’s rural estates offer a tempting alternative to coastal living While Jersey’s premium property market has historically been linked with beachside locations and views of sparkling blue water, the countryside homes found inland have their own distinct appeal which just might tempt you away from the stunning coastal views which the island is known for the world over. Savills head of office, Geri O’Brien, suggests that purchasing a home in a rural location within one of Jersey’s many picturesque Parishes is a compelling proposition, particularly for those relocating to the island. She says, “While the quality of the coastal property is undoubtedly one of the island’s biggest draws, there is a relatively small pool of properties to choose from. Buyers often find that they have to sacrifice acreage and open space to obtain those coastal views. Although buyers may not have come to their property search actively seeking an inland rural property, it soon becomes clear to many that by considering parts of the island away from the coast they can access a much more extensive range of property. They are also able to benefit from the increased privacy which comes hand in hand with extensive grounds, plus

access to the countryside pursuits which they are used to if they own rural properties in the mainland UK or Europe.” For those looking for a property which makes a real statement there are few homes in Jersey to rival the truly impressive St Peter’s House in La Route Des Hetres, St Peters. Set within 20 acres of gardens, grounds and agricultural land, St Peter’s House is located in a beautiful unspoilt rural location, offering the combined benefits of countryside living with easy access to the rugged beauty, rolling dunes and sandy beaches of St Ouen’s Bay. “St Peter’s House presents an exceptional opportunity to buy a prestigious countryside estate,” says Geri O’Brien. “It offers everything a buyer could wish for in a prime country residence, including separate staff

accommodation in the form of a farm house and cottage.” The imposing period manor house and separate coach house are approached via a private tree-lined drive. Upon first sight, it’s clear that this is an exceptional home with true elegance and grandeur, retaining many beautiful period features such as detailed plasterwork, sparkling chandeliers and parquet flooring. A heated swimming pool with pool house provides informal

relaxation and entertaining space, and the grounds and gardens feature beautiful walks, an enclosed walled produce and flower garden, plus parkland and agricultural fields. St Peter’s House is currently on the market with Savills at a guide of £8.95 million. Geri O’Brien adds, “This property will resonate with prestige buyers from anywhere in the world thanks to its stunning architecture and sense of heritage which has been sensitively combined with modern adaptations.”

Advertising feature Terrebonne


For buyers seeking a private estate of slightly smaller proportions, Terrebonne in La Rue Es Phillipes in Grouville offers exceptional levels of privacy and charm. Set in seven acres of land with three separate tree-lined driveways and fine views over classic Jersey countryside, Terrebonne is just minutes away from the restaurants at Gorey Harbour and the award-winning Royal Jersey Golf Course. In addition to the six bedroom main residence, the estate comprises a four bedroom pink granite 17th century longhouse, a two bedroom barn conversion, a one bedroom dower house and a one bedroom apartment, allowing the Terrebonne estate to be utilised as an extensive family home.

This additional accommodation has previously been let out, generating an income of up to £100,000 per annum, making this an attractive proposition for purchasers looking to see an immediate return on their investment. The future owner of Terrebonne may have the chance to acquire something even more special than a superb country estate in one of Jersey’s most beautiful locations. The owner gains the opportunity to independently acquire the

For more information on St Peter’s House or Terrebonne, contact Geri O’Brien at Savills Jersey on 01534 722 227.

Geri O'Brien Director Savills Jersey 01534 722 227


title to the Fief or Seigneurie of La Fosse Astelle – adding an additional cachet to this historic estate, which has come to market for the first time in 120 years. Terrebonne is being marketed by Savills at a guide of £4.75 million. Geri O’Brien comments, “This lovely family home is steeped in history and offers particularly versatile accommodation which would suit multi-generational living or a family with staff. The main residence has truly unique historic character, an abundance of period features and an impressive library, with superb potential for a new owner to put their own stamp upon it.” With such spectacular countryside living on offer in Jersey, it’s little wonder that buyers are being enticed away from the coastline to enjoy the serenity of rural living. St Peter’s House and Terrebonne are just two of a number of rural properties which Savills is currently marketing. Could one of these be your forever home in the country?


This autumn sees trust, corporate and fund services business ZEDRA take on private equity backing from Corsair Capital. Bart Deconinck, who will become Executive Chairman of ZEDRA on completion of the deal, tells us what this new phase of development means for the three-year-old firm Words: Eila Madden

When Businesslife spoke to you in 2017, it was early days for Zedra. What have you been most proud of since then? We started in 2016 with the acquisition of Barclays Bank’s trust and fiduciary business. The number of staff, our revenues and the number of jurisdictions in which we are present have all doubled since then. Wealthy families are becoming more and more demanding in terms of what you can deliver for them. You cannot say any more, “I’m going to do one piece of the puzzle” – you have to be able to do everything. In the past three years, we’ve been able to develop a set of services that allows us to do more for existing clients – for example, we’ve added fund administration services and corporate work to our skill set – and that has a large part to do with the doubling of our revenues. The second significant achievement over the past three years has been the building of our brand. More and more, leading advisers are inviting us to beauty contests for their big clients and we recently won silver in the Digital Brand of the Year category at Citywealth’s annual Brand Management and Reputation Awards. We’re only three years old, so to be worthy of competing against 30-year-old brands shows that we’ve done a pretty good job of building the Zedra name. One other thing you stressed when we last spoke was that you would be growing Zedra without private equity backing. What’s changed? Zedra was growing fast and if we wanted to expand further, we were going to need more resources and a different network. Our majority owners at the time – the Sarikhani and Nielsen families – took the decision to ask me to try and find a partner who understood our business and could help move the business to the next level. We didn’t want to do an auction process where we were simply looking for the highest price. We reached out informally to various players to find a backer similar to us, and we bumped into Corsair Capital, the old JP Morgan private equity house.

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There are three things about Corsair that make it the right partner for us: first, it’s small and nimble – you get to meet everyone there, from the Chairman to the CEO to the Managing Director; second, it only invests in financial services companies, so it understands the constraints and sensitivities of operating as a regulated business; and third, its investors are wealthy families, which offers a perfect synergy with our own clients. There is another potential advantage here – some of the organisations in which Corsair invests could be useful partners or conduits for business for Zedra. For example, in the UK, Corsair has a stake in Currencies Direct, which is a payment and currency conversion services business, and we’re already talking to the firm to see how that relationship can be of benefit for our clients. The corporate governance arrangements are also very balanced. The supervisory board will comprise two people from Corsair, two people from Zedra – me as Executive Chairman, and our CEO – and

things are really taking off in the US – we are expanding our Miami presence and we hope to announce a US acquisition in the wealth structuring space

one independent whom we nominate at Zedra. This is a partnership and not a private equity firm coming in and saying “We’re going to take control”. What else is Corsair Capital going to bring to the table? The additional firepower Corsair provides will enable us to grow and expand our active wealth services further. There are a couple of priorities here. First, we need to keep deepening our service offering, particularly in the area of fund administration. We now have fund activity in Jersey and Guernsey and we will soon have fund activity in Cayman, when the acquisition of JP Integra closes, but Luxembourg is still a gap and we have to invest there. Second, we need to invest in markets where wealth generation is high. We are already very good in the Middle East, but there are three other markets where wealth generation is certainly much higher than in Europe. In Asia, we have offices in Singapore and Hong Kong, but we have much more to do there so we are actively hiring. In Latin America, wealth generation combined with geopolitical instability is creating a lot of opportunities for us, so we have opened an office in Miami to cater for this region. But, again, we have much more to do there. A country where things are really taking off is the US, so we are expanding our Miami presence with new hires. This year, we hope to be able to announce a US acquisition in the wealth structuring space. Can we expect more acquisitions by Zedra with this new firepower behind you? What we are not going to do is buy simply to bulk up. Whatever action we take will be to make us better. Interben is an interesting acquisition, for example. It’s not large but a decent-sized trust company owned by Storebrand, which is the biggest Scandinavian insurer. Our CEO was in Oslo recently to talk to the CEO of Storebrand. Suddenly, you open up a relationship there with a live insurer who



interview Bart Deconinck has thousands of wealthy families on the books – Interben has given us access to a vast market in Scandinavia. So acquisitions should add something strategic. In our industry, too many times acquisitions are made just to bulk up. It’s also important to stress that part of our acquisition strategy is to share knowledge generously within the company so that each jurisdiction understands what the other is able to offer to the client and can seek help from each other. At the end of the day, the client will see the difference because they will benefit from the full scope of services within the company. How might clients see things change under the new ownership model? Clients will not see changes in the day-today handling of their business or in price

increases – that’s a decision we’ve taken – but all these investments will enable us to provide a better, faster service. One investment is in IT. We’re now considering rolling out a new system across all jurisdictions that will offer additional features to client who want to access an overview – and track progress – of their investments via a login portal. You mentioned Zedra’s focus on ‘active wealth’ – a key differentiator for the firm in the market. Tell us more about this. We don’t want to be all things to all people everywhere. Our focus is on active wealth. What that means is we work with families that have wealth and employ it in an active way, whether that be investing it in their own businesses or properties or whatever, and we support them with the services they

need to do this. It can be funds, corporate vehicles, trust structures or foundations, escrow arrangements and so on. We don’t organise our firm around business silos – we focus on the active wealth of our clients and our different services are subordinated to that. So from a client’s perspective, they can get everything they want from one single contact, wherever they are in the world. As you move into this new partnership with Corsair Capital, which is subject to regulatory approval, what qualities do you want people to associate Zedra with? I want people to think of Zedra as being modern, fast yet reliable, international, sensitive, entrepreneurial, bringing something of value to the table. We’re not old school, we’re new school. n

september/october 2019 55

Advertising feature

Digital transformation: realising the future of your company Digitally transformed businesses will be able to connect more closely with customers and employees, speed up the pace of innovation and create a more sustainable future for themselves, says James Solomon, Partner Alliance Manager at C5 Alliance

Creating new value and experiences is the most important aspect of digital transformation

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DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION – IT’S a term that’s on almost every board agenda, but what exactly does it mean to you and your business? At the very outset, figuring out your business strategy before you invest in anything is critical. Leaders who aim to enhance organisational performance through the use of digital technologies often have a specific tool in mind. But digital transformation should be guided by the broader business strategy. The definition of digital transformation has evolved in line with this thinking. Previously solely focused on technology, it now includes all aspects of business, the most important of which include people and culture. Digital evangelist Brian Solis has an apt holistic definition: “Digital transformation

is the evolving pursuit of innovative and agile business and operational models – fuelled by evolving technologies, processes, analytics and talent – to create new value and experiences for customers, employees, and stakeholders.” Creating new value and experiences for customers and employees is the most important aspect of digital transformation. Your employees are at the heart of your successful digital transformation journey as technology empowers them to be better at what they do every day. Establishing an innovative culture is essential for effective transformation. Your company’s culture, embodied by leadership, is vital in creating the core values and behaviours of employees. This is an important factor in any business, but even more so for one that is digitally

Advertising feature transforming; culture is at the centre of everything and can be the most effective driver of success.

EMPOWER YOUR EMPLOYEES WITH DIGITAL TOOLS Empowered employees are generally happier, more engaged and feel a deeper connection to the company they work for. Those who have been given the autonomy and tools they need to do their job successfully perform better. As a result, customer satisfaction will improve, giving you a competitive advantage. Digital transformation has therefore been a welcome evolution for employees who are benefiting from the many new capabilities that digital tools offer. According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workforce report, only 15% of employees are engaged in their jobs. So how do we empower our employees and get them engaged? The starting point to successfully engaging employees during transformation is to ensure that the staff – who have intimate knowledge about what works and what doesn’t in their daily operations – are consulted and that the process of change is not entirely outsourced to external consultants.

THE WORKPLACE OF THE FUTURE The workplace of the future is almost here. And in many ways, the future is now. By 2020, millennials (those born between about 1980 and 2000) are forecast to comprise half of the US workforce and, by 2025, 75% of the global workforce. Millennials want to work in an environment where they can easily interact with each other and benefit from the ability to work remotely, anywhere and at any time. To do this they need the tools and digital workspaces to communicate, access their data and stay productive. Employer expectations are changing too, away from routine tasks towards a way of operating that requires all employees to be more creative and to think critically. With directors, CEOs and senior executives citing ‘digital transformation risk’ as their number one concern during 2019, embracing cultural changes and giving employees the tools they need should be done in parallel with ensuring that data is protected. The security risks in today’s business environment have advanced dramatically – threats today are complex, they use advanced social engineering and target everyone in an organisation. With a pressure to have an open flow of information to drive productivity and teamwork, it’s therefore more critical than ever to protect your estate. Data is the most critical asset for an organisation and the protection of its users and the platforms they rely on should be

The real value of teamwork comes to life only when it’s integrated with the tools people use to communicate, create and collaborate

top priority. At C5 Alliance, we believe that data is our clients’ most valuable asset and our role is to help them protect it from those who will inevitably try to take it. Businesses need to consider how their data is stored and backed up as well as compliance with GDPR regulation. By covering all these bases, organisations will minimise the recovery time and impact on their business operations.

TEAMWORK The desire for businesses to ‘digitally transform’ is also a response to the dramatic demand for, and increase in, collaboration and teamwork in today’s workplace. Employees are on twice as many internal teams as five years ago. This marks a transition from personal productivity to group productivity. According to Microsoft, the amount of time employees spend engaged in ‘collaborative’ work – in meetings, on phone calls or answering emails – has increased by about 50%. Perhaps even more significantly, this kind of work now takes up more than 80% of employees’ time. This has meant that organisations today are using a myriad of tools to communicate – team chat, email, intranet and other social channels for organisationwide communications. The rationale for multiple collaboration tools is that every group and person is unique and has their own functional needs and way they prefer to work. Some will use only email, while others will live primarily in chat. If an organisation doesn’t have the tools available, then often employees download and use their preferred solution, which poses a significant risk for organisations as shadow IT develops and there’s no way to uniformly manage

a user’s access, ensure security or service compliance needs. Tools such as Microsoft 365 place ‘Teams’ as the hub for collaboration and help meet the diverse needs of employees. Microsoft Teams is a unified communications platform that combines persistent workplace chat, video meetings, file storage and application integration. ‘Teams’ provides a secure integrated solution, allowing employees to communicate whether in the office or working remotely, from any place and any time. It can be used across any device and can meet the security demands your business requires. When deciding on what tools your business requires and how best to leverage them, think about the type of work that needs to get done, the type of conversations your teams need to have and how your teams talk to your customers. The real value of teamwork comes to life only when it’s integrated with the tools people use to communicate, create and collaborate.

REAP THE REWARDS OF TRANSFORMATION People are key to any successful digital transformation initiative. So embrace cultural changes and give employees the tools they need to collaborate, work remotely and be flexible, whilst fully maintaining your security systems. Today, every part of the business is subject to new expectations, competitors, channels, threats and opportunities. Every business has the potential to be a digital business. Companies that quickly deliver digitally instrumented products or services, those that reap data from market interactions, and use insights to rapidly optimise their value chain, are gaining a competitive advantage. Businesses that digitally transform will be able to connect more closely with customers, speed up the pace of innovation and, as a result, claim a greater share of profit in their sectors. Today, digitally transformed companies have an edge; tomorrow, only digital businesses will succeed. n


To hear more on digital transformation, the modern workplace and empowering employees, C5 Alliance is hosting a one-day conference – Digital X – on 24 September. The event will dive deeper than ever into the world of digital business, going beyond the buzzwords of ‘digital transformation’ and making real sense of the concept through business use cases, common challenges and inspirational ideas. To find out more about Digital X, visit:

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Investing in cannabis

The marijuana makeover In the investment world, cannabis is the new big bet – and Guernsey’s and Jersey’s commitment to operating well-regulated environments makes them a safe space to invest in the plant Words: Alexander Garrett

THE CHANNEL ISLANDS have long been famous for their Jersey Royal potatoes and Guernsey tomatoes, but today a new crop is soaking up the sunshine and promising to deliver the next horticultural boom. New ventures on both Jersey and Guernsey are growing forms of hemp, or cannabis – a plant most readily associated with illicit marijuana, but which is now fuelling a predicted boom in demand for medicinal and health supplement products. At Warwick Farm in St Helier, Jersey Hemp is preparing its third harvest, with hopes of surpassing last year’s bumper crop of 13,000 litres of hemp oil. And on Guernsey, at the former Douit Vinery, disused glasshouses behind security fencing have been repurposed by Celebrated to grow up to five million grammes of cannabis leaves this year, which will be pressed to produce CBD oil. CBD, or cannabidiol, is an active ingredient in cannabis and may help to treat conditions such as pain, insomnia and anxiety.

A GROWING MARKET The emerging market for legal cannabis products, and its rapid potential for growth, is a phenomenon few could have predicted even five years ago. Based on the assumption that medical and recreational cannabis will be fully legalised across Europe by 2023, research group Prohibition Partners predicts that the region will become the world’s biggest legal cannabis market in the next five years

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and be worth an estimated €123bn by 2028. By comparison, it estimates that the recreational cannabis market in Europe was worth €30bn in 2018. Not surprisingly, this growth is a prospect that has attracted the attention of investors as well as growers – and some of the Channel Islands’ most respectable professional firms are becoming involved. But it’s also a sector that’s riddled with confusion and complexity. There are three main categories of cannabis product: recreational cannabis, used to obtain a ‘high’; medicinal cannabis, which is licensed as a drug to treat conditions such as epilepsy and control pain; and products containing CBD oil, which are sold as nutritional supplements, but for which specific health claims cannot be made. Recreational cannabis remains illegal in most of the world, including the Channel Islands; medicinal cannabis is gradually gaining legal acceptance; and CBD – which contains only minute traces of the psychoactive ingredient THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) – is generally legal but within regulatory constraints. Guernsey law firm Collas Crill has advised a number of clients, including family offices and individuals, on investing in legal cannabis enterprises internationally. One client, AIM-listed investment fund Fast Forward Innovations, has made two investments in medicinal cannabis companies. Collas Crill Group Partner Wayne Atkinson says: “Our role is to ensure nothing is done that would fall foul of the Proceeds of Crime laws here in the Channel Islands. Potentially, there’s a risk you could invest in something that is legal at the location where it’s being used, but still poses you a problem here in terms of

Investing in cannabis

receiving monies from those investments.” Richard Field, a Partner at Appleby in Guernsey, agrees, saying the requirement to establish that the product is legal in the Channel Islands, as well as at source, is more challenging than in some other jurisdictions. “From a market perspective, at the moment it’s in the ‘too difficult’ bracket for those looking at investment opportunities through the Channel Islands,” he says.

Guernsey and Jersey have granted licences for cannabis to be grown for medicinal purposes, and Field says both governments are looking at further liberalisation that should make it easier to invest in the sector. But investing in recreational cannabis remains seriously off-limits because it is illegal both in the Channel Islands and in many other jurisdictions. One problem, says Field, is that companies in jurisdictions where recreational cannabis is legal, such as Canada and some US states, are involved in both recreational and medicinal cannabis. “Obviously with those kinds of businesses, differentiating between the income streams for recreational and medicinal may be impossible,” he explains. The Proceeds of Crime issue would be crystallised when you seek to take a return from the investment, and for many that’s still a risk too far, adds Field. Even for investments that are deemed legal, banking is a serious hurdle. Rupert Pleasant, Director at professional services firm Beauvoir Group, has been acting for a client who wants to set up an enterprise growing cannabis in southern Africa for the medicinal market, which would be exported to Europe. “We’ve set up the master company in Guernsey, but the difficulty comes from finding banking facilities,” he says. “We’ve been to 20 banks in the Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Malta, Switzerland and Mauritius, and none of them want to touch it, even though it will be a wholly legal enterprise.” The equation is more straightforward for lawyers, says Atkinson at Collas Crill. “We are typically advising clients

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Investing in cannabis

It is huge. This is not some tie-dyed hippies in a shed somewhere. This is serious business now

on whether an investment in something is legal. For banks, it’s different because they have an ongoing relationship sending money back and forth around the world, with each transaction potentially raising its own issues.” However, this is an opportunity that can’t be ignored, he believes. Companies such as Coca-Cola, AB InBev (owner of Budweiser) and Marlboro parent Altria are all dipping their toe into cannabis-related products. “It is huge,” says Atkinson. “This is not some tie-dyed hippies in a shed somewhere. This is serious business now.”

SAFEST OPTION CBD products marketed as nutritional supplements are legally the most straightforward segment of the cannabis sector to get involved in. Guernsey-based Healthspan, which markets vitamins and other supplements, started selling capsules of CBD oil in March 2018 and has since expanded into drops. The products are listed in Boots and Superdrug stores, and Rollo de Sausmarez, the firm’s Director of New Product Marketing and Development, says: “This has grown to be a really big part of our

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business; it’s the fastest growing area that we’ve ever had.” Healthspan’s CBD products are manufactured to the company’s own specification in Europe from European Union-listed varieties of industrial hemp, although de Sausmarez says he would like to source it from the Channel Islands if the right quality product became available. The ‘big bucks’ will probably be in medicinal cannabis, he believes, partly because, in the case of supplements, specific health claims cannot be made. Nevertheless, CBD supplements are benefiting from huge word-of-mouth endorsement. A recent study of CBD users, cited in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, showed that they typically take the supplements to help with joint pain, chronic pain, sleep disorders, mood and anxiousness and stress. Healthspan’s customers are largely aged over 65, but when the company asked them if they would be happy for it to offer CBD products, only one out of 300 was against it. “I was surprised,” says de Sausmarez. The low level of regulation, however, means that CBD is a market segment that already has a mixed reputation, with some studies showing that many products on the market contain little or no cannabis oil. “We test every batch and publish the results on our website,” says de Sausmarez. This transparency offers a clue to where

the Channel Islands could have a serious advantage in the overall cannabis sector. For anyone looking to set up a corporate entity or an investment fund investing in the sector, the islands’ expertise in dealing with regulation and strong imperative to stay on the right side of the law could prove a significant advantage.

REGULATORY ADVANTAGE Atkinson says: “In all of the offshore jurisdictions, we are looking to comply with international obligations around issues such as money laundering and terrorist financing. Here in Guernsey, because we have such a strong financial services industry, there is a lot of expertise around these obligations in a properly regulated space. People are very alive to these issues and to doing things properly.” Appleby’s Field agrees. “This is one of those jurisdictions where you have that badge of respectability and validity and where there are proper checks. So, to the extent that you’re saying: ‘We want to invest in or run a CBD business and we want it to be open and transparent and we want people to know that we’re doing the right thing, and this is not seen as some kind of shady drug-running operation’, this would be a good place to do it.” For Beauvoir Group’s Pleasant, it’s an opportunity that can’t be ignored. “The Channel Islands need to diversify and develop new markets. We have always been progressive and looked at providing solutions, and if you put together the fact that Guernsey has already granted licences for growing cannabis with the fact that we are a world-class financial centre, it becomes a natural jurisdiction for somebody wanting to put an entity in place.” n

Training and development

time for a new take on interns

GONE ARE THE days when interns spent

their time stuffing envelopes or getting sent out to buy the team coffee and bacon sandwiches. Increasingly, internships are a true stepping stone to the world of work. Just ask Chris Voss, who, as an undergraduate, spent his summer holidays interning at investor services group IQ-EQ, which has offices in Jersey and Guernsey. Today, Voss works as a Trainee Officer in the company’s Private Wealth division. For IQ-EQ, employing someone who can hit the ground running because he’s familiar with the company means it is

already seeing a return on its investment in those summer internships. “At IQ-EQ, we believe interns should be given a carefully managed but real job that sees them working directly with people across a range of seniorities,” says Abbie Cardy, the company’s Direct Sourcing Manager. “This gives them the opportunity to make their mark and have their voice heard. Really listening to and involving interns means we are much more likely to keep them with the company beyond internship stage.” Finding and holding on to good people

Words: Dave Burrows

Thousands of undergraduates are returning to university, having spent their summer gathering experience as interns. What value do these members of the workforce bring to businesses? and why should companies be investing in them?

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Training and development

our interns bring expertise in new technologies and social media that many of our longstanding staff might not have. they are teaching us as well as us teaching them

is the holy grail of all Channel Islands employers, in what is a fiercely competitive labour market. Getting creative with recruitment and retention strategies helps, and growing talent on-island – through internships, work experience programmes, student bursary schemes and traineeships – is part of this mix. “Student schemes such as bursaries and work experience programmes are a great way to source new talent within the local market,” says Harriett Bisson, Senior HR Resourcing and Onboarding Adviser at Ogier Jersey Legal Services. She adds that such schemes are getting more competitive each year. Ogier supports local students through its bursary scheme, which offers aspiring lawyers financial support throughout the duration of their higher education and work placements within its legal teams through each academic year. The company also supports Jersey Finance’s Life in Finance scheme, which facilitates work experience placements for sixth form students at the industry body’s member firms. The scheme has resulted in numerous talented students wanting to work within the legal environment. In September 2018, IQ-EQ launched its Trainee Discovery Programme in Jersey, aimed at A level school leavers or International Baccalaureate students looking to find their preferred finance career path. Over two years, those on the course complete a rotation of four six-month placements spanning the company’s funds, private wealth, corporate and company secretarial teams. After this time, they’ll then be allowed to take an optional three months’ sabbatical before deciding which department to join on a permanent basis.

HUGE BENEFITS From an employer’s perspective, these training programmes can add real value to a company. Like Cardy, Emma Stewart, Head of Human Resources at Jersey-based fiduciary and administration solutions provider VG, reckons that in terms of the onboarding process, there are huge benefits.

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“Our trainees and interns are well versed in our company culture and immersed in the business from day one,” she says. “This means that when they take on permanent employment with us, that first ‘getting to know you stage’ is taken out of the equation and the process is far faster and easier than it might be with a regular new starter.” Candidates have much to gain from these programmes too, particularly in terms of the breadth of opportunities they offer. As with IQ-EQ’s Trainee Discovery Programme, VG runs a rotation programme for trainees, which lets them spend six months in each department before making their minds up about which suits them best for permanent work. Stewart says: “This means they have a fully rounded view of the business and of the different types of roles available in a financial services company, rather than being specialists in one area. “We always start them off in Compliance and Risk as this is an element on which all our staff need to be fully educated. By doing this, we build the foundations for a really knowledgeable workforce.”

RISK OF BURNOUT While providing real and varied work challenges to interns and other types of trainees is a good thing, employers need to be mindful of not unintentionally exploiting young and enthusiastic workers. It should not be forgotten that the financial services sector hit the headlines in 2013 for all the wrong reasons when Moritz Erhardt, a 21-year-old intern at Bank of America in London, died from an epileptic seizure that the coroner said could have been triggered by his long working hours. The media had reported on rumours that, in the runup to his death, Erhardt had worked through the night eight times in a two-week period. In the wake of the tragedy, many investment banks tightened up their rules on working conditions for interns. Goldman Sachs, for example, was reported to have restricted the working day for interns to no more than 17 hours. That might not seem like much of an

Training and development

improvement to many, but it is progress from allowing interns to work all night. Cardy believes it’s vital to strike a balance between overworking and underworking. While you don’t want interns to burn out, you also don’t want them to be stuck doing nothing more than photocopying and making the tea. Bisson says that the welfare of trainees should be a prerequisite for any in-house training programme. “The wellbeing of our employees is important to us. We have a great wellbeing programme in place, which is available to all students, along with wider firm policies and initiatives,” she explains. “We want our students and employees to feel valued and happy, so we take a flexible approach to how individuals work, such as operating a dress-down policy and having flexibility around how hours are worked.”

INTERN DEMANDS That flexibility is likely to appeal to the current pool of millennial and Generation Z interns and trainees, compared with older generations that have gone before them. Cardy observes that today’s interns want structure, but they also want flexibility, mobility and clear opportunities for progression. “Millennials and now the emerging Gen-Z workforce value work-life balance, travel and experiences, and they’re much less likely than their predecessors to stick to one career throughout their lifetime. They need to know: what’s in it for me? And what can you, my employer, offer me?” Given this generational shift, and the fierce competition among employers for top talent, Cardy says it is crucial that companies listen to what interns and trainees want. She insists there are clear gains to be had for employers who are accommodating about their requirements, adding: “These generations also bring a lot of value to businesses – with their greater focus on social/environmental issues, greater diversity and fresh perspectives.” This view is echoed by VG’s Stewart: “Our interns and trainees bring with them expertise in new technologies and social media that many of our longstanding staff might not have. This means they are teaching us as well as us teaching them and it really enhances the business.” Those who have travelled off-island for work or education bring an additional, well-rounded perspective to organisations, adds Stewart, and VG actively seeks out candidates with such experience for this reason. “One of our younger employees wanted to go into further education and left to go to university, so we have offered him a regular holiday job with a permanent position at the end of his studies if he wishes,” Stewart says. “This gives him the assurance of regular holiday work, a continuation of his work experience and the potential of a career at the end of his degree in a business he already knows.” If companies can get their training programmes right – paying a fair wage for fair work that includes fulfilling and potential-enhancing responsibilities – more of them will see young, talented people wanting to start their professional careers with them. In the current war for talent, developing high performers in house could be the best battle strategy yet. n

CASE STUDY CHRIS VOSS, TRAINEE OFFICER, PRIVATE WEALTH, IQ-EQ During his time as a student with Newcastle University, Voss completed a series of summer internships with IQ-EQ. He is now on a rolling monthly contract with the company while he decides which career path he would like to take. “When I began my first internship, I didn’t really understand how trusts worked and it was confusing once I started to be given work. I was eased into things by starting on big indexing projects to get used to how minutes work, and then my responsibilities soon grew from there. It felt like I was given a good amount of responsibility even in my first couple of weeks. “The social side was great. Little things like team lunches, networking events and CPD talks were all open and very accessible to me. “I think a lot of students have travelling or dream jobs on their mind when they finish university, so I was clear that I didn’t want to commit to anything too permanent when I graduated. Thankfully, IQ-EQ was great about it and has ended up offering me a rolling contract while I decide what I want to do. “It feels great to be offered work here without the instant pressure of commitment. I have come back to the company not feeling like an intern or a temp, with six months’ experience already under my belt.”

BROOKE LEWIS, TRAINEE SOLICITOR, OGIER Lewis joined Ogier as a bursary student in 2014 and is now a trainee solicitor. “There is a stark contrast between studying a topic and working on it in practice. Being able to learn this difference early on is a huge benefit. There’s a wealth of skills that need to be developed when working in an office and participating in placements helps you to develop office etiquette. “Some of the best placements I have had have got me stuck in on a project. While the tasks weren’t especially technical, I was able to feel like I was making a valuable contribution to the team I was working in. It also kept me busy, so I wasn’t stuck for things to do and it felt like I had really benefited from the experience. “Being able to shadow senior team members is also extremely useful. It enabled me to see that a lot more is involved in practice than simply working on a legal matter.”

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Public relations

Everyone loves a good news story – until the journalists come knocking at their door. The temptation is to pull down the shutters, but engaging with the media in a constructive way can yield fruitful results

Managing the media Words: Richard Willsher

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Public relations

journalist states it, this can alter a consumer’s perception of an organisation.” And so, as Matt Tabb, Global Head of Corporate Communications at professional services provider Equiom, explains: “By keeping the communication lines open, doing interviews, talking to [the media] at every opportunity and investing in media training for your staff, you will see your business’s visibility grow. “This will spread from the media through to word of mouth locally and worldwide. The end result is a more widespread and positive reputation, which ultimately leads to increased business.”

NO MEDIUM IS AN ISLAND There may have been a time when business activity in the Crown Dependencies was covered by the islands’ press and did not go much further, but that’s not the case today. Now, what’s reported in any part of the world is instantly available globally 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s important to understand the role

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WHY BOTHER WITH the media at all? Aren’t they just out to sell newspapers with sensational stories? Don’t they just make money from digging the dirt? There are plenty of people who think this way. You may even be one of them. However, the very same sceptics will have their favourite newspapers, TV or radio stations and websites. When they look at them, they tacitly recognise the benefit of useful and well researched and presented information. They may even feel better briefed and follow such leads towards business opportunities, or alternatively avoid situations that the press has highlighted as potentially risky. That’s why understanding how to deal with the media matters. Lisa Downes, PR Director at Liquid PR, summarises this succinctly. “There is a critical role for third-party, unbiased endorsement,” she says. “Any business can praise itself for a job well done, or big up a new product or service, but if an unbiased

Public relations

Businesses are well aware of how the islands’ financial services might be seen and are addressing any issues raised. And yes, sometimes the headlines are unfounded

played by the islands in the global business landscape and how local businesses can manage and gain from exposure in the global media. “The media agenda off-island will, typically, seek a particular line,” according to Nichole Culverwell, Director at Black Vanilla, a communications firm with operations in Guernsey, Jersey and the UK. “It depends on the publication, but the financial services industry media will be very cognisant of the role the Channel Islands plays in the global financial services industry and will probably be interested to hear what firms here have to say. “Businesses here are well aware of how the islands’ financial services might be seen. But there’s also a confidence in what they do, and that confidence means the islands are addressing any issues raised. And yes, sometimes the headlines are unfounded.”

WHAT JOURNALISTS WANT Understanding how journalists work is an important aspect of gaining from good media coverage. The media’s role is to seek out the stories that their target audience

wants to read. As a clue to the ingredients that make a useful story, the TRUTH mnemonic can be helpful (see box). “While a small number of media outlets and journalists may not have your best interests at heart, the majority of the media is only interested in getting the facts,” Tabb says. “If you feel they are agitated or aggressive with you, it is probably because they think you are hiding something, not telling the whole story and ultimately wasting their time. “A lot of journalists ask tough questions. The aim is not necessarily to trip you up, but to get to the facts. The key is to have stated intentions for a media response and key messages you want to convey. The important thing is to be prepared for every potential question and not lie.” Downes agrees, adding: “The lack of control when working with a media outlet can be disconcerting for some. The most effective relationships between businesses and media are those based on mutual professional respect, when both parties recognise they can work together and both achieve their own objectives. “For the media, having reliable, go-to sources who are willing to share their experiences is invaluable, while positive media coverage can help a business to achieve its own communications objectives, be it increased awareness, understanding or enquiries or sales.”


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All well and good, but sometimes relationships don’t run smoothly and they can fall on hard times. This is especially so as a key reporting mantra among journalists is: “How bad is it? And how bad is it going to get?” The journalist’s duty is a get to the truth, including the gory details. Think about the financial crisis and the Lehman Brothers saga, or BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, or, closer to home right now, wouldn’t we all like to know how Brexit will pan out? It is human nature to want to prepare for the worst. Orchard PR Strategic Consultant Lindsey Freeman offers some advice. “Even if you really cannot say anything about a situation, ‘no comment’ is never an acceptable answer,” she says. “There are countless other ways to deal with a sensitive or confidential situation. ‘No comment’ just fuels the natural instinct in a journalist that there’s more to the story and it’s likely they will pass this point of view to their readers, listeners or viewers. “The public are more likely to believe and remember negative interactions, and

Public relations

the search for TRUTH

opinions are hard to change once they’re formed, so it’s much better to be open, honest and authentic. “Face the media, even if it’s just to tell them you can’t tell them anything. Hold fast and explain your position.” Allan Watts, Director at communications agency Orchid, adds a further note of caution. “It’s like all relationships,” he says. “Sometimes you just hit a rocky patch and sometimes it’s like a match made in heaven. I am much more comfortable when the relationship is slightly hands off because I think everyone behaves more professionally. If you get too cosy, you can forget that you each have a job to do.”

DO-IT-YOURSELF Most businesses have websites. They may have a presence on Facebook and/or Twitter. They may produce research reports, publish thought leadership, screen YouTube footage and otherwise engage in selfpublishing to promote their cause. The beauty of it is that you can control the output. These are all valid parts of the communication mix and all journalists benefit from such sources, either using the material published, or following it up with the sponsor to learn more. While there are now more platforms for businesses to get their message across than ever, they all have their advantages and disadvantages, argues Adam Riddell, PR Director at Crystal Public Relations. “Owned platforms – whether that’s

social media, websites, microsites or virtual newsrooms – are increasingly searchable and shared by third parties, including traditional media, which also have their own owned platforms. So, you end up with a web of communication – and ignoring one over another would be a mistake.”

THE VALUE OF PR As that web of communications becomes more complex, a guiding hand from an internal PR department or external PR agency becomes all the more important. Not all business executives see it that way, however. Research from Releasd, based on a survey among 300 senior stakeholders outside the communications function, has found that about four out of 10 executives do not have a good understanding of what the PR function does within their business. A similar proportion don’t think the PR function delivers good value to the business. Among those who do understand PR, 80% think it does deliver good value. The usual argument against becoming more visible in the media is that it’s difficult to measure what value you’re getting from your investment of time, effort and money. Another is that you can’t control the media, which is a potential risk. But it is often when things go wrong that businesses understand they could have managed their media exposure much better. High-profile examples of catastrophic media management include Gerald Ratner

What makes a story? What are journalists looking for? Before you fire off yet another press release that no media outlet is going to be interested in, think about TRUTH: T Topical – Why should a media outlet cover your story right now? R Relevant – Is your story of interest to readers and visitors to this particular news outlet? U Unusual – Is your story novel, new, interesting or out of the ordinary? T Trouble – Is your story about a problem of some sort and/or about how to fix it? H Human – Does your story speak to and/or is it about people?

of the formerly eponymous high-street jewellery company, who described his own firm’s products as “total crap” in a speech to the Institute of Directors in London in 1991. You can still see this speech on YouTube 28 years on. BP’s Tony Hayward’s words after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in which 11 people died is another example. Among many comments for which he was criticised, he was reported as saying: “We’re sorry for the massive disruption it’s caused. There’s no one who wants this over more than I do. I would like my life back.” Careful preparation and cultivation of good media relations brings benefits to a business – in good times and in bad. You can’t control the media, but you can manage how you work with it in the best interests of your business. n

september/october 2019 67


Meet Pierpaolo, he’s one of three Masters of Wine here at Waitrose & Partners. He and his team spend their lives searching the planet to find the best wines for our customers. Think of them as your very own sommeliers. Because every single wine we sell has been hand-picked by them.

Pierpaolo, Partner & Head of Wine Buying


68 September/october 2019


Knowledge Brain food for the busy business professional

The Knowledge is compiled by Alexander Garrett Pay boost


points China’s grow-slow

China’s economic growth has slowed to its lowest rate for 27 years, according to the latest data from the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). During the second quarter of 2019, GDP was 6.2% higher than a year earlier, compared with growth of 6.4% in the previous quarter, and 6.6% for the whole of 2018. This represents the lowest quarterly figure since the NBS began publishing its GDP figures in 1992. However, imports and exports continued to grow modestly in spite of the current trade war with the US. In addition, many areas, including retail and the service sector, continue to outpace overall growth.

Proposals to double the federal minimum wage in the US will have little effect on jobs, according to the authors of a new study. Congress is voting on a Democrat bill that would see the minimum wage go up from $7.25 an hour to $15 an hour by 2024 – a move that critics say would lead to big job losses and fewer work opportunities. But the research, by the University of California, Berkeley, found that the effect on jobs would be insignificant. Researchers analysed data from 750 counties across the US and concluded that where wages had been raised, it had not had an impact on employment.

PR’s reputation problem

Some 40% of business executives in large companies think that public relations does not deliver good value for their business, a survey has found. The research – How executives in large companies perceive PR – was carried out by pollster Cencuswide on behalf of Releasd, which provides services to PR agencies. It surveyed 300 executives in companies with more than 1,000 employees, across a range of sectors, and found that 20% were not even aware that PR stands for public relations. Over a third of executives admitted that they did not have a good understanding of what the PR function does within their business, with the survey finding that, generally, the larger the company, the lower the understanding of PR.

Flying high

Warming up

London in 2050 will have the same climate as Barcelona today; Moscow will be like Sofia; and Stockholm will be as warm as Vienna, according to a study by the Crowther Lab, examining the likely effect of climate change over the next 30 years. Cities of the future: visualising climate change to inspire action looked at 520 cities around the world – capitals and those with more than a million inhabitants – and found that 77% will experience ‘a striking change’ of climate conditions. Cities in northern latitudes will typically assume today’s climate of cities 1,000 miles to their south. Cities in the tropics will see smaller changes in temperature, but may become drier.

And the winner is … Narita International Airport in Japan. Booking site Globehunters has produced a list of the world’s best airports for business travellers and Narita, previously known as New Tokyo, came out on top. The airports were ranked on a range of factors, including passenger numbers, on-time arrival performance, transit times, parking prices, number of lounges and destinations served. Los Angeles International and Frankfurt picked up the second and third places, while Tokyo’s Hareda airport was also in the top 10. London’s Heathrow came in a laggardly number 33, while bottom of the list was the other major London airport, Gatwick. For airport anoraks, the location with the biggest passenger throughput is Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta airport with 107.4 million, followed closely by Beijing Capital International at almost 101 million.

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New in… BOOKS

Money man

Boardroom success

Gresham’s Law: The Life and World of Queen Elizabeth I’s Banker by John Guy (Profile Books, £25, hardback) Visitors to the City of London may well be familiar with Gresham Street. However, they may not be aware that the man after whom it was named, Sir Thomas Gresham, established a financial market that eclipsed those on the continent and thereby laid the foundation for London to become the world’s pre-eminent financial centre. Described here as ‘the first true wizard of global finance’, Gresham learned his trade in Antwerp and built the Royal Exchange in London, also founding Gresham College. He managed Queen Elizabeth’s debts and put her on a sound financial footing to dominate Europe. Yet for all his brilliance he was, according to Tudor historian John Guy, ‘a figure of cold unsentimentality, even to members of his own family’.

How to Become a World-Class Non-Executive Director: The Essential Guide by Jo Haigh (independently published, £9.99, paperback) As someone who has bought and sold 400 companies during her career, and held more than 40 non-executive director roles (a notable achievement in a world that has been heavily gender-skewed over the years), Jo Haigh is well equipped to explain what it really takes to hack it in the boardroom. This book looks at motivations for wanting to be an NED – ‘don’t do this just for the money’ – as well as practical questions such as where to find the opportunities and how to put yourself forward. In becoming a non-exec, you open yourself up to liabilities that go way beyond those borne by regular employees. So there has to be another reason for getting involved – fun.

Dream job

Radical vision

Cook House: How to leave your job and open a restaurant – even if you don’t know how by Anna Hedworth (Anima, £25, hardback) It’s one of the oldest fantasies going – chuck in the day job and become a restaurateur, forging for yourself a vibrant new life full of bonhomie, creativity and indulging your passion for food. For most, it remains just that – a fantasy. But Anna Hedworth actually did it. She resigned from her job as an architect to open a restaurant in two redundant shipping containers near Newcastle. In doing so, she faced all the challenges that followed, from menu planning to sourcing ingredients, to growing her own produce, attracting customers and, most importantly, cooking every single day. Here, she tells her story, along with a selection of her own recipes. For some, it will be inspirational; for others, it’ll be a good reason to buckle down on the day job.

Novacene: The Coming Age of Hyperintelligence by James Lovelock (Allen Lane, £14.99, hardback) At the age of 100, few are reading books about radical visions of the future – let alone writing them. James Lovelock, founder of the Gaia theory and regarded by many people as the most important living environmentalist, does not pull any punches in what is likely to be his valedictory message to humanity. The hypothesis is this: the Anthropecene era, in which humans boss the world, is over. A new era, the Novacene, has begun, in which ‘new beings will emerge from existing artificial intelligence systems. They will think 10,000 times faster than we do and they will regard us as we now regard plants – as desperately slow acting and thinking creatures’. If this sounds like a crazy dystopian world, be reassured. The hyperintelligent beings will still need Gaia to protect the planet and we will be their partners in the endeavour. There’s a hopeful note too: ‘Maybe the Novacene could even be the beginning of a process that will finally lead to intelligence suffusing the entire cosmos.’

* All prices are RRP.

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The Knowledge

In numbers: The euro at 20 RESOURCES

Grow Your Business Club Grow Your Business Club is a free online resource helping individuals and entrepreneurs from around the globe to progress through their entrepreneurial journey. Founded by Fraser Hay, a former winner of both the UK Shell Livewire and Royal Bank of Scotland entrepreneurial awards, the club’s objective is to empower pre-start, start-up and existing business owners into action. “We help individuals to identify what’s holding them back and preventing the results they want,” says Hay.



Source: European Commission

The number of EU states exempted from having to join the euro once they meet convergence criteria. The two are the UK and Denmark.

Source: European Commission


In 2018, there were more than 21 billion euro banknotes in circulation, with a value of about €1.1trn, and almost 130 billion coins, valued at more than €28bn.

Google for Small Business The Google for Small Business portal has been launched to help small businesses by suggesting products that seem the best fit for that organisation. Enter your company name and website, answer a few questions about your business and your goals, and Google will create a customised, prioritised list of actions. This may involve launching ad campaigns, building up your online presence or installing Google Analytics. There are two ‘hero tools’ on offer: Google My Business, which allows business owners to create their own profiles and websites as ‘a complete free product from start to finish’; and Smart Campaigns, launched by Google last year to automate the ad-buying process for small businesses.

The number of EU countries that have the euro as their official currency, comprising 340 million citizens.

Source: European Union


The highest average annual exchange rate of the euro against the US dollar, achieved in 2008. The low point was 0.9, reached in 2001. Source: Statista

Impact Investing Institute The Impact Investing Institute is a newly launched independent organisation backed by the UK government. It’s designed to help individuals invest their money to benefit communities and society, and look for more effective ways to combine financial returns with a social purpose. It will be led by Elizabeth Corley, former Chief Executive of Allianz Global Investors, and Sir Harvey McGrath, former Chairman of Man Group. Worldwide, the impact investment market is worth an estimated $502bn, according to the Global Impact Investing Network.


The value in US dollars of foreign exchange reserves held by central banks in euros. The US dollar is in the number one spot, with $6.7bn. Source: IMF

September/October 2019 71


How to…

…deliver customer satisfaction Customer satisfaction is increasingly recognised as one of the key performance indicators in most businesses and service organisations. According to online tool SurveyMonkey: ‘We’ve found that businesses who measure customer satisfaction are 33% more likely to describe themselves as successful than those who don’t’. So how do you make sure you’re delivering?

Measure it You can’t ever know if your customers are satisfied – and whether satisfaction is improving or declining – if you don’t ask them. There’s no shortage of ways to do so: a survey at the end of each phone call or web interaction; a monthly, quarterly or annual randomised survey; face-toface. It depends on the organisation. A Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) is a fairly blunt instrument and you’ll probably want to drill down to more detailed questions. Net Promoter Score is considered by many in the field to be a more effective tool to use as it measures how likely your customers are to recommend you to a friend.

Benchmark “If you invite feedback but don’t act on it or respond, then it sends a signal that you’ve ignored it. And that’s worse than not asking at all”

It’s not enough just to measure your own customer satisfaction – you need to compare it with others, especially in your sector, to see if you’re doing better or worse than your competitors. Several companies, and even business schools, offer benchmarking to particular sectors using a common set of questions. According to the Institute of Customer Service (ICS), benchmarking not only measures where you rank overall in your sector, it also highlights strengths, weaknesses and areas for improvement.

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Appoint customer champions These are individuals who will represent the customer and be an advocate for customers in internal discussions. They are responsible for ensuring customer feedback is given attention throughout your business, and that resources are allocated for improving customer experience. The UK Passport Office has a network of 100 customer champions. “They help us ensure that customers are listened to and their feedback is acted upon,” says Lead Customer Experience Manager Julia Law. “Customer champions give vital insight into our customers’ needs, based upon their day-today dealings with customers, but also their understanding of our business.”

Create a customer panel Find out what your customers’ expectations are. You could do that by conducting a survey, but to gain a deeper understanding, convene a focus group or, better still, recruit your own panel of customers who will be prepared to discuss their requirements on a regular basis. Those who come forward for this are likely to be your more loyal customers; you can also use them as a test bed for new ideas and innovations, particularly those relating to a service.

Set an SLA According to the ICS, a service level agreement (SLA) ‘states in measurable terms the levels of service that an organisation will provide and a customer can expect to receive. Some SLAs also give details of what will happen if the organisation fails to meet its agreed levels of service’. It’s a way to manage your customers’ expectations; at the very least it provides a tangible way to measure your performance, and the redress to expect if you don’t measure up.

The Knowledge

Business leaders on making it to the top

Getting ahead Olly Duquemin, Co-founder and CEO, Resolution IT Did you always want to work in IT?

Act on feedback Too many organisations put in the effort to survey their customers on satisfaction – but then don’t act on it. ‘Feedback is a double-edged sword. If you invite it, you can really impress your customers with prompt follow-up,’ says customer feedback specialist CustomerSure. ‘However, if you invite feedback but don’t act on it or respond, then it sends a signal that you’ve ignored it. And that’s worse than not asking at all because you’ve raised an expectation with someone, then failed to meet it.’

Put your people first It’s often said that happy people equal happy customers, and that means putting your employees first. As Virgin founder Richard Branson has explained it: “If you treat your staff well, they will be happy. Happy staff are proud staff, and proud staff deliver excellent customer service, which drives business success.”

Check it Don’t just take your customers’ word for it about whether the service you’re giving is satisfactory or not – those most dissatisfied may just go away and not bother to tell you. Use third parties – including mystery shoppers – to get a firsthand experience of what your customer service is really like.

The very young me wanted to be a powerboat racer or racing driver, but once reality kicked in I reassessed that. I knew I wanted to work in a customer-focused role and I enjoy troubleshooting business problems. I also knew I didn’t want to sit at a desk all day. So, desperate to start work, I left Elizabeth College [in St Peter Port, Guernsey] after my A levels and went straight into IT. At the time, IT was all about fixing problems; now, it’s about providing solutions and adding operational value to a business. I didn’t lose sight of my powerboat dreams though – I successfully competed in the 2014 world championships.

What’s the most valuable piece of advice you’ve been given? Always take the time to listen to your clients and colleagues. Simple, but true. We learn so much by listening to our clients’ business problems and that allows us to suggest solutions to make their life much easier.

What challenges did you face co-founding Resolution IT? In 2007, it was fairly straightforward to set up a business – there’s a lot more red tape now – but my personal challenge was being taken seriously at a very young looking 22. Fortunately, Steve Brehaut, Resolution IT’s other co-founder, is slightly older. But we were just two IT guys with no sales staff to bring in business. That should have been a challenge, but we were so focused on customer satisfaction, that acted as our sales method, getting us constant referrals from happy clients.

What did you learn from setting up a business in Dubai? That things are done differently and often take longer. You can replicate the brand and all the vision and values with it, but the day-to-day running of a business varies enormously from culture to culture. That said, it’s been very interesting and I enjoy working with different people from different backgrounds. We’re in regular contact with the Dubai team, using technology to exchange ideas, share resources and act as an advisory sounding board.

What advice would you give somebody starting out in IT today? It’s not just about technology. A successful IT company is always looking for a cross-section of people with soft and hard skills. Yes, you need the relevant industry qualifications, but you also need to be a people person, a problem solver, adaptable, flexible, sociable, a team player, with an eagerness to learn and grow as quickly as the IT industry itself.

September/October 2019 73




Martha Stewart

Stewart’s guru status results primarily from her intuitive sense of taste, her talent for communication and her knack for anticipating the zeitgeist. If she’s espoused a theory or a world view, it’s that opportunities for excellence can be found in humdrum, everyday tasks, and that the pursuit of perfection is relentless. She started her career as a stockbroker, which may also have helped her to develop sound business acumen. During the 1980s, she wrote a series of books on cooking and entertaining, moved ot many businesswomen – or men – have their life story into newspaper and magazine columns and made regular TV dramatised for the stage while they’re still busy cutting appearances. It was, however, her deal in 1990 with Time Inc to deals. But then, Martha Stewart is something of a one-off. publish a magazine bearing her name – Martha Stewart Living – The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of Martha Stewart tells the story of a that really broke new ground and established her as a brand in her woman who, from humble origins, became the US’s foremost lifestyle own right. Stewart acted as its Editor-in-Chief and drove circulation guru, instructing an entire nation on how to bake better cakes, to a peak of more than two million. make more elegant table decorations and plan the smartest Stewart was, in a sense, the prototype influencer. She wedding. She became a celebrated TV star, founded a was constantly founding new ventures, from direct mail “More than a business empire – Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia to floral deliveries, and putting her imprimatur on new franchise, more than products and merchandise. In a 1995 cover story, – attained billionaire status … and was then sent to a ‘lifestyle’, more than New York Magazine called her ‘the definitive American prison for insider trading. She was released in March 2005 and made a an attitude, she’s a woman of our time’, adding: ‘More than a franchise, rapid comeback, putting her name on, among other living trademark” more than a “lifestyle”, more than an attitude, she’s things, various craft products, a special edition of The a living trademark. That means that the sun never sets Apprentice TV show, a line of houses and a brand of on brand Martha. Every appearance or publication or wine in conjunction with E&J Gallo. bit of publicity works to sell the ever-growing – yet Her latest move is to join the Canadian company Canopy controlled and coherent – brand identity.’ Growth, which develops cannabis-related products. One of Now approaching the age of 80, Stewart shows no sign of her projects there will be to develop treatments for pets using slowing down – and her call on CBD shows she hasn’t lost her touch cannabidiol (CBD) – an active ingredient in cannabis. for spotting the next big thing.



The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) started it earlier this year when it launched a campaign under the slogan ‘Don’t be a clickhead’, with the hashtag #clickhead. In effect, it was accusing advertisers of being in thrall to ‘vanity’ clickthrough rates on their advertising. The campaign was used to launch the first National AntiClick-Through Rate Day. It provoked an indignant response from the advertisers via their own trade body, ISBA. It also captured people’s imagination, with ‘clickhead’ swiftly entering the language of digital marketing. The underlying point is that measuring clicks is not an effective way of measuring advertising success. For one thing, it can be manipulated or ‘gamed’; and for another, it doesn’t measure more important achievements, such as raising the perception of the brand. In any case, all the stories written about the IAB’s campaign received plenty of clicks, many through to its own website. So does that mean it was a success…?

74 September/october 2019

Symbol brand By dropping its name from its logo, and just keeping the picture, Mastercard claims to have elevated itself to the status of a ‘symbol brand’. Watermelon reporting Pretending everything is green and clean in your management reports; when anyone looks inside, though, it’s all red.




The Knowledge

Top tech Air taxis


HOT FRESHEN UP Dyson’s Pure Cool Me air purifying fan can sit on your desk and aim a refreshing jet stream of air, filtered of pollen, bacteria and the like, just where you want it. £299,


Flying taxis, aka passenger drones, will be up and running within the next three or four years if the whiz-kids developing these largely autonomous vehicles are to be believed. In future, there’ll be no need to queue at a crowded taxi rank when you arrive at New York’s JFK airport, then crawl among the slow-moving traffic into Manhattan. Instead, you’ll summon a drone with your mobile, tell it where to go, and hop aboard to cruise over the snail-trail roads below. As a report by Deloitte – Elevating the future of mobility: passenger drones and flying cars – put it earlier this year: ‘Flying can replace driving in cities around the globe, saving people’s time as trips that take hours on the ground can be reduced to minutes in the air, improving productivity and quality of life.’ A life that’s about to look a lot more like Bladerunner, in other words. These aircraft will have vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capability. Other key characteristics, according to Deloitte, are that they’ll carry between two and five passengers, they’ll be highly energy-efficient, with reduced or zero emissions, and they’ll be substantially quieter than a traditional helicopter. There are said to be more than 100 companies developing air taxis, which means competition will be fierce. So, who are the leading contenders vying to offer this journey into the future?

Air service will take 15 minutes from San Francisco to downtown San Jose – compared with an hour and 40 minutes by road. The first demonstrator flights will take place in 2020.


And so to the British contender: Bristol-based Vertical Aerospace carried out the first flights of its fully electric fixed-wing VTOL demonstrator in May. The company, founded by Stephen Fitzpatrick, CEO of energy company Ovo, says it will initially use a pilot and carry two passengers, but will look to develop autonomous flight over time and is aiming for certification in 2022.

For the ride-share company, leaving the ground is the next logical step. Uber’s Elevate team is working with a number of manufacturers, including Bell and Boeing, to develop fleets of eVTOL aircraft that it says it will launch in 2023, with Dallas, Melbourne and Los Angeles among the first locations. As an example, it says its Uber

LILIUM The Munich-based start-up has an offering that stands out from most of the competition: instead of using propellers, its five-seater fixed-wing aircraft relies on 36 electric jet engines, which give it VTOL capability with a range of 300km and a top speed of 300km per hour. It will also have a pilot on board. Lilium has already conducted a vertical test flight and intends to launch a fully operational flying taxi service in multiple cities by 2025.

VOLOCOPTER Another German company, this model distinguishes itself by having 18 small electrically driven rotors on a circular array. It claims to have been the first autonomous air taxi to leave the ground, with an eight-minute pilotless test flight taking place in Dubai in September 2017. In 2018, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich became its first passenger. The company has an infrastructure plan involving Volo-Ports and Volo-Hubs that it says will be able to fly up to 100,000 passengers a day within 10 years.

MIX IT iZotope’s Spire Studio is a professionalquality recording device that’s said to include The Who’s Pete Townshend among its fans. You can layer up to eight tracks with effects using the pocket-sized device, mix and publish. $349,


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Directory To advertise in the directory in print or online contact Carl Methven on + 44 (0)1534 615886 or

Great learning boosts performance It’s a simple fact of business that people who know how to use their IT systems properly are more productive and happier at work. At ALX Training, it is our mission to ensure that every person we work with can use their essential applications properly, saving time, smoothing processes and creating a more productive workplace.

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Ashburton Investments is an investment manager offering discretionary portfolio, multi-asset and specialist fund solutions to international private and corporate clients including family offices, trustees and wealth managers. While the rest of the industry may have had to come to terms with how the global financial crisis changed the world for their clients, we have simply carried on doing what we have always done – delivering risk adjusted returns through all market conditions.

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Not only do we train on well-known accounting packages such a Xero and QuickBooks but we create courses on bespoke in-house systems. We design unique courses specifically for your organisation, so that your staff learn precisely the information they need to work efficiently and effectively.

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Globally, Ashburton Investments has over £9.1bn under management as at April 2018 with offices in the Channel Islands, United Kingdom and South Africa.

We know there’s no better place for your new colleagues to start learning than during their induction programme, so we develop bespoke induction courses that give your new starters all the information they need to hit the ground running. We can even deliver content online, so training can be ongoing and continuous.

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Independent and Professional We offer a full range of management and fiduciary services to our domestic and international private clients and corporate structure: Family office - bespoke assurance Wealth management - your strategy l Trustee - impartiality with vision l Corporate services - attention to detail l Good governance - a helpful eye l Strategic guidance - controlled ideas

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Deloitte LLP provides audit, tax, consulting and financial advisory services, bringing world-class capabilities and high-quality services to clients. The company has the broadest and deepest range of skills of any global business advisory organisation and is a world leader in the professional services industry. We advise and deliver for the public sector as well as global and local businesses across every industry. Deloitte employs over 200 professionals in Jersey and Guernsey and is part of Deloitte North South Europe (NSE). The NSE firm brings together 13 countries and over 40,000 talented people, giving the firm the expertise to solve organisations’ most complex challenges and make an impact that matters. John Clacy Partner, Guernsey D: +44 1481 703 210 Jo Huxtable Partner, Guernsey D: +44 1481 703 308 Alex Adam Partner, Guernsey D: +44 1481 703 214 Martin Rowley Partner | Jersey D: +44 20 7007 7665 Siobhan Durcan Partner, Jersey D: +44 1534 82 4274 Theo Brennand Partner, Jersey D: +44 20 7303 0035

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Estera is a fully independent, market-leading provider of corporate, fund and trust services. Our highly regarded practitioners have extensive experience and expertise of delivering tailored, commercially-focused fiduciary solutions that help our clients meet their business objectives. We work with listed and privately owned companies of all sizes as well as leading financial institutions, advisory firms and individuals and their families. In Guernsey, we are one of the leading players in the funds industry having acted on both of the LSE IPOs for new investment funds last year and we provide a range of corporate and fiduciary services to high-networth individuals, private companies, funds and global corporations. Our Jersey team offer a broad range of fund, fiduciary and administration services and manage over 1,000 structures for private and corporate clients as well as having over £10bn in assets under administration. Our global footprint in 11 jurisdictions means we can deliver service continuity across multiple time-zones, both onshore and offshore. For further information please visit our website or contact Corporate: Patrick Jones – Group Director Funds: Ethan Levner – Group Head of Corporate Development Trusts: Richard Prosser – Group Director

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: Andrew Dann, Managing Partner, Assurance E: T: 01534 288 655 Richard Le Tissier, Partner, Assurance E: T: 01481 717 468 Chris Matthews, Partner, Assurance E: T: 01534 288 610 David Moore, Partner, Assurance and Advisory E: T: 01534 288 697 Wendy Martin, Partner, Head of Tax CI E: T: 01534 288 298 David White, Head of Tax, Guernsey E: T: 01481 717 445

Estera Trust (Jersey) Limited is regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission Address: Estera, 13-14 Esplanade, St Helier, Jersey, JE1 1EE Estera Trust (Guernsey) Limited is regulated by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission Address: Estera, PO Box 25, Regency Court, Glategny Esplanade, St Peter Port, Guernsey, GY1 3AP To advertise in the directory in print or online contact Carl Methven on + 44 (0)1534 615886 or

Fiduchi is an independent multi-family office, trust, corporate and yacht services provider. We are owner managed free from the pressures of Private Equity, Corporate and Institutional ownership. We focus on the following three service areas: Private Wealth: We provide bespoke solutions to family offices and a broad range of HNWIs, entrepreneurs, business leaders and large families from all over the world. Corporate Services: including Real Estate, Capital Markets and Employee Services. Yacht Services: (formally Jersey Yacht Management Limited) are leading specialists in the offshore yacht, megayacht and superyacht services industry. We have a thorough knowledge of all aspects of yacht ownership structures, yacht registration, tax, administration and crew employment and payroll. For further details contact: David Hopkins - Managing Director +44 (0) 1534 755 111 Robert Ayliffe - Executive Director +44 (0) 1534 755 124 Darren Hocquard - Executive Director +44 (0) 1534 755 101 Fiduchi Limited is regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission.

Intertrust is a global leader in providing techenabled corporate and fund solutions to clients operating and investing in the international business environment. The Company has more than 3,500 employees across 30 jurisdictions in Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific and the Middle-East. Intertrust delivers high-quality, tailored fund, corporate, capital market and private wealth services to its clients, with a view to building long-term relationships. The Company works with global law firms and accountancy firms, multinational corporations, financial institutions, fund managers, high net worth individuals and family offices. In the Channel Islands we offer a comprehensive range of services to our clients and business partners:-

Julius Baer’s origins date back to 1890. From that time the renowned Swiss private banking group has been dedicated to serving and advising sophisticated private clients and family offices from around the world – going on 125 years now. Julius Baer employs more than 120 personnel in Guernsey and offers a full range of financial services, including discretionary portfolio management, investment advisory, structured products and credit services. There is also a dedicated team that supports the needs of External Asset Managers and the Branch works closely with the wider Julius Baer Group through the provision of administration and support services that are delivered from its booking centre.

Corporate Services Fund Services l Real Estate Services l Capital Markets l Private Wealth l Performance & Reward Management Services

Stephen Burt Branch Manager

We pride ourselves on providing professional, personal and cross-border services to our clients across the globe, enabling businesses to grow sustainably.

Craig Allen Head of Investment Management

l l

For further information, please contact Jacob Smed Managing Director, Jersey +44 (0) 1534 504000 Marie McNeela Managing Director, Guernsey +44 (0) 1481 211275

Jean-Luc Le Tocq Head of Private Banking

Shaun Kelling Head of External Asset Management Bank Julius Baer & Co Ltd, Guernsey Branch is licensed in Guernsey to provide banking and investment services and is regulated by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission.

Intertrust Jersey is regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission and Intertrust Guernsey is regulated by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission.

september/october 2019 79


KPMG in the Channel Islands is a leading provider of professional services, including audit, tax and advisory. With offices in Jersey and Guernsey, we employ over 260 members of staff across the two islands. We work closely with clients, helping them to identify and grasp opportunities, and mitigate risk. KPMG’s global network enables us to draw on international resources to meet clients’ needs. KPMG member firms are located across 154 countries and employ more than 200,000 people around the world. With passion and purpose, we work shoulderto-shoulder with clients, integrating innovative approaches and deep expertise to deliver real results. Jersey Jason Laity Chairman Andrew Quinn C.I Head of Audit John Riva C.I. Head of Tax Robert Kirkby Advisory Partner Guernsey Neale Jehan Managing Director Tony Mancini Tax Partner Ashley Paxton C.I. Head of Advisory

Specialty: Bespoke IT Development & Business Consultancy

Building trust in society and solving important problems

Puritas is an award-winning provider of intuitive software and business solutions for the financial services industry.

We focus on three things at PwC in the Channel Islands: assurance, tax and advisory services. But how we use our knowledge and experience depends on what you want to achieve. So whichever one of our 390 staff in the Channel Islands you work with (or 225,000 people across the PwC global network of member firms), they’ll start by asking the following questions:

Specifically designed to meet the increasingly complex accounting, compliance, and reporting needs of our clients, all software features robust audit and control capabilities which can be easily updated to reflect changes in the regulatory environment. Our products include: l PureFunds - a unitized product platform specifically designed to support many different types of asset class and fund structures and help fund administrators and portfolio managers better manage investor activity l P ureClient - an advanced customer due diligence/client management system which will maintain and update client records for any entity or relationship and provides the necessary transparency and look-through reporting that is needed to manage sophisticated structures l P ureManager - a bespoke software package for fund and investment managers which provides for effective control, analysis, reconciliation and reporting of daily trading activity. As well as software development, our services include: l Systems integration and implementation l Programme and project management l Project and business consultancy

Are you looking to build trust? Give your shareholders more value? Or do you want to do something completely different with your strategy? When we work with you we really listen, to understand you better. We’ll get to know you, your business and your goals. Then we’ll share what we’ve learned to help you get there. We want to deliver the value that you, our clients, our people and our communities are looking for. Talk to us about your issues and aspirations. For further information, please contact: John Roche, Partner, Guernsey Phone: +44 1481 752040 Email: Karl Hairon, Partner, Jersey Phone: +44 1534 838276 Email: Follow us: @PwC_CI

To find out more how Puritas can help your business. Contact: Mike Feighan - Director Phone: +44 (0) 1534 874100 Email:

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BL Directory About RBC Wealth Management For more than a century, RBC Wealth Management has provided trusted advice and wealth management solutions to individuals, families and institutions. We are truly a global organisation, bringing our diverse expertise and deep knowledge to the sophisticated financial needs of our clients around the world. As one of the world’s top five largest wealth managers*, RBC Wealth Management directly serves clients globally with a full suite of banking, investment, trust and other wealth management solutions, from our key operational hubs in Canada, the United States, the British Isles, and Asia. The business also provides asset management products and services directly and through RBC and third party distributors to institutional and individual clients, through its RBC Global Asset Management business (which includes BlueBay Asset Management). For more information, please visit Contact: Phone number Tel. +44 (0) 1534 283 000 Address Gaspé House 66-72 Esplanade St. Helier, Jersey Channel Islands, JE2 3QT *Scorpio Partnership Global Private Banking KPI Benchmark 2018. In the United States, securities are offered through RBC Wealth Management, a division of RBC Capital Markets, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada. Member NYSE/FINRA/ SIPC. ® / ™ Trademark(s) of Royal Bank of Canada. Used under licence.

Vantage is an innovative group of companies providing a wide, yet associated range of specialist services to our professional, corporate and private clients. Since our formation in 2006 we have grown to offer an extensive range of business solutions to meet the expanding and everchanging needs of our clients – to solve their problems and to improve efficiencies. We can insure a firm’s buildings, contents and liabilities, arrange the company pension scheme, advise on life assurance, and provide medical insurance for all staff members. We can provide office space, source new staff and advise on employment matters. We can also consult on salary levels and employee benefits. We provide both regulated and nonregulated services, specifically: l Insurance Broking l Captive Insurance Management l Pensions and Retirement Planning l Investments and Life Assurance l Remuneration Surveys, Recruitment and HR Advisory l Serviced Offices and Property Management For further details please contact: Richard Packman, Chief Executive, Vantage Group +44(0) 1534 706503 Vantage Limited, Vantage Insurance Brokers Limited and Vantage Pension Trustees Limited are regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission.

ONLINE DIRECTORY THE ONLINE DIRECTORY THAT WILL GET YOUR FIRM NOTICED. With a profile summary on every press release, and a historical press release archive linked to your directory entry, is the place to be

Only £150m per annu

TO GET YOUR FIRM LISTED IN THE DIRECTORY CONTACT CARL METHVEN +44 (0) 1534 615886 / +44 (0) 7797 796377 OR CARL.METHVEN BLGLOBAL.CO.UK september/october 2019 81

questions with MARIE MCNEELA


Tea or coffee? Both! Favourite song ever? Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong, because it reminds me of my dad. Most amazing place you’ve ever been? I’ve been fortunate to travel a lot, but Mardi Gras in New Orleans was a standout experience. Scariest thing that’s ever happened to you? A boat trip when I lived in Cayman, going between Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. The weather was too dangerous to be out in a boat. I thought we were going to die and I have been nervous on boats ever since then. First job you had? Jamming jam doughnuts in a Tesco bakery. Worst job you’ve done? Jamming jam doughnuts in a Tesco bakery! Your best quality? I treat others how I would like to be treated. The worst thing about you? I talk way too much. (Didn’t have to think about this one!) Have you ever met anyone famous? I’ve met a lot of famous people through work, but recently we went to the Open Championship at Portrush Golf Club and I saw my daughter meet all her golfing idols. It was incredible seeing it through her eyes. Favourite food? Everything from pickled onion Monster Munch to sushi. Cats or dogs? Definitely dogs. I’m scared of cats.



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Can you play a musical instrument? I went to music school for eight years, so I can play a few, including piano, saxophone, violin and clarinet. But the saxophone was my favourite.

What’s at the top of your ‘bucket list’? Going to the Maldives – just because I’ve never been there – and also taking my children to New York. Favourite book? A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I first read it 20 years ago and I’ve read it twice since; it’s so beautifully written. How do you like to spend your free time? Spending time with my family and friends, as well as reading or socialising – when I’m not being a taxi service for my children! What small things make your day better? Good manners. Buzzword you hate the most? There are so many. I try my best not to use them. What do you have for your breakfast? Coffee. Something about you that people might be surprised by? I’m a qualified swimming instructor. What’s the best advice you’ve been given? My parents encouraged us to say yes to every opportunity because you can always come home if it doesn’t work out. Because of this, I’ve worked in Kenya, New York, Boston, London, Cayman and Guernsey and met some amazing people from all walks of life. Marie McNeela is Managing Director of Intertrust in Guernsey.





The funds Edition 2019


Global specialist in trust, corporate and fund services, with 16 offices across 13 jurisdictions. Delivering bespoke solutions to a diverse client base of high-net-worth individuals, their families, international corporations, institutional investors and business owners requiring active wealth solutions.

Cayman Islands / Guernsey / Hong Kong / Isle of Man / Jersey Luxembourg / Malta / Netherlands / New Zealand / North America Singapore / Switzerland / United Kingdom Regulatory information is detailed on

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