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GLOBAL BUSINESS: A VIEW FROM THE CHANNEL ISLANDS

BUSINESSLIFE

JANUARY 2021

• cloud security • digital transformation • online training • fintech

BUSINESSLIFE

ISSUE 71 JANUARY 2021

Rise of the machines How Covid-19 has accelerated digitalisation


The power of technology. The understanding of tax.

The economic substance administration problem, solved. PwC can help your business plan and file fully compliant returns straight from source data with easy to use technology. A new way of working for a new way of thinking. Email deborah.payne@pwc.com or tom.cowsill@pwc.com Visit www.pwc.com/jg/economic-substance

© 2020 PricewaterhouseCoopers CI LLP. All rights reserved. “PricewaterhouseCoopers” and “PwC” refer to the Channel Island firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers CI LLP, which is a member firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited, each member firm of which is a separate legal entity. PricewaterhouseCoopers CI LLP, a limited liability partnership registered in England with registered number OC309347, provides assurance, advisory and tax services. The registered office is 1 Embankment Place, London WC2N 6RH and its principal place of business is 37 Esplanade, St. Helier, Jersey JE1 4XA.


Welcome

Digital diagnosis ONE OF THE much-vaunted lines of the Covid-19 pandemic has been the extent to which it has accelerated the uptake of digital processes and services, as our regular personal and business activities have been disrupted and restricted. It’s a story that reaches far beyond moving meetings from the office to a video platform; it includes the rapid rise of delivery apps, digital account access, remote transactions and ‘docusign’ processes, to name a few. The usual swathe of consultancies and professional services firms have, of course, taken a stab at estimating exactly how far the pandemic has vaulted us forward and how fast we have accelerated – including within the pages of this edition. The exact level of progress is unclear. However, according to a McKinsey & Company study of 900 C-suite executives and senior managers in businesses around the world, on average, digital offerings have leapfrogged seven years of progress in a matter of months. One of the sectors that has had to embrace tech and digital services more than most during Covid-19 has, of course, been the health sector. As our feature starting on page 34 explains, the added pressure placed on doctors’ surgeries and hospitals has seen a huge uplift in remote consultations through private healthcare apps and online platforms. The pace at which the sector has evolved, and the appetite with which people have adopted remote services, provides real food for thought for other sectors that have traditionally relied on in-person activity, not least certain areas within financial services. It has also put the healthcare sector firmly back in the sights of investors looking to ride the wave of rapid growth. “Digital health is one of the most interesting consumer sectors today,” one sector specialist tells us. “Investments – both venture capital and private equity – are very strong, particularly in the US, but there are also many positive signs in Europe. Consumer healthcare is the ‘last to the party’ when it comes to redesigning pre-internet-era business models.”

DIGITAL DRIVE In this special Digital Edition of Businesslife, we explore the impact of digitalisation on other sectors too. In the learning sector, for example, our feature starting on page 40 explores how digital access to education and development

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materials has in effect democratised learning – making it accessible to all and creating opportunities for those who previously would not have had them. The positive impact of this isn’t just being felt by individuals. The Open University estimates that the economic impact of digital remote learning between 2018 and 2019 is £2.77bn. This issue, we also look at how digital transformation is creating new opportunities in the wellbeing sector, in customer engagement and customer service across sectors, and in data security – nearly always with the outcomes of greater efficiency, cost reduction and access. The question for many firms, however, is how they balance those opportunities with the need to protect some customers’ desire for the more personal touch and doing things ‘the old way’. In the financial services sector, that’s a question that has been on the boardroom agenda for a long time, and which is being tackled in large part by the fintech sector. Our feature starting on page 28 finds that – motivated for change, operating in a supportive regulatory environment and armed with high levels of investment – financial services businesses in the Channel Islands are embracing fintech at greater speed than ever. And they’re keeping a sharper focus on that balance between automating mundane tasks and retaining the personal touch. For many, however, change will not be immediate. And, as our article on page 14 sets out, with many financial services businesses still hampered by legacy systems and threatened by the rapid rise of digitalnative competitors, many of them are looking for ‘quick fixes’. Given the pace at which consumers’ expectations and acceptance of digital processes have shifted during the pandemic, that’s understandable. The other challenge it raises for all, however, is how to juggle the need for short-term changes with long-term strategies in the face of a pandemic – not least given the speed at which we’ve leapt forward in the past nine months. Enjoy the issue. n

The question for many firms is how to balance digital opportunities with customers’ desire for the more personal touch

Jon Watkins is Editor-in-Chief of Businesslife

january 2021 3


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Contents

INSIDE

BL

50 Building a resilient digital Registry for Jersey companies with new opportunities to move to the next stage in their own digitisation programmes. The new digital Registry, which includes the customer portal myRegistry, is more accessible and efficient, and gives registry users more flexibility to manage their own information.

34

CO MME NT

JULIAN LAMB

BUSINESSLIFE

Businesslife is published quarterly by Chameleon Group, with special editions covering the City, Middle East and Asia +44 1534 615886 www.blglobal.co.uk

CEO, CHAMELEON GROUP Carl Methven carl.methven@blglobal.co.uk EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jon Watkins ART DIRECTOR Angela Lyons SUB EDITOR Kate Wheal ADVERTISING sales@blglobal.co.uk NEWS AND EDITORIAL news@blglobal.co.uk GENERAL ENQUIRIES enquiries@blglobal.co.uk

Registrar, Jersey Registry

T

he past year has been a year like no other. But it didn’t stop us at the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) from taking on one of our most substantial and ambitious projects to date – totally upgrading the Registry and moving all our services online. The new Registry is ready to be unveiled to customers in January 2021. It has been a huge undertaking for the organisation, but an essential infrastructure investment to ensure that we continue to meet and lead the way in international standards – as well as giving all our customers the levels of service they expect. Jersey’s strong infrastructure continues to evolve and contribute to the attractiveness of the jurisdiction – as one of the world’s leading international finance centres. Coordinated efforts between island agencies and businesses continue to develop a safe, stable and well-regulated environment for the international business and investment communities. The island’s international reputation in financial services is also critically linked to the reputation of the JFSC. To preserve and grow that reputation in a fragmented and fastchanging international marketplace, we must be dynamic, robust and increasingly effective. The new Registry will allow us to be just that, thanks to the technology in which we have invested. We have worked hard to make sure that the new systems we have put in place deliver efficiencies for our Registry team and offer easier to use self-service facilities for the many businesses that use the Registry. Primarily, though, we have prioritised security – with the amount of data we hold on our multiple registers, we needed to make sure that it is protected. We have done these things by building new platforms and an application programming interface (API). This will dramatically change how we interact with customers and how we manage the data we hold. It also provides Jersey trust

TWO KEY CHANGES The new Registry will have a significant bearing on how the finance industry operates post-2021. Companies will no longer have to submit an annual return before the end of February each year. Instead, they will just need to confirm that all the information we hold on the register for them is up to date, by filing an annual confirmation statement. This will be pre-populated with the information we already hold in the Registry, so verifying its accuracy will be done with the click of a button. The second change is that now, under the new law, we will be collecting more information about Jersey companies. As a result, businesses will need to provide us with details of their directors and secretaries, which will be held on the central registers moving forward. Recognising these are big changes for Jersey companies, we have extended the deadline for the first digital annual confirmation statement period, so companies have until the end of April to get up to speed with the system and submit their statement. As the Registry becomes larger (there are currently 12 different registers), and new legislation and policies increase the requirements for us to provide accurate, adequate and timely data to law enforcement agencies and financial intelligence units, it is important that Jersey can demonstrate this data is correct. To do this, we will need to be able to enforce compliance. From April to June, we will be reviewing the data we hold on the new system and will start our work to implement automated and enhanced vetting, in accordance with changing international standards. We will also need to continually verify other higher-risk disclosures, such as activity and ownership. We will be populating the central register of directors (and significant persons) between January and April, with the aim of making this public for the first time from 1 August 2021. In addition, we have started our preparation for the introduction of a public register of Beneficial Ownership, in line with emerging international practices and within the indicated timelines. Jersey and the JFSC are committed to continuing to invest in our regulatory and registry infrastructures for the next decade, to ensure the quality of our regulation and our Registry capabilities continues. We know that we cannot serve the island and the finance industry by standing still. Throughout 2021, we will continue to review our digital policies and to roll out marketleading improvements to our systems and how we service our customers. This is, after all, intrinsically linked to Jersey’s reputation as a first-class finance centre. n

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january 2021 7

7 COMMENT 6 News

34 digital health

Roundup of business news across the Channel Islands

8 Appointments

The pandemic has ushered in a digital health revolution – but are patients and health services ready?

Recent people moves in Jersey and Guernsey

40 digital learning

Quick fixes for financial services firms looking to make a digital upgrade

Online learning is helping businesses reskill for the future and giving greater access to training for all

22 data security

43 wellbeing

Key steps businesses should take to keep cloud storage safe

What does the future hold for the fast-evolving

14 transformation

relationship between mental wellbeing and technology?

Jersey Registrar Julian Lamb on the importance to the island of a resilient digital Registry

46 fintech A solid foundation of open access and opportunity is allowing Jersey’s financial services digital scene to thrive

50 transformation Why customer interaction continues to be the central driving force for digital developments

55

The knowledge

How to start a side hustle, David Olusoga in profile, weather forecasting tech, and much more

40

28 fintech Are Channel Islands businesses fully prepared to rise to the fintech opportunity?

contributors The BL Global Discussion Forum

Follow us @blglobalnews Office: 7 Castle Street, St Helier, Jersey, JE2 3BT © 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.

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ALEXANDER GARRETT

Alex looks at the ongoing steps that businesses should take to ensure their data is safe and secure in the cloud – even after they have made the transition to a third party.

RICHARD WILLSHER Financial services firms have long known they must transition to a digital future. Richard explores how they can get there in the face of legacy systems and the threat of digital-native competitors.

DAVID BURROWS

David investigates the rise of virtual and digitally powered health services – which has been accelerated by the pandemic. Are patients and investors really ready for the world of the robot doctor?

SOPHIE MCCARTHY

Meanwhile, Sophie takes a look at the growth of digital wellbeing apps and services – to see if they will retain their popularity post-Covid-19, and attract greater interest from investors.

january 2021 5


in the NEWS Follow us @blglobalnews

JERSEY: FIRST FOR FINANCE 2020-21 The 12th edition of Jersey: First for Finance has been published. It includes insights from Jersey Finance Chief Executive Joe Moynihan, Chairman Gunther Thumann, and Global Head of Business Development Allan Wood into the challenges and opportunities facing the sector now and in the future. This edition includes contributions from Jersey Chief Minister Senator John Le Fondré. And Minister for External Relations Senator Ian Gorst also looks at the impact of Covid-19 on the political, economic and social aspects of Jersey. • A copy of the book can be downloaded from www.jerseyfinance.je/our-work HSBC PUBLISHES 2020 NAVIGATOR Channel Islands businesses must focus on sustainable performance, employee empowerment and digital adoption if they are to thrive. So says HSBC’s latest Navigator report, which draws on the views of more than 10,000 companies in 39 countries and territories. The survey finds that 8% are more profitable than before Covid-19 and 45% expect to return to pre-Covid profitability by the end of 2021. But 28% of businesses expect it will take until the end of 2022 to claw back ground lost, 6% by 2024. Although the number of companies projecting sales growth in the year ahead (64%) has dropped 15 percentage points from a year ago, 42% expect sales growth

Done Deals Mourant has advised DPE Deutsche Private Equity on fundraising for its latest fund, DPE Deutschland IV. DPE closed Fund IV early after demand greatly exceeded the stipulated maximum cap of €1bn in subscribed capital. The Mourant team was led by Partner Joel Hernandez, Counsel John MacFeeters and Paralegal Ellie Wood. Appleby has acted in Jersey and Guernsey for the joint administrators of certain

6 january 2021

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of more than 5% in 2021. A key feature of these ‘high-growth’ companies is that 89% are increasing investment. GUERNSEY PROPOSES FUND CHANGES The Guernsey Financial Services Commission has issued two consultation papers. The first (closing 1 February) proposes changes to the rules of its Private Investment Fund (PIF), adding two options that remove the requirement for manager involvement. The existing approach to registering a PIF would continue, but other options would include: qualifying investors only, with qualifying investors clearly defined; and a private structure for family relationships only. If the plans go ahead, new guidance on PIF promoter due diligence and a standardised declaration form will be introduced. The second consultation (closing 27 January) involves changes to NonGuernsey Schemes – investment schemes not established or incorporated in the bailiwick or authorised by the GFSC. The law permits Protection of Investors (PoI) licensees to act for Non-Guernsey Schemes without prior approval if they are authorised in Jersey, the Isle of Man, UK or Ireland. If the existing rules are revoked, any entity undertaking a restricted activity in or from the bailiwick in connection with a collective investment scheme (wherever domiciled) will still be required to be licensed under the PoI law. n

companies of the Arcadia Group. On behalf the administrators, Appleby obtained orders of recognition of their appointment within two days of the administration orders being made in the UK. This will enable them to continue to trade from stores in the islands while options are explored. Partner Jared Dann and Senior Associate Gemma Whale gave Jersey legal advice; Partner Anthony Williams and Senior Associate Andrew Murphy provided Guernsey advice. Parslows has advised SunWorks (CI) on its framework agreement with Jersey Electricity to supply solar photovoltaic (PV) equipment for the development and implementation of

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS Crestbridge is to acquire Ovation Fund Services, a US-based provider of fund administration, accounting and reporting services. Ovation will be rebranded as Crestbridge and its New Jersey office will be led by Scot Hadley, Ovation’s founder. Ocorian has completed its acquisition of London consultancy Newgate Compliance, founded in 2014 by Martin Herriot and Aron Brown to help funds clients meet UK regulatory obligations. Its staff will join Ocorian’s London team. JTC has acquired employee benefits platform RBC CEES. Around 180 CEES staff will join JTC on completion, expected in Q2 2021. CEES’ client book consists of 890 plans. It serves a global client base from Jersey, Guernsey, London and Edinburgh. Sanne Group is to acquire Danish private equity fund administrator Private Equity Administrators, which provides boutique fund administration and depositary services to alternative fund structures, and also operates in Sweden and Guernsey. The deal is due to complete in Q1 2021. n

commercial scale solar PV installations in Jersey. The first development site, at Woodside Farm, is nearing completion. David Hill led the Parslows team on the transaction. Walkers has acted alongside Allen & Overy on the consensual financial restructuring of UK fashion retailer New Look. The multifaceted restructuring included Walkers advising on the Jersey law aspects of an extension of the group’s working capital facilities in order to ensure it has no nearterm debt maturities. The Walkers Jersey team comprised Group Partner Jon Le Rossignol, Senior Counsel Louise Hamilton and Legal Assistant Matt Tout. n

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Building a resilient digital Registry for Jersey companies with new opportunities to move to the next stage in their own digitisation programmes. The new digital Registry, which includes the customer portal myRegistry, is more accessible and efficient, and gives registry users more flexibility to manage their own information.

CO M M E N T

JULIAN LAMB Registrar, Jersey Registry

T

he past year has been a year like no other. But it didn’t stop us at the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) from taking on one of our most substantial and ambitious projects to date – totally upgrading the Registry and moving all our services online. The new Registry is ready to be unveiled to customers in January 2021. It has been a huge undertaking for the organisation, but an essential infrastructure investment to ensure that we continue to meet and lead the way in international standards – as well as giving all our customers the levels of service they expect. Jersey’s strong infrastructure continues to evolve and contribute to the attractiveness of the jurisdiction – as one of the world’s leading international finance centres. Coordinated efforts between island agencies and businesses continue to develop a safe, stable and well-regulated environment for the international business and investment communities. The island’s international reputation in financial services is also critically linked to the reputation of the JFSC. To preserve and grow that reputation in a fragmented and fastchanging international marketplace, we must be dynamic, robust and increasingly effective. The new Registry will allow us to be just that, thanks to the technology in which we have invested. We have worked hard to make sure that the new systems we have put in place deliver efficiencies for our Registry team and offer easier to use self-service facilities for the many businesses that use the Registry. Primarily, though, we have prioritised security – with the amount of data we hold on our multiple registers, we needed to make sure that it is protected. We have done these things by building new platforms and an application programming interface (API). This will dramatically change how we interact with customers and how we manage the data we hold. It also provides Jersey trust

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TWO KEY CHANGES The new Registry will have a significant bearing on how the finance industry operates post-2021. Companies will no longer have to submit an annual return before the end of February each year. Instead, they will just need to confirm that all the information we hold on the register for them is up to date, by filing an annual confirmation statement. This will be pre-populated with the information we already hold in the Registry, so verifying its accuracy will be done with the click of a button. The second change is that now, under the new law, we will be collecting more information about Jersey companies. As a result, businesses will need to provide us with details of their directors and secretaries, which will be held on the central registers moving forward. Recognising these are big changes for Jersey companies, we have extended the deadline for the first digital annual confirmation statement period, so companies have until the end of April to get up to speed with the system and submit their statement. As the Registry becomes larger (there are currently 12 different registers), and new legislation and policies increase the requirements for us to provide accurate, adequate and timely data to law enforcement agencies and financial intelligence units, it is important that Jersey can demonstrate this data is correct. To do this, we will need to be able to enforce compliance. From April to June, we will be reviewing the data we hold on the new system and will start our work to implement automated and enhanced vetting, in accordance with changing international standards. We will also need to continually verify other higher-risk disclosures, such as activity and ownership. We will be populating the central register of directors (and significant persons) between January and April, with the aim of making this public for the first time from 1 August 2021. In addition, we have started our preparation for the introduction of a public register of Beneficial Ownership, in line with emerging international practices and within the indicated timelines. Jersey and the JFSC are committed to continuing to invest in our regulatory and registry infrastructures for the next decade, to ensure the quality of our regulation and our Registry capabilities continues. We know that we cannot serve the island and the finance industry by standing still. Throughout 2021, we will continue to review our digital policies and to roll out marketleading improvements to our systems and how we service our customers. This is, after all, intrinsically linked to Jersey’s reputation as a first-class finance centre. n

january 2021 7


News

Appointments Ogier has promoted Sandie Lyne to Partner in its Dispute Resolution team in Guernsey. Sandie, who joined Ogier in 2014, is a Guernsey Advocate with broad experience in commercial and financial dispute resolution, especially contentious trusts, restructuring, insolvency and regulatory matters. She advises on complex, highvalue international matters with multijurisdictional elements, including the restructuring of Ocean Rig during a secondment to Ogier’s Cayman office. Prior to joining Ogier, she practised as a Solicitor in London for firms including Hamlins and Pennington Manches Cooper.

Bedell Cristin has recruited litigation specialist Robert Christie to the practice in Jersey as a Partner. Robert, who is a Jersey Advocate and a qualified English and British Virgin Islands Barrister, specialises in trusts, company, commercial and insolvency litigation. He was called to the English Bar in 2006, practising at Radcliffe Chambers in Lincoln’s Inn, London. Between 2012 and 2015 he worked for Ogier in the British Virgin Islands before relocating to Jersey. Here, he initially worked for Dickinson Gleeson as an Associate, and was subsequently promoted to Partner.

BWCI has promoted Jonathan Kemp to the role of Insurance Partner, based in Guernsey. Jonathan joined the firm in 2019 as a Senior Manager in its Guernsey insurance consulting team. He has more than 25 years’ experience in the financial services sector, including periods as an insurance consultant and as chief actuary to insurance companies in Malta and Bahrain. Jonathan, who is also a Director of BWCI Insurance Management and BWCI Insurance Broking, specialises in providing actuarial and consultancy advice to captive insurance and life assurance companies.

Stonehage Fleming has appointed Bev Stewart as Director in its Jersey Family Office Division, responsible for managing several international high-networth client relationships. Bev brings to the new role more than 16 years’ investment banking and financial services experience. She joins the firm from Absa Bank in South Africa (formerly part of the Barclays’ group), where she served as a Director within the Investment Banking Global Finance team, having joined in 2011. Bev trained as an accountant at PwC in South Africa, later moving to the firm’s New York office following qualification.

PraxisIFM has announced three board appointments across its Channel Islands offices. Blane Queripel (pictured), who has been with the firm since 2006, has taken the role of Director, PraxisIFM Trust (Guernsey). Blane started his career in the Guernsey tax office. Meanwhile, Josh Farrow, who has held the role of Associate Director for the past two years, becomes Funds Director/Head of Funds, Praxis Fund Services (Jersey). And finally, Barbara McDonald has been promoted to the post of Operations Director within PraxisIFM Trust (Jersey).

Altair Partners has appointed Zöe Cousens to the role of Client Director. Zöe has more than 30 years of experience in financial services, including seven with Collas Crill as an investment consultant. In 2015, she relocated to Dubai, where she established Castellet Consulting. She also served on the UAE National Advisory Board of the Chartered Institute of Securities & Investment and was the Middle East Representative for Guernsey Finance. More recently, Zöe founded the Women’s Investment Network and, earlier in 2020, Talking Money Matters.

12 march/april 2017

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News

Andy Veron has been named as the new Managing Director of Credit Suisse Trust in Guernsey. He has moved from the firm’s banking operation and takes responsibility for the management, development and oversight of Credit Suisse’s trust business in Guernsey. Andy has had an extensive career with Credit Suisse, spanning more than 20 years. He has held a number of board-level positions and has also served as Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Risk Officer within Credit Suisse Guernsey. Andy has also previously held the position of Chairman of the Association of Guernsey Banks.

Guernsey accountancy and audit company Cleland & Co has promoted Vicki Webster to the role of Managing Director. Vicki takes over from her father, Harry Dick-Cleland, who founded the company in October 2003. Harry is moving to the position of Chairman and intends to continue to operate in an advisory capacity with a focus on client engagement. Vicki has worked with the family-run company since 2017 as a Director. She joined from PwC, where she spent seven years in roles across New York, Guernsey and London, latterly as an Audit Manager in the capital.

Ashburton Investments has promoted James Cooke to Head of Global Equities at Ashburton Investments (International). Based in Jersey, James leads Ashburton Investments’ global equity team located across offices in the Channel Islands, the UK and South Africa. He has been with Ashburton since 2019, when he joined as Head of Equity Research from Asset Risk Consultants. While at ARC, he worked as an Investment Consultant responsible for advising high-net-worth clients, trusts and charities. Prior to that, he was based in Edinburgh as an Investment Manager with SVM Asset Management.

Robert Trefny (pictured) has taken over as Chair of The International Stock Exchange Authority (TISEA) from 1 January. Robert has more than 35 years’ experience as a lawyer, latterly as a Capital Markets Partner in the London office of Clifford Chance. Earlier in his career, he spent 11 years at Davis Polk & Wardell in New York before moving to Clifford Chance. Based in Hong Kong for five years, he relocated to London in 1999, where he continued to practise until leaving the firm in 2018. At TISEA, he succeeds Charlie Geffen, who becomes the Chair of parent company The International Stock Exchange Group (TISEG).

Sanne has appointed Mark Grenyer as its Head of Client Operations, based in Jersey. With more than 18 years’ experience, predominantly in the alternative funds space, Mark joins from JTC, where he has served as Senior Director, Head of Funds, for the past five years. Prior to this, he worked for a range of Jersey-based businesses, including Fairway Group, Volaw and Standard Bank. In his new role, Mark will take responsibility for building and enhancing the Jersey business, with a focus on client development and operational efficiency.

Smith & Williamson International (SWI), part of the Tilney Smith & Williamson Group, has appointed Matt Falla (pictured) as Director and Managing Director, based in Jersey. Matt joins the company from Kleinwort Hambros, where he has spent the past 15 years, latterly as Head of Private Banking in Guernsey. He previously held a range of roles at HSBC and RBSI in Jersey. Matt takes over as MD from Aidan McAvinue, who has been named Chief Executive of digital banking hub BankClarity in Jersey but will continue as a NonExecutive Director of SWI.

www.blglobal.co.uk march/april 2017 13


BL BY NUMBERS

The future will see more partnerships with companies that are digitally native, and can move at pace, to deliver great customer experience THE FUTURE OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION PAGE 14

30%

Proportion of GP visits that deal with issues people could handle themselves Is digital healthcare the future? PAGE 34

SUSTAINABLE FUNDS, PAGE 12

THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC ACCELERATED BUSINESS DIGITALISATION BY AS MUCH AS THREE YEARS IN THE SPACE OF NINE MONTHS FINTECH DEVELOPMENT PAGE 28

NUMBER 1 San Francisco is the number one fintech development hub, despite being only the 12th biggest financial hub

RISING FINTECH HUBS PAGE 66

“With reducing human contact, industry needs to focus on delivering a great experience, perhaps through technology and web apps” Customer is still king when it comes to financial services

PAGE 50

“Digital wellbeing has kept millions of people both safe and sane during this hugely turbulent time” Where next for digital wellbeing?

PAGE 43 10 january 2021

£2.77BN THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF ONLINE LEARNING BETWEEN 2018 AND 2019, ACCORDING TO THE OPEN UNIVERSITY

DIGITAL LEARNING PAGE 40

“Running a fintech firm takes a lot of firepower – and the Channel Islands have that in bucketloads” PAGE 46 www.blglobal.co.uk


Advertising feature

Invest in the future of humans Neil Buesnel, Senior Client Advisor at UBS Wealth Management in Jersey, discusses how lifestyle changes across education, healthcare and consumer preferences can result in investment opportunities

HUMANITY IS FACING a demographic

expansion alongside large structural shifts, including the Fourth Industrial Revolution and rising environmental pressures. These interconnected trends are creating a range of opportunities for investors. Over the next 30 years, the size of the global population will grow and our average age will increase. These demographic trends are taking place alongside major structural shifts. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, powered by automation, connectivity and the ‘environmental credit crunch’ will alter the way the global economy works. All these issues are entwined, and we concentrate in this article on three key areas where we expect changes to be largest: education, health technology and consumer preferences.

EDUCATION In a digitalised era where humans work and compete with machines, learning will increasingly have to focus on flexibility, creativity, innovation, interpersonal skills and mastering technology. As knowledge becomes outdated sooner and working lives grow longer, the need to learn will stretch into retirement. While we expect the overall education market to grow at a high single-digit rate over the next decade, private education will expand even more rapidly as the public sector lags behind the rise in demand. The market for e-learning, language learning and test preparation should experience a growth rate in the high teens. In education, we see investment opportunities in public and private markets in education technology, ancillary services and companies that have a superior record in training and developing their employees. Related opportunities include businesses that provide education content and

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technology services, providers of education finance and companies that own, develop and manage learning infrastructure such as student housing.

HEALTHCARE Patients will take more financial responsibility for their health in the future. As ‘health consumers’, they will prioritise staying healthier for longer, transforming healthcare from an episodic service to a lifelong process of managing and maintaining health. A more technology-driven healthcare ecosystem will enable this shift, opening up new ways to manage health. Digital disease management offers a glimpse of tomorrow’s personalised approach to chronic disease. The telemedicine boom points to a shift in the location of care as remote technology facilitates more efficient treatment paths and fewer hospital visits. In healthcare, we consider investment opportunities in public and private markets through companies developing technologies or services that enable change (enablers), those that can use it to enhance their market positions (beneficiaries) and transformational technologies (moonshots).

CONSUMER PREFERENCES Millennials and Generation Z will move into their peak earning years and they are likely to benefit from wealth transfer. These cohorts are broadly more conscious of their social and environmental impact. They often value experiences more than material ownership. Companies that produce goods and services that cater to the social and environmental values of these generations are likely to benefit. Furthermore, companies that provide

new consumer experiences through technologies like augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR) can offer attractive investment opportunities. In consumer preferences, we focus on the opportunities resulting from more socially conscious and digitally savvy consumers – sustainable brands and digital entertainment like AR, VR and esports. Humanity is facing huge demographic and structural changes as the global population is growing and ageing. Economies are also being transformed by connectivity, automation and concern for the environment. However, we believe that these pressures will create a range of opportunities for investors and we will be monitoring them with great interest. n

FIND OUT MORE

If you would like more information on how UBS Jersey can support your future investments, please contact: Neil Buesnel, Senior Client Advisor UBS AG, Jersey Branch 1, IFC St Helier, Jersey JE2 3BX 01534 701173 neil.buesnel@ubs.com UBS AG, Jersey Branch is authorised and regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission for the conduct of banking, funds and investment business. © UBS 2020. All rights reserved.

january 2021 11


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This year, social distancing has challenged our traditional in-branch face-to-face Relationship Manager conversations. So we’ve launched a new, digitised investment process. This means you can now chat to your Relationship Manager remotely and sign documents electronically, from the comfort and safety of your own home.

On the Isle of Man, Michael Gillen, High Net Worth Premier Wealth Manager has had plenty of interest in our low carbon funds. “People are becoming far more aware of their social responsibility. We expect to see more enquiries over the next 12 to 18 months into the environmental, sustainable and green (ESG) funds.”

Invest with the right support Investing is a very personal journey, and we understand that everyone has their own unique set of motivators and goals. We listen carefully, to ensure you get the best advice and support. Simon Lidbury, HSBC Area Director in Jersey explains, “The job of a Relationship Manager is to be supportive in difficult times, as well as good. The ethos of investing, for all our customers is, that we’re in it for the long-term. We anticipate market fluctuation as part of any investment journey. When things took a downturn earlier this year, our main concern was to support and reassure our customers that things will improve. Many of those who sat tight are in profit, and in fact, a lot of them are in a position now well above where they started pre-crash in March.” Our low entry-level (as little as £250 per month) means investing with HSBC is more accessible. And with interest rates at the lowest they’ve ever been, there really hasn’t been a better time to invest.

We’re now offering even more investment opportunities with our expanded mutual funds and ‘green’ low carbon investment options. These new additions have already been well-received by both existing and new investors.

Luke Mapley, HSBC Premier Wealth Manager in Guernsey, added, “With more funds, we’re able to offer more options to our customers. This starts more conversations about wealth and investment, which is a good thing as it allows us to cater to different customers with different preferences.” And Jade customers can look forward to even more options with the launch of our Core Multi-Asset Solution (Discretionary Portfolio Management).

Invest with ease With expanded funds and a low entry-level, whether you invest for growth or income, investing with HSBC is easy with our new digital processes. You can chat to your Relationship Manager remotely and even sign documents electronically at home. It’s convenient, kinder to the environment, reduces delay, and most importantly, helps to keep everyone safe.

We’re right with you. Ask in-branch about ‘Wealth’ 03456 006161

“The job of a Relationship Manager is to be supportive in difficult times, as well as good. The ethos of investing, for all our customers is, that we’re in it for the long-term.” Simon Lidbury, HSBC Area Director, Jersey

ciiom.hsbc.com/premier/advice-today-tomorrow *Please remember that the value of investments, and any income received from them, can fall as well as rise, is not guaranteed and you may not get back the amount you invested. This could also happen as a result of changes in currency exchange rates, particularly where overseas securities are held or where investments are converted from one currency to another. We always recommend that any Investments held should be viewed as a medium to long-term investment, at least five years. 1 In order to make investments with HSBC, you need to hold an HSBC Premier bank account and invest a minimum of £25,000, or £250 per month. Charges will be applied. This is a financial promotion.


Invest with ease with HSBC Premier We want to help you make the best financial decisions for you and your family. And right now is a great time to invest in your future, whatever your attitude for risk. With HSBC Premier, you’ll benefit from:  Dedicated Relationship Manager, available in-branch, virtually or by phone  Expanded mutual funds across all risk profiles including ‘Green’ funds  Minimum entry level £25,000 or £250 per month1

We're right with you, so you can make the most of your money now – and in the future. Ask in-branch 03456 006161 ciiom.hsbc.com/premier/ advice-today-tomorrow 1 In order to make investments with HSBC, you will need to hold an HSBC current account and invest a minimum of £25,000 or £250 per month. Charges will be applied.

Please remember that the value of investments, and any income received from them, can fall as well as rise, is not guaranteed and you may not get back the amount you invested.

 New digital tool to complete and return documents

Issued by HSBC Bank plc, registered in England and Wales number 14259. Registered office 8 Canada Square, London, E14 5HQ. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. HSBC Bank plc, Jersey Branch is regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission for Banking, General Insurance Mediation, Fund Services and Investment Business. HSBC Bank plc, Guernsey Branch is licensed by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission for Banking, Insurance and Investment Business. HSBC Bank plc, Guernsey branch is licensed to take deposits by the GFSC. In the Isle of Man HSBC Bank plc is licensed by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority. Publicly available information, including reports and accounts is obtainable from www.hsbc.co.uk HSBC Bank plc. © HSBC Bank plc 2020. All Rights Reserved. 200914/GI/377


Digital transformation

More than one way to skin a cat Financial services organisations have long known they must transition to a digital future. Hampered by legacy systems and threatened by the rapid rise of digital-native competitors, time is critical. But there are plenty of things they can do to find an immediate fix Words: Richard Willsher

14 january 2021

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Digital transformation

OVERHAULING THE PAST Despite significant steps forward in recent years, and during the pandemic, financial services organisations – and major banks in particular – face major digital challenges. They must deliver their services to very large customer bases. And, in addition to that, they have often been laggards in their uptake of new technologies, hampered by the very size and complexities of their organisations. However, technologies such as robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI) are now being deployed to overcome these legacy issues and to help them remain competitive – and could actually provide the perfect mix of security and agility. “A lot of bank IT infrastructure is getting on for 40 years old,” explains Martin Keelagher, CEO of Agile Automations, which uses RPA bots to help banks overcome the limitations of their legacy systems.

“When you ring up a telephony team and they’re bringing up your data, the systems they’re working on were probably put in place by the likes of IBM when IBM was the real powerhouse. “But while these things might be old and clunky, and horrendous to use from a user interface perspective, they are actually bombproof, and the banks don’t want to lose that element. “In fact, it’s the envy of newer challenger organisations which, although they may not be hampered by legacy systems, lack the big banks’ presence and power in the marketplace.” Keelagher says the key is to add a “robotic workforce” to make those systems become faster and more agile, without losing that bombproof element. “These robotic workforces shunt, push, pull and do the hard work, the menial tasks, the everyday repetitive roles that are rule-driven, that can be easily predicted within a business,” he says. Much of this is associated with accessing, manipulating and analysing data – and that is key to delivering customer-facing services instantaneously, Keelagher adds. He suggests it is the speed, accuracy and security of data handling that will play an increasingly vital role in large financial organisations in the coming years. That will certainly be the case for the longestablished banks, as they face ever-increasing competition from younger, more flexible organisations that have grown up with a digital culture – challengers such as Monzo, Revolut and Starling, to name a few.

INTEGRATING CHANGE Both RPA and AI can be central to unlocking the integrated systems of financial services organisations – but they are not the only tools in the digital transformation toolbox. At corporate and fiduciary services provider Ocorian, based in Jersey,

1 McKinsey Digital, The Covid-19 recovery will be digital: A plan for the first 90 days, by Aamer Baig, Bryce Hall, Paul Jenkins, Eric Lamarre and Brian McCarthy, 14 May 2020 www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/mckinsey-digital/our-insights/the-covid-19-recovery-will-bedigital-a-plan-for-the-first-90-days#

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january 2021 15

THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC has forced financial services firms’ hands. Digital adoption among consumers and businesses accelerated as lockdowns took hold in societies around the globe. Remote working and service provision became the only way for most businesses and individuals to maintain a semblance of business and life as usual. In an article in May 2020, McKinsey & Company summarised the position1: “Recent data shows that we have vaulted years forward in consumer and business digital adoption, in a matter of around eight weeks. [For example], banks have transitioned to remote sales and service teams, and launched digital outreach to customers to make flexible payment arrangements for loans and mortgages...” The consulting firm went on to set out a 90-day digital transformation plan to enable organisations that hadn’t moved quickly enough, to catch up.


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Digital transformation

Don’t be afraid to admit if something’s not going to work – and do so quickly to save time and resources

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that doesn’t work; let’s change this and change track’. If we’re trying something we’ve never done before, I don’t think it’s realistic to expect that it’s always going to work the way we intended. “There is a balancing act. Don’t be afraid to admit if something’s not going to work – and do so quickly to save time and resources.” Communication with, and management of, stakeholders – in terms of taking them along on the transformation journey – is important too, says Geddes. At the same time, having a team comprised of the right people, with the right skills, is crucial to executing the strategy. Geddes points to the high level of skills and availability of staff and contractors in the Channel Islands, for example.

RISE OF THE CHALLENGERS To illustrate the importance of digitalisation, and the challenge that a new technology-based business can pose to traditional providers, consultant and former CEO at Jersey Finance Geoff Cook describes a service offered by one of his clients. “Digital Swiss Gold enables you to buy or sell gold, in grams, through a smartphone app,” he explains, “challenging the traditional way of accessing gold bullion through a bank or a bullion dealer.” The digital approach to this traditionally physical transaction brings possibilities of speed, convenience and reduced costs. The full service covers all aspects of the payment, acquisition and storage of gold. Importantly, this business could have been located anywhere in the world, but as Cook explains: “The business chose Jersey because of its reputation as a global centre that upholds the rule of law and has a good administrative and regulatory environment.”

january 2021 17

Stuart Geddes is Group Head of IT and is leading the firm’s transformation programme. Ocorian is seeking to modernise and improve its services – but also to integrate its business, which is highly acquisitive. The merger last February of Ocorian and Estera caught the headlines, but it was only one of a series of mergers and acquisitions over the past five years, and Geddes says that means successful integration is vital. Standardising technology solutions – across legacy systems and technology processes – to deliver better services to customers and clients is key to integration, he says. And application programming interfaces (APIs), which help systems and technologies relate to each other, underpin that strategy. They enable straight-through processing and assist in the production of timely management information. They also provide direct, open access for clients who need quick access to information to do their business – with minimum human interaction. Bringing about such transformational change in an organisation, and a rapidly growing one at that, poses particular process challenges. Geddes provides some pointers on where to begin. “You need to prioritise,” he says. “Having a very short and clear set of priorities that everyone in the team is aware of is absolutely critical. And for everybody working on your transformation programme, from the most senior to the most junior staff member, being 100% committed to what it is we’re doing in terms of those priorities, is essential.” ‘Fast fail’ is a second important principle, Geddes adds. “You don’t have to sit in a dark room, build something and try to launch it as one big event,” he says. “Start small, work with smaller teams to be more agile, deliver quicker and don’t be afraid to say: ‘Okay,


Digital transformation

the future will see more partnerships with companies that are digitally native and can move at pace, to deliver great customer experience

In principle at least, this opens up many other avenues for business to be conducted from the islands, where there are native skills and efficiency in financial services, as well as regulatory and fiscal attractions. “I think that you’ll see more of this kind of thing in future,” Cook adds. “The important thing to say is: it’s nothing to do with crypto. It is utilising digital technology to buy a traditional safe harbour asset.”

TRUST AND THE DIGITAL FUTURE OF BANKING So where could the digital transformation journey lead large financial services firms, especially those based in the islands? “I’m optimistic that the future will see more partnerships with companies that are digitally native and can move at pace, to deliver great customer experience,” says Jamie Broadbent Jersey-based Head of Digital and Innovation at RBS International. Like other commentators, he sees personal and business data – and what financial firms do with it – as the Holy Grail. “Financial firms sit on mountains of customer data and yet they aren’t really delivering a hyper-personalised service,” he says. “All banks need to quite quickly get to the place where we are not just doing spray-and-pray and saying: ‘Here’s an offer, we hope you’re going to like it’. They are actually using a customer’s data to understand them as a segment of one – and then delivering the right message at the right time and in the right channel that they will respond to best.” Moreover, in addition to the requirement to quickly adopt new technologies to meet the needs of customers, data and digital access to it is an enduring asset.

18 january 2021

“Digital is eternal,” says Broadbent, adding that digital transformation does not have an end-game, but a continuous path of change and improvement towards ever more personalised customer experience. An important element of this is trust – specifically trust of the customer in his or her bank. Yet, while older generations may feel uncomfortable with handing over more data and more permissions to their banks, the post-Facebook generation is already used to living their lives online and sharing information about themselves. “So, I say that the bank’s role is really to be a trusted partner that not only looks after people’s money but looks after their best interests, helps them improve their relationship with their money, helps them improve their relationship and their digital capability,” Broadbent says. “That’s fundamentally the role we see. My hope is that there’s evidence we’re starting to get that right and certainly that’s what we’re looking to prioritise as we move forward.” For Channel Islands financial services businesses, digital transformation does not involve having skyscraper offices in London, New York or Tokyo, nor having a high-street branch network to deliver services to customers. What counts is having expertise and trusted counterparties in well-regulated jurisdictions, using state-of-the-art technology, to deliver services to customers wherever they may be located. In these areas, the islands punch well above their weight. So there is plenty of evidence that digital transformation will benefit the financial services sector on the islands, while less nimble competitors in jurisdictions that lack the islands’ progressive mindset are left playing catch-up. n

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The future of banking The global pandemic has reinforced the need for businesses to be ‘shock-ready’. Jamie Broadbent, Head of Digital and Innovation at RBS International, considers where the banking industry fits into this digital world NO ONE IN the banking sector is unused to disruption – the past decade has seen more seismic change than perhaps at any other time in history. The coronavirus crisis has intensified the sense that banks are facing extraordinary upheaval and how they fit into the broader business ecosystem. Blockchain, open banking, emerging challenger banks and the growing muscle of the fintech sector have created a sense of disruption that few have seen before. Creating a ‘shock-ready’ business is crucial. While the intensity and scope of this disruption was already presenting a challenge, the global pandemic has compounded this. “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face,” boxer Mike Tyson once said. The current coronavirus crisis represents not only a challenge but also

Simply aiming to return to ‘business as usual’ is unlikely to equip any firm with the necessary tools to survive

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an opportunity to focus in on how customer needs have changed and how they will continue to evolve. The pandemic has had a marked effect on the use of cash, the suspension of face-to-face interaction and a whole set of concerns for clients grappling with unprecedented uncertainty. However, rather than trying to predict and plan for every possible scenario, the ‘shock-ready’ business focuses on instilling a sense of agility – so that if the unexpected does arise, the company is ready to adapt swiftly and meet whatever challenge appears. This has led to some interesting changes, as traditional methods, boundaries and hierarchies have all been challenged. The industry must put the right people around the right problems and empower them to make important decisions. Simply aiming to return to ‘business as usual’ is unlikely to equip any firm with the necessary tools to survive. As we move through the crisis, the big question is: how do you take all those new innovative ways of working, and the rapidresponse mindset that we’ve had to employ, retain them and make them part of the way you work going forward? As the economy unlocks and various operations reconfigure, for many businesses the emphasis will fall on developing a recovery strategy. But where will their bank fit into that? Do businesses really see their banks as partners in their success or simply a passive provider of sometimes opaque services? Tackling this perception will be the next big challenge. Few businesses put banking at the top of the ‘favourite admin tasks’ list, but this is something that can change.

We all want to have a better relationship with money. So the future customer experience will see banks stepping into this role to help individuals, families and businesses to really thrive by improving their relationship with money. This happens through the delivery of transparent, easy-to-understand financial products and services, which removes friction and effort that we associate with banking – and allows people to get on with living the lives they want to as financial services are taken care of in the background. Our innovation won’t be defined through offering shiny new things all the time. Instead it will be the simplicity of the services and the added value we can offer clients. Those services are set to increase in both scope, scale and specificity as digital technology continues to drive much of what customers want. Banks must not only invest time and money in new technology, but also in identifying exactly what customers’ pain points are. Central to that is retaining a human face in a digitally led bank – building seamless and connected digital experiences but making sure we can connect with people and treat them as individuals. While challenger banks are redefining some of the digital tools and channels that can really impact on customer experience, the need for a human face remains. n

FIND OUT MORE

Visit www.rbsinternational.com

january 2021 19


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Vaccine breakthroughs: light at the end of the tunnel Sheena Berry, Equity Research Analyst at Quilter Cheviot, looks at the wider impact of the imminent arrival of Covid-19 pandemic vaccines (written November 2020) BY MOST ACCOUNTS, the news from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna that their coronavirus vaccines are around 95% effective gave the world a reason to feel hopeful. Following eight months of lockdowns, travel restrictions and social distancing measures that took their toll on the world economy, there is a genuine sense that we have found a way out. The news couldn’t come at a better time – following a quiet summer when restrictions were eased and economies reopened, the onset of autumn brought with it a resurgent coronavirus. There is little doubt we are in the midst of a second wave as positive cases reach news highs in the UK and Europe. Governments have responded by tightening restrictions, most notably England’s national lockdown running from 5 November to 2 December.

The outcome exceeded expectations. The 95% efficacy achieved by Pfizer/ BioNTech and Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccines with no major safety issues observed during phase three trials was significantly higher than expected. With its effectiveness well above the threshold of 50% set by the US Food and Drug Administration, it provides a glimmer of hope that a breakthrough in the vaccine race has been achieved and life as we know it may return to some sort of normality. What makes this so significant is that it is said that no vaccine has been developed and proven to be so highly effective in such a short period of time. Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine may dispute this claim, given that it is purported to be 92% effective, but it has been tested on a much smaller pool of volunteers and has not completed phase-three trials.

SUCCESSFUL TRIALS

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

From the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020, dozens of research laboratories have been racing to find a vaccine that will bring a halt to this deadly virus’s advances. With more than 150 potential vaccines in development, it was a matter of when, rather than if, one would prove effective.1 Among the most promising candidates were the efforts of Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca/Oxford University, and there was some expectation that one would pass phase three trials successfully before the end of the year.

It cannot be understated that the Pfizer/ BioNTech and Moderna development is positive news that provides the world with a shining light at the end of what feels like a very long tunnel. Its efficacy rate is well above what is required to stop the virus spreading in the population and is higher than the efficacy rate of 60%-70% that had been predicted. Compare this with the flu vaccine’s 40% efficacy rate. As always, there are caveats, challenges and unanswered questions that need to be addressed. Pfizer and BioNTech have

1 www.nationalgeographic.co.uk/science-and-technology/2020/08/dozens-of-covid-19vaccines-are-in-development-here-are-the-ones-to

20 january 2021

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achieved the two-month safety data requirement for US regulatory submission and will seek emergency-use authorisation as it awaits full approvals from each country’s regulatory body, which could take months. Duration of protection is a question that currently remains unanswered. Another tricky issue is that the Pfizer/ BioNTech vaccine must be stored at -70ºC and this creates a significant logistical challenge on top of everything else. This is a temperature well below any normal domestic freezer, so Pfizer and BioNTech will be tasked with creating a deep-freeze delivery chain. Pfizer has already developed a suitcasesized transport box that uses dry ice and can hold 5,000 doses for up to 10 days. Moderna’s vaccine is based on the same technology but can be kept in a refrigerator for up to a month.

We expect the trend towards the digitisation of the economy to carry on and technology companies in this area to continue to perform well

WHAT DOES ALL OF THIS MEAN? To borrow a well-used phrase, it is likely that this is the beginning of the end of the pandemic – or we are at least very close to it. But there is still much that needs to happen before anyone will be vaccinated en masse. We expect other pharmaceutical companies to announce the results of their trials over the coming months, but Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna have set a high hurdle to clear. Given how many people around the world will need to be vaccinated, it is likely we will need more than one vaccine to meet the high demand. Initially, the vaccine is likely to be made available to people in high-risk groups, such as older people as well as hospital and care home workers. Ultimately, the rollout will depend on how it works among different age groups and whether or not other vaccines also become available.

is unlikely to be curtailed simply because people will be able to visit shops again. E-commerce has soared this year and as people have become accustomed to having their groceries delivered and ordering more goods online, this will probably continue to take a bite out of bricks and mortar retail stores. Therefore, we expect the trend towards the digitisation of the economy to carry on and technology companies in this area will continue to perform well. The healthcare sector has been in the spotlight throughout the pandemic and with the vaccine race looking set to heat up, we can expect the focus to remain on ongoing efforts from Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and other players that are expected to report in due course. n

HOW HAS THIS AFFECTED MARKETS? It was no surprise that Pfizer’s announcement on 9 November caused stock markets around the globe to surge, particularly in the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic. This is potentially an economic game-changer as it will likely help people’s lives return to normal and businesses to recommence their usual operations. Companies in sectors that benefit from life returning to normal performed well following the announcement. This includes business in the travel and leisure sector, as well as oil and mining companies. Banks also saw their share prices rise because a stronger economy means fewer businesses defaulting on loans. Nevertheless, the digital revolution that the pandemic helped to accelerate

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FIND OUT MORE

For more information, contact Allie McMahon: Tel: 01534 506105 Email: allie.mcmahon@quiltercheviot.com

january 2021 21


Data security

The benefits of using the cloud to host your business’s data and information are well established, But there are plenty of steps that firms should take to ensure a smooth transition to the cloud – and that their data remains safe once there

Words: Alexander Garrett

22 january 2021

THREATS TO OUR data and personal information can sometimes feel like something that only concerns other people – something we hear about on the news occasionally or from a friend of a friend at a dinner party. But anyone doubting the risk to their data from malicious cyber attackers in the Channel Islands received a stark warning on 25 November, when the States of Guernsey announced it had been targeted by “a sophisticated and potentially serious cyber-attack”. The ‘phishing’ attack, said the States, “sought to overwhelm government email systems and prevent the States from being able to use email. It temporarily blocked emails from gov.gg accounts to Microsoft and Yahoo email accounts” in an attempted denial of service. Fortunately, the matter was resolved in less than 48 hours, with email back up and running and no loss of data. Protecting against such attacks has become one of the highest priorities for businesses and organisations of every size. The ongoing migration of many IT services to the cloud, as well as cloudbased data storage, heightens that focus

– and poses new questions too. In the early days of the cloud, the idea of storing your data on a remote server was seen by many as a security risk. But for most organisations, that’s no longer the case, says James Kelsh, Senior Information Security Consultant at Resolution IT in Guernsey. “It shouldn’t be a barrier at all. When you move to the cloud, you are simply transferring your security risk from in-house to a third party. It just means you have to make your own cloud assessments and decide you are able to secure your data as you would if it was sitting behind your own firewall.”

THE RIGHT MIX The cloud does pose some issues for businesses. “You can access your data all over the world 24/7, 365 days a year. But that means malicious actors can too,” says Kelsh. “So you have to make absolutely sure that only the right people get access.” On the plus side, however, cloud providers will cover a significant part of your security needs, which will typically include regular maintenance – such as

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security patches and software updates – carried out automatically. “For companies whose in-house capability has limited experience, time and budget, it does make good sense to go to a provider such as Amazon, Microsoft or Google, for whom the latest security is all part of the service,” adds Richard Field, Partner at law firm Appleby, who specialises in data protection and is a member of the Digital Guernsey panel. Caroline Honeycombe, a Jersey-based Manager in Deloitte’s Cyber Risk Services practice, adds: “Some of the big cloud providers have security features that can also cover small businesses that are in a hybrid state – with some of their services and data still on-premise alongside those on the cloud. “By utilising some of these security features, you’ve now got coverage over your on-premise infrastructure that you may not previously have had. You may not have had visibility of risks, and now, by going on the cloud, you can take advantage of having that.” But businesses can seldom afford to hand over all their security to their cloud

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provider. For one thing, local knowledge of your system architecture can be vital to mitigating risks such as mis-configuration. Honeycombe explains: “A classic example of mis-configuration is where you have a server for something internal that is actually touching the internet but you didn’t realise it. An attacker could gain access through a particular port, so it’s vital you have the correct logging and vigilance to detect that threat.”

THE RIGHT PROVIDER Companies also need to properly assess their cloud providers, and to consider what data or systems they are prepared to assign to the cloud. Field says: “We had a client recently who was hosting everything on their own servers and then chose to store elements of their datasets in the cloud. “They chose to have a test run of some anodyne data, not current and not special category. They’ll now see how that works, and if that goes well they’ll move other data in due course.” Inadequate security leaves firms vulnerable to multiple risks. Data loss, data

theft and denial of service are just three. A more recent development is ‘cryptojacking’, where your server and processing power are taken over to mine for bitcoin. The form of the actual attack is most commonly a ‘phishing’ email sent to glean one user’s login information, after which their account can be hijacked. “Any large-scale incident has usually stemmed from a phishing attack,” continues Honeycombe. “What’s probably happened is that a user has clicked on the malicious link and given away their username and password, which the attacker can use to log in to the account, or they have clicked on a malicious link and downloaded malware.” With either method, she explains, malware is uploaded that can laterally move around in the system, escalate privileges and go from being a ‘user’ within the system all the way up to being an administrator. It can go from infecting one user’s laptop to infecting entire servers. These attacks often start by targeting the most commonly used cloud-based software, such as Office 365, and the onus is firmly on the user to prevent them happening.

january 2021 23

Data security


Data security

Companies need to properly assess their cloud providers and consider what data they are prepared to assign to the cloud

The first line of defence, says Field, should be encryption. “If you are putting data into the cloud, our standard view is to tell people to encrypt it,” he says. “There’s always that risk when it’s in transit that somebody might somehow tap into it. And if someone does gain access then it’s effectively unreadable.” Access controls are arguably even more important: removing weak passwords and enabling two-factor authentication as standard. But even two-factor authentication isn’t 100% safe, says Kelsh. “If you are using weak secondary factors, such as an SMS message, you need to be looking at introducing third-factor authentication opportunities, such as biometrics,” he says. “You start with a password, something you know; then add a phone as the secondary factor, which is something you own. The third factor is something you are: your retina scan or your fingerprints.”

24 january 2021

TRAINING FOR SECURITY End-user training is another key element to moving to the cloud: training people not to click on potentially malicious links, and to think twice before opening external emails, for example. And then there’s detecting threats before they occur. “Security monitoring needs to be proactive rather than reactive,” says Honeycombe. “A lot of the time we see businesses in a more reactive state. Those are the ones that then get hit by cyber-attacks.” A range of tools are available to help businesses take a more proactive approach to detecting threats and responding to them – security information event management (SIEM); security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR); and manage, detection and response (MDR). The latest endpoint detection and response tools can even spot patterns of suspicious behaviour rather than just already identified viruses or malware – and help mitigate the threat that way. In terms of any resistance to cloud adoption, data residency is one issue that may have stymied complete adoption of the cloud in the Channel Islands. For professional firms – especially those that are regulated – there has often been a desire to keep data close at hand, within the islands, to ensure it can’t be accessed

by overseas regulators, for example. But that is now a largely defunct viewpoint, says Richard Field. “The attitude that if we put our data in the Channel Islands, then nobody will be able to get hold of it, is not only wrong but an outdated mindset. “The islands have long been transparent in terms of law-enforcement and regulatory authorities – our local FIS and regulators are used to responding to requests from foreign law enforcement or similar agencies. If they approach through the proper channels, with the correct paperwork, they will get hold of that information anyway.” Regulators are increasingly endorsing the cloud – even using it themselves. What they do require, however, is thorough risk assessments to be carried out before you migrate your data, as with adopting any piece of new technology. With its manifold benefits, few doubt that the cloud will continue its onward march and, for many businesses, become the normal way of hosting much of their data and systems architecture. By the same token, nobody expects the security threat or the level of ingenuity displayed by cyber attackers to do anything other than grow either. What’s clear is that, for those willing to move into the cloud, having a comprehensive and well-defined cyber security strategy will be essential. n

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WHY UBS FIM JERSEY?

• Global custody • Stock execution – across the world‘s leading exchanges • Stock settlement3 • Lending4 • UK mortgages5 • FX/hedging • Research • Daily MIFID II-compliant reporting

Location Jersey is a leading international finance centre. The island maintains one of the strongest regulatory frameworks, as acknowledged by independent assessments by the OECD, World Bank and IMF. Strength As the world’s largest wealth manager and one of the best capitalised banks in the industry, UBS has consistently ranked among the world’s top financial institutions and received numerous independent industry accolades in recent years.1 Global platform You gain access to the breadth of the global FIM offering, allowing you to book clients in multiple jurisdictions.2 Relationships We do more than just custody, investments and delivering reports; we also create and maintain long-term relationships.

ADDITIONAL SERVICES

THE JERSEY FIM TEAM

Emma Gouyette (Associate Director) is a Chartered Fellow of the CISI with 20 years’ experience in financial services. Her role at UBS is to act as a Client Advisor on the FIM team developing and servicing relationships with external asset managers who have an offshore requirement. Emma has extensive experience in wealth management and has a proven track record in managing relationships with high-networth private clients and intermediaries. Emma has attained the CISI Private Client Investment Advice Certificate (Level 6), in addition to the Investment Advice Certificate (IAC). n

• Our team is professionally qualified and experienced in managing end-clients directly, so we understand the needs of you and your clients. • We undertake the role of your middle and back office, reducing your administration burden. • UBS Jersey has the ultimate combination of an award-winning brand, service offering and dedicated people, to help grow your business. • With our platform and team based in Jersey, the Jersey FIM team offering is truly offshore.

in 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 20201

In addition to our core offering, you can access many niche services, including: • Aviation finance • Commercial real estate lending • Philanthropic advisory services

PRIMARY CONTACTS Helen Ollivro (Executive Director) is Head of Financial Intermediaries for UK & Jersey. Helen has more than 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry in a client-facing role and joined UBS in 2007. In addition to running the UK & Jersey FIM team, Helen is responsible for business development. Helen is a Chartered Wealth Manager and has completed the CISI Private Client Investment Advice & Management (Level 6) paper, in addition to the Investment Advice Certificate (IAC).

FIND OUT MORE

For more information about UBS Global Financial Intermediaries Jersey please contact: Helen Ollivro, Executive Director helen.ollivro@ubs.com +44 (0)1534 701031 www.ubs.com/jersey

www.ubs.com/global/en/wealth-management/about-us/awards.html 2 Subject to the EAM meeting minimum relationship requirements for individual jurisdictions EAM can trade with preferred brokers and offer up settlement to UBS Jersey 4 No arrangement fee. Fixed or variable multi-currency collateral loans. Single stock lending available 5 Booked via FIM London

1 3

UBS AG, Jersey Branch is authorised and regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission for the conduct of banking, funds and investment business. © UBS 2020. All rights reserved.

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january 2021 25


Wealth Management


It’s never too soon to talk about your legacy. Not just with us, but with the people who really matter. You’ve always been well prepared when it comes to managing your wealth. Now you want to ensure that your family benefits from financial security. At Royal Bank of Canada, we understand that our clients have different goals for their legacy planning. That’s why we take the time to really listen to you and your aspirations. Our collaborative approach, combined with our global expertise, means we strive for the best result for each client. Tell us what matters to you. Not all investments services are suitable for all investors. If you have any questions regarding the services mentioned please speak to a financial advisor.

To learn more visit rbcwm.com/vision New clients +44 (0) 1534 501 111

This advertisement is issued by Royal Bank of Canada (Channel Islands) Limited (“the Bank”) on behalf of RBC® companies that comprise RBC Wealth Management in the British Isles (“the BI Subsidiaries”). The Bank is regulated by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission in the conduct of deposit taking and investment business and to act as a custodian/trustee of collective investment schemes in Guernsey and is also regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission in the conduct of deposit taking, fund services and investment business in Jersey. The Bank’s general terms and conditions are updated from time to time and can be found at www.rbcwealthmanagement.com/ global/en/terms-and-conditions. ® / ™ Trademark(s) of Royal Bank of Canada. Used under licence.

RBC 1796


Fintech

Realising the digital promise With financial institutions motivated for change, a supportive regulatory environment and high levels of investment, are BUSINESSES IN THE Channel Islands ready for digital transformation? And are the islands ready to cement themselves as the world’s leading fintech location? Words: Gill Wadsworth

LAUNCHED IN NOVEMBER 2020, Jersey for Fintech is a collaboration between Jersey Finance, Digital Jersey and Locate Jersey, aimed at making the Channel Islands the world’s number one location for fintech. The timing is certainly sweet for a world in a state of almost perpetual lockdown, forced into remote working and ever-more reliant on tech to stay connected. In addition to forcing us all on to virtual communication platforms, the Covid-19 pandemic has, according to a recent McKinsey & Company survey, accelerated business digitalisation by as much as three years in the space of nine months. Yet if financial institutions are to realise – as Deloitte refers to it in its recent report – their “digital promise”, there remain notable challenges to overcome. In the report Realizing the Digital Promise, produced by Deloitte and the Institute of International Finance, 60 financial institutions across the world give their views on the obstacles

28 january 2021

they encounter as they attempt to transform their current businesses into digital operations. These challenges are complex and vary across organisation type and geography, but the report identifies nine common themes. The first is that financial institutions are held back by risk-averse investors who do not share the organisation’s digital vision. The report argues that investors are “still looking for predictable, consistent and stable returns from banks”. This can run counter to the attributes commonly associated with business model transformation and innovation, the report says – “that is, taking risks, experimentation and learning through iterations”.

BOARD LEADERSHIP But it is not just investors that can hinder transformation. Simeon Moss, Director, Consulting, at Deloitte in Jersey, says boards of directors may also put the brakes on change.

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Fintech

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Financial institutions often ‘lack enterprise agility’ to engage in innovative partnerships ▼

“There needs to be a broader interest from executives,” he says. “It is down to board sponsorship to allow digital innovation to happen across the organisation; the impetus must come from the top down.” The board must be willing to work with investors to communicate the digital plan and get buy-in at every level says the Deloitte report. They must also be nimble and flexible in their approach if they are to overcome another common challenge – that financial institutions often “lack enterprise agility” to engage in innovative partnerships. In other words, some organisations may be too stuck in their ways – or bound by cumbersome regulation – to work with fast-paced fintechs. Moss says: “Traditionally, financial services organisations have been very used to a heavily regulated set of processes and they are used to being risk focused in what they do.” But partnerships operate in two directions, and another challenge in realising digital transformation lies in improving

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Fintech

There need to be bigger moves to running core databases and analytics through the cloud

30 january 2021

fintechs’ ability to work within the regulatory confines imposed on the financial sector. “Fintechs are culturally very different from traditional financial services companies,” Moss adds. “If we look at banks, for example, they are regulated at entity level, so everything they do has a heavy regulatory focus. “Meanwhile, fintechs are not used to the same level of oversight. Instead, they are focused on using technology to solve a particular problem.” Moss adds that some financial institutions are overcoming the disconnect with their fintech partners by building inhouse innovation labs. “Where organisations have succeeded is in creating business units that can run in an agile way and test out different ideas,” he explains. “Some institutions have designed fintech labs and incubators where they work with fintechs, invest in them and help them grow while providing them with the governance and regulatory oversight.” Even when fintechs and financial organisations have managed to align their frameworks and cultures, the regulatory boundaries in which they must operate present another obstacle. According to the report, regulation is playing catch-up with technological

advances – those interviewed for the research “consistently stressed a desire for regulation to be more agile and dynamic, supporting the notion of a pivot from regulation to supervision”. Moss says this means a move to regulations that are principle-based, technology-neutral and able to stand the test of time. This is somewhat at odds with the European Commission Payment Services Directive 2, which, although written half a decade ago, is only just coming into force and may no longer be compatible with the current market environment. In the Channel Islands, however, favour lies in a progressive regulator which, as the Jersey for Fintech initiative demonstrates, is eager to support digital transformation. “Jersey is strongly placed to capitalise, particularly around the regulatory infrastructure and investment,” Moss says.

BUILDING A TALENT POOL Alongside this positive regulatory infrastructure, the Channel Islands need to build a talent pool with the requisite skills to support a digital transformation. The report states: “The ability to recruit, develop, and retain workers with the right technical skills is vital to a firm’s ability to digitally transform. While effective

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Fintech

Nine challenges to successful digital transformation 1. Investor expectations for financial institutions constraining digital transformation efforts 2. Inconsistent data regimes restricting financial institutions’ ability and appetite to generate value 3. Lack of enterprise readiness and capability by fintechs limiting the ability for partnerships with mature financial institutions 4. Prescriptive and/or outdated regulations constraining large-scale digital transformation initiatives 5. Evolving talent models forcing many financial institutions to rethink the workforce of the future and the environment needed to retain talent 6. Lack of enterprise agility, understanding and coordination for activating innovation partnerships 7. Traditional risk-conscious culture clashing with a higher risk appetite for pursuing innovation 8. Management ambition to meet short-term business targets misaligning with organisational needs for longer term transformation 9. High regulatory-driven change burden leaving insufficient budget, resources and management attention for digital transformation initiatives

strategies to entice top talent need to keep pace, retention emerged as the much bigger challenge for the financial institutions we spoke to.” While this dearth of skilled personnel is not unique to the Channel Islands, their distance from the mainland means extra effort is involved in enticing people to its financial institutions. Moss suggests finance firms use digital transformation itself to release employees tied up in laborious manual tasks such as payment processing. This will allow them to focus on more value-added activities that can build much needed revenues. “[Financial institutions] are often constrained by capacity around talent,” he explains. “As well as using digitisation to improve efficiency, organisations need to start automating and introducing a digital workforce component to release capacity and allow the workforce to focus on higher value activities such as developing new services and products.” Accessing sufficient finance is also a challenge for organisations already seeing margins tightly squeezed in a fee-conscious, heavily regulated environment that is also suffering the fallout from Covid-19. The report states: “The high cost of meeting regulatory compliance requirements is compounded by a

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challenging macro environment, exacerbating the ability to achieve profitable growth. While revenue growth had historically been the primary goal for most banks, many organisations now acknowledge that achieving a lower cost-to-serve is just as important in order to grow profitably.” Yet failure to speculate on digital transformation means a reduced chance of potential accumulation from making the change. “Where boards are making decisions on their change portfolio, they should be looking at those strategic decisions through a digital lens,” Moss adds. “Organisations that don’t reconsider their investment for change in a digital manner face a real a danger of getting left behind competitively.” Moss points to the success of early tech adopters in navigating the Covid-19 pandemic, which demanded the ability to respond digitally. And he adds that since companies will be paying notable sums to maintain outdated legacy systems, it might be a false economy not to redirect that investment into technology instead. Importantly, that resource needs to be directed towards improving datasets, formalising processes and ensuring consistency across the piece. Moss says the 2018 General Data

Protection Regulation (GDPR) has helped companies focus on their data requirements, but more needs to be done. Participants in the report said they “still have much to fix and learn from internal data before expanding insights from external data”. Further, many organisations say they have not been capturing the right data attributes for developing insightful analysis. Moss believes companies should make more use of cloud-based services. “Local organisations have already made the move to Office 365 and use that platform for emails on the cloud, but there need to be bigger moves to running core databases and analytics through the cloud,” he says. The digital future looks bright for the Channel Islands. As Moss says, the financial institutions are motivated for change, the regulatory environment is supportive and there are high levels of investment. Yet that does not mean the jurisdiction is immune to the many challenges that stand between financial organisations and their digital success. Businesses will need to build on the momentum Jersey for Fintech has created if they are to realise their digital promise. n Source: Deloitte and the Institute of International Finance, Realizing the Digital Promise

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Advertising feature

How Intertrust Group’s tech-enabled fund services empower clients Technological progress will be a key factor in the success of the funds industry in the coming years. Financial services more broadly haven’t been as quick to adopt high-tech solutions as other industries, but a sea change is under way that will give clients access to a wider range of data than ever before. Philip Hendy and Chris Patton, Head of Real Estate and Head of Private Equity respectively at Intertrust Group in Jersey, explore the impact that technology is having on the funds sector THE PAST YEAR has proven how rapidly societies can adopt technological products and processes that modernise and enhance everyday lives. As thousands of people adapted to working from home, collaborating on the cloud, video calling friends and family and partaking in virtual summits and events quickly became the norm. The finance sector has been discussing technology disruption for many years. Now, the funds sector is undergoing a huge technological adaptation in order to meet and exceed clients’ needs and help them to unleash the potential of their business.

DATA-DRIVEN SERVICES The main trend we’re seeing among Intertrust Group fund clients is that they crave more and more information. We think that’s socially driven; people have access to greater levels of detail than ever before, in all areas of their lives, and are used to consuming it ‘on the go’, in digital formats on phones and tablets. This has led to people demanding more of their fund manager and administrator. Some investors are asking for this as they need the information to meet increased levels of regulation, but many more are

seeking in-depth data to build a better picture of their investments. To fill this growing appetite the industry has invested a lot of time, effort and money in building platforms that can deliver on society’s data-driven promise and help our clients navigate the complexity of more information. While previously we could report the net asset value (NAV) of a fund and that would satisfy most clients, now it’s possible to elaborate on the true position behind a NAV and what’s contributed to its position at any moment in time. The sheer variety of metrics that our teams can now report has broadened our remit and enhanced the service level for our clients. They can be much more specific about what they want to see from us and get information that is more granular than industry-standard benchmarks. Our industry is on a technological journey and there’s still so much more to come. When people are used to high levels of detail, the main differentiator becomes how quickly you can get that data to them. Turnaround times to get NAVs to clients have decreased from around 10 days to between two and three days, or in some cases even quicker.

EMPOWERING OUR CLIENTS One key outcome of the data revolution is that people are now able to make more informed decisions. We’ve certainly seen our clients take a more active interest in the performance of their funds and our people are interacting with clients more than ever to ensure they have all the knowledge they need to make sound decisions. The modern client also has the option to find information for themselves, however. At Intertrust Group we use Investran Data Exchange, Intralinks, Yardi and systems developed in-house as part of our techenabled offering that gives clients the information they want and need, when they need it, in a format they are comfortable with. Our significant investments in technology have meant that this process is efficient for us and the client, and gets to the heart of what’s important. Intertrust Group has made a serious commitment to be a tech-enabled firm and lead the way for our clients. Everything, from the way we communicate to the roles we perform day-to-day, is geared towards using our technology to enhance client service and accelerate what’s possible in their rapidly transforming lives. n

FIND OUT MORE

Philip Hendy Head of Real Estate, Intertrust Group in Jersey Philip.hendy@intertrustgroup.com Chris Patton Head of Private Equity, Fund Services, Intertrust Group in Jersey Chris.patton@intertrustgroup.com Philip Hendy

32 january 2021

Chris Patton

Information correct as of print date, December 2020. For disclaimer and legal messages, please visit the Intertrust Group website intertrustgroup.com/legalnotice

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More Power to You At Intertrust Group our 4,000 employees are dedicated to providing world-leading, specialised administration services to clients in over 30 jurisdictions. By being the best at what we do, we empower businesses of all sizes, wherever they are in the world, to navigate the complexity of ever-changing rules and regulations. We support them to grow and accelerate the possible. We partner with them to transform and unleash the potential of their operating model by driving the efficiency, technology and insight needed to achieve a competitive edge. We deliver the power they need to succeed.

INTERTRUSTGROUP.COM Regulatory information is detailed on intertrustgroup.com/legalnotice


Digital health tech

The robot will see you now The rise of virtual and digitally powered health services has been accelerated by the pandemic – but are national health services, private suppliers, patients and investors really ready for the world of the robot doctor? Words: David Burrows

34 january 2021

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Digital health tech

quality expert medical advice when you want. No long waits in a surgery or clinic to see an overworked doctor. No waiting at home for an out-of-hours locum to arrive at your door. The idea of GP consultations online or via phone has not traditionally been welcomed by the public, who are used to – and have expected – face-to-face appointments. But Covid-19 has to a large extent changed this. GP surgeries have avoided personal appointments wherever possible during the pandemic, and patients understandably have been reticent about visiting health centres for fear of infection. Other areas, such as physiotherapy and psychiatry, have had to rethink how their essential services can be safely delivered. The answer in many instances has been to embrace technology – to turn to digital innovation to provide timely consultation and speedy diagnosis. But what else can technology offer and how can it improve patient outcomes and experiences? In what way can digital solutions offer something different to NHS Direct or self-diagnosis online? And can digital health technology offer more than just well-designed and clearly signposted information hubs? Matteo Berlucchi, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Your.MD, the company behind self-care app Healthily, certainly thinks there is a clear value-add. “The use of augmented intelligence [AI] can now offer highly personalised guidance on the best next steps for anyone with a medical question or situation,” he says. While Berlucchi is keen to stress that doctors should still deal with the ultimate question of ‘What is wrong with me?’, AI can be incredibly powerful and useful at

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answering the equally important question ‘What should I do?’. Given that 30% of visits to GPs deal with issues people could handle themselves, at a cost to the NHS estimated at £3bn per year, it’s no surprise there’s growing interest in this as a solution. But isn’t there a danger that the service is only as good as the information users provide – for instance, via chatbots? The concern is that the medical advice can only be of good quality if the information provided is equally as good. According to Berlucchi, the key lies in the design of the technology and how it interacts with the user. “Dot, our chatbot, is designed to maximise the information gained from the user,” he says. “It supports natural language input, and asks questions that are generated by the AI, step-by-step, based on all the other data points collected during the chat. Every interaction with a user is different from the next.”

Digital will become the norm for general practice, with all minor issues being dealt with remotely

Berlucchi adds: “Of course there is some risk that some information may not be provided by the user, but the focus is on telling them what they should do – including calling a doctor – not trying to guess what is wrong with them.”

QUALITY CARE Steve Casey, Marketing Director at Square Health, a UK health tech specialist, agrees that tech adoption is partly motivated by cost savings, but insists it is as much about quality and efficiency of service. Asked if there is a danger that a move to virtual meetings and consultations might lead to greater litigation over misdiagnoses, he is unequivocal in his response. “Digital consultations will have the same standards of care as traditional consultations, regulated by the Care Quality Commission and audited on the same basis,” he says. “Our GPs are trained specialists and if there are any concerns, the patient is referred to the appropriate clinical pathway.” Covid-19 has added significant momentum to the move towards health technology, says Casey. “Pre-Covid-19, there was a gradual move towards digital, with the likes of NHS England backing it, but the pandemic has put the ‘go-faster stripes’ on it. At Square Health, we are seeing 1,000 GP consultations every day.”

BENEFITS OF VIRTUAL CONSULTATIONS One of the most obvious benefits of virtual consultations is being able to deliver a 24/7 service with no requirement for an out-of-hours locum to drive miles for an appointment. As Casey explains, there is a cultural change happening with regard to what a GP appointment entails and how it can be provided. “There may be a degree

january 2021 35

IMAGINE A WORLD where you can access


Digital health tech of reticence initially,” he says, “but digital will become the norm for general practice, with all minor issues being dealt with remotely.” Even if more serious issues are handled face to face, digital healthcare can help with follow-up care – with patients selftesting and recording health readings from their own home. It can also help increase the patient’s understanding of their condition and, just as importantly, reduce hospital admissions as their health is more closely monitored.

ADDED FLEXIBILITY While general practice is currently the area seeing the highest growth in remote consultations, disciplines such as physiotherapy and psychiatry are also starting to benefit from the flexibility that technology can offer. Physio might sound like something that demands a ‘hands on’ approach, but Covid restrictions have forced practitioners to employ lateral thinking, too. Virtual meetings, where physios can conduct an initial assessment and then decide whether a digital pathway is appropriate or not, is one example. As Casey points out, post-Covid-19, Square Health’s physios will still look to use virtual solutions, or at least combine them with face-to-face treatments when it is in the patient’s best interest to do so. Once again, the focus is on flexibility and the patient experience. “Physios can provide bespoke exercise programmes, with the patient logging on to the app every day and providing feedback. There are various red flags in place to identify any areas of concern if they arise,” he says.

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With psychiatry, the pandemic has also led to more virtual consultations. Casey suggests mental health provision particularly lends itself to opportunities provided by health tech. “It is all about making patients more comfortable and, for many, they feel most secure in their own environment. The onus is on ensuring they are happy with how the consultation is conducted – for instance, they may not initially want to share their screen with their counsellor, so the option not to is there.” Covid-19 has clearly had an impact on the shift to digital healthcare provision, but what about using tech to track disease risks and trends in the first place – pre-emptive work as well as responsive activity? Is there

Digital health is one of the most interesting consumer sectors today. Covid-19 has only accelerated the growth in it

a danger that, as vaccines become available, the focus will move away from anticipating future disease risks? Lindsay Bryson, Chief Operating Officer at BlueDot, is a specialist in AI for disease control. She highlights the panic-neglect cycle in infectious disease – a cycle that needs to be broken. “There are two parts to that,” she says. “First is understanding that the risks are serious. There have been six global public health emergencies declared in the past decade. That’s one global public health emergency every 20 months. After Covid-19, I think it’s safe to say that we all understand the risks. “Second is to know that we have the technology to mitigate those risks. BlueDot was able to spot Ebola, Zika and Covid-19 very early on, and predict the risk and impact of their spread. That’s part of what we call epidemic intelligence. We all have to be ready for the next outbreak.” Chris Clark, CEO of Channel Islandsbased technology consultancy Prosperity 24/7, agrees that, from a bigger-picture perspective, digital technology is having an enormous impact on how governments formulate health policy. “Technology is providing governments with insight and data they’ve never before had, which is enabling them to identify health trends and plan in advance,” he says. “This could be anything from flu spread and hospital bed availability to staffing issues. Big data is being successfully applied to policy decision-making.”

THE HOT INVESTMENT THEME Self-care and virtual consultations for patients might seem somewhat removed from risk assessment for pandemics, but they are linked. Any future pandemics will put enormous demand on health services. Technological advances both in disease tracking and digital healthcare will require significant and continued investment. Berlucchi has no doubt this capital support will be readily available. “Digital health is one of the most interesting consumer sectors today. Covid-19 has only accelerated the growth and interest in it. “Investments – both venture capital and private equity – are very strong, particularly in the US, but there are also many positive signs in Europe. Consumer healthcare is the ‘last to the party’ when it comes to redesigning pre-internet-era business models.” Bryson agrees that awareness among investors of how technology can transform health research and care has progressed significantly. “We were very lucky to have the support of far-sighted investors who understood the magnitude of the problem we were tackling long before Covid-19,” she says. “Now, the whole world seems to understand the need for what we do.” n

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Advertising feature

technology trends to follow in 2021 Craig Marett, Product Development Manager at Vaiie, lays out the tech developments we can expect to see in the coming 12 months I GET CHALLENGED every year to articulate upcoming financial services technology trends. And if you thought technology was well embraced this year, 2021 is set to see greater adoption that will deliver even higher quality and more efficient services to clients anywhere in the world. Regulatory technology (regtech) is a topic you cannot escape when discussing fintech and digital transformation. It enables businesses to leverage advanced software for identity management, regulatory reporting, transaction monitoring, risk management and compliance software. Financial institutions are using regtech to onboard customers fast and with compliance across all jurisdictions in which they operate. The most significant technology trends of 2021 look set to come from regtech, productivity and cloud solutions.

TREND 1: IDENTITY AND VERIFICATION (ID&V) REGTECH A surge of rapidly deployable solutions in 2020 rescued financial services businesses that relied on face-to-face business and needed to be able to remotely onboard clients. Solutions will remain in high demand for implementation through 2021, being a low-cost, simple to implement and easy to use solution. ID&V regtech can capture personal data, selfie video and photo ID, then automatically validate whether the data is genuine. It can photomatch the selfie video, verify documents are authentic and confirm the individual is alive (commonly known as a liveliness test).

TREND 2: CUSTOMER LIFECYCLE MANAGEMENT (CLM) REGTECH CLM regtech will be widely adopted in 2021 as the go-to platform for the entire business. It manages the client from end to end, integrates ID&V solutions into automated workflow processes, offers rule-based logic, utilises qualified electronic signature (QES) technology and integrates with management systems. It helps assess risk continuously, by monitoring and assessing clients from the point of enquiry, onboarding, service delivery and offboarding.

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TREND 3: AI-BUILT DUE DILIGENCE REPORTS These will further de-risk business decisions in 2021. The production of subject due diligence reports isn’t a quick task for humans. But that’s not the case for artificial intelligence, with insights arriving in seconds. Leading suppliers use machine learning and natural language processing to read unstructured data sources in any language, understand local colloquialisms and return insights in any given language (differing greatly from the common practice today of searching English structured data).

TREND 4: DIGITISED OPERATIONS WILL GET A MAJOR UPGRADE Businesses have recognised for some time that they needed to fully digitise, and 2020 saw a partial rapid move to achieving that from adoption of new software and hardware, and cloud infrastructure. Some organisations recognised that an implementation of cloud infrastructure helped them deliver data sovereignty in the location required and provided a major enhancement to their data security, while reducing operational costs. The next 12 months will see laggards move to cloud infrastructure and further efficiencies leveraged from productivity solutions.

TREND 5: ROBOTIC PROCESS AUTOMATION (RPA) RPA will become mainstream, supporting the delivery of repetitive tasks such as data input, data management, account reconciliation, prioritisation, document digitisation, testing and report automation. It will help businesses save money by reducing fraud, processing errors and payment discounts. And when combined with optical character recognition (OCR), which converts images into text to enable fast document search, it is a strategy that

will be fully embraced. Most firms will have an element of RPA in their business and it will be adopted on a ‘project by project’ basis.

TREND 6: ADVANCED COACHING SOLUTIONS Advanced coaching systems will help to boost productivity. Although rewarding, coaching people can be challenging and a constant activity for senior employees developing high-performance teams. When employees leave the business, so does the transferred knowledge, team performance dips, and the cycle of transfer starts again. The inclusion of intuitive narrative built into software will enable any employees to complete tasks with confidence and accuracy. And a focus on online software training and support programmes will also enable employees to make better use of software rolled out in 2020. There are so many more trends to watch out for in 2021 – trust company client portals, the widespread adoption of QES, mainstream understanding of blockchain, and cryptographic forensic investigations. And all of these will be changing business operations in international finance centres. While the level of disruption we will experience in 2021 is still uncertain, what is a given is that the events of 2020 have led businesses that might otherwise have taken another four years to adopt technology, to embrace it and feel its value. n

FIND OUT MORE Visit vaiie.com

january 2021 37


Advertising feature

The power of communication Lindsay Ozanne, Managing Director at Butterfield Trust (Guernsey) Limited, explains how the shift to remote working during the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way colleagues communicate and reshaped the relationship between businesses and clients

IT’S HARD TO believe that we’ve been dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic for nine months now. As businesses across all sectors locked down in March, the way people worked changed dramatically, with many being forced to do so remotely. Lockdown and restrictions on travel also meant that financial services clients were unable to meet with their banks, trustees and advisers on a face-to-face basis. Along with this came the seismic shift to video calling through now-familiar platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. While these technologies gave us the practical tools, the way we actually communicated with each other at the start of the pandemic provided particular challenges. For a start, it was hard to interpret body language (that is if people bothered to turn on their camera), which plays a big part in how we perceive what people are telling us. From a workplace perspective, video calls also made it difficult for managers to pick up on how people were feeling. All of a sudden, we had to listen more closely to what was being said. Butterfield wasn’t alone in placing a lot of emphasis on the wellbeing of individuals in the early days of the pandemic – something we still do to this day. We were very mindful of those who were isolated living in a one-bedroom flat and those who were struggling with the practicalities of juggling family life with work. From a communication perspective, this meant being more empathetic, asking the right questions about how people were coping, and making it clear that help was available if they needed it.

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It soon became clear how much we take for granted those daily, seemingly trivial, workplace conversations. In reality, they’re important because they help create a sense of belonging. Working remotely doesn’t give you that opportunity. So, like many businesses, we tried to replicate the work experience as much as possible within the remote world. This meant that alongside regular business meetings and addressing work-related matters, we also had coffee calls with team members, where we just chatted and checked in on how everyone was doing. What really helped was seeing everyone in their home environment, as it made all of us, especially managers, seem more human, with everyone realising we were all in this together. The pandemic also made us think about communication in a much more structured way. The management team spoke every

This new way of doing business has actually opened doors for the Channel Islands

day so we could find out what was working well and what wasn’t, and learn from each other’s experiences. We also made sure that everyone knew about any changes that were happening to the business and our operations, such as returning to the office, so that no one was left in the dark.

MEETING CLIENTS’ NEEDS As much as the pandemic was a challenge for those working at Butterfield, there were difficulties from a client perspective as well – especially in the trust business, where it is very typical to meet face-to-face. Naturally, our clients weren’t only worried about health issues, they were also concerned about their financial wellbeing. As a result, we went out of our way to contact each client right at the outset, to find out what they were thinking and what was worrying them. In many cases, they initially just needed reassurance that we were still there. Critically, we wanted to communicate with them in the way they felt most comfortable. For second- and thirdgeneration clients, video technology is the norm, it’s the way they communicate, whereas some older clients preferred a phone call. That said, some of the older generations happily embraced video calling. It’s fair to say that existing clients settled into this new way of communicating pretty quickly and video calling has now become standard practice. For new clients, it was slightly more challenging – in the trust world, it’s unnatural to give assets to people you don’t know or haven’t met.

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Although video conferencing can’t beat meeting people in the flesh, one positive point was that we could put the whole team in front of a client at the same time, which helped create a necessary sense of reassurance and confidence.

BEYOND COVID As we move into 2021, we have implemented a lot of changes in the way we communicate internally, and that genie can’t be put back in the bottle. We’re well aware that, in Guernsey, we’re lucky in that we’ve been back in the office since June, while in other jurisdictions that isn’t yet the case. We have to be sensitive to that. But we are fortunate in how video calls have become normal because they’ve allowed us to deepen relationships with colleagues in other locations. It’s strange to think that we would have previously held meetings via conference call, which now seem impersonal by comparison. So, video calls are very much the way forward. Even now that people are back in the office (in Guernsey at least), we need to make sure that we keep up the sense of openness that came during the pandemic – for people to be able to ask questions, raise their hand when there is an issue, and for us to check in with each other. The reality is that people may choose to work from home for some of their time going forward, so we need to build on what we have learned and communicate in a way that is best, both in-person and remotely. As such, communication needs careful nurturing to make sure it’s pitched at the

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right level; to make sure we don’t go back to old habits, but not to be intrusive or make assumptions that people are fine. When you see people in the office every day, you can pass by and see that they’re okay. There are a lot of skills we still have to learn with virtual management. From a client perspective, it’s also a case of making sure we have the balance right. Whereas we might have only seen a client once a year or less, for example, we don’t want to overwhelm them with video calls now. So, we continue to be led by what clients prefer. Interestingly, this new way of doing business has actually opened doors for the Channel Islands. There is now an opportunity to reach clients who perhaps wouldn’t have considered the islands before because of distance. While business trips always limited the number of people who could go and meet a client, now we can showcase a wider team in front of them. What’s more, video conferencing also makes it easier to get people such as lawyers and intermediaries in the room all at the same time. And considering we don’t know when we will be able to get on a plane again – or indeed feel comfortable with doing so – this is a significant benefit.

FOUR TIPS FOR BETTER REMOTE COMMUNICATION • L  isten to people Find out how they want to communicate and how often. What are they struggling with and how can you work around it? Be patient. • Check in regularly Make sure that employees are coping. Probe when necessary and give people the confidence to open up. • Use what you have learned Build on what has worked, analysing why it was successful, and work out why some things didn’t. • Don’t go backwards As we emerge from the pandemic, don’t revert to old practices or slip into bad habits. Maintain the positives.

There’s no doubt Covid-19 has provided a range of communication challenges that we’re still navigating to this day, and we are continuing to learn what works and what doesn’t. However, I’m optimistic that, going forward, the positives will help businesses, employees and clients communicate in a way that benefits everyone. n

FIND OUT MORE

For more information please contact: Lindsay Ozanne, Managing Director, Butterfield Trust (Guernsey) Limited Tel: + (44) 1481 733213 Email: Lindsay.Ozanne@butterfieldgroup.com

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Digital learning

The democratisation of learning With P w C predicting that 30% of jobs in the Channel Islands could be made obsolete over the next 15 years, organisations – as well as the workforce at all levels – are turning to online learning to reskill for the future. And technology is increasing access for all Words: Alexa Robertson NOTHING CHIVVIES ALONG technological reform, it turns out, quite like a global pandemic. While transforming the day-to-day work of many, the widespread, unceremonious nature of Covid-19 and its consequences have also thrust learning and development into the spotlight. And many believe this is no bad thing. By March of 2020, only weeks after the real threat of the virus had begun to be understood, online learning platforms were already seeing a rise in demand for online courses – amid a workforce clearly conscious of a rapidly changing skills demand. “What we noticed was a change in the intensity of learning and a higher certification rate,” says Mike Freerick, CEO of Alison, a free online learning platform that to date has been used by 18 million learners worldwide. “From our statistics, we could see that in March and April 2020, people were

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Digital learning

ACCESS ALL AREAS While online learning is nothing new – figures from the Open University place its economic impact between 2018 and 2019 at £2.77bn – the pandemic has forced organisations and learning providers into delivering learning in an efficient, effective, virtual way. “There’s a lot of brilliant content available for free online, but the pandemic and lockdown has really increased the volume of what’s available,” says Leyla Yildirim, Chief Strategy Officer at PwC Channel Islands. “Maybe in the past, things that providers would have charged for, they’ve been willing to make available for free. We simply haven’t been able to do any classroom learning, so we’ve had to get good at delivering learning in a virtual way that makes it as interesting as possible.” Lucy Kirby, Director of the Digital Greenhouse in Guernsey, describes this as a ‘democratisation’ of learning platforms. “What we’re seeing is that people from all walks of life, and from all over the world, are able to access qualifications, experiences, platforms and content that’s peer-led,” she says. “We’re seeing a real rise in platforms that enable people to learn from each other socially, as well as through formal programmes and formal courses. “The technology is becoming a really positive, facilitative platform, where people can share their learning. It’s as much about the real-life application of the skills as it is about the theoretical content.”

PROFILE PICTURES Improved technology and free online resources are providing a new gateway to knowledge for many. At the same time, advancements in data collection and analysis are enabling people at all stages of their career to understand their key strengths – and how they can be best harnessed for the future jobs market. Alison – which offers a free service for professional and psychometric testing – has allowed for a more accurate picture of the “changing personality of the population”. Freerick says: “Using that sort of data, with good intent, allows us to look at differences between skillsets in different regions of the world,

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and what sort of behaviour or capabilities are in demand there. We can advise on what peoples’ innate strengths are and look at what types of careers they might be best suited for. By providing that type of high-value skills analysis to everybody for free, it’s opening up a new chapter of people being able to empower themselves online.”

A HIVE OF IDEAS One of the undisputed benefits of technology – its ability to connect networks of people globally – is also helping forge a path towards a more collaborative, supportive and peer-driven type of learning. The Hive Learning Network is a peer-learning network aimed at connecting professionals across industries in order to share ideas, solve problems and facilitate more effective learning opportunities. “A lot of research shows that the majority of people learn best in a peer environment where they’re able to access higher-order questioning, and higher-order thinking,” says Kirby. “In the Hive network, they’re really diving into the material, asking each other questions, thinking about how it can be applied and creating an experiential learning environment. It’s very similar to learning on the job. “The technology brings people together with bitesized content and draws you into good learning habits where you’re able to jump in and just spend a couple

genuinely concerned about reskilling, and what it meant for them. A lot of people understood that things were going to change, and change profoundly.”

We’re seeing a real rise in platforms that enable people to learn from each other socially, as well as through formal programmes and courses

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Digital learning

the Channel Islands could potentially become known globally as a centre for data ethics

of moments each day picking up a small piece of learning and discussing it through the application.” Kirby says this type of learning, along with advancements in technology, is a ‘game-changer’ for the Channel Islands, where previous professional development often required leaving the island and proved costly.

MOULDING FUTURE TALENT As part of PwC’s Hive Hack initiative, the idea is being extended to some of the islands’ youngest learners, with the aim of ensuring the next generation has access to learning that will be relevant for a new-look jobs market. Launched in Northern Ireland, the programme has already been rolled out in Jersey and is scheduled to be launched in Guernsey in early 2021. “What we wanted to do was go into schools and teach some of the digital skills we felt were essential for kids at various stages,” says Yildirim. “It’s about that readiness for the world of work. “It also involved teaching teachers. A lot of teachers can be uncomfortable teaching technology subjects. They feel a little bit out of their comfort zone, so it’s about helping them become comfortable with these topics and to teach them. You’re leaving a legacy there of teaching staff who are able to continue the work. “It’s not enough for us at PwC just to upskill our own staff. We need to be working in a community where we’ve got that pipeline of talent coming through. “As one of the biggest employers in the Channel Islands, it’s very important for us to be investing in the future.”

INTO THE UNKNOWN While opportunities for free, easily accessible and effective learning are continuing to open up, how can organisations – and their employees – best prepare for a future in which at least some of the key skills required are not yet known?

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For the Channel Islands in particular, Yildirim says there must be a focus on changing requirements within financial services, the biggest private sector employer in the region. “Most of what we do in financial services is around managing and processing data,” she says. “We think financial services is, for that reason, one of the sectors that will be most dramatically impacted by technology change.” She adds: “We can see very easily how that data management and processing might be either completely automated or replaced with artificial intelligence. We’re starting to see that already and I think that’s going to become even more heightened.” While it’s a significant cause for concern and one that Yildirim says requires urgent action at both a local and national level, there is also an opportunity to tap into the Channel Islands’ strong reputation in order to create new, high-value opportunities. “We already have a great reputation as a trusted jurisdiction around financial services,” she says. “Potentially we could extend that into data services, such as data security and cyber. I also think the Channel Islands could potentially become known globally as a centre for data ethics. “It’s about playing to our strengths and supplementing that with deep digital skills. We have to be innovative and come up with new products and ideas that will differentiate us from other jurisdictions. The onus on all of the stakeholder groups – government, business, education and the third sector – is to really get behind this with a sense of urgency.” There is also, says Yildirim, a misconception that in the future everyone will need to be coders or programmers. What will be more beneficial, she believes, is a solid grasp of how technology can best be harnessed. “Of course we’re going to need technical specialists – people who can design and build technologies specific to your business – but for the most part, what we’re really looking for is a workforce that’s comfortable with and understands the potential of technology. That’s where we can start to see how technology can fix problems and service clients’ needs. “We cannot envisage what technology we’ll all be using in 10 years’ time, but if we’ve got the right mindset and agility to adapt to whatever tech comes our way, that’s going to serve us extremely well.”

THRIVE TO SURVIVE Helen Hatton, Director, Regulatory, BDO Sator Regulatory Consulting, says the Channel Islands have a history of adaptability that should serve the region well in the coming years. But, she adds, the focus must be on making learning accessible and fluid. “The business model of Jersey and Guernsey has adapted well to the challenges since the global financial crisis of 2008 and demonstrated its resilience,” she says. “In a global knowledge economy, investing in people is more important than ever before. Jersey and Guernsey need a provider that understands the business models and people but brings global thought leaders to the discussion.” n

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Wellbeing

Appy days

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Words: Sophie McCarthy BOUNDARIES AND BALANCE both took an impressive hit in 2020. “Human beings are a social species that rely on interaction for a host of facets of their wellbeing,” explains Leonie McCrann, CEO of change management firm Marbral Advisory. “Being thrust into a form of isolation was challenging for most of us, owing to the fact that the interactions that we unconsciously rely on were threatened. “For many people, the small hits of dopamine, the hormone that makes us

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The digital wellbeing space has seen such proliferation in recent years, But how and why have we embraced technology in this way and what does the future hold for the ever-evolving relationship between mental wellbeing and technology?


Wellbeing

feel positive, and which you gain through day-to-day human interaction, all but completely disappeared. “What’s more, relationships that were being conducted remotely suffered because, all of a sudden, we were unable to pick up on all-important non-verbal cues.” McCrann goes on to explain that as a direct result of this ever-present reality, the already fine line between work and play has become increasingly blurred. “Working remotely has also meant that in several

Digital wellbeing has kept millions of people both safe and sane during this hugely turbulent time

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cases, the home and the office have become inseparable,” she says. “Too many people were and are continuing to work long hours and are neglecting to take the necessary breaks to clear their heads.” Add into the already combustible equation the fact that commutes have been eradicated, more emails are sent and answered, and we are attending infinitely more meetings (albeit shorter, virtual ones), and the blurring of the lines is clear. In April, internet usage soared to previously unseen heights. ‘Zoom fatigue’ has become a recognised phenomenon, as video calls require more focus than a face-to-face chat. And given that a huge proportion of the population has been both working and socialising remotely for the best part of nine months, people are walking a delicate tightrope when it comes to digital overload. In fact, a worrying one in five British men admitted greeting colleagues and friends online before their partner in the morning during lockdown. Mark Brady, Group Partner at Appleby, agrees that the relationship between tech and wellbeing has been exaggerated because of the crisis. “Lockdown physically separated us from our traditional social and support networks

and, as such, we turned to technology to help us maintain these,” he says. “Meanwhile, our work and home lives have become less separated and, again, technology has been central to maintaining proper balance.” Taking all of these factors into consideration, you’d be forgiven for assuming that technology has been more detrimental to our mental and physical health than it has been beneficial during this unique period.

TECHNICALLY FIT In fact, digital wellbeing has kept millions of people both safe and sane during this hugely turbulent time. For some, fitness and keeping occupied brought tech to the fore when the physical world was all but put on hold – virtual trainers saw subscriber numbers rocket, while gyms and studios were forced to pivot, and quickly, in order to keep pace and maintain memberships. Others, meanwhile, experienced a very real and pressing need for digital services such as therapy sessions via Zoom. As we know, the pandemic has had a devastating impact on mental health – almost one in five adults experienced some form of depression in June 2020 compared with one in 10 before the pandemic, and 85% off us felt stressed or anxious. Face-to-face solutions were impossible to facilitate; many relied on digital offerings. Downloads of the most popular mindful apps rose by 80% during lockdown. It is, however, crucial to remember that, while Covid-19 may have acted as a catalyst for a never-before-seen boom in an industry that is now at an inflection point, wellbeing tech is by no means new. Online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) treatment for depression has been in clinical use for more than 10 years (and originally delivered via PCs), and the first fitness smartphone applications became available in 2010, two years after the birth of App Stores. There’s now a plethora of health and wellbeing apps and platforms available – offering everything from affordable online counselling, to guided meditation, suicide prevention toolkits, menstrual cycle tracking, negative thought management, emotional health check-ups, suggested breathing techniques and panic attack prevention. The technological advancements in this sector appear to know no bounds. Youper is an emotional health assistant that uses AI to personalise therapy techniques and mindfulness to fit a user’s needs; Sleep Cycle wakes you up during your lightest

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Wellbeing

With $9.4bn invested up to Q3, 2020 is predicted to be the largest funding year for digital health to date

sleep phase in the morning, allowing you to arise well rested and less groggy; eQuoo turns emotional intelligence into an adventure game; while Wysa lets you talk with a penguin chatbot about whatever’s on your mind. Naturally. Wearables have had to up their game in this space, too, with the likes of Fitbit developing watches with electrodermal activity (EDA) sensors, so that users can monitor their body’s physical responses to stress, learn, act and reflect. And then we have, of course, the advanced, interactive at-home devices such as the Peloton, which saw sales surge more than 66% during lockdown.

THE WAY FORWARD But where do we go from here? What does the future of this sector look like and will this trend still play as big a part in our lives post-Covid-19? All the signs look positive. Given the wide reach and ease of accessibility, demand for these services – literally available at our fingertips – is unlikely to decrease post-pandemic. Live streaming in all its guises looks like it’s here to stay, and now that so many people have made mental wellbeing a priority and sought cost-effective and

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time-effective ways of integrating practices into their daily routines, it seems improbable that they would drop or even deprioritise these activities. In fact, Kantar Worldpanel reports that six in 10 consumers have said they will continue buying as much online as they were during coronavirus. And a report from Silicon Valley Bank and EY states that health tech deals increased by 18% in the first half of 2020 compared with 2019, signalling real faith in the market. With $9.4bn invested up to Q3, 2020 is predicted to be the largest funding year for digital health to date. According to Rock Health, the sector is on track to hit $12bn by the end of the year, compared with $7.4bn invested in 2019 and $8.2bn in 2018. McKinsey & Company reports that the three key categories that have the potential to improve vital areas of wellbeing are data and AI, connectivity and platforms, and robotics. McCrann agrees that data will and should be a key focus point for the future of the sector. “The next step is as much of a focus on mental wellbeing data as on physical wellbeing,” she says. “There have been significant advances in the use of real-time

data to assess trends in physical illness, such as diabetes or heart monitoring, and I truly believe we can do the same. When you collect numerous data points, it helps paint a very real picture of mental health, both in the present and in the future.” Brady, meanwhile, is convinced that opportunities will remain available both to those businesses that are digitally native and those that have or can successfully pivot from purely bricks and mortar to a combination of physical and online. He also believes we’ll see further advances and growth owing to the fact that the pandemic accelerated reach and desire. “Technology is now being demanded by a broader demographic than ever before. If it continues to be delivered appropriately, which I suspect it will, then there will be even greater scope to grow.” Given everything we now know about digital overload and burnout, turning to your smartphone to help induce sleep or stave off stress might at first seem counterintuitive. And while tech can be a curse as well as a blessing, what it provides in terms of mental stability and improvement cannot be overlooked. The key, Brady stresses, is ensuring that tech remains “our servant, not our master”. n

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Fintech

Fuelling fintech 46 january 2021

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Fintech

As the global fintech sector continues to grow at pace, the Channel Islands’ own financial services digital scene continues to thrive, thanks to a firm foundation of open access and opportunity for all

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for people to start out in financial services, then launch their own fintech companies.” These entrepreneurs already know the challenges facing financial services businesses, which is a great starting point for developing solutions. The Channel Islands also provide a clear regulatory environment in which fintech firms can operate. In Guernsey, the 2019 Electronic Transactions Ordinance provided legal clarity for contracts built on blockchain and AI. If a company wants to set up a blockchain business, it can do so knowing it won’t risk falling foul of regulators. In Jersey, while there are not yet specific regulations in place around fintech, Kate Le Blond, Inward Investment Development Manager at Locate Jersey, says the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) is amenable to the sector. “When fintech businesses move to Jersey, they are impressed by the fact they can actually talk to the regulator and get all the information they need to get their ducks in a row,” she says. These factors certainly create an encouraging environment. And there are more efforts under way to get fintech flying, as well.

SILICON BAILIWICKS “If you wander down to the hub in Jersey, you see different companies sat next to one another, learning how the other works and making connections,” says Le Blond, describing the Digital Jersey Hub in St Helier. At the shared office space, digital professionals can rent desks

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Words: Len Williams

THERE HAVE BEEN several landmark moments for the Channel Islands fintech sector in recent years. To name a few, Guernsey in 2017 saw the launch of a blockchain for the private equity market – a world first – along with the rise of popular investment service Wealthify, based in Cardiff but with strong Guernsey connections. In 2014, Jersey saw the launch of another world first – bitcoin investment fund Global Advisors Investment Fund. The following year, the release of ARC coins, a cryptocurrency, also took place in Jersey. Fintech activity in the region is rife. So, what’s behind the rise of the Channel Islands fintech sector? The short answer is that it didn’t happen by chance. Rather, a combination of factors came together to spur its growth. The first factor is infrastructure. Running a fintech firm involves churning through data, performing millions of calculations and using powerful analysis tools – all of which takes a lot of firepower. Fortunately, the Channel Islands have that in bucketloads. Jersey boasts the world’s second fastest broadband – while Guernsey ranks just one place behind mainland UK. Jersey offers three 4G networks, its early adoption of 5G has been well documented, and both islands host world-class data centres. Then there is the islands’ thriving financial services sector – a perfect testing ground and source of knowledge for the new tech adventures. Adam Brown, Strategic Projects Manager at Jersey Finance, explains: “It is common


Fintech

for as little as £5 per day, and bounce ideas afield. “We now offer degree-level courses, off other tech industry workers. both full and part time,” Osman says. In St Peter Port in Guernsey, the Digital Since its launch in 2019, the academy Greenhouse is a similar start-up hub, which has proven hugely popular, attracting is backed by the States of Guernsey. students from a variety of backgrounds – These hubs are more than just offices school leavers to mid-career professionals. with colourful sofas. They offer training Then there are ‘sandboxes’ – jargon on how to pitch for funding, organise for using a place as a test case. Jersey in mentoring programmes and, pre-Covid-19, particular has promoted itself as a sandbox put on physical events – ideal for fintech for various types of IT. founders to get talking with banks, funds The idea is that the island’s high-speed and investors. internet, reasonably large population and Another initiative is the Digital Jersey economic development make it a good Academy, a centre of excellence that aims place for tech businesses to try out a new to train people in IT skills. According to idea, see if it works and then scale up to Digital Jersey, there are already some bigger markets. Osman cites a blockchain 3,000 people working in ‘digital’ platform that was recently trialled in Jersey positions on the island – around 5% for just this purpose. of the working population – but growing Similarly, the Channel Islands’ small the skills base is important. size makes them a perfect “beachhead” Jessica Osman, Business Development for fintech firms hoping to break into Manager at Digital Jersey, explains the international finance firms, says Adam thinking behind the academy. “We have a Brown. “If a company starts up in Jersey, fast-growing need for digital skills, butAat they can prove themselves here and Jersey Finance fintech thought-leadership report | 3 the same time had a lack of availability of begin working with local branches of higher education on-island.” international organisations,” he says. Anyone looking to brush up on Boolean He highlights an off-island fintech firm logic, website design or cybersecurity that began working with a Jersey branch A maturity ladder for lawtech adoption Jersey would previously havein had to travel further of an international bank. After winning

The islands’ small size makes them a perfect beachhead for fintech firms hoping to break into international finance firms

There is no one size fits all approach to the adoption of lawtech within Jersey-based law firms. Firms are adopting the most appropriate solutions that meet the needs of their business and clients. However, through our lawtech research, five stages of lawtech maturity along with common actions and strategies MATURITY LADDER LAWTECH ADOPTION IN JERSEY have been FOR identified. Key to the adoption of lawtech has been a consistent approach towards people, business technology. There is no onestrategy, size fitsand all approach to the adoption of lawtech in Jersey-based law firms. Firms are adopting the most appropriate solutions that meet the needs of their business and clients. However, through Jersey Finance’s lawtech research, five stages of lawtech maturity, along with common actions and strategies, have been identified. Key to the adoption of lawtech has been a consistent approach towards people, business strategy, and technology.

Undergoing Change Systems Integration ■ Will to transform, but challenges posed by legacy systems

Core Fulfilment ■ Mix of physical and electronic documents ■ Technology knowhow limited to IT or knowledge manager ■ Industry standard office technology with upgrades to software/hardware

■ Broader staff proficiency with legal tools alongside IT manager ■ Range of devices and systems, with some integration of software systems and databases

Leading with Technology Continuous Improvement ■ Standard mode of work is entirely electronic

■ Broad IT and business strategy knowledge

■ Mobile devices with secure access is the norm

■ People strategy beyond legal expertise with a focus on entrepreneurial insight

■ There is a developed education and training plan for all in the firm

■ Technology strategy is integral to broader business plan ■ Devices allow for mobile working supported by back-office systems and electronic storage

■ Practice is seen as partnership between people (lawyers and professional services) and systems

■ There is a shift towards automation of processes ■ All people can work seamlessly in any location, accessing all files and software securely ■ People have a broad range of skills, with the ability to learn and adapt quickly ■ Firm has a fully integrated business strategy across all functions, including technology and people

Implementation of lawtech across people, business strategy and technology

source: Jersey Finance

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Fintech

Running a fintech firm takes a lot of firepower – the Channel Islands have that in bucketloads local endorsement, it had a foot in the door, which led to it supplying the bank in bigger markets too. It is perhaps no surprise that many of the fintech start-ups that have emerged in the Channel Islands are focused on the business-to-business market. “Other fintech hubs tend to be more focused on the retail, low-value, highvolume market,” Brown points out. While there certainly are some businessto-consumer fintech firms launching in Jersey and Guernsey, the islands’ finance firms tend to focus on highly sophisticated investor markets. As a result, the technology being developed targets those needs. “That’s something of a USP for us,” Brown notes.

GIANTS AND MINNOWS In summer 2020, Jersey Finance conducted research into the state of digital transformation in the island’s professional services sector. The picture that emerged was one of widespread digital adoption, but at varying levels of maturity. It is, of course, relatively easy for fintech start-ups to use the snazziest new tech, opting to be ‘cloud-first’ and digital in all things. However, for more established FS firms, incorporating these new tools can be the real challenge. “People often talk of large firms being like oil tankers – it takes a long time to stop and turn them,” says Brown. Weighed down with legacy IT systems and long approval processes, these firms cannot be quite so nimble as the start-ups. That said, bigger firms can also afford to “make greater investments in technology”. Jersey Finance’s research ranked businesses on a five-step ‘maturity ladder’, from basic IT meeting ‘core fulfilment’ up to advanced firms ‘leading with technology’ (see chart). Most finance firms in Jersey sit on steps three or four of this scale, according to Brown. The difficulty with digital transformation is that, like many overused terms, it can end up meaning different things to different sectors. The list of digitalised systems and

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processes that are now in place across the islands include: • Regtech – which can enhance the way firms meet their regulatory obligations • Artificial intelligence – used for tasks such as monitoring normal customer behaviour and identifying unusual purchases to reduce fraud • Biometrics – identity tools that let customers digitally log in or create accounts securely • Robotic process automation – which speeds up laborious back-office processes • Cloud – outsourced computing power that is cheaper and more secure than running servers in a firm’s basement. While the sheer variety of new technologies

available can be overwhelming, Brown argues that tech is really an “enabler”. Firms should ask ‘where do we want to be… what do we want to be known for?’. They can then figure out which technologies will help them reach that goal. As fintech becomes increasingly entwined with the economies of Jersey and Guernsey, and as more and more funds, banks and wealth managers deploy a variety of new technologies, will we soon come to see fintech and finance as the same thing? After all, fintech isn’t that different to traditional finance – it just uses a different mechanism. n

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Digital transformation

What were once dismissed as science-fiction-style developments in technology are fast becoming a reality, as business embraces digitalisation. but one thing remains unmoved – customer interaction continues to be the driving force

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Customer is (still) king

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And organisations across the business spectrum are beginning to appreciate some of the possibilities that are opening up through the use of artificial intelligence and big data.

THE BANKS ARE HERE TO STAY For some years, there has been a shift away from traditional forms of payment towards digital transactions, both for consumers and businesses. But this is not expected to signal the end of the banking industry. The US retail sector reported a 150% rise in contactless payments in the 12 months to March 2020. And the business-to-business sector is seeing a similar shift towards electronic payments, says Ove Svejstrup, Associate Partner at EY. But in 2019, cash was still used for 23% of all payments, according to UK Finance.

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Words: Steve Falla

FOR MANY INDIVIDUALS, the adoption of new technology forced on all of us by the pandemic period was something of a foray into the unknown. But it worked, and some aspects of customer behaviour have been changed forever. Consequently, the horizon for the further digitalisation of mundane tasks and processes has moved closer, and businesses are emboldened in their pursuit of automation – with some developments that once seemed futuristic now firmly within reach. The Channel Islands’ concentration on financial services has always been relationship-driven and people-focused. So it’s understandable that financial institutions are beginning to think of ways in which they can maintain this characteristic while also adopting the benefits presented by technology and using their people more effectively.

Digital transformation


Digital transformation “It’s a moving scale. What I think you will see is that when people see the efficiency, they will not go back, and the security you can build into your payments is another reason to continue,” Svejstrup says. Simeon Moss, Director at Deloitte, agrees that the direction of travel is clear, and ‘payments’ remain one of the most dynamic and innovative areas in banking. However, he also highlights reasons why banks are still some way from being fully automated. “There are still vulnerable customers in the market who will need to be serviced,” he says. “And, looking at that from meeting financial inclusion objectives, there’s still consideration that in order for all these other payment means to disappear, there also needs to be full digital inclusion.”

TECH VS JOBS If you believe everything you read in the news, advances in technology will mean that many of today’s jobs will not exist by 2030. However, any impact on jobs will be a phased process and, in any case, it’s unlikely that a world in which systems augment what humans are doing will completely remove human roles. Instead, it will result in new job roles emerging. Ben Sykes, Head of Global Liquidity and Cash Management at HSBC, says: “Technology is not the end result, it’s a tool that enables you to have better

Boards need to adapt and build digital awareness to drive the pace of change with what’s required

52 january 2021

conversations with your clients, and your clients to have better conversations with you. So, for me, it’s an enabler; it’s not there to diminish that experience, it’s there to enhance it. “What that means in reality is that you are able to spend more time discussing topics that can create value for you and your clients rather than spend time on more mundane routine tasks.” That value will, in part, come from finding more creative ways to communicate, according to Shaun Lane, Business Solutions Architect at Resolution IT. “There’s never going to be a replacement for human contact. Even in the technology business itself, the way you interact with clients is core for the business,” he says. “But there are creative ways forward and, with reducing human contact, industry needs to focus on delivering a great experience, perhaps through technology and web apps. Creative ways of working have had to emerge this year.”

AUGMENTING HUMAN CONTACT An example of this is TrueVoice, a proprietary product developed by Deloitte. It analyses conversations with clients to identify characteristics such as risk, tone of voice and the emotional journey of a dialogue. “It not only looks at the sentiment of what’s been said between a call agent and the end customer, it also uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to draw out opportunities for organisations, identifying new things that customers are starting to talk about,” explains Moss. “It can enhance how agents are engaging with customers and help support their training and quality – so it really augments what humans do, to improve how they work and how they operate.” “While cloud-enabled digital workers are becoming part of the workforce – for example, through Deloitte’s Dara platform – all of these innovations are creating new opportunities, new jobs for people to operate them, programme them and embed them into the

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Digital transformation business. So I don’t think it’s as much of a doom and gloom scenario as was originally thought when these technologies started to emerge.” Moss points out that chatbots and AI can take care of straightforward processes and that consumers appear happy to converse in this way, as long as the exchange is simple, easy and accurate. However, it is important that organisations continue to offer customers the option of speaking to a human being. Managing new digital risks and enabling trust will be key to this success.

TIME TO SCALE UP It is well documented that businesses in the Channel Islands are committed to harnessing digital technology for the good of business – but how will they accelerate further change? Moss is quite clear. “Organisations need to recognise where they are starting from. Some are just in pilot mode at the minute, dipping their toes into digitisation; others are looking at how they need to scale up and build on what they have already got. “To accelerate it, there’s got to be recognition that things need to be elevated to the board level. At Deloitte, we see digital transformation as futureproofing business and, as such, supporting technology decisions needed to underpin strategy. “Boards need to adapt and build digital awareness to drive the pace of change with what’s required. Generally, the organisation needs to start to adopt an innovation mindset, moving into agile ways of operating and managing change programmes. “And then there will be a move to customer- or human-centric design. So where organisations are designing digital processes, they need to do that not only with the end customer in mind but also their employees, by delivering a range of human-based experiences.” Sykes is optimistic. “I think, in terms of technological adoption and evolution longer term, that’s here to stay,” he says. “The use of big data overlaying machine learning, and AI on top of that, will help to produce insights at a faster rate than what we have historically been able to achieve. “You can’t just have technology for technology’s sake, you have to be trying to solve a business problem or a problem for society at large.”

TEST BED ISLANDS The size and scale of the islands could be key to them leading the way with forward-thinking developments, says Lane. “We are the perfect test bed for innovation. We have small communities over here with a lot of opportunity for diversity. “For example, in Sweden and Holland they are trialling the idea of charging roads for electric cars – that’s the kind of thing Guernsey and Jersey could really take value of. We could be a test bed for all sorts of innovations.” Svejstrup favours a holistic approach. “It starts with the vision of the Channel Islands being best-inclass in tech and digital. Then we should focus on upskilling but also including digital in the education curriculums, because then you have a really good foundation for the next generation. “If the US set out that mission, I’m sure that business would follow and make the necessary investment.” Advances in digital technology are bringing what might have in the past been considered mind-boggling

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futuristic concepts closer to reality, and exciting innovations are emerging as a result. Moss highlights DNA digital storage, the process of encoding and decoding binary data to and from synthesised strands of DNA. “It is still in its infancy and very high cost with slow read-right responses at the moment. However, there’s an exponential growth of data being produced on a second-by-second basis. The more digital we get, the more data there’s going to be out there,” he says.

NOVEL INSIGHTS Sykes also sees the potential in data: “Increasingly, data used appropriately will enable us to make novel insights that we hadn’t previously considered or didn’t have the capacity to analyse because the data was so large. I think that’s going to be quite important.” Lane, too, is enthusiastic about how future business might look. “Technology such as virtual reality and augmented reality is not new and has traditionally been used in the gaming world,” he says, “but it’s coming on in leaps and bounds and I’m seeing more and more use cases for it. “There’s a Microsoft proof of concept product known as HoloLens, where you put on some glasses and, for example, you are fixing a car engine or a plane engine and you look at that engine and a diagnostic diagram pops up in your peripheral vision – being able to see live data right in front of you as your hands are in your work.” The workplace is changing as digitalisation and technology are harnessed to take on some of the heavy lifting – and it is clear that Channel Islands businesses are poised to take full advantage. n

january 2021 53


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The

Knowledge Brain food for the busy business professional

The Knowledge is compiled by Alexander Garrett Dietary dilemma

Talking

points Leaf drop

Autumn leaves are falling earlier because of climate change, according to research published in Science Magazine. The study is based on a huge dataset of observations of European trees, experiments that varied light and CO2 levels, and mathematical models. Its finding that trees are shedding their leaves earlier contradicts a previous view that leaves are falling later, and has implications for climate change, because leaves draw carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and so the capacity of trees to retain carbon might be less than was previously thought. The study also found that spring is arriving earlier.

More than half of all men and two thirds of all women aged 20 in India will develop diabetes during their lifetime. That’s the startling conclusion from new research led by the University of Cambridge. India already has a significant health burden caused by diabetes: estimates suggest 77 million adults currently have it and this number is expected to almost double to 134 million by 2045. The study suggested that obesity will play a big part in creating this major health challenge. The risk was found to be highest among obese metropolitan Indians – 86% of 20-year-old women and 87% of 20-year-old men are expected to develop diabetes.

Biocoop, a French organic food retailer, has been voted Europe’s most inclusive company. The Financial Times assessed 850 companies on the diversity of gender, age, ethnicity, disability and sexual orientation in their workforce, based on a survey of 100,000 employees in 15,000 companies. In the top positions, Biocoop was followed by German chipmaker Infineon and Netherlands-based travel firm Booking.com. Other well-known companies in the top 10 were fashion brands Hermès and Giorgio Armani, and Swedish homeware company IKEA. Law firm Pinsent Mason was the top UK entry at number 11.

Cold turkey

Heaven sent

The largest meteorite ever discovered in Germany has been found in a back garden. The 30kg rock was originally dug up by a man in his garden at Blaubeuren in 1989. He kept it for 30 years without knowing what it was, and almost threw it out with garden waste. Eventually he contacted the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in January 2020. Tests at three laboratories confirmed that the weathered garden rock was a meteorite, and scientists are now working to figure out when it fell to Earth.

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Diverse report

A survey has found that 68% of Americans eat food for Thanksgiving that they dislike. The research among 2,000 people, carried out by The Harris Poll, found that more than two-thirds disliked at least one item on the Thanksgiving table, but they ate it anyway out of a sense of tradition. Top of the list of dislikes was canned cranberry sauce, which was disliked by 29%. Some 21% gave the thumbs-down to pumpkin pie, and 19% said they don’t even like the main event – turkey. In addition, 23% said they weren’t interested in keeping the Thanksgiving leftovers.

january 2021 55


THE KNOWLEDGE

New in… BOOKS

Big spenders

x factor

The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and How to Build a Better Economy by Stephanie Kelton (John Murray Press, £20, hardback) This book has arguably become a lot more relevant since the pandemic saw governments around the world racking up unprecedented deficits in order to keep their economies afloat. Modern monetary theory (MMT) has often been derided as the ‘magic money tree’ of economic philosophies. The argument is that deficits don’t endanger our long-term prosperity if they are done in the right way and they deliver the improvements society needs. Money doesn’t come in limited supply, this theory argues, and thinking about the economy as an extension of household spending is wrong. It’s an ideology that may gain some credence as the pandemic washes over.

The Double X Economy: The Epic Potential of Empowering Women by Linda Scott (Faber & Faber, £18.99, hardback) Linda Scott asks what the world would be like if women were given the same opportunities – and resources – as men. Men own 80% of the world’s farm land; giving female farmers an equal share would reduce the number of chronically hungry by up to 150 million. Allowing female entrepreneurs in the UK equal access to capital would add £250bn to the economy; and the global economy would be $160trn bigger if the gender pay gap was closed. This book describes the inequalities built into our economy – and how sharing equitably could benefit all of humanity.

Slowly does it

a bit rich

Slowdown: The End of the Great Acceleration – and Why It’s Good for the Planet, the Economy, and Our Lives by Danny Dorling (Yale University Press, £18.99, hardback) Dorling is somewhat contrarian in claiming that life is slowing down rather than speeding up. He pulls up a wealth of data to assert that human progress has been slowing down since the early 1970s, whether that be fertility rates, growth in GDP per person, or even the frequency at which new social movements arise. Even the rate of technological progress is rapidly dropping, he claims – in spite of the widespread view that it is accelerating. Overall, this is something we should welcome. After all, many of modern history’s great leaps forward also brought with them widespread warfare, divided societies and massive inequality.

Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping our Future by Ashlee Vance (Ebury Publishing, £10.99, paperback) If there was a Nobel prize for being Man of the Moment, then Musk would undoubtedly stake his claim. His Tesla company has entered the Fortune 500, dwarfing all other car makers. His SpaceX has flown the first private flight of astronauts to the international space station. And he’s overtaken Bill Gates to become the world’s second richest person. Technology reporter Ashlee Vance had the chance to shadow him for 12 months and tell his story. Musk is something of a divisive figure and fans will probably find their admiration heightened while the cynics will find plenty to nitpick about within these covers.

All prices are RRP.

56 January 2021

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The Knowledge

In numbers: Global airline industry

328

RESOURCES

Estimated worldwide revenue of airlines in $bn, 2020 Source: IATA

TikTok SMB Knowledge Hub TikTok has launched the SMB Knowledge Hub in the UK and Europe to help businesses retain and attract customers. Products, guidance and tools help businesses of all sizes to use the platform at scale. www.tiktokforbusinesseurope.com/smb-hub

37

Percentage rise in share price of International Consolidated Airline Group – BA’s owner – on 9 November, when the first vaccine results were announced Source: StockMarketWire

66.3

Spotify: For the Record This podcast series features interviews with Spotify staff and industry experts, and covers major moments in music and podcasting, and the tech behind Spotify itself. Katy Perry is one of a bunch of musicians to talk about what’s going on behind the scenes. spoti.fi/2WmNvlB

Estimated percentage fall in worldwide passenger traffic in 2020 vs 2019

Source: IATA

Covid-19 testing service Swallow Events has partnered with Roche to launch a rapid Covid-19 testing service for the events industry. It promises Public Health Englandapproved results in 15 minutes, and the full pop-up service, operated by government-approved healthcare staff, can be conducted on crowds or audiences of “any size and scale”. Alternatively, Swallow Events is offering a supply-only option and can ship the supplies worldwide. www.swallowevents.com/covid19-testing-and-compliance

17,000

Total number of commercial aircraft grounded at peak of the pandemic, representing 64% of the worldwide total Source: Cirium

SME Climate Hub This one-stop shop aims to help SMEs curb carbon emissions and build business resilience. The SME Climate Hub is co-hosted by the International Chamber of Commerce, the Exponential Roadmap Initiative, the We Mean Business coalition and the UN Race to Zero campaign. It urges SMEs to commit to halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. www.smeclimatehub.org/sme-climate-commitment

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87.7m

Number of jobs worldwide supported by aviation and related tourism Source: Air Transport Action Group

january 2021 57


THE KNOWLEDGE

How to…

start a side hustle If your earnings have taken a knock during the pandemic or you’ve been forced to cut down your hours in your main job, now might be the time to consider adding a second string to your bow… in other words, a side hustle. Research by Henley Business School found that almost two-fifths of UK workers have a side hustle and the number is expected to increase to almost half by 2030. So what’s holding you back?

What is it? By definition, it’s not your main job, but it’s an extra source of income that you fit in around your primary occupation. If you’re in full-time paid employment, you’re going to have to fit in the new side gig before work, at lunchtimes, after work and at weekends; if you have a more flexible form of employment currently, you can juggle the two side by side. The key advantages are that you are building incremental income – on top of your number one payroll; and it gives you diversification, so if the main occupation is going slow, option B might be more fruitful.

Take your pick “The point of a side hustle is that it’s a side show – if it eats up most of your money it will be self-defeating”

For many, a side-hustle is an opportunity to indulge your real passion: you’re an accountant by day but teaching kids to sail is what really makes you happy. Your side hustle should be an activity where there is a relatively low barrier to entry, so you don’t need to go and study at university for five years. The most popular fields include selling on sites such as eBay and Etsy; coaching or tutoring;

58 January 2021

writing or other creative work; health and lifestyle services such as hairdressing, styling or teaching yoga. If you run short of ideas, the website Side Hustle Nation – www.sidehustlenation.com/ideas – has more than 100 worth considering.

Avoid the pitfalls Common rookie mistakes, according to the Side Hustle Academy (sidehustleacademy.com), include copying what everyone else is doing; picking an activity that doesn’t fit your skillset; and choosing something just for the money. That last one is a bit controversial, but the argument is that providing value to customers should be your real objective. Achieve that and the money will follow.

Keep your outlay small The point of a side hustle is that it’s a side show – if it eats up most of your money it will be self-defeating. And the greater the investment, the more pressure you’ll put yourself under. In his book The $100 Startup, US author Chris Guillebeau found 1,500 people who’ve turned an investment of $100 or less into a $50,000-plus business.

Use your network “Use the contacts you’ve made through your working life, as well as your family and friends, to help your side hustle business take off,” says content expert Victoria Greene. Your network can provide feedback on your ideas, they may be willing to help with some of the tasks setting up the business, like building you a

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The Knowledge

Business leaders on making it to the top

Getting ahead

Lisa Mclauchlan, Group Business Development Director, Ocorian Did you start out with a career plan? basic website, and they are also a source of possible sales leads. Don’t go heavy on the hardsell – ask if they know someone who might be interested in what you’re offering.

Manage your time The average side hustle in the UK takes six to 15 hours a week, according to a survey by insurer Hiscox. “You’re going to be dedicating a meaningful amount of time to this side hustle, so it helps if that time fits into your schedule,” advises ecommerce company Shopify. “A side hustle should be something you can do outside of your 9-to-5 job, but that won’t interfere with or keep you from that job.” Work out a schedule that identifies times in the day when you can complete individual bite-sized tasks for the side hustle – and make sure you stick to it but be flexible when you have to.

Don’t give up on the day job If anything, you need to excel at your regular employment to dispel any possible sense that you are not pulling your weight because your mind is elsewhere. And never use the side hustle as an excuse for under-performing in the day job – your employer won’t see it that way. Remember that if you lose your day job, your side hustle suddenly becomes your only job.

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It was a different time when I started out, late 80s/early 90s, you could be more relaxed in your approach to your career. One of the most important aspects in the early days is doing something you enjoy, not what you think you should be doing or is the most lucrative.

What did studying fisheries economics teach you? Choose your first degree better! It was a niche but interesting option at the time and I really did enjoy it. University helped me develop key soft skills such as learning to work in a team with people from different backgrounds, communication, project and time management.

How do you succeed in marketing and business development? Understand and care about customers’ purchasing decisions. If you can get under the skin of their decision-making and anticipate change, you’ll attract and retain clients. In addition to BD and marketing, I did a stint as an equities analyst in the City in the early noughties, which taught me a huge amount about how successful businesses are run.

What did you gain from your time in the Cayman Islands? I oversaw marketing and business development across 12 islands in the Caribbean, so it taught me how to coordinate projects remotely with disparate teams. When I arrived in Cayman, I worked in a monopolistic environment, but it changed fast to a more competitive marketplace. It was a great grounding – it put real weight behind sales and marketing and the fact that you should never take client loyalty for granted.

You once sponsored a comedy festival; is humour key to work? Absolutely, especially in times like these. Keeping in perspective the human element of your work is critical. Whether with clients or colleagues, being able to share a laugh or make light of challenging situations helps people connect.

How would you advise someone starting out on their career? Ask lots of questions and listen to the answers! These are big ones for me – how else do you learn? Another area I’ve found beneficial is approaching more senior people in your organisation and asking their advice. More often than not, they’ll say yes to a quick chat or a coffee – these relationships can really help mould your career.

january 2021 59


THE KNOWLEDGE

GURU

WATCH

David Olusoga

W

HEN Barack Obama gave his British interview to treated as an integral part of mainstream history – not a publicise A Promised Land, David Olusoga landed self-contained adjunct – an idea that has taken a long time to the job of grilling the former US President on his gain wider acceptance. White House record and his legacy. In other books, he has explored how Nazism in Germany had The choice of Olusoga, a Lagos-born Professor of Public its roots in the country’s colonial history, and the role of millions History at the University of Manchester, may have surprised some of Indian, Asian and African soldiers in the British Army during people, as he was relatively unknown a few years ago. That the First World War. The growing focus on ESG investing, and his star has risen as the Black Lives Matter movement pressure on companies to account for their histories, is “Olusoga has has hit the public consciousness is no coincidence. raising uncomfortable issues in the world of business. long argued that Olusoga can claim credit for a significant role in Olusoga, who was awarded an OBE in 2019, changing the way people think about issues such as black history needs started his career as a researcher and then presenter colonialism and slavery. to be treated as an at the BBC, and was chosen to write and present two In an era when there is growing curiosity episodes of the remake of Civilisations alongside integral part of about our past, and traditional attitudes are being Simon Schama and Mary Beard. mainstream questioned, his has been one of the voices arguing This all came after studying the history of slavery at history” most clearly in favour of that re-appraisal. Liverpool University, and his appointment at Manchester In 2016, Olusoga published Black and British: A University last year has put him firmly at the leading edge of Forgotten History, which set out to show that black people history in the public eye. have played a significant part in British society for almost 2,000 And with the focus sharpening on diversity and re-appraising years. That was followed by a BBC TV series on the same theme. Europe’s colonial past, he’s likely to become a good deal better Olusoga has consistently argued that black history needs to be known in the years to come.

Humaning

“We are excited to announce an evolution of the company’s global marketing strategy,” gushed the website of snack firm Mondelēz on 11 November 2020. Its focus was one word – humaning – “a unique, consumer-centric approach to marketing that creates real, human connections with purpose, moving Mondelēz International beyond cautious, data-driven tactics, and uncovering what unites us all. We are no longer marketing to consumers but creating connections with humans.” Lest anyone think the owner of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, Ritz crackers and Oreo biscuits was being a tad pretentious in co-opting the essential nature of homo sapiens, the company added: “With humaning, we will feed the hunger for human connection in everything we do by being fully consumercentric: listening, empathising and adapting to fit consumer needs at any moment with perfectly crafted products.” It has yet to go viral or ‘enter the language’, as they used to say, but Marketing Week columnist Mark Ritson delivered his own verdict, labelling the concept a contender for “the greatest marketing bullshit of all time”.

60 January 2021

Thumb-dropping It used to be jaws that dropped in astonishment, now it’s thumbs

Moonshot Anything that’s a bit ambitious – like making a track and trace system that works

BUZZWORDS…

JARGON BUSTER

ALSO NEW IN THE WORLD OF

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The Knowledge

Top tech Weather forecasting tech WEATHER FORECASTING IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY ACCURATE THANKS TO A RANGE OF TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENTS AND BUSINESS MODELS

One of the most unexpected side effects of the coronavirus pandemic has been its impact on weather forecasting. Meteorologists harvest a significant amount of the data used to create forecasts from airliners, which are constantly collecting data on such metrics as temperature, relative humidity, air pressure and wind speed as they fly around some of the remote areas of the world. With so many planes grounded in 2020, the accuracy of some forecasts has been significantly degraded, experts say. In the bigger picture, weather forecasting has been improving steadily for decades. According to Science magazine, today’s 72-hour predictions of hurricane tracks are more accurate than 24-hour forecasts were 40 years ago, and a modern fiveday forecast is as accurate as a one-day forecast was in 1980. This is thanks to a combination of improvements in observation, numerical modelling and data assimilation, it says. Satellites now provide remote sensing of the Earth’s atmosphere and surface, updated many times a day, while increasingly powerful supercomputers facilitate the crunching of unprecedented quantities of data. Technology companies see weather forecasting as a challenge and a business opportunity. In 2015, IBM purchased the Weather Company, including the Weather Channel mobile app and the website weather.com, and incorporated this business into its Watson supercomputing group. It has since developed GRAF – Global High-Resolution Atmospheric Forecasting – a system that it claims can deliver highly accurate forecasting for the entire world. GRAF breaks the world down into forecast cells as small as two miles wide and issues some 12 trillion pieces of data every day to produce hourly forecasts. Behind this investment is a recognition that accurate weather forecasting plays a vital role in many areas of business, from transportation and supply chains to agriculture, hospitality and sport.

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What’s exciting scientists and tech companies most now, though, is the prospect that artificial intelligence and machine learning, as well as the internet of things (IoT), could take the accuracy of forecasting to another level – and provide much stronger predictions of extreme weather events. ClimaCell is a start-up that collects ‘hyper-local’ data by repurposing wireless networks as weather sensors. Phones, cars and other IoT devices are all used to collect grass-roots data that’s closer to the ground than the big public meteorological systems, and can be used by local service providers of all kinds. At the other end of the scale, Google has an innovative approach that uses machine learning to produce inexpensive short-term forecasts that it claims outperform traditional models in terms of accuracy. The Google approach, dubbed precipitation nowcasting, compares radar imaging of precipitation with satellite pictures of cloud cover to infer where it will rain next. As such, it can accurately predict precipitation patterns for the next six hours. Another approach, jointly undertaken by researchers at Penn State University, AccuWeather and the University of Almería in Spain, detects rotational movements in clouds from satellite images to recognise potential severe storms more quickly and accurately. They analysed more than 50,000 historical US weather satellite images, identifying the shape and motion of ‘commashaped’ clouds. These cloud patterns are strongly associated with cyclone formations, which can lead to severe weather events including hail, thunderstorms, high winds and blizzards. Consumers are already reaping the benefits of all this improved weather forecasting through a plethora of free mobile apps. It’s one area where technology is providing a real tangible benefit – and the likelihood of being caught out by the weather is likely to diminish even further in the next few years.

WHAT’S

HOT NEW DIMENSION Snapchat has launched its latest smart glasses – Spectacles 3 – with two 3D cameras that can film the world around you. £330, www.whoop.com

HOT STUFF GilletteLabs’ Heated Razor can give you the hot towel treatment at the press of a button. £199.99, www.smartech. buzz

january 2021 61


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Fiduchi is a leading independent financial services company providing solutions to high-net-worth individuals and businesses around the globe. Our independence ensures we have the flexibility to deliver bespoke solutions - that’s what makes us different! Over 25 years, our director-led teams have built long-term valued relationships with clients and their professional advisors, ensuring a pragmatic and trusted approach to their wealth structuring needs. Using the latest technological cloud-based solutions ensures we have the flexibility to deliver timely and innovative solutions that our clients require. Visit our website to see the comprehensive range of services we provide in the following areas: l Private Wealth l Corporate Services l Fund Services l Yacht Services l Employee Services For more information, visit www.fiduchi.com Alternatively, you can contact: Robert Ayliffe - Executive Director Tel: +44 7700 349 750 Heidi Thompson - Executive Director Tel: +44 7797 966 408 Terry Northcott - Executive Director Tel: +44 7797 715 421 Follow us: Dubai / Jersey / London Fiduchi is regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission. Full legal, data and regulatory notices are published on our website. Fiduchi® is a registered trademark of Fiduchi Group Limited.

Highvern Trustees is a leading provider of wealth structuring, governance and advisory services to an international client base of high-net worth individuals, their families and businesses. It offers senior industry expertise and client focus, developing long term, sustainable client relationships by working closely with getting to know the individual ambitions of every client with whom it works. Highvern Fund Administrators provides a fully tailored suite of bespoke fund services to investment managers and family offices across private capital markets including renewables, private equity, real estate and debt. Both businesses are built on cutting edge technology, truly independent ownership and a team of experts with the shared vision of responding to clients’ needs in a flexible, timely and constructive manner. To discuss how Highvern can help you or your business achieve your goals please contact: Family Office Naomi Rive, Group Director +44(0)1534 480601 naomirive@highvern.com Private Client Philip Carlton, Client Director +44(0)1534 480610 philipcarlton@highvern.com Corporate Naomi Rive, Group Director +44(0)1534 480601 naomirive@highvern.com Funds Aidan O’Flanagan, Head of Funds +44(0)1534 480690 aidanoflanagan@highvern.com highvern.com Highvern is the registered business name of Highvern Trustees Limited & Highvern Fund Administrators Limited which are regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission.

january 2021 63


Directory

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 stephen.burt@juliusbaer.com

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 craig.allen@juliusbaer.com

l l

For further information, please contact Jacob Smed Managing Director, Jersey +44 (0) 1534 504000 jacob.smed@intertrustgroup.com Marie McNeela Managing Director, Guernsey +44 (0) 1481 211275 marie.mcneela@intertrustgroup.com Intertrust Jersey is regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission and Intertrust Guernsey is regulated by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission.

Jean-Luc Le Tocq Head of Private Banking jeanluc.letocq@juliusbaer.com

Shaun Kelling Head of External Asset Management shaun.kelling@juliusbaer.com https://www.juliusbaer.com/gg/en/home/ 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.

Ogier provides legal advice on BVI, Cayman, Guernsey, Jersey and Luxembourg law. Our network of locations also includes Hong Kong, London, Shanghai and Tokyo. Legal services for the corporate and financial sectors form the core of the business, principally in the areas of banking and finance, corporate, investment funds, dispute resolution, private equity and private wealth. Ogier has strong practices in the areas of employee benefits and incentives, employment law, regulatory, restructuring and insolvency and property. We are a registered listing agent for The International Stock Exchange (TISE, formerly known as The Channel Islands Securities Exchange or CISE) and frequently advise companies listing on other exchanges whether offshore or onshore. We also provide pan-Island legal services for local Channel Islands businesses and individuals. Contact: Guernsey Redwood House St Julian’s Avenue St Peter Port Guernsey GY1 1WA T +44 (0)1481 721672 E gsy@ogier.com Jersey 44 Esplanade St Helier Jersey Channel Islands JE4 9WG T +44 (0)1534 514000 E jsy@ogier.com Website: www.ogier.com

www.intertrustgroup.com

64 january 2021

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www.blglobal.co.uk To advertise in the directory in print or online contact Carl Methven on + 44 (0)1534 615886 or carl.methven@blglobal.co.uk

Specialty: Bespoke IT Development & Business Consultancy

Building trust in society and solving important problems

Redcoin – Your Cyber Security is our Priority.

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:

Redcoin are a Jersey based IT Security Distributor, providing Cyber Security Solutions, Services and Support across the Channel Islands and UK markets, through our established Reseller Channels.

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: john.roche@pwc.com Karl Hairon, Partner, Jersey Phone: +44 1534 838276 Email: karl.hairon@pwc.com Follow us: @PwC_CI

Our objectives are to deliver guidance, education and support to the Islands businesses, to enhance their protection and understanding of the ever-changing Cyber Security Treat landscape. Our Independent security reviews are designed to give a baseline understanding of the Companies current IT position, supported by an informative and high-level report summarizing areas of strength, areas that can be improved by optimizing existing IT investment, along with key areas for consideration when planning future IT spend. Our technology portfolio provides Industry leading technologies, at an affordable cost, for all sizes and requirements of our Channel Islands clients. We can supply and support local resellers with the implementation of chosen solutions or make unbiased recommendations of other more suitable offerings outside of our portfolio. For more information please visit – www.redcoin.co.uk or email sales@redcoin.co.uk Follow us on Linkedin – Redcoin Limited

www.pwc.com/jg

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

www.blglobal.co.uk

january 2021 65


Data focus

Rise of the new fintech hubs Top 20 global financial centres versus global fintech hubs

Global Financial Centres Index 2019

Global Fintech Index 2020

New York

1

3

London

2

2

Hong Kong

3

11

Singapore

4

4

Shanghai

5

31

Tokyo

6

17

Beijing

7

23

Dubai

8

58

Shenzhen

9

80

Sydney

10

13

Toronto

11

12

San Franscisco

12

1

Los Angeles

13

6

Zurich

14

38

Frankfurt

15

39

Chicago

16

14

Paris

17

15

Boston

18

8

Melbourne

19

32

Montreal

20

48

As the fintech sector continues to grow globally, it’s apparent that the highest ranking global financial centres are not necessarily leading the race to develop the top fintech centres. In fact, comparing the list of the top global financial centres with the inaugural Global Fintech Index from Findexable, shows the growing importance of non-traditional fintech centres in delivering the digital and tech-driven opportunities. The analysis shows that, while New York – as the number one ranked global financial centre – is home to the third ranked fintech centre, Shanghai is home to only the 31st ranked fintech centre, despite being the fifth ranked financial centre. There are other disparities, too. Dubai is the eighth ranked financial centre but only the 58th ranked fintech centre. Shenzhen (ninth financial centre) is ranked only 80 on the fintech list. San Francisco is the highest ranked fintech centre, despite being only the 12th ranked financial centre. London is the only centre that ranks the same for both – second place in both lists. Source: Global Fintech Index 2020, Findexable https://findexable.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Findexable_Global-Fintech-Rankings-2020exSFA.pdf

66 january 2021

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BUSINESS LIFE

THE WEALTH EDITION 2021 PUBLISHING IN FEBRUARY FOR EDITORIAL QUERIES, CONTACT jon.watkins@blglobal.co.uk FOR ADVERTISING, EMAIL CARL.METHVEN@BLGLOBAL.CO.UK


Expert guidance. Clear direction.

Restructuring and Corporate Recovery Our expertise extends to all aspects of restructurings, from consensual workouts to contentious schemes of arrangement. Our team includes some of the foremost names offshore and our multidisciplinary approach enables us to offer a one-stop, costefficient solution that cuts through complexity to get to what really matters.

ogier.com/rcr

Legal Services British Virgin Islands Cayman Islands Guernsey Hong Kong Jersey London Luxembourg Shanghai Tokyo

Profile for BL Magazine

BL Magazine, Issue 71 December 2020/January 2021  

How are Channel Islands firms juggling the need to transform digitally with also managing short-term pressures? Why are the Channel Islands...

BL Magazine, Issue 71 December 2020/January 2021  

How are Channel Islands firms juggling the need to transform digitally with also managing short-term pressures? Why are the Channel Islands...