GLOBAL BUSINESS: A VIEW FROM THE CHANNEL ISLANDS
CITY EDITION 2020
• Green funds • UK real estate • Gender equality • The Hong Kong dilemma • Business travel
How tech and collaboration are bringing the City and the Channel Islands closer together
CITY EDITION 2020
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in this together HAVING ENDURED FOUR straight years of Brexit uncertainty, few, if any, could have predicted what was to follow in the form of a global pandemic that has turned many of the world’s financial centres into ghost towns and sent markets into a spiral. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the UK economy suffered its biggest slump on record between April and June. The UK economy shrank 20.4% compared with the first three months of the year. Household spending plunged as shops were ordered to close, while factory and construction output fell – all of which pushed the UK into its first technical recession since 2009. In the markets, the FTSE All-Share Index fell by 35% between 2 January and 23 March, before beginning its bounce back. And all this has been happening while the uncertainty and potential impact of Brexit continues to lurk in the background. Yet despite this upheaval and volatility, London – and the UK in general – stands fit and ready to respond to the challenge. And the Channel Islands is perfectly placed to support the UK through that recovery. “Our relationship with the City and the UK is one of partnership,” Jersey Finance CEO Joe Moynihan tells us, as we explore the UK’s recovery in our feature on page 28. “The UK remains a secure and stable jurisdiction and we will continue to act as a major conduit to ensure capital is invested there.” Guernsey Finance is also supportive. “We attract overseas families, institutional funds and private equity – all looking for solid and diverse investment opportunities. The UK offers that,” Guernsey Finance Chief Executive Rupert Pleasant says.
BUILDING TOGETHER In this special City Edition of Businesslife, we also explore other areas in which the Channel Islands and the City of London are working closely together to deliver mutual benefits and opportunities to thrive. In the real estate sector, for example, our feature on page 16 explores how investment in UK property is big business both in Jersey and Guernsey. The Monterey Insight Jersey Fund Report 2018 estimated that, even back then, there were already more than 100 Jersey-based funds focusing on UK real estate, with a combined
net asset value of more than $42bn. And, according to Guernsey Finance, in excess of £20bn of property is held in Guernseydomiciled real estate funds today. Furthermore, the Channel Islands are becoming an increasingly attractive pathway for international investors looking to enter the UK property market. As one expert tells us: “Jersey and Guernsey each offer a stable jurisdiction; they each have a recognised rule of law, as well as elected parliaments and judicial systems that bring freedom and independence. There’s a very high standard of regulation, which is important for investors having confidence in any jurisdiction, and the strong level of compliance here means that investors can be sure the money that flows through the Channel Islands is legitimate.”
SUSTAINABLE PARTNERSHIPS Another area of opportunity for both the City and the Channel Islands is the continued rise in popularity of green and sustainable investing. While competition for business will always exist between jurisdictions, the consensus view is that, by working together to face cross-border challenges, the City and the islands could further increase the flow of funds between them – enhancing “the connectivity between the two”, as our feature starting on page 34 explains. At the heart of this is work taking place in the Channel Islands on verification to counter ‘greenwash’ and shore up the sector for the long haul – a move that is putting the islands at the forefront of the sustainable investing movement and enhancing their appeal to jurisdictions such as the City, experts tell us. On the subject of development, in this issue we also explore how a collaborative approach to fintech – backed by forward-looking regulators – is helping that sector develop and thrive in both jurisdictions. The results of this collaboration are impressive. And they also serve as a symbol of what can be achieved by jurisdictions being willing to work together to solve issues and meet demand. And that’s likely to be essential as we emerge from the uncertainties of Brexit and coronavirus, and enter a new world. n
The Islands are becoming an increasingly attractive pathway for international investors looking to enter the UK property market
Jon Watkins is Editor-in-Chief of Businesslife
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CEO, CHAMELEON GROUP Carl Methven firstname.lastname@example.org EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jon Watkins ART DIRECTOR Angela Lyons SUB EDITOR Kate Wheal ADVERTISING email@example.com
8 6 News
16 Real estate
The latest news and M&A activity from the financial services sector across Guernsey and Jersey
The attractiveness of UK property to international investors and the use of the Channel Islands as a pathway to it means the City and the islands continue to offer the ultimate blend of flexibility and benefits
8 Interview Stuart Foster, Managing Director, Institutional Banking and Depository Services, at RBS International, believes the relationship between London and the Channel Islands is more important than ever
22 Insurance Obtaining insurance cover for professional indemnity, directors’ and officers’
and cyber risk has become fraught with higher costs and frustration. So how can businesses get the right deal?
28 UK economy Covid-19 has dealt a devastating blow to the UK economy. But the islands are primed to help it bounce back
34 Green funds A look at how Channel Islands businesses are working
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Alex explores the UK real estate sector, amid Brexit concerns and the fallout of coronavirus – and finds that the attractiveness of the UK market remains firmly in place, while the Channel Islands remain an important pathway for investors .
In the spirit of collaboration, James takes a look at how partnership initiatives are helping the fintech sectors in both the UK and the Channel Islands to advance and thrive.
58 on verification to counter greenwash and shore up the sustainable funds sector for the long haul
field – so what’s being done to fix the problem? And could the need to kick-start the economy hasten the pace of change?
40 Business relationships
54 Dynamic trustees
The pandemic has ensured that in-person business trips are off the agenda, so how will professional relationships be conducted post-Covid?
Now more than ever, being a successful trustee comes from cultivating strong relationships with beneficiaries – and being agile enough to respond in a fast-changing world
44 fintech Collaboration between the Channel Islands and the City – together with forward-looking regulators – is helping the fintech sector thrive in both jurisdictions
50 Equality The UK’s business landscape is still far from a level playing
58 Hong Kong Why the Channel Islands could offer the stability and opportunity that British passport holders and Hong Kong investors are looking for as they consider moving their interests away from this increasingly volatile region
Moving from the new to the old, Imogen explores the long-standing issue of gender equality in the financial services sector, and finds that while progress is being made, it remains slow.
The knowledge London’s economy by numbers; how to retire early; all about Tom Peters; TikTok; and more
Meanwhile, Sophie asks whether the future of business travel and relationships will be impacted for the long term following the short-term change created by Covid-19.
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in the NEWS CAREY OLSEN ACTS IN LONDON PROPERTY DEAL Carey Olsen has advised Singapore property developer and investor Sun Venture on the purchase of One New Oxford Street in London from Nuveen Real Estate. The transaction, completed on 4 September for an undisclosed sum, represents the first UK acquisition for Sun Venture. One New Oxford Street is a 110,000 sq ft Grade A office and retail development between Tottenham Court Road and Holborn Tube stations. Current tenants are retailer H&M, which occupies six of the nine floors, and Amazon subsidiary Twitch in the remaining three. Working alongside onshore counsel CMS, the global Carey Olsen team advising Sun Venture was led by Corporate Partner Robin Smith, assisted by Jerseybased Counsel Fiona Dalton and Singapore-based Senior Associate Susan McKinstray. From its Singapore and Jersey offices, Carey Olsen advised on all Jersey legal and regulatory aspects of the purchase, completed by way of acquisition of a Jersey Property Unit Trust. MONEYVAL PUBLISHES COVID-19 AML/CFT REPORT The Council of Europe’s MONEYVAL Committee has published a report that aims to help policymakers, practitioners and businesses more effectively respond to the money laundering and terrorist financing risks emerging as a result of Covid-19. The report comes in response to increasing numbers of criminals who are exploiting the upheaval of the pandemic to profit from fraud
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through electronic means, the sale of counterfeit medicines and cyber crime. It gives preliminary conclusions on threats, vulnerabilities and best practice identified so far in the pandemic, based on information collected from MONEYVAL’s members. The findings indicate that the urgent need to acquire special medical equipment and supplies has created vulnerabilities for fraud, corruption and subsequent money laundering. Authorities in charge of supervising money laundering and terrorist financing threats have had to find innovative ways to carry out their tasks by using secure electronic means. The limits imposed on physical business meetings, and the greater use of remote operations, have also raised authorities’ concerns about the application of measures to adequately identify customers. The report also acts as a guide to the public on potential criminal schemes – phishing emails, text messages containing links to malicious websites, attachments to obtain personal payment information and social engineering. • To view the report visit rm.coe.int/moneyval-202018rev-covid19/16809f66c3
The scheme, which protects EU nationals’ rights to live and work in Jersey, was launched in February 2019 and has so far received more than 12,500 applications. However, there are still a significant number of EU nationals who have yet to apply. Any who arrive in Jersey after 31 December 2020 will require a visa to work, and their employer will need a work permit. Home Affairs Minister, Connétable Len Norman, said: “The impact of Covid-19 will have been a key focus for islanders over the past few months. However, the need for EU nationals to apply remains unchanged, and it is important that anyone wishing to remain on the island from next year applies to the scheme before EU NATIONALS URGED TO APPLY the deadline.” TO SETTLEMENT SCHEME Applications to the scheme The Government of Jersey are free of charge. is urging EU (and EEA and • To apply visit bit.ly/3mGFvIp Swiss nationals) living in Jersey to apply to the Jersey-EU STATISTICS JERSEY PUBLISHES Settlement Scheme as soon as EARNINGS REPORT possible. Statistics Jersey has released its All EU nationals, except average earnings report for June those holding Irish nationality, 2020, which presents the change who wish to continue living in average earnings paid to and working in Jersey from 1 full-time equivalent employees January 2021 must apply. between June 2019 and June Those who arrive before 1 2020. It is based on an annual January will be eligible for the survey of businesses. scheme, and applications can be Part-way through the second made up until 30 June 2021. reference period, on 12 June,
Jersey moved to level 2 of the government’s Safe Exit Framework, whereby most businesses were permitted to open and trading restrictions were eased. Pay estimates are based on employees who received wages and salaries in June 2020 (or the last week of June 2020 for weekly paid employees) and include those who did not work but were still paid and those whose wages were partially refunded to businesses through the government Co-Funded Payroll Scheme. The change in average earnings is set out below. • Average weekly earnings per full-time equivalent employee were 1.1% higher than in June 2019. • The latest annual increase was 1.5 percentage points lower than that of the previous 12-month period (2.6% to June 2019) and was the lowest annual change recorded since June 2010. • Over the 12 months to June 2020, average earnings in the private sector increased by 0.7%, while average earnings in the public sector increased by 3.3%. • In the private sector, average annual earnings in the agriculture sector were down by 11.9%, while in hotels,
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MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS Intertrust has acquired the client portfolio of Van Doorn, a Swiss corporate management and private wealth services company based in Zug. Founded in 1831, Van Doorn was re-established in Switzerland in 2008. It works with entrepreneurs, HNWIs, SMEs and professionals on corporate and tax structuring, accounting and administration, fiduciary service and private family office. Van Doorn will transfer its client activities and employees to Intertrust. Fiduciary services provider Zedra has acquired London global expansion consultancy Fitzgerald & Law (F&L). Zedra will also acquire the Global Expansion Advisory Network, which F&L cofounded and operates in over 70 countries. Founded in 1992 in London, F&L also has offices in Romania and San Francisco. In addition to offering expansion advice to firms setting up in the UK, it provides tax, HR and financial compliance services. Following the acquisition, F&L will rebrand to Zedra. IQ-EQ has acquired Paris-based accounting business Conseil Expertise & Synthese (CE&S). CE&S offers accounting, tax, payroll and corporate secretarial services to fund managers, entrepreneurs, corporates and high-net-worth clients. The business will be integrated with IQ-EQ’s operations in France – Equitis and Peru & Partners – but will initially retain its brand identity. The deal will create a 75-person team in France. Investment and financial planning group Tilney has completed its merger with Smith & Williamson, which has offices in Jersey. The group has been renamed Tilney Smith & Williamson, though there will be no immediate changes to the principal client-facing brands Tilney, Smith & Williamson and Bestinvest. According to Tilney, the merged business creates an integrated wealth management and professional services group with more than £47bn of assets under management. Ravenscroft’s acquisition of WHIreland (IOM) has been completed following approval from the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority. The acquisition of 100% of the issued share capital of WHIreland (IOM) means Ravenscroft has a presence in the Isle of Man for the first time. All six of WHIreland’s staff will move across and the company name will be Ravenscroft (IOM) trading as Ravenscroft. Negotiations are under way to merge PraxisIFM Group and Oak Group. The combined group will have offices in 17 jurisdictions and a headcount of more than 700. On completion, the leaders, PraxisIFM CEO Robert Fearis and Oak CEO Stuart Platt-Ransom, will form a combined management team based in Guernsey.
restaurants and bars, earnings were down by 10.2%. • Other business activities – comprising predominantly private sector service industries – reported the highest rate of annual increase, up 3.2%. • Among other private sector industries, annual changes in earnings ranged from being unchanged to increasing by about 2%. Statistics Jersey also reported on the real-terms change in earnings (adjusting for inflation). • The headline rate of inflation in Jersey in June 2020 was 0.5%. • In real terms, all-sector average earnings in June 2020 were 0.5% greater than in June 2019. • Average earnings in the private sector were 0.2% higher in real terms than in June 2019. • Average earnings in the public sector were 2.8% higher in real terms than in June 2019. • The median average weekly earnings figure for full-time equivalent employees was £610 per week. • The mean average weekly earnings figure for full-time equivalent employees was £780 per week. TOP 35 UNDER 35 LISTING HIGHLIGHTS TOP TALENT The latest eprivateclient Top 35 Under 35 listing has highlighted talent across the UK and Crown Dependencies. The list recognises the rising stars in private wealth, including private client and family lawyers, accountants, trustees or residential property buying agents. The list was whittled down from more than 540
nominations, with the judging process considering an individual’s achievements over the past 12 months and the number of nominations received. A strong showing from the Channel Islands included: • Nichola Aldridge, Senior Associate, Carey Olsen • Katie Baxter, Senior Associate, Ogier • Laura Corbet, Manager, Intertrust Guernsey • Ryan Crawford, Manager, Hawksford • Linda De Cicmic, Team Leader, Oak Guernsey • Emma Furzer, Trust Manager, Highvern • Matthew Gilligan, Associate Director, Louvre Trust (Guernsey) • Luke Gingell, Senior Associate, Mourant (Jersey) • Libby Harris, Manager, Rawlinson & Hunter • Oliver Lindop, Senior Associate, Carey Olsen • Carla Plater, Associate, Walkers • Blane Queripel, Client Director, PraxisIFM Trust • Sonia Shah, Senior Associate, Bedell Cristin, Jersey • Gabrielle Skelley, Manager, Ocorian • Will Taylor, Manager, Crestbridge • Emma Wakeling, Partner, BCR Law • Rhuaridh Watt, Senior Manager, IQ-EQ, Guernsey • Naro Zimmerman, Associate Director, JTC. n
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Stuart Foster, Managing Director, Institutional Banking and Depository Services, at RBS International, says growing investment between the two jurisdictions means the relationship between London and the Channel Islands is more important than ever – and that a strong bond will be even more crucial as Brexit looms large Words: Jon Watkins Pictures: Matt James
What was it that tempted you into financial services? I really didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted to do or of what sort of career I would eventually want. As a result of that, I actually decided I wanted to do a further academic course. So I took a masters in literature, which was a segue into a doctorate in modern history and, as a result of all that, I embarked on a career in academia. However, at the age of 27 or 28 I decided I liked the teaching more than the research. I had seen a number of my friends move into financial services and embark on interesting careers, which sparked my interest. So I applied to a few banks, including RBS. One of the MDs of RBS came up to Edinburgh to interview me, I got the job – and joined the investment bank in the year 2000 to work in structured finance. How did your role at RBS evolve to where you are today? I stayed in investment banking roles for around eight years – which obviously took us up to a very interesting time for RBS, with the financial crash and all the fallout that came with that. In 2008, I joined the UK corporate bank, as I passionately
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wanted to make a difference in rebuilding the bank and to understand banking more holistically. I joined the coverage team there, initially to help out with some of the challenges thrown up by 2008 – such as our real-estate exposure and how to get a grip on that. But then quite quickly I moved on to the forward-looking side of the corporate coverage business, which involved working with large corporates. The interesting thing in working with large corporates is that you get to see every angle of how a bank operates – every service we deliver and everything we do. I found that really insightful and I did that for a number of years. Then, around five or six years ago, I made the choice between player-manager deal-doer and scale leader, when I went to run the financial institutions professional services business, which also had the healthcare and education sectors within it. That gave me the opportunity to shape national sector strategies for those businesses, along with responsibility for the P&L and the balance sheet of the large corporate sector. That was great because it meant working in interesting sectors, a national remit, the chance to shape strategy and leadership insight. It was the chance to shape things and see how they grow, while at the same time setting the tone and the culture, which are both vitally important to me. Then in 2018, [RBSI Chief Executive] Andrew McLaughlin contacted me to say that he was going to revamp RBSI after four or five years of huge change, and that he was looking for someone to help drive growth, and to invest, digitise and transform the business. So I was attracted to that role because it was the chance to really shape and influence the strategy of what we are doing.
RBSI is UK-centred, with its HQ in Jersey, and serves Europe with both offshore and onshore offerings. Tell us why that structure works. One of our USPs is that we are in all of the right places. It’s clear that our Lux/Lon funds are growing, so we needed to be in those regions – and that’s proving to be a shrewd move at this stage. We need to be in London because that’s where many of the fund managers – the decision-makers – are, while Luxembourg continues to develop rapidly as a centre point for the funds world in the EU. And we absolutely still need to be in Jersey and Guernsey because that’s where a huge amount of the infrastructure, clients and intermediaries continue to reside. The islands are obviously hugely important. But so are London and Luxembourg. But, while all of our clients are spread across all these different places, our proposition is that you should be able to pick up the phone from anywhere and we will join up the dots internally. We will do so efficiently and avoid unnecessary duplication and cost. We’ll work that out ourselves through CRM systems and internal connectivity, so that when a client picks up the phone from Jersey or Guernsey, that information we need to be able to do what we need to do quickly and efficiently is there and ready to go. That’s really important to us. It’s really important that we are in all these places geographically – but equally important that we can service everyone in the same way. Why does that relationship between London and the Channel Islands continue to be so important to the structure and the sector in general? The relationship is enormously important and it’s growing all the time. We see it as a business (with purpose), but you can extrapolate what we’re seeing into the
Tell us a about your background and early life. My dad was in the Army, moving around a bit, and I was born in Edinburgh. After he served various tours, he settled in Catterick and, as a result, I went to secondary school in North Yorkshire and went to college in Darlington. I worked hard at A-levels to get the required grades to get me into St Andrews – and ended up doing pretty well there. I think that’s where I really matured as an individual, as a student and as a worker – coming out with a first-class degree.
interview Stuart Foster www.blglobal.co.uk
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Interview Its central objective is to look after the investments of 10 million pension investors – an enormous responsibility. It’s a market leader and, with the investment, has an incredibly exciting future ahead. In terms of protecting that view of us as a trusted partner, that’s something we need to protect even more at this time. In times of crisis there is a lot of erratic behaviour, and so we are really pleased to be a stable counterparty in amongst that. We are hugely well capitalised, with good liquidity, and we are well rated – and that matters a lot at the moment. That’s why we make our balance sheet available to our clients. We need to be careful how we deploy it, but it demonstrates our consistency – while our commitment to digitisation shows our boldness.
wider business community. The links have to be ever-closer; they have to be ever more seamless and, going forward, we will rely on each other even more. There is good investment moving from the Channel Islands to the City, and vice versa – and, of course, together we need to work out the EU question and how we plan to manage Brexit, which we will. There is just an enormously important symbiotic relationship that is working really well for us as an organisation, and that is only going to strengthen over the coming years. Brexit or no Brexit, the Channel Islands are just such an important pivot for the UK. You mentioned you took this role with a remit to grow the business. Tell us how you plan to achieve that growth. We know we are in an incredibly privileged position in financial services. We have a successful business in institutional banking and of course across the wider RBSI. And, as growth occurs in global asset management, as is projected, and things like more alternative funds are raised, then even more banking services are going to be required. That’s a great backdrop for us as an established business with a 20-year history, a great reputation, a strong balance sheet and talented professionals in the right jurisdictions. Our job now is to leverage all of those things that are going for us and, as a large corporate banking business, understand the sector in a way that other corporate
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banks don’t. We can’t just be a provider of products and services. We have to truly understand what’s going on with our customers – and by that I mean all stakeholders in the funds ecosystem, particularly the end investors. We need to make sure we maintain our trusted adviser status, so we avoid being commoditised in the way that some banking services are clearly going to. There are a number of ways we can do that. First, we need to have what I call ‘brilliant basics’, which is about digitising and automating everything you can. We were already on that journey, but Covid-19 means we need to double down or even triple down on that now, and accelerate it – because while many think that is about efficiency, it is actually more about customer experience. And we need to really think about how we’re set up as a business – what we do outside of the brilliant basics to really add value to our clients. What is it that we can give them that they don’t even know they need? That means we need to think very hard about our place in the market and how we can evolve to stay ahead. As an example, I think about the depository business. There’s a business that has incredible customer advocacy, but it is a manual business right now. So we are completely overhauling and transforming that business. We are building a data-led cloud platform that will be a leader in governance, credit-flow management and data insight. And it will be purpose driven.
The business has been on a digital development drive. How important is it to manage automation in a way that ensures it adds value rather than erodes your ‘trusted partner’ mantra? That’s absolutely the case. We want to take out the boring stuff and the stuff that no one wants to be doing every day, so that the time and expertise we free up can be used to keep our customers and clients happier through the things that are important to them – such as greater value-adding insights. An example is account opening in the Channel Islands – that’s an area where we will automate and digitise, making it easier and faster for clients. But actually we still need skilled individuals to understand how funds are structured, to interpret the data they are getting and to make very quick decisions. That’s a great example of where we’re automating the basics but using expertise to make that customer experience the best it can possibly be. What role have fintechs played in that digital drive – and is it fair to say we are seeing greater partnerships between the fintechs and the traditional banks now? You are right that in the past few years there has been a shift – a shift both in terms of the fintech attitude to the big companies and in our attitude to partnering with them. They have realised they can’t grow and get to where they want to be without the client numbers, the scale and the investment. We realise we are not great at change and we need some help in making change happen more quickly. So there has definitely been a meeting of minds. I would say that, for a while now, both RBSI and NatWest Group have had a pretty good reputation for innovation and change. We have shown that through the likes of Tyl [the NatWest service launched to help small businesses accept Chip & PIN, contactless and telephony payments either in-store, over the phone or online using a mobile terminal] and through
Brexit or no Brexit, the Channel Islands are just such an important pivot for the UK
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RBSI’s [account-opening portal] KYCP. And there’s no doubt fintech partners will be a big part of further innovations going forward. We are working with them in a much more proactive and obvious way to get that speed and agility in change. What’s also interesting is that it’s helping drive cultural change in the organisation. We need to be faster, braver and bolder when making decisions, and the more our teams are exposed to and work with fintechs, the more they are seeing the pace at which we can change and evolve. How will all of this affect the sector going forward? What are the trends and developments you are monitoring closely? Liquidity is still very much out there. Funds are being raised. We’re still seeing quite significant transaction flow – so, if anything, we see quite a lot of opportunity going forward because funds will be raised that want to invest. There may be a bit of delay, particularly around alternatives as they look for best value. But again, a lot of the purposeful activity that resonates hugely with us – around investing in climate, renewables and solar, for example – will increase as government encouragement around those areas increases. And, of course, the private equity funds and the real estate funds are all building up liquidity to invest – so they will all need banking services too, which is all part of the healthy backdrop I explained earlier. That hasn’t really gone away for banks. In terms of trends as an organisation, I think it’s fair to say we will continue to develop and invest in our ESG proposition – a strategic priority for us, even though I think we are already very strong there. Our privileged position means we can make a real difference to society – for instance, the transition to a green economy,
Covid-19 means we need to double down or even triple down on digitising everything now
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FACT FILE Name: Stuart Foster Born: Edinburgh Educated: St Andrews university Interests: Liverpool FC, running – “I’ve run every day during lockdown. It’s a great release” Family: Married to a GP, with three daughters Home: Sevenoaks, Kent Lockdown focus: “Juggling work with trying to keep three girls occupied has been interesting!”
through our banking services or because we hold such strong data. From a Covid-19 point of view, this awful pandemic has clearly had a significant impact on the banking sector, as it has on many others. But for us it doesn’t change our commitment to the sectors we serve at all. As for working from home, I subscribe to the balance. This is a new era and people work in different ways, but that need for human contact with colleagues, customers and networks is still crucial – not least in terms of the informal communications and the ideas-generation and human-capital value that fuels. So I think we are heading for a balance rather than a complete shift out of offices completely. What Covid has taught us, and this comes back to a point I made earlier, is the need to make decisions quicker and in a more agile way. The way we crossed boundaries, broke down silos and improved the way we work was really quick. And I think that speed of
decision-making can’t be allowed to slow down as we move forward now. That’s a challenge for the leaders in all businesses. Amid all of this, Brexit still looms large. How is the group planning for that? Brexit is a huge issue for us as a group. NatWest, of course, has its Brexit plans in place. In terms of RBSI, our clients are hedged by having offices elsewhere, notably Luxembourg, where we are too. And I think the benefit for us is that we are in the right jurisdictions already. That said, depending on how Brexit plays out over the coming months, we need to review and continue to think about how we are set up to deliver our strategy in a post-Brexit world, whatever that looks like. But, as I say, we are protected by the jurisdictions we are in, not least Luxembourg. And, finally, what are the aspirations for the future? Where does RBSI go from here? My aspiration and commitment is to grow the business in the coming years – so that’s the objective for RBSI. We are fortunate to have been entrusted with significant investment and we have to provide a tangible return while adding value to our customers. But that’s exciting – and it’s great to be in a business that’s thinking that way and looking to expand in the markets it is in. RBSI is already a vital cog in this group – and we have the opportunity to increase the importance of our role further, not just through our growth strategy, our digitisation plans and our commitment to ESG, but through our desire to diversify and our dedication to using data and technology. Harnessing all those things puts us at the forefront of what a 21st century banking organisation looks like. n
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“Liquidity is still very much out there. Funds are being raised. We’re still seeing quite significant transaction flow – so, if anything, we see quite a lot of opportunity going forward” Stuart Foster, Managing Director, Institutional Banking and Depository Services, RBS International
£20BN £14BN The value of property held in Guernsey-domiciled real estate funds
THE VALUE JERSEY ADDS TO THE UK ECONOMY EACH YEAR, SUPPORTING UK RECOVERY
“THE DEMOGRAPHICS ARE CHANGING: the proportion of
investors who are Millennials and/or female is increasing and, with that, other aspects of businesses are growing in importance, such as their environmental and ethical standards” Michaela Seimen Howat, UBS, page 50
UK firms say insurance rates are rising PAGE
75% 99% Proportion of AUM in Guernsey managed or administered by firms conforming to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment
Proportion of business trips by European companies that had been cancelled or suspended by May
“BREXIT OR NO BREXIT, THE CHANNEL ISLANDS ARE JUST SUCH AN IMPORTANT PIVOT FOR THE UK” PAGE 8
“Our relationship with the City and the UK is one of partnership. The UK remains a secure and stable jurisdiction and we will continue to act as a major conduit to ensure capital is invested there” Joe Moynihan, Chief Executive, Jersey Finance
PAGE 28 “The UK has long been an attractive option for investors from Hong Kong, but in recent months, there’s been a surge in demand for properties”
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Meet Helen Ollivro
The UBS Global Financial Intermediaries (FIM) team in Jersey has been providing a dedicated offering to external asset and fund managers for more than 10 years. We talked to Helen Ollivro, Executive Director and Head of UBS FIM for Jersey and the UK, to find out more about her and the FIM team CAN YOU TELL us a bit about how you came to your current role? I have spent the whole of my working career in the finance sector. I started within life assurance on the investment side and held a number of client-facing leadership roles. During this time, I also studied with the CISI and gained industry qualifications. An opportunity to join a private bank arose in 2004, so I moved into asset management, later becoming the Investment Dealer for the location. In 2007, I moved to Jersey and was offered a role as a Client Advisor on the newly established UBS Financial
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Intermediaries team. I have performed various roles during this time and was appointed the Desk Head of the Jersey team in 2016. My role expanded earlier this year, when I also took on responsibility for the FIM UK team. So, who are your clients? We predominantly work with external asset managers (EAM)/discretionary fund managers (DFM), fund administrators and their managers. For EAMs and DFMs, we offer a wide range of products and services designed with the unique needs of financial
intermediaries and their clients in mind. With respect to fund administrators, we have always provided a platform for our in-house private market vehicles. We have now made the decision to expand this area and I am pleased to announce that we are in the process of onboarding our first Jersey Private Fund. Tell us about the main priorities of your team. Obviously, our main priority is our clients. We are service-driven and completely share our financial intermediaries’ passion to deliver the best results for their clients. For example, one way we help support our financial intermediaries is by performing their middle and backoffice roles, enabling them to focus on what’s important to them, their clients. We understand that wealth management is about long-term relationships, built on reliability and trust. We bring the same principles to our relationships with our financial intermediaries, drawing on UBS’s comprehensive offering and global capabilities. Have your priorities changed much over the years? Yes, as markets have changed, we have had to adapt, but our main core activities have remained the same. We recognise that being able to interact electronically is key to our FIM relationships and sustainable growth for both our intermediaries and UBS, so this is always an area we are looking to improve and develop. Do you have any new activities coming up for the FIM teams? We are planning to roll out our Credit Roadshow in Q3 2020, to give our EAMs/ DFMs an overview of what UBS can offer with regards to securitised lending (Lombard), as well as UK residential and commercial mortgages. 1
We recognise that being able to interact electronically is key to our FIM relationships and sustainable growth for both our intermediaries and UBS
You are on the Advisory Board for the Diversity Network in Jersey – can you tell us more about that? This is really important to me. The Diversity Network was founded by two local businesswomen in Jersey to enable change in the way we work to make the business community a more accessible, fair and inclusive place regardless of who you are and where you come from. My role on the Advisory Board is to collaborate with the founders (Sam Duffy and Kate Wright) and the other Advisory Board members. We share thoughts and best practice to help shape the direction and focus of the Network. Sam and Kate are an inspiration and truly committed to helping improve diversity and innovation practices in Jersey. It’s fantastic to be able to work for UBS, as it also takes a broad approach to diversity. UBS focuses on gender, ethnicity, LGBTQ+, disability and mental health,
among other aspects, with inclusive leadership and increased representation of diverse-heritage employees. What would you say are your main challenges? As with probably every business across the globe, the Covid-19 pandemic has been our biggest challenge. However, I am immensely proud of how the FIM teams in the UK and Jersey, as well as the wider UBS workforce, were able to maintain business as usual under such difficult circumstances. I am fortunate to work with very talented individuals, who are always willing to go the extra mile for our clients. Have you had any successes you want to talk about? I think getting the green light to enable FIM Jersey to provide services for the Jersey Private Fund will be a differentiator for our business. The success of these funds is well documented and evidenced by the statistics1. More than 300 funds have been formed since their launch in 2017. n
FIND OUT MORE
For more information about the services offered by UBS FIM Jersey, please contact: Helen Ollivro, Head of Financial Intermediaries UK & Jersey UBS AG 1, IFC St Helier, Jersey JE2 3BX T: 01534 701031 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
UBS AG, Jersey Branch is authorised and regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission for the conduct of banking, funds and investment business. UBS AG, Jersey Branch is a branch of UBS AG (a public company limited by shares, incorporated in Switzerland whose registered offices are at Aeschenvorstadt 1, CH-4051, Basel and Bahnhofstrasse 45, CH-8001 Zurich) (“UBS”) with its principal place of business at 1 IFC Jersey, St Helier, Jersey JE2 3BX. Terms and Conditions are available upon request. © UBS 2020. All rights reserved.
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Major changes to the UK’s property tax regime and the Crown Dependencies’ Double Tax Agreements have caused some overseas property investors to sit up and take notice. But the attractiveness of UK property to international investors and the use of the Channel Islands as a pathway to it means the City and the islands continue to offer the ultimate blend of flexibility and benefits Words: Alexander Garrett
WHEN PHILIP HAMMOND, then
UK Chancellor, announced in his 2017 Autumn Budget that from 6 April 2019, non-resident investors would have to pay Capital Gains Tax on disposals of all types of UK real estate, it sent a ripple of concern around the world of offshore investment. For fund managers, administrators and other professionals in the Channel Islands, these changes threatened to erode some of the tax advantages that investments made via Jersey and Guernsey had traditionally enjoyed. They come at a time when the UK, in light of Brexit, is seeking to redefine its place in the financial services competitive landscape. This is also a time when the outlook for UK property in general has
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been clouded by the coronavirus pandemic. It’s not just how people invest that’s having to be revalued, but also the basic argument around what type of property is worthy of investment. Investment in real estate, especially UK property, is big business in Jersey and Guernsey. The Monterey Insight Jersey Fund Report 2018 estimated that, even back then, there were already more than 100 Jersey-based funds focusing on UK real estate, with a combined net asset value of more than $42bn. And, according to Guernsey Finance, in excess of £20bn of property is held in Guernsey-domiciled real estate funds. Until now, the tax benefits offered to overseas investors have been something
of an anomaly, says Richard Daggett, Partner at Ogier. “The UK was, for a long time, an outlier in how it sought to tax property within its borders,” he says. “Seeking to charge overseas investors CGT and Corporation Tax is merely bringing the UK in line with other countries that vie for foreign investment in their real estate sectors.” The UK government’s tax reforms were aimed squarely at levelling the playing field for non-resident and resident investors. The process began in 2015 with the imposition of non-resident Capital Gains Tax on disposals of UK residential property. The latest measures extended that to commercial property – potentially drawing into the net pension funds and institutional
blend ISLANDS IMPACT For a variety of reasons, these changes have had less of an impact on those in the Channel Islands than might have been expected. First, HMRC has allowed funds and other collective investment vehicles to elect for ‘transparent’ or ‘exempt’ status, which means that the vehicle itself is not taxed, although the investors are taxed at their usual level.
It’s not just how people invest that’s having to be revalued, but also what type of property is worthy of investment
As Philip Hendy, Director, Real Estate, at Intertrust, explains: “The political point was: ‘Let’s try and equalise the standing of an investor into UK real estate, irrespective of where they have invested from, so whether your investment was made from Jersey, Guernsey or within the UK, you are on a similar tax footing’. “But what wasn’t initially considered properly was that most investors into UK real estate are probably tax-exempt investors because they are your and my pension funds, or sovereign funds, or exempt for another reason. The HMRC concessions have dealt with that issue. “For the transparency election, you need to have a vehicle that could be considered transparent prior to the election – not a company, which is opaque – but it would include Jersey and Guernsey Property Unit Trusts, as these are ‘Baker Trusts’ (JPUTs and GPUTs), and traditional limited liability partnerships. “You can elect for that vehicle to be transparent for CGT, and that means each investor into that entity, whether a limited partner, a partner or a unit holder, is taxed as if they had invested individually into that UK real estate.” Transparency for vehicles such as JPUTs and GPUTs is a key element, explains Simon Burgess, Head of Alternative Investments at Ocorian, because it avoids “tax leakage”. “These types of unit trusts are very attractive because they have the flexibility to accommodate different types of owners,” he explains. “These different investors each have their own taxpayer status, and the benefit is that it’s the unit holder who pays the
tax, not the vehicle itself. If you’re a UK taxpayer, you’ll pay tax on it; if you’re not, you won’t.” Malcolm Macleod, Head of Funds and Institutional, Jersey, at IQ-EQ, reinforces this point. “It’s worth noting that, for many, structuring through offshore jurisdictions like Jersey has never just been about CGT,” he says. “It’s more about ensuring that the vehicle being used to pool funds is transparent for tax purposes, so that investors do not suffer multiple levels of taxation.”
SHARPENING THE FOCUS One of the key effects of the UK government’s tax changes, says James Mulholland, Partner at Carey Olsen, has been that “it has sharpened the focus as to those who would ordinarily be onshore and those who would look at offshore”. Structures such as JPUTs “have been a very good investment platform for lots of joint ventures where you have a primary investor with a developer, or institutional investors that are non-UK investing in London trophy assets”, he explains. “And we have definitely seen an uptick in that.” However, where this type of vehicle is not deemed appropriate, and particularly where the investment is made through a company structure, a UK-based vehicle may now be the preferred option. Philip Hendy gives an example. “Say you are a commercial enterprise that has a footing in the UK and wants to own your own building – it isn’t necessarily of benefit to hold that offshore if you’re running as an operational property and are not going to sell in the foreseeable future. “In that case, there may be some benefit
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investors from around the world who invest in all kinds of UK real estate, from student housing to shops, restaurants, hotels, offices and warehouses. And CGT was also applied to gains on ‘property-rich’ vehicles in which 75% of the value is in UK real estate.
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in taking the company onshore or, more correctly, changing the tax domicile to the UK and fully embracing paying UK tax as a UK entity.” Donna Shorto, Guernsey-born but now the London-based Managing Director of PraxisIFM Corporate Services (UK), offers another perspective. “As a result of the new regime, we’ve certainly seen a shift in mindset when clients are setting up structures or looking to invest in UK real estate generally,” she says. “Whereas offshore vehicles would have previously taken preference, onshore vehicles are now being considered more readily.”
The strong level of compliance in the Channel Islands means investors can be sure the money that flows through them is legitimate
The recent revision of Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs) between the UK and all the Crown Dependencies has also played in favour of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. Philip Hendy gives one example. “In the past, if you wanted to lend money from Jersey into the UK, under certain circumstances when the borrower was paying you back, they would have to withhold 20% tax because of the antiquated nature of the Double Taxation treaty,” he says. “If that lender was in Luxembourg, for example, there was no withholding tax. You could remit the money in full. “The revision of the DTAs has put Jersey and Guernsey on a par with other jurisdictions – so there is now no withholding tax.” Hendy continues: “In the past, because of withholding tax credit funds, lending money to the UK would be based in another EU jurisdiction – Ireland, Cyprus, Malta and Luxembourg were all used. “Now, that fund doesn’t have to be in the EU to take advantage of that, and it’s
a great opportunity for Jersey and Guernsey to work with the UK and the City on something that’s not worked particularly well in past. “Credit funds are a different opportunity to invest in real estate, through investing in lending rather than in physical properties.”
PROSPECT OF PIFS One further potential change coming in the UK is the creation of Professional Investment Funds (PIFs), on which the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a consultation in March – and which could be seen as a rival to Jersey Private Funds and Guernsey Qualifying Investor Funds. Malcolm Macleod says: “To date, the UK has not had a suitable fund structure that optimises tax efficiencies and was suitably commercial to make it a viable choice for managers. “The regulatory environment was complicated and did not lend itself to closed-ended alternative funds such as real estate. Brexit has sharpened the focus on this issue for HMRC, the government and UK-based fund managers.”
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However, what all agree on is that tax is only one part of the reason investors use the Channel Islands to hold UK real estate investments. Burgess explains: “Jersey and Guernsey each offer a stable jurisdiction; they each have a recognised rule of law, as well as elected parliaments and judicial systems that bring freedom and independence. “There’s a very high standard of regulation, which is important for investors having confidence in any jurisdiction, and the strong level of compliance here means that investors can be sure the money that flows through the Channel Islands is legitimate.” Having said that, neither Jersey nor Guernsey has an open share register, unlike the UK – which could be a further factor in determining where individual investors choose to locate their investments going forward. Shorto adds: “Some clients are worried about an investigation, even if they’ve done everything properly, and they do want to have UK structures now because it’s easier. It’s transparent, you can see the ownership, and there’s nothing they could be hiding. “On the other hand, you do still have investors who are very conscious about privacy and, while they understand that there have been tax changes, the offshore jurisdictions still appeal to them because of privacy.” The concentration of professional expertise and the diverse range of financial structures available – as well as the relative ease in setting these up – are also cited as reasons why people choose to establish investment structures in the Channel Islands. Richard Daggett continues: “The ability to transfer shares in a Jersey company (or units in a Jersey Property Unit Trust) without incurring UK stamp duty remains a highly sought-after benefit to structuring through Jersey.”
If they do get the go-ahead, PIFs could make the UK a more attractive environment for raising funds, deter fund managers from moving elsewhere, such as France, and spur post-Brexit financial growth, says Macleod. In terms of competition, he argues that the existing strength of the Channel Islands in marketing their funds internationally to key investment centres such as the US, Asia and the Middle East is unlikely to diminish. In spite of everything that’s happened in the past few years – Brexit, Covid-19 and the UK tax changes – the overall attractiveness of UK property to international investors, and the use of the Channel Islands as a pathway to that investment, hasn’t really changed. Mulholland says: “Since the Brexit vote, we’ve definitely seen an uptick in Asian investors looking at the weakened pound and the strength of assets on sale, particularly in London and the South East, and they are taking the opportunity to invest in that. “We’ve seen the pound devalued over four years. Then there’s the backdrop of Hong Kong investors – we may start to see a flight of capital out of HK and into safer assets, and that could well be back to London again.” Burgess concludes: “The property investment market works in cycles, and different types of investors are interested in different things. “For example, pension funds typically need an income stream to match their liabilities. The UK economy is one of the strongest in the world, and even with Brexit and the uncertainty of coronavirus, it is still seen as a strong economic force that pension funds will continue to target. “Others are interested in using their skillset to spot or enhance the value of a property, so they are selecting property that will rebound well after Covid-19 and Brexit. There are lots of people with that strategy and they could do very well.” n
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ESG – the new dimension in real estate? If there’s one trend that’s changing the face of property investment, it’s the growing emphasis on environment, social and governance (ESG) considerations. “Whereas previously, investors in real estate funds were concerned solely about returns, no self-respecting real estate investor will now be without an ESG policy and will expect any fund into which they put funds to be equally focused on such issues,” says Richard Daggett at Ogier. “We’ve gone from a world where people talked a good ESG game to now having investors demanding it as more than lip service – and not being afraid to deploy their capital elsewhere to make that happen.” That’s especially the case where succession planning takes place and a new generation of investors is stepping up, says Donna Shorto at Praxis. “Covid-19 has been a major turning point for ESG investment,” she says. “When you have a portfolio and it’s invested in ESG, you have done very well in this time and have made good returns. “Covid-19 has given everyone the chance to step back, and people are now placing greater emphasis on corporate governance and fairness within the workplace.” ESG considerations in real estate include strong BREEAM and energy ratings, the construction materials used, and working practices. ESG could also impinge on the office environment after Covid-19. Philip Hendy adds: “Companies will provide a different environment in work, and no longer cram so many in. “The more enlightened employers will look at this quite differently. Their workplaces will be more varied and interesting, with the ability for people to get up and walk around, different kinds of seating and so on. “If you want to attract talent, to become an employer of choice you will have to adapt your ways of working.”
Choice and change in private equity investment No matter what sector you are in, a level of re-evaluation is happening as lives and businesses adapt to changed priorities and new ways of working and interacting. Ogier Partner Richard Daggett explores how these changes are shifting the focus for investment and private equity THE LEVEL OF dry powder in the market
continues to be record-breaking. In June 2020, Preqin estimated that around $1.45trn of dry powder was available to private equity funds to invest in the full spectrum of companies, real estate, infrastructure, natural resources and debt. Q3 and Q4 of 2020 look set to be exceptionally busy on the private equity front. According to advisers, the stockpile of money raised but unspent is set to be used in an unprecedented spending spree. However, as is always the case, dry powder is not always about the highprofile acquisitions. The ongoing investment by funds into their portfolio companies is what generates the longterm returns on exit. The use of dry powder is also not always about the growth of a company, it is sometimes about keeping a company going when times are tough. Investors will be analysing their portfolio with a fine toothcomb to determine whether a company has long-term prospects and a strong base despite current difficulties or if that investment would only serve to alleviate short-term problems. Dry powder used effectively now on a company in difficulty but with robust fundamentals is dry powder well spent. In these times, that does mean hard choices are having to be made about investment in the sectors that have borne the brunt of the pandemic’s hardest blows. The hospitality, travel and retail sectors are among the most obvious casualties of the lockdown and the continued uncertainty over the shape of things to come. In each case, investment will depend on how viable a business will be in a postCovid world. The picture for businesses that don’t have the capability to adjust and innovate to cope with restrictions and behavioural changes is bleak. However, there are examples of portfolio companies hugely benefiting
Dry powder used effectively on a company in difficulty but with robust fundamentals is dry powder well spent
from PE backing during this time due to their ability to scale up quickly through investment and to take advantage of a large surge in demand due to the lockdown. Some PE-backed companies have focused on activities that have received renewed interest during our enforced confinement (home crafts, food delivery, home physical exercise). And tech-focused companies have taken advantage of our move to living, working and socialising through screens. No doubt they are thankful for the
investment in them to date and for the swift deployment of dry powder in recent months to avoid missing any opportunity to profit during the sharp spike in demand for their services. Investors may also be re-examining deals they considered too expensive just months ago. However, there is no use in pursuing a deal for a target simply because it is now within the investor’s price appetite and, again, analysis of longevity in the wake of the pandemic will need careful consideration. It may well be a case of quality over quantity, but there is also a case for wellplaced firms to act quickly to harness the greatest returns. That leads to one big difference that is likely to be seen between the private equity response to the 2009 financial crisis and now – the speed with which the PE industry will react. While we saw investors slowly make investments in 2009, they were tentative and often slower than perhaps they would have been with hindsight. The funds that moved fast in the last recession were the ones that enjoyed double-digit returns. It is likely that the lessons learned from the financial crisis will not be forgotten when the investment taps are turned on for the remainder of 2020. n
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Obtaining insurance cover for professional indemnity, directors’ and officers’ and cyber risk has become fraught with higher costs and frustration – and Channel Islands businesses are feeling the impact. But just how big a problem is it? and what can firms do to protect themselves?
Taking cover PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY INSURANCE might
not sound like the most enthralling of topics, but for many professions it’s an essential requirement to practise and must be purchased by individuals or the firms they work for. Without it they cannot operate. It is, as they say, non-negotiable. However, rates are rising, and some sectors are being impacted more than others. Construction and its associated professions, such as architects and fire surveyors – which have been particularly hard hit by the Grenfell fire disaster – is a good example. An avalanche of regulation has also been a factor in areas such as audit, insolvency, probate and investment business, where high levels of PII cover are often mandatory. Premium rates are also rising for directors’ and officers’ (D&O) cover, where insurance is provided for the actions of directors, officers and the businesses they work for. The availability of cover is being staunched, while the scope of coverage is being restricted and
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NOT JUST A BLIP What’s worse is that some, such as UK risk management trade association AIRMIC, fear that this hard market may not just be a cyclical blip. It describes it as a “harsh market”. AIRMIC Technical Director and Deputy CEO Julia Graham says: “Previous hard markets have
Words: Richard Willsher
premiums have risen. Cyber is another area where cover was once a ‘nice-to-have’ but is now vital. These rate rises are the consequence of a hard market where, put simply, insurers are less willing to insure. It wasn’t always like this but, since the financial crisis, insurers have found it less and less easy to turn a profit – while claims have become more frequent. To make things worse, in May 2018, Lloyd’s of London, the specialist insurance market where cover is bought and sold, conducted a performance review dubbed Decile 10. It required managing agents in eight classes of insurance, including non-US professional, to come up with a performance plan to return the worstperforming 10% of premium for each insurance syndicate to profitability or cease doing business. The effect was to withdraw capacity from an already straitened market.
Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been a fundamental shift in trust between provider and customer, and a seismic change in the behaviour of some in the market
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Some larger businesses are turning to self-insuring – including through Guernsey-based vehicles
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typically seen cyclical peaks and troughs in pricing. But this harsh market includes limitations in cover available (capacity and deductibles) and scope of cover; some sectors facing a smaller choice of carriers prepared to underwrite cover; requests for client information that appear unfounded; and decisions being taken at a headquarters level rather than at a local underwriter level. “Couple this with poor timing and communication of decisions,” continues Graham, “and the mix is now quite different. It forms the basis of a fundamental shift in trust between provider and customer, and a seismic change in the values and behaviour of some in the market.” In this landscape, insurance brokers are operating between clients that need
help sourcing the cover to be able to operate and insurers that are less and less willing to provide it.
THE BROKER VIEW So what would the brokers themselves advise? Lee Refault, Group Business Development Director at Jersey-based Rossborough Insurance – part of global broker Arthur J Gallagher & Co – and his colleague David Rogers, Executive Director Financial and Professional Risks at Gallagher in London, have a clear view. “The most important thing that clients can do for themselves is to start the renewal process early,” says Refault. “Really invest time and effort into putting a good presentation into the market. “There’s nothing worse than seeing a hastily completed proposal form in
Insurance scrawled handwriting, where the numbers just don’t add up. “In a market where insurers don’t need to write new business because they’re making money on their renewal book, on which they’re also going to be very selective, when the insurer has a pile of quotes to work through, it’s the badly prepared ones that get put to one side.” David Rogers echoes this. “You’ve got to start early. A broker says: ‘This is the timetable we’re going to work to; these are the markets we’re going to talk to’. We brokers take a targeted approach to markets and use our knowledge of the market to make the process efficient and effective.” He continues: “There should also be a plan B. If things don’t work to plan or if your lead insurer simply says: ‘I’m sorry but your business is not what we’re going to write this year because we’ve made a corporate decision’, there should be an alternative plan in place, before that happens, and that should cover which insurers you’re going to talk to for an alternative. If you have all that stuff laid out, all that work done in advance, you lessen the chance of an unpleasant surprise at the end.” AIRMIC’s Julia Graham points out: “There is evidence that, in the face of increased costs and difficulties in obtaining cover, some larger businesses are turning to self-insuring – including through Guernsey-based vehicles.” That’s where businesses set aside premiums in their own captive insurance
company, building up sufficient capital to be able to meet future claims. “Captives have long been a solution for PII and they are increasingly being considered for D&O,” Graham adds.
INCREASE IN ENQUIRIES Mike Johns, Chairman of the Guernsey International Insurance Institute and a Director at Willis Towers Watson Management (Guernsey), says insurance managers across the island are reporting an increase in enquiries for captives. “This has been constant through Covid-19,” he says. “The Guernsey Financial Services Commission has also seen an increase in submissions. “Enquiries are being received not just in relation to professional risks but all areas of insurance, because there appears to be a hardening in rates across the board. The enquiries are also coming from locations all around the world, so it’s not just a localised issue in the UK.” Although using a captive may be seen as a big company insurance solution, Johns says that while smaller insurance vehicles will need to have sufficient premium to justify a self-insurance route, they may be able to use a protected cell rather than a full captive. For businesses in the islands looking to obtain certain classes of business insurance, the current hard market is a challenge. And it’s a global phenomenon. But there are weapons that insureds and their insurance brokers have in their armoury – and the better prepared they are, the more likely they can source the cover they need. Even if premium rates are likely to be higher than in previous years. n
there are weapons that insureds and their insurance brokers have in their armoury
The scale of the issue AIRMIC and its German counterpart, GVNW, released a survey of the insurance environment for corporate policyholders in the UK and Germany in February, which included some stark findings.
RATES HAVE RISEN FOR ALMOST ALL BUSINESSES – 94% IN THE UK, 93% IN GERMANY
THERE IS FRUSTRATION AT POOR OR LATE COMMUNICATION FROM INSURANCE PARTNERS – 43% IN THE UK, 62% IN GERMANY – AND MORE THAN HALF OF POLICYHOLDERS ARE ONLY PARTIALLY SATISFIED OR ARE NOT SATISFIED WITH THE IMPACT OF THE HARDENING MARKET GOES BEYOND PRICE, SERVICE FROM BROKERS WITH REDUCED CAPACITY, AN INCREASE IN EXCLUSIONS, AND LACK OF AVAILABILITY OF COVER FOR SOME, HAVING A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON 2019 RENEWALS THE MAJORITY OF BUSINESSES – 65% IN THE UK, 53% IN D&O RATES HAVE BEEN HARDEST HIT – MORE THAN 80% OF RESPONDENTS NOTE PRICE RISES IN THE UK AND OVER 60% IN GERMANY. IN THE UK, 13% HAVE SEEN D&O RATES MORE THAN DOUBLE
GERMANY – ARE EXPLORING ALTERNATIVE RISK TRANSFER SOLUTIONS, INCLUDING NEW AND GREATER USE OF CAPTIVES, FOR THEIR 2020 RENEWALS, AND MORE THAN A THIRD – 33% IN THE UK, 46% IN GERMANY – PLAN TO INVEST MORE IN RISK MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS
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Gender wealth rebalance:
wealthy women on the rise Around the world, women aren’t only enjoying growing levels of wealth, they’re also increasingly in control of it. Greater equality of wealth is to be welcomed, but what does it mean for private wealth practitioners who find themselves having to deal with a broader client base with different expectations and demands? Camille Hordeaux, Director of Private Wealth at Intertrust in Guernsey, explores the rebalance and asks what women are doing with their wealth
WOMEN’S WEALTH IS on the rise
throughout the world. As more and more women join the ranks of high-net-worth individuals, wealth advisers need to adapt to adequately serve this growing market. Just as the number of female HNWIs is increasing, so are the sources of their wealth. High-profile divorces tend to grab the headlines – MacKenzie Scott instantly became the world’s fourth-richest woman when she divorced Amazon founder Jeff Bezos last year – but entrepreneurship is also a major contributor to the global financial rebalance. Factors such as divorce and inheritance will continue to play major roles in wealth transfers, but a clear trend has emerged of Millennial women making money faster than their forebears and more often doing it through their own business interests. RBC Wealth Management reports that half of Millennial women had gained their wealth through business (compared with 37% of Baby Boomer women), and 21% of women with $5m or more in investable assets are owners/founders of a business, self-employed or entrepreneurs.
WOMEN TAKING CONTROL A growing entrepreneurship is resulting in more women with greater financial independence. Some 72% of Millennial
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women are the primary decision-makers, according to RBC, and many women cite breaking free from social constraints as a motivating factor in starting a business1. More women coming through the doors of fiduciary firms are resulting in more diverse conversations about wealth and sparking some truly fascinating observations about the different outcomes and ambitions that women have compared with men.
Women don’t want special treatment from their advisers – they want to be treated equally and with respect
For example, RBC notes that desire to tackle societal issues with wealth is slightly more prevalent among women (66% compared with 56% of men). Similarly, 72% of women believe their business should have a positive charitable impact (compared with 65% of men). To return to Ms Scott, she announced in recent months that she has so far donated $1.7bn to a variety of institutions and causes. What’s equally relevant is that Millennial men and women all expect to have a greater, broader impact with their wealth than previous generations. Generational differences are a separate but related consideration for practitioners but are certainly illuminating on the issues that will face the private wealth community now and in the future.
ADJUST NOW TO MEET NEW NEEDS Practitioners need to adjust their approach now in order to meet the rebalanced client base of the future. Women don’t want special treatment from their advisers – they want to be treated equally and with respect. After all, the definition of a successful business owner is the same no matter which gender you are. Firms should consider the match-up of
client and adviser. It’s important that clients feel culturally and gender comfortable when choosing advisers, so discuss this with them and ascertain the optimum client-team composition for them. Likewise, when dealing with a wealthy family, don’t assume who the main wealth owner is when you meet a couple; and involve female-family members in discussions and considerations from the outset. Building a relationship with the whole family will leave you in a better position should the dynamic change, but will also set you up to better understand what different genders and age groups expect from their private wealth service provider. According to consulting firm Iris, 80% of women leave their financial advisers after losing a spouse – so don’t miss the opportunity to form solid relationships from the start and protect yourself in the event of a change in circumstances2. Much of the cultural adjustment will be achieved through the changes that are
occurring increasingly organically within fiduciary organisations and teams. Women are rising up the corporate ladder quicker than before and increasingly occupying senior roles. Research from Oliver Wyman shows that female representation on boards across the financial services industry worldwide is 23%, up from 17% in 2013 and 11% in 20033. Here at Intertrust we’re proud of our diverse global leadership team. Having multiple perspectives in our senior team means we’re better aligned to our varied client base and take a much broader view of the service we provide and our aims and vision. Increasing diversity overall at the highest level is becoming more common and there’s plenty to be done to achieve a greater gender balance in financial services. The private wealth client base is changing, and the organisations that adapt to this change will be the ones to survive in a rebalanced world. n
Millennial men and women all expect to have a greater, broader impact with their wealth than previous generations
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For more information, contact: Camille Hordeaux Director - Private Wealth, Intertrust Guernsey T: +44 1481 211 273 E: email@example.com For disclaimer and legal messages, please visit the Intertrust Group website: www.intertrustgroup.com/legalnotice
1 Goffee & Scase, Women in Charge: The Experiences of Female Entrepreneurs (Routledge: 2015) 2 www.iris.xyz/advisor-tools/why-80-of-women-leave-their-advisors-when-they-lose-their-husband/ 3 www.oliverwyman.com/content/dam/oliver-wyman/v2/publications/2019/November/Women-In-Financial-Services-2020.pdf
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Supporting the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economic fightback Covid-19 has dealt a devastating blow to the UK economy. But the Channel Islands are primed to help it bounce back Words: David Craik
BIGGER PICTURE Pleasant says Guernsey can also help meet the UK government’s aim that the recovery is not just driven by the City and London but by the whole of the UK. “All our member organisations are spending increasingly more time in Manchester, Liverpool and Edinburgh,” he explains. “We talk with business and investment professionals. It helps guide our clients to the correct investment opportunity.” Moynihan also highlights the importance of international relationships. “With our global network, we can continue to be the conduit for international funds,” he says. “For example, we have an office in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which sees Jersey as an ‘offshore Britain’. We have good relationships with the British embassies there and can facilitate GCC investments into the UK. A member firm of ours in Dubai may not see an opportunity for Jersey but will make an introduction to a UK firm.” Jersey can also identify the fund structures of interest to managers putting investment plans together.
BACK IN 2016, Capital Economics crunched the numbers and discovered that Jersey’s finance industry acts as a conduit for around £500bn of foreign investment into the UK. The Jersey’s Value to Britain report also found that Jersey supports an estimated 250,000 British jobs and adds £14bn to the UK economy overall. And Guernsey is not to be outdone in its contribution. According to a 2015 KPMG report, its funds facilitated £25bn of inward investment into the UK from global investors. Those funds will become even more vital now, as the UK tries to steer a path out of the recession caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The UK’s gross domestic product plunged by a record 20.4% in the three months to June, as the national lockdown shattered business confidence and kept shoppers away from deserted high streets. But Jersey and Guernsey remain poised to help the recovery. “Our relationship with the City and the UK is one of partnership,” says Joe Moynihan, Chief Executive of Jersey Finance. “The UK remains a secure and stable jurisdiction and we will continue to act as a major conduit to ensure capital is invested there.” Guernsey Finance is also supportive. “We attract overseas families, institutional funds and private equity – all looking for solid and diverse investment opportunities. The UK offers that,” says its Chief Executive, Rupert Pleasant. He adds that funds held in Guernsey are sensing
opportunities in commercial real estate, residential property, construction and infrastructure in the UK. In June, the UK government pledged a £5bn New Deal package of capital investment into infrastructure projects, from schools to hospitals. It also wants to “build back better and greener”. That means another crucial area in the recovery, and something on which the Channel Islands can share its expertise, will be sustainable and impact investment (see panel overleaf).
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Greening up The UK remains a secure and stable jurisdiction and we will continue to act as a major conduit
“There are a lot of UK companies needing capitalisation. As such, there are opportunities for takeovers or direct investment,” Moynihan explains. “There are international investors – particularly dollar-based, given the exchange rate – who see the attractiveness of asset investment opportunities in the UK, such as infrastructure and property. “There are a lot of investment funds with dry powder. We also have a significant amount of pension business, with 60 million people’s funds using Jersey as a conduit.” Frances Watson, Partner at law firm Mourant in Guernsey, agrees. “Anyone involved in finance and funds will be looking to see how they can assist and turn this into an opportunity,” she says. Her Jersey colleague, Partner Felicia de Laat, sees these as digital, technology, healthcare and infrastructure.
TECH EXPERTISE The islands can also share their expertise in the tech sector, given that Jersey has the fastest broadband speeds in Europe and the government-backed Digital Jersey encourages innovative tech to the islands to trial new applications. For its part, Guernsey Finance says it can help the UK develop regtech, and particularly fintech services. “We invest in fintech but also adopt it to boost productivity,” says Pleasant. “We can share these skills with the UK financial services industry.” As the number one domicile for secondary UK listings, Guernsey Finance is also helping UK companies raise money quickly to counteract short-term cash flow issues using cashboxes. UK plc shares are issued in exchange for redeemable shares in a special purpose subsidiary, incorporated in Guernsey. The International Stock Exchange (TISE), which is headquartered in Guernsey, is also ramping up its marketing to tempt UK SMEs to list to re-energise their business. “Traditionally, SMEs would look at LSE or AIM markets. But they usually need to
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be quite far in their life cycle,” says Mark Oliphant, Head of Communications at TISE. “We are offering those at an earlier stage the chance to list on TISE and scale up. As they come out of lockdown, we want to give them the stability offered by the Channel Islands. It is all about working as part of the British family.” TISE has had a strong lockdown, with 390 securities admitted to its official list during the first half of the year, up 60% year-on-year. Some – particularly in hospitality, retail and real estate investment trusts – have been trying to refinance in the crisis because of tight cashflows.
BREXIT IMPACT Another potential crisis and key element in the UK’s economic recovery will, of course, be Brexit. “A no-deal Brexit Damocles may be coming,” says Pleasant. “London, however, will remain the largest financial services market in Europe, and there is a key role we can play in helping it gain access to the continent and vice-versa.” At present, UK firms have been able to continue to access the EU under financial services passports such as the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive. That may soon disappear, but both Jersey and Guernsey can continue to help fund managers in the alternative investment space maintain contact through National Private Placement Regimes. “We can become a fundamental catalyst in this,” says Pleasant. Moynihan adds: “We can work with appropriate UK fund managers using Jersey structures and provide them with certainty around access to European investors.” Certainty is exactly what the UK economy needs. The post-lockdown period offers the islands the chance to demonstrate the value that they add to the UK in tech, ESG, capital flows, networking and fundraising. That may not have been fully appreciated in the past, but it certainly will be in the new normal. n
The UK has put sustainability and the environment high up on its recovery agenda, including plans to ‘green up’ UK homes and improve the energy efficiency of public sector buildings. The expertise the islands have built up in environmental, social and governance (ESG) could be complementary. TISE, for example, has TISE Green – a separate market segment for green investments, including bonds, funds and trading companies, that enhance or protect the environment. It is also looking to expand the segment to incorporate social investing and bonds. “We provide verification of a listed company’s green credentials, giving a level of insurance to investors. It facilitates the flow of capital into green or more sustainable investments,” says TISE’s Mark Oliphant. “We can partner with the City to help scale up our ESG impact in the UK.” Guernsey Finance CEO Rupert Pleasant also predicts substantial inflows of capital into the UK around ESG. “We are a jurisdiction of substance, such as aiming to introduce a green kitemark for insurance-linked securities structures,” he says. “There is a lot of collaboration between us and the UK Green Finance Initiative. As an early adopter, we have a great deal of strategy expertise.” Indeed, Guernsey is home to the world’s first regulated green fund regime, the Guernsey Green Fund. Jersey Finance CEO Joe Moynihan says the island is particularly strong on governance. “Our investment managers have mandates to check the ESG ratings of companies before they make investments,” he states. Jersey Finance recently teamed up with Andrew Mitchell, Founder of consultancy Equilibrium Futures, to help position itself as a centre of excellence for sustainable finance. The Jersey Financial Services Commission has also recently launched a consultation on enhancing disclosure and governance requirements for sustainable investments. “We are in a good position to be an exemplar,” says Moynihan.
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The real estate picture
Hawksford Corporate Services Director Sian Huish considers the impact Covid-19 has had on UK real estate, and the opportunities as lockdown eases
SINCE THE 2008 financial crisis, the UK property market has overcome many hurdles, including three elections â&#x20AC;&#x201C; each bringing its own business and investment changes and opportunities â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the ongoing saga of Brexit, and the big one for 2020, Covid-19. The impact of Covid-19 has been farreaching for the property market. Retail and hospitality have been hard hit, offices around the country have closed as staff have worked from home and some businesses have come to an abrupt halt. Good corporate governance is critical for such times of turbulence; ensuring better
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long-term strategic planning, at the same time as accurate prioritising of more urgent actions and decisions. It can help lessen the blow in the short term while building an increasingly robust and resilient model for the future.
SECTORS HIT HARD BY COVID-19
Cambridge University stated in May that all learning for the coming academic year will be online. This could have farreaching consequences for landlords and property investors, with possible empty units leading to drops in income and the need to review the usage of properties by this targeted tenant market.
Student accommodation Student accommodation is a huge sector in the UK, and an estimated 2.38 million students are delaying returning to or beginning university until the 2021/22 academic year.
Retail Despite many retailers having an online presence, the severe drop in physical footfall has proved too much for many businesses to cope with.
This has especially been true for those that rely on shifting a high quantity of low-cost products, with their margin coming from high-street customers. Even though the high street has started to open again, footfall has not returned to pre-Covid levels. Following the issues on the high street, several major brands have gone into administration, including Laura Ashley, Debenhams and Cath Kidston. Many retail businesses were struggling pre-Covid, and for some the pandemic has been the final straw. The predicted ‘death of the high street’ has an obvious impact on the commercial property market, but we don’t know what this means for the long term. In the short term, landlords and investors are writing off rental quarters, receiving delayed or deferred payments – all parties involved are feeling the pinch. Mortgage issues Following the government announcement that tenants could not be evicted during the UK lockdown, many residential tenants stopped paying rent due to economic uncertainty. However, landlords have still had liabilities to meet. Although many lenders were willing to review debt obligations, the results varied on an individual basis. For many, especially larger institutional investors with deep pockets, debt continued to be serviced despite falling income.
OPPORTUNITIES Coming out of lockdown Consumers have been housebound for months. In recent weeks, many have taken staycation trips and gone to the shops following months of homeworking. Some businesses have had to look at their operating model and adapt to the
Proptech has the possibility to propel real estate investment forward in a different way
situation, creating new service lines to survive. It will be interesting to see if this diversification continues as businesses open up following the lifting of further restrictions. There are areas of growth expected in the tech space relating to real estate. While not new, proptech is expected to see revived interest as a result of changes in habits and environments brought about by lockdown. Specifically, there is increasing appetite for tech and tools that make spaces (residential and commercial) safer and easier to manage at a distance. In its simplest form, virtual viewing platforms have become the preferred way to experience a property without having to leave your own home or office. As we invest more in our spaces of choice, integrating heightened sustainable agendas into our surroundings by way of example, proptech has the possibility to propel real estate investment forward in a different way. The repurposing of property use was already a trend prior to Covid-19. However, lockdown has accelerated this thought process for investors as more vacant real estate units have become available. Savvy and cash-rich investors are turning to mixed and multi-use property models as a means of spreading their financial risk and catering to changes in life-work lifestyles. Government intervention As the UK tentatively transitions out of lockdown, the UK government has been quick to prop up the property market. Recent changes to the smaller value residential market have been welcomed with open arms. First-time buyers in the UK looking to purchase their first home will save £10,000 in stamp duty on a £500,000 property until 31 March 2021, which it is hoped will drive forward transaction levels. This is positive news for residential developers too, who are likely to see an increase in demand for existing units, generating liquidity and freeing up reserves for future developments. In 2019, there was a noticeable fall in transactions in the UK, with many cashrich investors waiting with bated breath for news on the outcome of Brexit. Many feared that, with the additional uncertainly of Covid-19, the level of trade would remain stagnant. However, a recent Savills research report has shown that between May and June there was a 42% upward change in UK commercial investment activity. And in June, Boris Johnson vowed to “build, build, build”, promising a £5bn package to construct homes and critical infrastructure. n
Looking ahead – five thoughts 1. The UK property market continues to weather crises well and proves itself a generally sound long-term investment. 2. Smart investors, both within and outside of real estate, appreciate that diversification is one of the best protective measures you can have against unsystematic risks. 3. Smart investors are now not only looking for diversification across sectors, but diversification within sectors. 4. Uncertainty reigns. We hope there will not be a return to lockdown, and Boris Johnson is confident the UK will return to ‘normal’ by Christmas, but Covid has shown us that we do not know what’s around the corner. Businesses and investors will need to adapt to be resilient. 5. Corporate governance will remain a cornerstone of the real estate investment market, and now more than ever, investors will want to seek comfort that their assets and funds are being housed in a reputable jurisdiction with a respected provider.
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For more information, contact: Sian Huish Client Director, Corporate Services T: 01534 740156 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.hawksford.com
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The future is now – and it’s
The Channel Islands’ commitment to green and sustainable investing has boosted their relationship with the City of London. Now they are working on verification to counter greenwash and shore up the sector for the long haul Words: Steve Falla A NEW FOCUS on green and sustainable finance over the past few years has struck a chord with investors around the world – and has cemented and enhanced the strong relationship between the Channel Islands and the City of London. In Guernsey, seven green funds have been established, channelling investment into this new sector, since the launch of the world’s first green regulated fund structure. Jersey has also supported several billion pounds of sustainable finance business, while The International Stock Exchange has established a TISE Green segment. While there is speculation that London could become a greater competitor for Channel Islands financial services business on the tail of Brexit, there is no doubt that the green and sustainable products being developed on the islands are making a valuable contribution to foreign direct investment into the City. Jersey puts the total figure at £0.5trn per annum, while the equivalent Guernsey contribution equates to around £400bn. In fact, the consensus view is that, by working together to face cross-border challenges, the City and the islands could further increase the flow of funds – a hypothesis voiced at the 2019 Guernsey Funds Forum
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in London by Sir Roger Gifford, Chair of the London Green Finance Initiative. Mark Oliphant, Head of Communications at TISE, says: “The finance industries of the islands are based on facilitating the flow of capital around the world. There’s this interconnectivity with London that exists anyway and this is just another example.” London has lost some ground to Luxembourg, particularly in the area of green bonds, and is working with Guernsey on the Chinese Belt and Road initiative – an ambitious programme to connect Asia with Africa and Europe via land and maritime networks – with a view to raising more capital. Andy Sloan, Deputy Chief Executive, Strategy, at Guernsey Finance, heralds green finance as the keystone to the future development of financial services in Guernsey. He points out that the sustainable finance agenda stretches back to when the UN was borne out of the Second World War with the objective of creating a better world. “In 2020, it’s still an initiative, but the global population has woken up and smelt the coffee,” he says. “Guernsey has been in the vanguard of this. We were fortunate that we had the foresight to see which way the wind was blowing. “It’s been a journey in terms of going out there and banging the drum and, for a lot of people, there’s been a Damascene conversion to it.”
As with many emerging sectors, the initial growth of green and sustainable finance has outpaced the development of verification and reporting standards. However, these are seen as crucial to the maturing of a safe and secure green and environmental, social and governance (ESG) sector – not least if it is to distance itself from those seeking to benefit by associating with it via what is known as greenwashing. This has not escaped the regulators on both islands. The Guernsey Financial Services Commission, as part of a funds discussion paper, has proposed introducing ‘green verification’, while the Jersey Financial Services
This is an evolving global sector – the key is to be smarter in capturing quality data to support and evidence progress
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Commission has launched a consultation paper around disclosure for sustainable investments. Karolina Pilcher, Senior Strategic Projects Manager at Jersey Finance, says: “This is an evolving global sector and, as an industry, the key is to be smarter in capturing quality data to support and evidence progress.” It’s a common challenge when innovating a financial services product, observes Kees Jager, Head of Funds at Intertrust Guernsey. “The problem that’s always been there is how to report on this,” he says. “In the PE world, there’s no real standardised ESG data. Standardised and consistent reporting will come about.”
IS TECH THE SOLUTION?
WINNING MORE GREEN BUSINESS Thoughts are also turning to how to develop the sector further, building on the existing track record and experience, to take it beyond a niche concept. Jager says: “We need a springboard off the existing green funds in Guernsey. It’s definitely a trend. From the ESG side, the ‘S’ part of that is now massively on people’s agendas.” Annette Alexander, Partner at Carey Olsen, is confident that the word is getting out. She cites a recent inquiry from the Middle East looking to domicile a green fund in Guernsey. “It’s the usual story. It’s about gaining recognition for the products we have innovated, gaining track record and being reputable,” she says.
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There’s a real opportunity for greater sophistication in terms of weighting and balance across E, S and G, especially in light of covid
“Like every single sector, it’s a very crowded space and you have to be able to stand out from the crowd and be legitimate – and not involved in greenwash.” Andy Sloan advocates a review of skills shortages and recognises the need to build capacity by upskilling the workforce. Meanwhile, Pilcher recognises the potential. “Despite all the good work that’s been done in bringing sustainable finance into the mainstream over the past decade, there is still plenty of scope for further progress. “For instance, there’s a real opportunity for greater sophistication in terms of weighting and balance across the E, S and G strands – something that will likely become more important in light of Covid. And there is also much to be done in terms of benchmarking, data quality, better measurement and evaluation. These are areas where Jersey can play a really positive and progressive role,” she says. Tim Clipstone, Partner at Ogier, agrees. “Guernsey was one of the first members of the UN’s FC4S
It’s not only important to enhance existing reporting systems, but also to get new technology in place ahead of the curve, adds Jager. The creation of the TISE Green market segment goes some way towards substantiating green credentials, complementing the Guernsey Green Fund kitemark designation – a benchmark intended to assure investors and third parties of the genuinely green and sustainable nature of the investments in a fund. Oliphant says there are currently four green bonds within the TISE segment. There are other investments on the exchange that would qualify for the green label, but some companies are reticent about the added cost and administration involved in achieving verification, he adds. However, 75% of the AUM in Guernsey is managed or administered by firms conforming to the UN PRI (Principles for Responsible Investment). A fine balance is needed between badging a product as truly green against a recognised standard and remaining competitive with other jurisdictions that may have a lighter touch. The focus is on arriving at a universally acceptable benchmark that will support the authenticity of the green sector.
WE A RE
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Green funds (Financial Centres for Sustainability) and hosted a Sustainable Finance Week in June 2020 on the theme ‘Financing sustainability in the post-Covid-19 era and the role of private capital’,” he explains. “The week was held, appropriately, entirely online – using webinars and live links to speakers around the world looking at the role of private capital in financing sustainability in a post-Covid era. “The sessions echoed the calls of many that the opportunity to harness the revelation of virtual meetings, reduced business travel and working from home should not be squandered. “Instead, many saw it as a springboard to reducing fossil fuel emissions and a potential societal shift to a lower carbon lifestyle for the developed world, recognising that such a move requires significant capital investment.”
WALKING THE GREEN WALK The islands’ own reputation in this space will be underpinned by demonstrating that they can walk the green walk – and there is already strong evidence of this. Sloan believes engagement, advocacy and international collaboration have all enabled Guernsey to make sure it is walking the walk. Guernsey Electricity has been generating all power from renewable sources, for example, while a commitment to net-zero greenhouse gases means that by 2050, like the UK and EU, it will be carbon neutral. Jersey has committed to carbon neutrality by 2030. A green and sustainable approach to finance is clearly no fad. As Alexander says: “Green will be with us for a long time. Climate change is self-evident for all of us and we are going to have to get used to doing things differently in the next 20 to 30 years. “There will also be a need for essential impact
investing, because there will be a lot of deprivation. We should funnel as much money as we can into things that will be sustainable for the long term.” As with most business, the impact of Covid-19 needs to be recognised and, for the green and sustainable sector, it is positive. “In recent weeks, we’ve heard a lot of talk, too, about how Covid-19 could be an accelerator in driving forward the sustainable finance agenda, and there’s truth in that,” says Pilcher. “Institutions, investors and governments are all looking at this as an opportunity for positive change, underpinned by greater transparency, an appreciation of what ‘good citizenship’ means and a desire to rebuild economies and communities better.” Clipstone concurs. “Even before the global lockdowns, we had begun to see evidence that sustainable investments were producing similar returns to more traditional ‘sin stocks’ and evidence was growing that the former were more resilient to environmental and societal shocks.” As to the future, Sloan is bullish. “The future is now. The only form of finance going forward is the sustainable variety. Post-Covid, the penny has dropped that things have got to change and the finance industry is well aware of it.” n
The future is now. The only form of finance going forward is the sustainable variety. Post-Covid, the penny has dropped
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Investors: the tale of our clients’ clients Matt Chick, Associate Director of Private Equity at the Aztec Group, explains the key role administrators play in helping their clients retain the trust of investors THE ROLE OF THE FUND ADMINISTRATOR Across the private equity investment landscape, limited partner (LP) investors are the lifeblood of our clients’ businesses. These investors may be much larger and invest in far greater quantities than the person on the street, but the customer service principles are equally as important. As fund administrators, we recognise that we have a dual responsibility: we must ensure that we fulfil our operational and regulatory obligations to our clients, but that’s not enough. We must do so in a way that not only protects the reputation of our clients with their investors, but also actively enhances it.
STRIKING THE RIGHT TONE FROM THE START It’s important to make sure any new client relationship gets off on the right foot. An administrator’s primary role is to safeguard the fund and its investors, so the first job is to ensure any new investor meets all necessary due diligence requirements. Appropriate controls and measures will help to protect all parties from any fraud risk, but this is just the starting point. A good administrator will ensure that these regulatory requirements are carried out in the most user-friendly way possible, with a dedicated support team on hand to assist investors and deal with any issues that arise.
administrator to leave a good lasting impression, and to feel like a natural extension of the investor’s relationship with the fund manager. Of course, there’s only so much that any administrator can do on its own, which is why it also remains the responsibility of the investment manager to maintain good communication during difficult times. Taking recent months as an example of how to respond during a crisis period, we’ve seen many of our clients conduct a number of initiatives aimed at keeping their investors in the loop: • Publishing and distributing regular and ad hoc investor updates on portfolios, as well as comprehensive Q&A materials to explain any potential impact on investors • Hosting online presentations and video webinars • Weekly calls with key investors that give them the opportunity to ask questions directly. These initiatives serve several different purposes. Of course, it’s essential to offer full disclosure and transparency during difficult times. But it’s also about maintaining a positive ongoing relationship with the LPs. This is about preserving the integrity and trust of the investment manager’s business as much as the investment itself.
MANAGING THE ONGOING RELATIONSHIP
USING TECHNOLOGY TO STREAMLINE INVESTOR COMMUNICATIONS
Good administration support doesn’t end at the onboarding stage. In fact, now more than ever, it’s essential to have a responsive, experienced and understanding client-facing team that can help investors with their queries or concerns. The administrator will already have significant day-today interactions with investors. However, even in these ‘business as usual’ circumstances, it’s imperative for the
A large portion of the private equity industry still relies on email to send investment reports, as well as potentially sensitive or confidential documents. But this is changing, and more managers are recognising the benefits of moving their investor-facing materials online. This can be achieved by adopting secure communications portals, supplied and managed by the administrator. The most obvious point
about a secure online portal is that it minimises the potential for valuable financial data to get into the wrong hands, but it also delivers several positive benefits to investors. For example, a portal can help satisfy the ever-increasing demand for information, by acting as a comprehensive data warehouse. It’s possible to securely upload huge reams of information, such as historical reports and accounts, and to make that information readily available to investors.
BEST PRACTICE BLENDS TECHNOLOGY WITH THE HUMAN TOUCH Letting down your client is troubling enough, but disappointing their investors is another thing altogether. From the outset, administrators must always be at the top of their game to ensure that both their clients and their clients’ investors receive timely, accurate and transparent communications, securely and efficiently. This begins with building experienced, dedicated administration teams that apply a customer-focused mindset by design. But to complete the picture, administrators must provide a comprehensive offering that is tailored to each client, backed by industry-leading technology. n
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For more information, please contact: Matt Chick Associate Director, Private Equity E: email@example.com T: +44 (0) 1481 749715
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Is the future up in the air? Although coronavirus grounded flights the world over, corporate travel was already under the spotlight as businesses considered their ESG responsibilities. So how might professional relationships be conducted post-Covid? And are those already familiar with remote ways of working at an advantage?
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Words: Sophie McCarthy
LIKE MOST ASPECTS of our lives,
to five years. Under usual circumstances, we’d have gone through rounds examining various providers and so on, but in this instance our hand was forced.” Falla experienced something similar. “While we were already set up to work remotely from our peers and clients in some capacity, the pandemic triggered a mass adoption of video conference systems such as Zoom, Teams, Lifesize, Skype, as well as electronic signing and collaboration platforms such as Office365.
What will prove to be beneficial even post-Covid-19 is the dramatic rise in visual communications
corporate travel all but ground to a halt when the coronavirus pandemic took hold earlier this year. According to the Global Business Travel Association, by May 99% of business trips by European companies had been cancelled or suspended. The sector is expected to take an $820bn (£655bn) revenue hit this year – $190bn of that in Europe alone. And, as we’ve heard time and again, there’s just no telling if the travel industry will rebound. Part of the issue is uncertainty. The quarantine system is, and will most likely remain, in a state of flux. At the time of writing, New Zealand, which in June had gone 102 days without a single infection, had been placed on a twoweek lockdown. If spikes like this continue, strict cross-border restrictions could be the norm for months, if not years. But this is not just a coronavirus issue.
Experts and commentators have been predicting the death of the ‘single meeting’ business trip for some time, as pressure has mounted on organisations to reduce their carbon footprint. So, what does the future hold for business travel, and how will relationships fare as a consequence? Matt Falla, Senior Corporate Secretarial Manager at Praxis Fund Services, believes those who were already set up for remote working will be at an advantage, from a technological and interpersonal perspective. “Prior to Covid-19, we as a business had heavily invested in systems that allowed staff the opportunity to work remotely,” he says. “So, when Covid-19 hit, the transition wasn’t too much of a shock.” Ian Rumens, Global Executive Director, Private Wealth, and Head of Private Wealth at Intertrust Jersey, echoes this. “Working remotely is not a new phenomenon for those from Jersey, because the majority of our advisers and clients are international. So, nothing has really changed in terms of connectivity with colleagues and clients. All we’ve had is that extra step of working away from the office. “That said, from a digital adoption point of view, we achieved in a matter of months what would have otherwise taken three
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We’ve spoken to more and more of our clients, and we’ve spoken to them more regularly
“These are all now jostling for position as we emerge from lockdown and into a new world in which people are reluctant to travel – but one where relationships remain more crucial than ever. “The systems we’re using must, of course, be robust and scalable to accommodate our business needs as they continue to grow and evolve. But the fact that PraxisIFM’s investment in this area had begun some time ago provided an advantage for us as a business to adapt to the Covid-19 scenario.” Another potential advantage of the lockdown period has been a renewed focus on managing and maintaining relationships, with businesses realising the need to go the extra mile with existing clients and to find new ways to engage potential ones. “Covid-19 came with its own challenges and benefits,” says Henry Baye, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Jersey. “Like all other companies around the world, it truly forced us to step up our efforts, in particular with regards to our client relationships.” Baye explains that since lockdown, the number of calls being made to clients has
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doubled every month. “We’ve spoken to more and more of our clients, and we’ve spoken to them more regularly than we have ever done in the past. “Previously, the focus was on travel – our clients are mostly offshore, so we would travel to see them. But that hasn’t been possible. “Also during Covid-19, our clients themselves have been more stationary – they haven’t been able to travel as much. So, when we’ve been calling them, they’ve been more available to speak. “And I think we all – our employees and clients alike – have enjoyed the more frequent communication. We need to embrace this approach and keep it up as we move forward.” Rumens, too, points to the positives of this unique period. “What’s been beneficial about the situation and will, I think, prove to be beneficial even postCovid-19, is the dramatic rise in visual communications,” he says. “Pre-Covid-19, we weren’t using audio and visual means to communicate with the client nearly as much, if at all – just
telephone calls. But the likes of Zoom have been great ways to introduce the client to other members of the team for the first time. When I go to Asia, I don’t take everyone with me to meet the client. So, I think that in itself has been important in terms of connecting and ensuring an even stronger bond.” Rupert Pleasant, Guernsey Finance’s Chief Executive, however, doesn’t believe virtual meetings will altogether supersede face-to-face interactions. “What this is ultimately going to lead to is quite a healthy and interesting mix of how we do business,” he says. “Many people are extremely happy to conduct meetings via, say, BlueJeans or Teams – but others will continue to relish face-to-face interactions, especially those in business development or client management roles. “Time will also play a factor,” he adds. “If someone were to fly to London – even if they had five or six meetings booked in – that would be a good day, if not two, out of their agenda. Using a virtual approach, that’s a morning. And it’s much more costeffective, too. “Going forward, we’ll see a hybrid of these two approaches, but I don’t think this will be detrimental to relationships in any way, shape or form.”
PLANNING AHEAD Brian Carey, Director of Private Wealth at Intertrust Jersey, remains similarly pragmatic about what the future holds. “I think employers and employees will have different ideas of how they want to do business,” Carey stresses. “But we can’t just let things return to how they were. “If you were seeing a client six times a year, you’ll be seeing them three times and you’ll be using other means to establish and enhance their trust. “I also think there will be a lot more requirements in terms of planning trips, ensuring that we get the most out of them. “The days of going to London for one day are over; you’ll be going for a week. Likewise, week-long trips to the Middle East are behind us too – it’ll be more like two or three weeks. “But at the end of the day, you do need to be sitting there until the small hours in the morning, having coffee with your clients, because that’s when you establish a real relationship. Because when there are fewer people around, they tell you what really is bothering them, what is literally keeping them up at night.” Only time will tell what the future of relationship management looks like in a post-Covid-19 era. What is certain, however, is that virtual has its virtues – even if purely digital experiences look exceedingly unlikely to altogether replace face-to-face ones. n
PraxisIFM’s City offering cemented as London teams move to new central spot PRAXISIFM has made a major investment in its UK private client, corporate and funds business with a move into a new central London office. The Group has had a presence in London since 2015, when it acquired the fund administration business of Cavendish Administration Limited. The jurisdiction’s service offering was then expanded in late 2017 to incorporate private client and corporate services. The two businesses had been working from offices in the City and West End respectively. Three years on the two offices are now operating under one roof in the Senator building near St Paul’s Cathedral in the City. Staff had been working at the new office in early September however with new COVID-19 restrictions in place they have now returned to remote working. Described as ‘the place to be’, PraxisIFM will share the St Paul’s area with London’s business elite including Bloomberg, the Financial Times, Withers and the MAN Group. This thriving central London scene is not only host to a number of eateries and hang-outs but, sitting just off the ‘Cycle Superhighway’ and only a 10-minute walk from 10 underground stations, the office is also very well connected with transport links.
Robert Fearis, Chief Executive Officer, PraxisIFM Group said, ‘Our London operations are a primary focus for us given what they offer us as a Group, so we very excited about the move. By bringing the two offices together into one central location we hope to improve the staff well-being and convenience to our employees and clients in the long-term. ‘The driving force behind the move is to accommodate the expansion of the two businesses. We have gone from a 32-person team split over two sites at full capacity to a 44-person combined office with room to further expand our administration and accounting teams
considerably. It was important to us that this office benefited the entire Group, providing an excellent base where corporate meetings and events can be hosted, as and when we’re able to do so.’ The new offices are situated on the first floor of the Senator building and boast a large open plan layout. The departments will benefit from private meeting rooms, phone booth style workstations, relaxed breakout zones and several communal areas ideal for finding a quiet spot of taking a coffee break. The building also offers a stunning rooftop garden and pavilion with panoramic views of the River Thames to the Shard and beyond.
Expertise in action. Globally. PraxisIFM is a global, independent, owner-managed, listed company providing expert administration services.
• Corporate structuring • Private office • Trust creation and administration
Contact: +44 204 513 9230
Developing together Collaboration between the Channel Islands and the City and forward-looking regulators are helping the fintech sector to thrive in both jurisdictions Words: James Tall
THE FINTECH ECOSYSTEMS of Jersey and Guernsey have certainly begun to flourish in recent years, confirming the burgeoning sector’s place in the islands’ business landscape. Jersey is now home to the world’s first regulated bitcoin investment fund – Global Advisors Bitcoin Investment Fund – which was listed in December 2016. A year later, Jersey’s first initial coin offering (ICO) was launched by ARC Fiduciary, which created its own ‘ARC coins’ on the Ethereum blockchain. The objective was to enable coinholders to purchase a cryptocurrency designed to operate as a so-called ‘stablecoin’, which seeks to remove the volatility normally associated with crypto and to focus on price stability.
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Jersey was also one of the first jurisdictions to formally adopt a regulatory regime for virtual currencies. Under this regulation, start-ups involved in virtual currency exchange are exempt from paying fees to the regulator, the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC), until they reach a certain turnover threshold. This forward-thinking regulatory approach is being applied in other areas as well – and it has proved vital in cementing Jersey’s standing as a successful digital jurisdiction. “The regulator’s role is to direct and guide the areas of fintech that the jurisdiction wants to pursue,” says Paul Worsnop, Senior Associate at Appleby and joint lead for the firm’s fintech initiative in Jersey.
“Each jurisdiction has a different focus. Across Africa, for example, there is an emphasis on financial inclusion and mobile money, whereas Jersey is more focused on cost and time savings, efficiency for financial institutions, and Know Your Customer/regtech. “The Government of Jersey and the JFSC are promoting this agenda and we’re seeing specialist fund technology providers, regtech firms, and payment and trading platforms choosing Jersey as their base.”
PUNCHING ABOVE ITS WEIGHT The JFSC’s innovation hub is a strong example of a local regulator working collaboratively with industry and sector bodies, such as Jersey Finance and Digital Jersey, to attract these ambitious fintechs.
develop, test and launch new technology in a campus-like environment, without the high cost and complex legal, government and regulatory barriers often faced in other cities or markets, he says. The same is true of Guernsey, where the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) is working to attract the right fintech businesses. With its highly regulated business community and limited marketplace, Guernsey is another good testing ground for new products and services. Fintechs operating from the island can roll out their product and develop a better understanding of it, evolving quickly in an environment that provides regulatory certainty. “Guernsey’s regulator aims to offer
London is a great example to follow and learn from – every law firm now has its own tech incubator ▼
The island’s traditional strength in professional services is important. “We have lawyers, accountants, bankers, anti-money laundering (AML) experts, and so on,” says Worsnop. “We’re punching above our weight. There’s a lot of knowledge and skills among our 100,000 residents for fintechs to lean on. “In addition, we’re very accessible. Someone can fly in and meet decisionmakers from government, the regulator and bodies like Digital Jersey, all in one morning. This can take weeks, if not months, in larger jurisdictions.” According to Worsnop, the regulator can help remove one of the main blockers for start-ups: uncertainty. Its progressive regulatory approach means Jersey offers a sandbox location to
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Fintech confidence, certainty and guidance on the application of fintech in financial services,” says Andy Sloan, Deputy Chief Executive, Strategy, at Guernsey Finance. “It enables safe innovation by providing an environment where greater risks can be taken within a suitably chaperoned environment. “Early last year, the GFSC outlined an approach to provide greater regulatory assurance in the application of electronic client due diligence. Guernsey’s strategy is to support a market-based approach to the application of technology in antimoney laundering. “Certainty, clarity and confidence in the regulatory approach are key for the application of technology and its widespread adoption, and it has been important that the GFSC helps to create these conditions to support the adoption of technology-based AML solutions.”
COLLABORATING ACROSS BORDERS The JFSC and GFSC liaise closely with their regulatory peers around the world to learn from them in their quest to further develop fintech on the islands. Both are active members of the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN), launched last year to encourage fintech innovation and knowledge sharing, as well as cross-border trials of new technology. “GFIN means the JFSC and GFSC have an excellent network of contacts and relationships in fintech and far beyond,” explains Worsnop. “Before Covid-19 there were regular conferences in London and other business hubs, and now – like everyone – we have to adapt and further consolidate these relationships over the likes of Zoom.” Sloan adds: “Guernsey’s underlying mission is to enable the widespread adoption and application of technology in financial services with a safe and secure environment. “That’s a common goal and so it fits well with the island’s engagement in international and supranational bodies, including GFIN. Guernsey is committed to working collaboratively and internationally.” London is a particularly close ally. The UK is regularly ranked as one of the most ‘fintech friendly’ cities in the world. And a significant element of the UK’s appeal to fintechs is the collaborative approach to regulation of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) with businesses in the sector. Initiatives such as the FCA’s Project Innovate and its Regulatory Sandbox have helped fledgling businesses to introduce and test new financial projects and distribution methods, establishing the UK as a leader in fintech and as a global authority on progressive fintech regulation. Both the JFSC and GFSC maintain a
We’re punching above our weight. There’s a lot of knowledge among Jersey’s 100,000 residents for fintechs to lean on
strong working relationship with the FCA, which is a fellow member of GFIN. “Clearly London is at the vanguard of fintech,” says Sloan. “I was at an FCA presentation just a month after the launch of the FCA’s Regulatory Sandbox, and a contact confided in me that, at that time, the sandbox was basically a differently coloured telephone. “To show what grows from little acorns, that sandbox now leads the world in this area, and the FCA’s approach is being copied around the world.” London also provides a useful source of support in areas that require further development. “Given the size of our respective populations, it’s no surprise that London is currently more advanced on the technology side,” says Worsnop. “We’re addressing this gap through education programmes and the like on the island, but London is a great example to follow and learn from – look at the Old Street Roundabout, and the fact that every law firm now has its own tech incubator.” As the business world adjusts to the new normal and considers how financial technology can help solve problems and boost economic recovery, such collaboration will be invaluable. As will the forward-looking regulators of the Channel Islands. n
What is GFIN? The Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN) was formally launched in January 2019 by an international group of financial regulators and related organisations. It’s a network of more than 50 organisations committed to supporting financial innovation in the interests of consumers. It seeks to provide a more efficient way for innovative firms to interact with regulators, helping them navigate between countries as they look to scale new ideas. This includes the ability to apply to join a pilot for firms wishing to test innovative products, services or business models across more than one jurisdiction. The GFIN also aims to create a new framework for co-operation between financial services regulators on innovation-related topics, sharing different experiences and approaches.
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Advertising feature, in association with Locate Jersey
Synaps International With a wealth of experience of sitting on and advising successful boards, Professor Ian Reeves CBE and his daughter Natasha explain why they are trusting Jersey to provide the perfect platform for their international business advisory firm, Synaps International
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Advertising feature, in association with Locate Jersey
Can you give us an insight into Synaps? Ian Reeves (IR): I’ve got a civil engineering and entrepreneurial background and have sat on the boards of and chaired a number of listed and unlisted companies and investment funds across the infrastructure, property, technology and energy spaces. This experience led to launching Synaps, which is an international business advisory firm. We work across a wide range of industry sectors and jurisdictions, helping companies change, develop and succeed by offering high-level c-suite support, connections and access to capital where they need it. The needs of the firms we work with are varied given they range from start-up to listed companies – we have experience in property, tech, engineering and energy, for example. This means we have to offer a tailored approach to working with clients. Our aim is to be their external trusted adviser. Natasha Reeves (NR): When we launched in London in 2011, the idea was to pool our collective skills and experience. Our services can vary hugely, from advice on strategic, organisational and operational
Being able to operate here, in such a stable location, is just so important when you are dealing with globally dynamic clients
issues, to M&A, corporate governance and turnaround. And we offer these services to a global client base – Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the US and the Far East. I have extensive international operation experience scaling businesses, and our thinking was that by combining our expertise, we had a strong proposition. IR: Synaps also draws on the skills and experience of a range of senior advisers all over the world, who are all at the top of their game. This model means clients get access to an unusual breadth and depth of expertise to help them both form a strategy and implement it. What made you consider making the move to Jersey? IR: Personally, I’ve had a lot of experience of Jersey as Chairman of GCP Infrastructure Investments, a listed infrastructure fund registered here. That meant I visited Jersey many times over the years and built up a good network of contacts. It occurred to me that actually basing myself in Jersey more permanently might make a lot of sense and offer a lot of benefits too – being part of the business infrastructure here and closer to the people and businesses I already knew so well, whilst giving me access to the wonderful lifestyle Jersey offers. And so around three years ago, I made the decision to relocate here from the UK. We followed that up this year by launching Synaps in Jersey, which has become our headquarters and complements our London presence. NR: For me, the move is a lot more recent – having considered making the move to Jersey for some time, being here during Covid-19 convinced me that Jersey was the right location, both personally and professionally. I moved in July so that we could be working under the same roof. Being able to operate here, in such a stable location, is just so important when you are dealing with globally dynamic clients. Was the set-up process straightforward? IR: Knowing the island well already meant the move for me was straightforward, not just in terms of setting up the business, but the follow-up support – including that from Locate Jersey. What really struck me, though, was the sort of care we have received, not just in terms of setting up the business, but the
follow-up support – introducing us to people, helping us to make connections. That sort of ongoing support is not something you get everywhere, but it’s very valuable and has helped us integrate in the local business and wider community easily. Q: How is Jersey suited to you and your business? IR: I’ve always been really impressed by the professionalism and the sophistication of expertise in Jersey. For a small place, it’s quite incredible just how geared up Jersey is as a business centre. That sort of international focus, commitment to high standards and availability of skills matches up well with our own demands and work ethic NR: The digital connectivity Jersey can offer is vital. Having that high-level bandwidth shouldn’t be underestimated, it’s a game changer in terms of enabling businesses like ours to be here and operate. The travel connectivity is also good – having regular flights to the UK and other destinations is really important in enabling us to get to clients easily when we need to, whilst of course, the many good restaurants and hotels here are important in terms of client hosting. Overall, Jersey manages to marry together a sophisticated international business feel with a really attractive worklife balance. It’s a rare combination. How do you see your business evolving? IR: Our Jersey headquarters is our platform for growth, we see it as the base from which we can continue to build a strong, resilient global business, supporting international firms. We also feel we can offer something different that can add to the overall Jersey proposition and work with local firms. In fact, we’ve already been speaking to a number of local businesses with which we think we could work together. NR: Our business is quite unique, and we’d absolutely like to be able to add value to the local environment by helping to bring quality business to Jersey, raise Jersey’s profile among our international client base, and promote Jersey as a structuring opportunity. n
FIND OUT MORE
This advertising feature was produced in association with Locate Jersey. Visit www.locatejersey.com
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Despite growing efforts to address the number of women at the top of City firms, the UK’s business landscape is still far from a level playing field. So what’s being done to fix the problem – and could the need to kick-start the economy hasten the pace of change?
The gender agenda 50 City edition 2020
GIVEN THE YEAR is 2020 and the world
has come a long way on issues of equality, you could be forgiven for thinking – or indeed hoping – that genuine gender equality would be close to reality within the UK’s business and finance worlds. However, as recently as last year, the government-published Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship showed that huge leaps are still needed to reach parity. The report identified that 92% of partners in venture capital firms are male – opening the door to possible unconscious bias against investing in female entrepreneurs – and that up to £250bn could be added to the UK economy if women launched and grew businesses at the same rate as British men. In the review’s foreword, NatWest Group CEO Alison Rose stated: “The disparity that exists between female and male entrepreneurs is unacceptable and holding the UK back. The unrealised potential for the UK economy is enormous.” So what’s being done to rebalance the scales and ensure that women aren’t missing out on the opportunities available – and that the economy isn’t missing out on them either?
FEMALE FUNDING CHALLENGE The Rose Review identified three main action points to help female entrepreneurs thrive in the UK. The first was to increase the funding directed towards women. One pioneer making progress in this area is Suzanne Biegel, Founder of Catalyst at Large, a consultant in gender-lens investing, spanning entrepreneurship, philanthropy, investment and international development. “I didn’t initially intend to become any sort of forerunner,” explains Biegel. However, after selling her successful online learning and communications company to a multinational, Biegel found herself with capital to deploy. “I started investing in other women entrepreneurs because, through my work, I was seeing all these amazing businesses that no one else seemed to know about. There was this wealth of talent and opportunity, but these women were undercapitalised.” It became clear to Biegel that there was
There is a financial premium, a diversity advantage, to investing in companies that feature women throughout the organisation
there’s evidence of decreased volatility when you have a gender balance. So whether you’re an offensive or defensive investor, you should be looking at this,” says Biegel.
MAKING DIVERSITY MORE TRANSPARENT UBS’s role in the Gender-Smart Investing Summit is no accident: the bank has been exploring and promoting the need for greater gender equality within the industry. “Our mission is to help our clients drive the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, one of which is to achieve gender equality and empowerment for all women and girls,” explains Michaela Seimen Howat, Sustainable Debt Strategist in the Chief Investment Office, Wealth Management, at UBS. As such, the bank launched the Global Gender Equality ETF (exchange traded fund) in 2018, providing exposure to global companies perceived to be leading the field in terms of gender equality. It became the fastest fund of its kind to attract $100m, and today stands at around $310m. “If you want to create new investment opportunities you also need to benchmark them,” says Seimen Howat. “And if you want to encourage investment in corporations that have better diversification, you have to make it easy for people to select them and understand why that investment is worthwhile. “The data shows that corporations that are better diversified in the workforce also perform better financially, because they dip into a deeper pool of talents.” Backing this up is research by McKinsey & Co, which shows that companies with the greatest gender diversity on their executive teams are 21% more likely to outperform their peers on profitability and 27% more likely to create superior value. According to Seimen Howat, investors are also increasingly making decisions based on other factors. “The demographics are changing: the proportion of investors who are Millennials and/or female is increasing and, with that, other aspects of businesses are growing in importance, such as their environmental and ethical standards.”
EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY The second key area identified by the Rose Review was around providing greater family care support for female entrepreneurs – an issue made even more relevant by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Research from the University of Cambridge in April showed that
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Words: Imogen Rowland
a bigger issue at play. “I was quite public about my investing, because I realised that there were so few women investors to be seen,” she says. “Even at angel level and in the venture capital world, there were very few women in the picture. “At the same time, I joined a philanthropic group that focused on social issues that disproportionately impact women and girls – including financial inclusion, access to reproductive health services, and girls’ education. “And slowly it became clear that women were under-represented, and under-catered for, in multiple areas of business – even those where women were disproportionately the buyers.” Spurred on by her discoveries, and by an increasing number of funds and associates coming to her for guidance, Biegel now advises other companies on what she describes as today’s megatrend: gendersmart investing. “Put simply, it involves investing for returns in organisations with the structure and ambition to recognise the power of women in business and as customers.” One such project is the Gender-Smart Investing Summit, an invitation-only forum bringing together 300 of the world’s brightest minds in gender-lens investing, which is supported by UBS. “We have data that proves there is a financial premium, a diversity advantage, to investing in companies that feature women throughout the organisation – as founders, at the cap table, on the board. “But there’s also a risk mitigation factor:
Gender equality diverse staff, services and products, it’s already at a disadvantage – because it needs to mirror its client base, and more often than not that client base is diverse.”
LEADING THE CHARGE
Diversity should be encouraged both because it is ethically right, but also because it’s better business Gender equality: three action points
women’s lives and careers were being disproportionately affected by lockdown, with working women spending more time on childcare and home schooling than men. While the reasons for this are complex, one thing is clear: more is needed to help support women in this area. Following the Rose Review’s recommendation for the creation of banking products aimed at entrepreneurs with family care responsibilities, the hope is that the financial world will rally to create more appropriate products to meet these challenges. But there’s also work to be done within the financial world to enable women who wish to have a family to do so without it negatively impacting their career progression. Some, such as UBS, have worked hard to ensure such programmes are in place. But others are lagging behind. “There is no single thing that any politician or business can do to flip a switch and redress the gender inequality in this industry,” says Richard Sheldon, Group Partner at Appleby Global and a Guernseybased specialist in employment law. “But there is an increasing focus being given to the topic. The Channel Islands are heavily influenced by the City when it comes to human resources practices, and in July, Guernsey approved the introduction of equality legislation that will help propel things forward – going further than Jersey has to date. “At a structural level, that will force employers to look at pay and reward in a different light, and in time that will help to encourage a broader group of talent to the island.” The topic isn’t only important because of its social and ethical implications, according to Sheldon. “In no business do
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Set out below are three simple steps that every leader can take to broaden their understanding and help drive gender equality. 1. Get educated: Information is the greatest weapon. Explore the data produced by the Gender Equality Index; study the Rose Review in full to understand the challenges faced; and read Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez to understand how much of the world’s data is gender-biased. 2. Use your influence: If you’re a decision-maker, make this a factor you consider. If you’re asked to speak at an event, accept only on the basis that the panel is diverse. If you’re an investor, scrutinise the companies you’re considering investing in, and, if necessary, challenge them to do better in terms of diversity to win your capital. 3. Confront your own bias: We all have them, and navigating them can be harder than it sounds. Look around your own professional life and consider what more you can do to promote diversity. The chances are your efforts will be rewarded both socially and economically.
you want one singular type of voice in the room, because there is no challenge. Diversity should be encouraged both because it is right from an ethical point of view, but also because it’s better business. And that goes for diversity of ethnicity, ability and sexuality as well as gender.” Seimen Howat agrees. “Investors want to buy into companies that are well managed and sustainable, and diversity is at the heart of that. “If a business isn’t focused on having
The third major opportunity flagged by the Rose Review was to make entrepreneurship more accessible for women by increasing support locally through relatable and accessible mentors and networks. This is an issue that’s already being tackled in the City, including the initiatives led by Biegel and UBS, as well as on the Channel Islands. In Guernsey, Sheldon points to a number of initiatives to bring more diversity to boards via non-executive director forums that offer mentoring and experience to women and people from different backgrounds. “There is recognition of the need for outside challenge and different voices at the table,” says Sheldon. “The new generation of business leaders coming through have grown up with equality as their default mentality, at least in theory. So in time, and with these initiatives at work, greater equality should be achieved.” Sheldon also points out there are key players championing the topic of diversity locally, such as Dave Sauvarin, Chief Executive of Northern Trust’s business operations in the Channel Islands. “Dave is of that next generation whereby he goes out and actively pushes equality both from a business and a recruitment perspective,” says Sheldon. “He’s on all the local equality committee boards and is making sure that gender equality is an essential consideration for Channel Islands businesses.”
THE WAY FORWARD There’s no silver bullet when it comes to redressing the longstanding gender inequality in businesses, but growing levels of awareness suggest that there is hope for the future. “This isn’t something that will ever be fixed by a few hours’ unconscious bias training,” says Biegel. “It’s culture work. Investors need to realise their voice has sway, and to invest in companies that are doing better when it comes to diversity. “Companies need to hold themselves accountable and ask for help when seeking new team members, because there’s a whole world of amazing women in business out there.” Alongside its recommendations, the Rose Review threw down the gauntlet that, by 2030, the number of female entrepreneurs in the UK should increase by half. If not because it is right ethically, gender equality will surely be achieved eventually, even if the driver is the positive impact it will have on the economy’s bottom line. Smart investors are already voting for diversity – with their capital. n
THE WEALTH EDITION 2021 PUBLISHING IN FEBRUARY FOR EDITORIAL QUERIES, CONTACT firstname.lastname@example.org FOR ADVERTISING, EMAIL CARL.METHVEN@BLGLOBAL.CO.UK
Dynamic trustees come to the fore Words: Gill Wadsworth
FOR THE MANY thousands of individuals who rely on trusts to manage their wealth, 2020 has been an anxious time – not only from a sense of recognising their own mortality as the Covid-19 pandemic spread, but the escalating economic crisis caused by a world in lockdown. When humanity is plunged into such testing conditions, beneficiaries need trustees to respond with rapid reactions and cool heads. And respond they have – bringing new working practices and processes that are set to change the face of trusteeship forever. As Covid-19 created personal, social and
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economic chaos worldwide, trustees were forced to increase the pace and frequency of interactions with their beneficiaries, often covering uncharted territory. Grant Barbour, who leads Ocorian’s European private client services team, says: “People who are used to being in charge were presented with a situation they couldn’t control; it gave them an enormous sense of vulnerability. We had to jump in quickly and help them through this.” Beneficiaries needed a multitude of reassurances, which could no longer – thanks to lockdown – be delivered in the conventional way. Mirek Gruna, Managing Director in Dominion’s Jersey office, says the key to not just surviving but thriving during coronavirus lies in trustees’ resilience. “The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way people and businesses used to behave or trade. It seems that most
adjustments are for the better and have created more resilience among people as well as businesses,” he says. “The resilient way is not about being tough and surviving the crisis, it is about being nimble enough to overcome the challenges brought about by a situation outside of our control.”
GROWING DIVISIONS But not all trustees have been able to respond with the rapidity or the resilience needed to service beneficiaries under such difficult circumstances, and divisions are likely to grow between the successful ‘can dos’ and those left floundering. Arabella Murphy, Director and Founder of consultancy Propitious (London), which works with wealthy families, says: “Covid-19 will sort out the sheep from the goats. There are the good ones who are doing what is required, and then the really
The fall-out from the pandemic has demonstrated that, more than ever, being a successful trustee comes from cultivating strong relationships with beneficiaries – and being agile to respond in a fast-changing world
Beneficiaries and trustees did embrace the digital age, which brings with it enormous cost savings for a sector traditionally associated with hefty fees. Angela Calnan, Group Partner and Head of the Guernsey-based Fiduciary Team at international law firm Collas Crill, suggests this offers real potential to open trusteeship to a wider market. She says: “There will be significant cost savings for structures, with trustees travelling less for face-to-face client contact. If trust administration is significantly cheaper and more efficient, this may make trusts available to an even wider demographic.”
THE NEXT GENERATION
Trustees did embrace the digital age, which brings with it enormous cost savings for a sector traditionally associated with hefty fees
Technology may have been able to bring people closer together, but it could do little to prevent key stakeholders from succumbing to the virus. Covid-19 was a
good ones who are incredibly proactive and going much further.” Every industry, indeed every family, has become familiar with Zoom, Microsoft Teams and FaceTime during lockdown, but this commitment to digital communication was not necessarily easy to come by. Not only were there obvious educational obstacles to overcome when interacting online, but some beneficiaries and trustees were reluctant to use it. As Barbour puts it: “The tech existed before we went into lockdown, but some people were reticent to use it because it was seen as a cheap alternative to traditional face-to-face meetings. Our beneficiaries are important people, they pay fees and they want to see you.” But Covid-19 has proven a great leveller and no matter how wealthy or important a person is, lockdown has meant using digital communications, like it or not.
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Trustees sharp reminder that trusts are vulnerable when the ultimate decision-makers are no longer in communication. And given the suddenness with which the crisis descended, trusts with governance structures that allowed other individuals to make decisions benefited from being able to act swiftly. Josephine Howe, a Partner at Ogier who advises high-net-worth individuals on trust structures, believes some families were better prepared than others, and already had governance in place that kept lines of communication open with trustees. “When a key person is out of the communication chain due to illness or lockdown, it’s difficult for decisions to be made,” she says. “Families with good decision-making processes were able to take advantage of some of the investment opportunities presented by the pandemic. This contrasts with those without robust structures in place.” It has fallen to trustees to remedy structures that were unfit for purpose and implement new flexible processes that allow the next generation to take over. Critically, the focus has been on succession planning and, in some cases, forcing difficult conversations about control and mortality that, pre-pandemic, might have been all too easy to kick into the long grass. As Howe points out: “Covid-19 forced wealthy families, many of whom travel a lot, into having long periods of time together. This opened the door to conversations that often ‘wait for tomorrow’, and has allowed trustees to make sure trusts are fit for purpose.”
INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES There is nothing more important than a trust being fit for purpose when stock markets are enduring double-digit falls, as was the case during the worst point of the pandemic. Those with a nimble decision-making process, run by trustees in constant contact with fund mangers and investment advisers, could, at the very least, hope to be insulated from the worst of the fallout. At best, they would have been able to buy into a stock market that went on to recover dramatically in the second half of the year. But there has been much more than market volatility to contend with. Many PLCs were forced to stop paying dividends, and the future looks bleak for beneficiaries relying on shares for regular income. The Q2 2020 UK Dividend Monitor from Link Asset Services reports that Covid-19 caused unprecedented cuts in dividends in Q2, down £22bn on a headline basis, and there is no sign of improvement any time soon. This will be difficult reading, particularly for those who are themselves financial
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This is a perfect storm for trustees – they have beneficiaries who need more income, but resources may not be available from the trust
victims of Covid-19, having been furloughed or lost their business. “This is a perfect storm for trustees,” says Murphy. “They have beneficiaries who need more income, but resources may not be available from the trust. Trustees will have to have some interesting conversations about how to meet that need.” The investment challenges kept coming during Covid-19 – notably for beneficiaries attempting to complete transactions, especially in real estate. With so many key players potentially out of action – and buildings closed – there was plenty of danger that the deals could grind to a halt. Calnan says: “In London, valuers haven’t been able to value property, so banks can’t lend money, and that process slowed down to a virtual stop. Not being able to complete transactions, particularly in real estate, has been a challenge.” However, she notes that Guernsey is experiencing “a real bottleneck of property and real estate finance transactions” and in a booming local property market, suggesting trustees with the right connections will be best placed to take advantage of the surge. Much of the coronavirus-related investment challenges point to a lack of liquidity. Heavy reliance on the family business or one or two properties leaves few places to turn when something goes wrong. This was the case following the 2008 global financial crisis and it is manifesting itself again now. Murphy says trustees who learnt lessons
from the past were the ones who looked strongest when coronavirus struck. “Cash is king, for businesses and for everybody,” she says. “If you had cash or did not have too much borrowing against your assets, then you came out better than those geared right up to the hilt. Here we are, learning that lesson again after 2008.”
THRIVING IN THE NEW NORMAL Covid-19 served as a sharp reminder that successful trusteeship comes from cultivating strong relationships with beneficiaries. Trustees who could guide their beneficiaries through new ways of communicating, keeping them apprised of the latest market volatility, and who were able to work with several members of the trust, proved themselves invaluable. As Murphy says, the trustees who come out of this well have been adaptable, empathetic and able to turn on a sixpence. However, Covid-19 has not just been a matter of survival for trustees. In plenty of cases, it has provided an opportunity to evolve their business, advancing into new markets with faster, modern attitudes and processes. Dominion’s Gruna concludes: “A professional trustee, as any other professional services firm, operates in a highly competitive environment. Some businesses may not be able to continue because of the crisis, but businesses and trustees that have adopted the flexible approach and adjusted how they do things, will certainly thrive.” n
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As British passport holders and Hong Kong investors look to move their interests away from this increasingly volatile region, the Channel Islands could offer the stability and opportunity they are looking for
Words: David Burrows
IN JUNE, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that British passport holders based in Hong Kong would be entitled to settle in the UK. So will Jersey and Guernsey be well placed to protect the assets of those choosing to relocate and provide the cross-border investment structuring the islands are internationally renowned for? Marcus Leese, Partner at Ogier – which has a 100-strong office in Hong Kong and staff in Shanghai who have been providing on-the-ground assistance in the region – certainly thinks so. “We have already seen considerable interest in relation to family and business relocations to Guernsey and Jersey. This
has included two quite different groups – European ex-pats considering relocating back from Asia but seeking an alternative to the UK; and Hong Kong citizens considering issues of nationality and immigration options.” Guernsey Finance’s Chief Executive, Rupert Pleasant, agrees that interest from families and businesses to relocate has been high. “These people are looking for a jurisdiction that provides security, safety and stability – and Guernsey can offer all this,” he says. “We have our own legislative structure – we are AA rated by Standard & Poor’s, our regulation is robust and compliance is strong. We have also [at the
The Hong Kong
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ENTREPRENEURS AND PHILANTHROPISTS If the mass flight to the UK includes the wealthy and entrepreneurial, will Jersey and Guernsey appeal to those individuals seeking to protect their global assets or
extend their philanthropic objectives through offshore structures? Leese believes so. “Over the past year, our Hong Kong office private wealth team, supported by large teams in Jersey and Guernsey, has seen a very significant increase in the use of Jersey and Guernsey structures for a wide range of purposes, including succession planning, asset protection, tax neutrality and philanthropy,” he says. And while he feels that there’s no one driver of this development, Leese is convinced an important factor is the efforts organisations have made to raise the profile of Guernsey and Jersey within Hong Kong and mainland China. “For us, having local staff who are fluent Chinese speakers living and working in the region, able to advise clients on Jersey and Guernsey matters and with the support and resources of large teams in Jersey and Guernsey, is a winning combination.” Pleasant is also keen to highlight the Channel Islands’ green credentials. “Guernsey has for some time been at the
There are already reports of a boom in enquiries from Hong Kong nationals seeking to purchase higher value UK properties
forefront of sustainable finance and green investing,” he says. “For some jurisdictions, it’s a case of ‘greenwashing’, but with Guernsey that’s not the case.” He adds: “The Guernsey Green Fund –
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time of writing] been Covid-19-free since the beginning of April – how we’ve dealt with it as an island exemplifies the stability here.” The situation in Hong Kong has increased demand for Jersey and Guernsey structures such as trusts, foundations and companies as vehicles for asset holding, according to Leese, reflecting the Channel Islands’ robust rule of law, independent courts and protection of property rights. He also highlights the interest in the islands as a neutral location for the establishment of family offices, taking advantage of the availability of their world-class expertise and over 50 years of experience as major international finance centres. An attractive business environment and convenient location are also cited as plus points.
a significant number of Chinese companies listed on the AIM are incorporated in Guernsey or Jersey
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the world’s first regulated green investment fund product – is well known and respected, and we have green kitemarks for insurance products.”
PROPERTY INVESTMENT There are already reports of a boom in enquiries from Hong Kong nationals seeking to purchase higher value UK properties. But how important a role can Channel Islands professionals experienced in UK property transactions play in handling family portfolios and offering family office services? They have a vital role to play in UK property transactions, both residential and commercial, according to Leese. “Our advantage in this area arises from at least three factors,” he says. “First, we have experience in structuring investment in UK real estate for international investors over many years.
“Second, there’s the availability of a wide range of investment vehicles and structures that can be tailored to meet both the commercial needs of purchasers and the legal, regulatory and tax requirements of the UK. “And third, our knowledge of and relationships with the leading UK real estate advisers – and their relationships with us – will always enable transactions to be completed as efficiently and effectively as possible.” Being well equipped to handle property transactions is one thing, but given the impact of Covid-19 and Brexit, does the UK property market still represent a good option for Hong Kong investors? Is there a danger that central London’s huge office and residential projects may prove less attractive than they were pre-Covid-19 – perhaps even remaining vacant with supply outweighing demand?
demand for UK property The UK has long been an attractive option for investors from Hong Kong, but in recent months, there’s been a surge in demand for properties, according to UK-based property developer The Heaton Group. London remains the most popular and sought-after location for Hong Kong buyers, but there has been an increase in investment in other major cities in 2020, including Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester. Gary Hersham, Founder of London agency Beauchamp Estates, told the Financial Times recently that mainland Chinese and Hong Kong investors have become the leading overseas buyer group purchasing luxury London property in the past year – their dominance in the market growing despite the Covid-19 pandemic.1 According to Demographia, Hong Kong tops the list of most unaffordable global property markets, even allowing for the effects of political unrest. The UK property market is not only more secure and affordable than Hong Kong; the fall in the value of sterling has also helped to tempt investors. And while there is no guarantee that the trend will continue indefinitely, average property prices in the UK have increased by 300% over the last 20 years.2 1 2
As far as Pleasant is concerned, UK property will remain a market of choice for Hong Kong and other Asian investors. “There will be a dip in the UK market, but it is still a great proposition and an attractive place to move to,” he says. “Also, you have to remember that the whole world has and is going through Covid-19 – so all markets will be affected.” It is hard to put a price on the political stability that cities such as London offer, adds Pleasant. “UK property is a priority market for foreign investors – international families looking for yield, not just trophy properties; and not just London, but care homes and student accommodation in a number of regions.” As an example of the continued appetite for UK property, Pleasant points to the recent development of the Battersea Power Station area south of the River Thames,
in which between 70% and 80% of residential units were sold to investors in Singapore and Hong Kong.
THE LONDON CONNECTION Aside from the London property perspective, the English capital’s longestablished relationship with the Channel Islands has proved mutually beneficial. Many in China’s investment community already appreciate the synergy between the Channel Islands and the City of London, and a significant number of Chinese companies listed on the AIM are incorporated in Guernsey or Jersey. Pleasant points out that Guernsey is currently the number one choice for non-UK entities listed on London Stock Exchange (LSE). Leese also highlights the islands’ existing relationship with London and the hard work that’s gone into raising the profile of
both Jersey and Guernsey within Asia. He cites Ogier’s long established offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai, the combination of local and ex-pat staff there – most of whom are Chinese speakers – and frequent visits to the region by others within the firm. This, combined with building capacity, expertise and focus in Jersey and Guernsey, has helped the firm understand and meet the needs of this market. “It’s been a slow, but very necessary, process to educate, raise awareness and build trust and confidence in all that Jersey and Guernsey have to offer as finance centres,” says Leese. “Having done that over many years, we’re now seeing the reward from that investment as more and more clients from Hong Kong, mainland China and the wider region start utilising Jersey and Guernsey structures.” n
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Knowledge Brain food for the busy business professional
The Knowledge is compiled by Alexander Garrett Women on top
Women leaders have systematically performed better in fighting Covid-19 than their male counterparts, a study published by Elsevier’s Social Science Research Network has found. Academics Uma Kambhampati and Supriya Garikipati looked at 194 countries and found that those with a female leader had an overall lower rate of infection and death than those run by men. Germany, Taiwan and New Zealand are among the most successful in the former camp, while the UK, US and Brazil are all among the laggards. “Our findings show that Covid outcomes are systematically better in countries led by women and, to some extent, this may be explained by the proactive and coordinated policy responses adopted by them,” the study said.
points Slow lane
The Dartford Crossing wins the top two places for the slowest motorway stretches in the UK, according to new research by comparethemarket.com. The company identified the 50 stretches where traffic moves most sluggishly. Topping the table was the northbound approach to the Dartford Crossing at Littlebrook, with an average speed of 24.6 mph, followed by another nearby section of the motorway. Two sections of the M67 in Manchester were not much faster. And the M5 in the West Midlands was another spot for tortoises.
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Origin of new species
An international team of marine scientists has discovered 30 new species of invertebrates in deep water surrounding the Galápagos, according to the Ecuadorian archipelago’s national park authorities. Deepsea experts discovered fragile coral and sponges – including 10 bamboo corals, four octocorals, one brittle star and 11 sponges – as well as four new species of crustacean known as squat-lobsters, the Galápagos National Park (GNP) reported. The discoveries include the first giant solitary soft coral known in the Tropical Eastern Pacific, a new genus of glass sponge that can grow in colonies of over one metre wide, and colourful sea fans that host a myriad of associated species, said the Charles Darwin Foundation.
Time for a snooze
A 10- to 20-minute nap after lunch can help stop accidents, according to research by French highway operator Vinci Autoroutes. It is already well known that the peak time for road accidents is between 1.30pm and 4.00pm and the research project found that having a short sleep after lunch can have a positive impact on attention span and ability while driving. Among 40 test subjects, those who hadn’t had a nap showed a 21% increase in driving deviations. Vinci has already equipped its rest areas with dedicated napping zones to encourage drivers to take a break.
The populations of India and China are set to decline rapidly by 2100, while Spain and Italy will see their populations almost halve, according to new University of Washington research published in The Lancet. The study, for the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, found that populations in many countries are set to decrease more quickly than previously thought. In the European Union, it forecast that the number of people will fall from 446 million today to 308 million by the end of the century; and China’s population is set to plummet from 1.4 billion to 732 million over the same period. Globally India, Nigeria, China, the US and Pakistan are expected to have the largest populations in 2100 with 1.09 billion, 791 million, 732 million, 336 million and 248 million inhabitants respectively.
Game for lockdown
Online gamers spend up to three years of their adult life playing computer games – equivalent to 5% of the average adult lifespan – according to research from internet service provider Hyperoptic. The research, which surveyed 1,000 gamers about their online habits, revealed average daily gaming sessions last around two hours each evening, with most playing online between 6pm and 10pm. However, the research also revealed that, during the full coronavirus lockdown period from the end of March, the time that gamers spent online increased to as much as 10 hours a day – as they turned to their consoles as a means of staying connected to others while movement was restricted. Online gamers spend an average of £252.77 a year on games and associated accessories, downloads and microtransactions, according to the research, equating to a total average spend for adult gamers, across their adult life, of £15,924. A separate study carried out recently by Limelight Networks revealed that watching gamers play video games online is now more popular than watching physical sports among 18- to 25-year-olds.
Changes to longer-term working patterns as a result of Covid-19 are driving a shift in searches for rental property, according to property search app Rightmove. It found a 40% fall in rental searches in the Earl’s Court area of London in August 2020, compared with August 2019. By contrast, searches for rental properties in greener areas such as Chessington, near Hampton Court Palace, surged by 99% over the same period, according to Rightmove’s analysis. The study, based on more than 60 million rental searches, suggests people are looking for quieter areas with good transport links. Searches for rental properties in the Euston area were also down by 10% year on year, while those in Clapham Junction fell by 9%. Rightmove highlighted other hotspots in England where property searches have jumped – rental searches in Cambridge rose by 76% annually in August, while in Cirencester they increased by 75%. In Oxford, searches increased by 64% and in Sale, Greater Manchester, there was a 61% uplift, Rightmove said. Meanwhile, the seaside town of Margate in Kent has seen a 60% increase in searches for rental homes.
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New in… BOOKS
Angrynomics by Eric Lonergan and Mark Blyth (Agenda Publishing, £12.99, paperback) Anger has been the zeitgeist in public discourse over the last few years. Anger over austerity, job loss, stagnant wages, the polarization of wealth, and about the entire economic and political system. This book explores the rising tide of anger – which can be positive if channelled correctly, or otherwise destructive – and the authors propose radical solutions for an increasingly polarized and confusing world. One author runs a hedge fund in London, the other is a professor of international economics; not the most obvious grounds for being angry, but together they’re worth listening to.
One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger by Matthew Yglesias (Portfolio, £17.65, hardback) This book makes the case for a United States that grows a lot bigger, rather than following today’s gentle population growth trajectory. The argument is a bit of a crude one: the bigger you are, the more powerful you are. This should be achieved, says the writer, through “massive population growth through humane family and immigration policy”. The reversal of trends – a lowering birth rate, exit from big cities etc – is needed to fend off China in its bid to become the world’s most powerful nation, he argues. Yes, there will be challenges, including more housing and raising the hurdle higher on climate change, but there are plenty of solutions to be found around the world.
The New Great Depression: Winners and Losers in a Post-Pandemic World by James Rickards (Portfolio, £24.99, hardcover) Here’s a book to cheer you up – an attempt to build the ledger of advantage from the Covid-19 pandemic. Not surprisingly, there are going to be plenty of losers: people whose jobs are cut, bankrupts, ordinary people whose public services are cut and for whom the fabric of society will never be quite the same again. And most of the winners will be the usual suspects: tech billionaires, nontech billionaires, hedge fund managers and other people who are rich already. So the focus of the book is on what the savvy investor can do to understand the crisis and make sure they’re clinging on to the coat-tails of the latter group, rather than sinking with the former.
Little Book of Gucci (Little Book of Fashion): The Story of the Iconic Fashion House by Karen Homer (Welbeck Publishing Group, £12.99, hardcover) This traces the story of the brand that is synonymous with showy-off luxury. Founded in Florence in 1921 by Guccio Gucci (could any brand be more eponymous?) to create opulent luggage for Italy’s wealthy and fashionable upper classes, today Gucci could claim to have democratised to some degree since it has diversified from luggage and become a household name around the world. This book tells how it has evolved while remaining true to its three signature items – the belt, the bag and the loafer – right up to its stewardship under fashion guru Tom Ford and the current incumbent, Alessandro Michele.
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In numbers: London’s economy
London’s GDP in 2018 in £, representing 22.7% of total UK GDP Source: Office for National Statistics, released December 2019
vogue business This membership scheme aims to help those in fashion stay on top of trends. Drawing on expertise from Condé Nast’s 32 markets and dedicated teams in London, Paris and New York, Vogue’s 340,000 subscribers now have access to a range of membership options, including newsletters and events. www.voguebusiness.com/companies/ why-vogue-business-is-launching-membership
300m Approximate total office space in London, in square feet Source: The London Plan, last revised December 2019
50 Million African Women Speak Now being rolled out across Africa, this digital platform offers women a one-stop shop for setting up business. As well as advising on running a business, creating opportunities online and accessing financial services and training resources, its social networking features enable women to do business with each other. www.womenconnect.org
Percentage unemployment rate in London, pre-Covid Source: Mayor of London
recovery advice for business The Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development, Enterprise Nation and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy have launched this support platform for small businesses trying to recover from Covid-19. Volunteer accountants will advise on how to replan and relaunch over the coming months, and the CIPD is calling on independent consultant members to give an hour of free advice per month until the end of the year. www.enterprisenation.com/join-the-campaign/
Percentage fall in job vacancies in London since the beginning of the pandemic Source: Institute of Employment Studies
B smart A French TV channel has been launched, dedicated to entrepreneurship, the economy and finance. Backed by Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky, it will be run by journalist Stéphane Soumier, with seven hours of original programming a day. B Smart will be free-to-air and supported by advertising. Soumier said the channel would “defend freedom of enterprise and liberal values”. The channel made its debut on Bouygues Telecom and Orange, and on Canal+ via Freebox. www.bsmart.fr
London’s forecast position among the world’s biggest city economies in 2035
Source: Oxford Economics, 2018
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...retire early This is something that many people dream of, but not so many actually achieve. But if you really want to retire early, then the best approach is to start planning early – and be prepared to make sacrifices in your life while you’re still working, in order to enjoy the fruits later on. Early retirement is only a desirable objective if you can do it in the style and comfort you expect, and for that to happen, unless your career is very successful, you have to make it a conscious focus of everything you do.
Start early The simple reason for this is compounding. There’s a rule of thumb that for a normal retirement, you should halve your age when you start and put aside that percentage. So, if you really want to retire early, you’ll have to do much better than that. You should also set out to pay off debts – particularly mortgage – as early as possible. Get a 10-year loan instead of a 30-year one or, at the very least, make extra repayments whenever you can.
Set a target “It has been estimated that 180,000 of 40% and 45% taxpayers forget to claim their extra tax relief and miss out on over £200m”
Set a specific goal for when you want to retire – a date that will give you something to work towards. “We think 15 to 20 years is ideal, with 25 years being the outer limit for a realistic early retirement goal you can still get excited about,” write Robert and Robin Charlton in How to retire early: your guide to getting rich slowly and retiring on less. “That will give you plenty of time to achieve your goal without being so far removed that it seems dreamlike.” It will also enable you to make tangible plans about how
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and where you want to retire, and to calculate how much you’ll need to save.
Be frugal One of the best ways to save for retirement is to spend less. The FIRE movement – Financial Independence Retire Early – takes this to an extreme; adherents aim to save at least 50% of their income by not going out, forgoing holidays, remaining teetotal and cycling to work instead of driving a car. One of the best ways you could cut your spending is by not having children – it’s been estimated that the average cost of raising a child to the age of 18 is £75,000. But that’s quite a big lifestyle decision. You could, of course, save a lot of money simply through making better day-to-day choices, like going on a walking holiday rather than a cruise or taking lunch to work rather than buying it out.
Maximise tax relief “It has been estimated that 180,000 of 40% and 45% taxpayers forget to claim their extra tax relief and miss out on over £200m,” according to Hargreaves Lansdown. In the UK, you get tax relief on pension contributions at the basic tax rate of 20%. For those on higher tax rates, you have to reclaim it from HMRC. You get relief on up to £40,000 of pension contributions a year – so you could get the state to chip in up to £18,000 a year for your retirement.
Invest for growth Most pension funds take a fairly balanced and conservative approach
Business leaders on making it to the top
Getting ahead Simon Torode, Founder and CEO, Livingroom Estate Agents to investment. If you manage your investments yourself, in a SIPP, say, you could take a much more aggressive approach, particularly when you are still quite a few years from your retirement date. Constantly review and monitor your investments, look out for new ideas and sell the ones that don’t perform. “Our research shows that people who choose their own investments instead of relying on the default option have beaten the average default fund by 4.9% every year,” says Hargreaves Lansdown.
Develop a side hustle A small business that doesn’t take too much time or effort could provide you with an ongoing income even after you retire from the day job. Buy-to-let property is one good example, or it could be tutoring in your specialist subject, selling stuff on eBay, or creating something like an app or a graphic design from which you earn royalties.
Did you always have an entrepreneurial side to your nature? My parents were entrepreneurs, so I guess it’s in my genes. I was brought up with a strong work ethic and, given my creative background, I’ve always looked to find creative solutions to problems.
Guernsey or Jersey? Although Guernsey-born, I consider myself a Channel Islander and adapt to two very different lifestyles daily. I love both islands and am fascinated by and embrace their differences.
What do you look for in the people you hire and work with? Integrity, honesty and passion are top criteria. I’ve always looked to build a team with my ideals of providing an ethical service. Confidence is key in property – you’ll face challenges that require a certain type of robust individual, yet you need to be empathetic where it counts.
Creativity isn’t often associated with estate agency – discuss. It certainly wasn’t something people expected when I started Livingroom in 2006. Back then, the sector was traditional and staid. It had been slow to react to the online revolution and I saw a gap in the market. I knew high-quality imagery and a creative approach to marketing would appeal to people and I’m proud to say Livingroom changed the face of agency life in the Channel Islands. Our team of six in-house creatives shows how seriously we value our creative identity.
Why has it been important to you to give something back? Our island communities are small enough that we can all make a difference. They should be places where everyone feels supported – one of the driving factors behind my helping set up YPG, now known as the Youth Commission. Livingroom has always donated money from every house sale to local charities. We’ve raised over £1m for charity and are launching a dedicated foundation imminently – watch this space!
Work out your needs
What advice would you give young people?
Figure out how much you’ll need to spend each year by drawing up a monthly budget (not forgetting the luxuries). A rule of thumb says you’ll need to save 25-30 times that – and have a year’s worth of emergency money in reserve.
There’s an old, hugely important, adage: believe in what you do. Even if others knock you, stay focused and dedicated to what matters to you. While it’s wise to keep an eye on your competitors, a lot of people waste their energy obsessing about them. Find a way to lead without being reactionary. Working hard will yield results; if you arrive at work at 9am and leave at 5pm, expect to never fulfil your true potential.
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ne of the most influential books to shape business thinking most in-demand speakers. Organisational excellence has been a today must be In Search of Excellence, first published recurring theme, despite many companies featured in In Search of in 1982. The book was co-authored by Tom Peters and Excellence going on to fail – Atari, Wang and Xerox. Bob Waterman, both McKinsey consultants at the time, but it is An abiding theme of Peters’ work is the view that management Peters, who used it to build his subsequent career as a management can’t be treated as a purely ‘rational’ science: the human impact thinker, with whom it’s most closely associated. In Search of of decisions is paramount and treating employees as people Excellence, which sold three million copies in four years, equally so. In one newspaper article, he suggested that, far was the result of a project at McKinsey to investigate His manifesto of from recruiting people who have no gaps in their CV, the organisational culture of America’s most “how about a new Rule No.1: no hiring him or her 27 ‘Number One’ successful companies: what made them ‘excellent’? unless there is a gap in the resume?”. priorities for From that emerged eight principles that today Another bête noire of Peters is ‘maximising might seem self-evident but weren’t at the time, shareholder value’ – which he labelled “The Morally leaders is topped when strategy was regarded as the most important Bankrupt, Incomparably Destructive [Not Legally by ‘training your determinant of success. Staying close to the Required] Economic Idea that Decapitated Modern people’ customer, ensuring staff share the rewards of success, Business and Is Spurring Social Instability”. At 77, Peters having a flat structure, creating autonomous units with still blogs, writes and commentates, and has a UK-based an entrepreneurial approach – all these ideas were arguably consultancy and training company. He recently created a manifesto introduced by In Search of Excellence, along with an outlook that of 27 ‘Number One’ priorities for leaders, topped by ‘training your prizes vision and values and is agile in adapting to change. people’. He explained: “Anybody who goes to work for you for Peters went on to write more than a dozen other influential 90 days on a project, or nine years, should be better prepared for books, while establishing himself as one of the business world’s tomorrow when they leave than when they arrived.”
the lipstick effect Not exactly new, but likely to be making a comeback any day, the lipstick effect is a theory that in times of economic downturn, consumers still want treats, so they buy more of small affordable ones, such as lipstick. The term itself may have been coined back in the Great Depression, when in the four years from 1929 to 1933, industrial production in the US halved but sales of cosmetics rose. The theory goes that when money is tight, people still want luxuries, but instead of splashing out on a new car, furniture or clothes, they buy something small and special… like a lipstick. Other products that might fulfil this need would be a bottle of malt whisky or a trendy gadget. Taking this a stage further, some believe an increase in sales of lipstick can even be taken as a leading indicator of a coming recession. Maybe time to go out and snap up those cosmetic company shares right now…
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Zero party data Data your customers hand over without being asked
The Anna Karenina principle “While happy economies are all alike, every unhappy economy is unhappy in its own way.”
ALSO NEW IN THE WORLD OF
Top tech TikTok WITH MORE THAN A BILLION ACTIVE USERS AND VALUED AT $75BN FOUR YEARS AFTER ITS LAUNCH IN 2016, TIKTOK IS ONE OF THE FASTEST GROWING BUSINESSES IN HISTORY. SO WHAT’S EVERYONE GETTING SO EXCITED ABOUT?
If you’re over 30 and you’ve been following the news recently, you’re probably wondering what on earth all the fuss is about. Many hadn’t even heard of TikTok when Donald Trump said it would be banned in the US by mid-September if it wasn’t sold to a “very American” firm (Oracle is set to be the winner). So here’s a quick guide.
What is it? TikTok, known as Douyin in China, describes itself as “the leading destination for mobile short-form video”. In practice, it’s a platform where users can create imaginative videos up to 15 seconds long, which typically feature music and comedy as well as a slew of special effects. The common thread is that they are entertaining in one way or another, be that dancing dogs, kids beatboxing or hilarious pranks and practical jokes.
Who are the users? Two thirds are aged under 30, and many are members of so-called Generation Z. Users have spread from China, where TikTok founder ByteDance created the app, to around the world, with huge audiences in most Asian countries and 80 million downloads in the US. Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Alba, Will Smith and Justin Bieber are among the most famous celebrity users.
What makes TikTok special? The thing that makes TikTok different from other video apps, such as SnapChat or YouTube, is the app itself. It features a suite of tools that make it easy for anyone to create video using effects like lip-syncing, slow or fast motion, and a variety of filters. In fact, it’s been credited with ‘democratising’ the video creation process. Anyone can comment on the video, and there’s a special feature that allows other users to create a ‘duet’ by remixing the original video. Users can
set up challenges for each other, and there are communities within the TikTok world such as gamers, athletes, comedians and singers. There’s also an obsession with memes.
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How does TikTok make money? Advertising on TikTok is already becoming big business – which is why other tech companies rushed forward to buy it. That’s partly because the GenZ audience is hard to reach. Brands are encouraged to make TikToks rather than conventional ads – in other words, videos in keeping with the content on the platform. There are also sponsorship opportunities. In the US, NFL became the platform’s first big partner, with a string of sponsored videos and hashtag challenges.
And why the controversy? After the furore about Chinese mobile company Huawei, TikTok is also perceived by some in the West as a threat to security. The reason is that it collects a raft of data on every user, including location data and IP addresses, which it is feared could fall into the hands of the Chinese government. TikTok insists all its data is held locally and does not make its way back to China, but that hasn’t deterred its critics. The company is being investigated in other countries, including France, as well as the US. Meanwhile, it’s planning to open its first data centre in Europe, investing $500m, in a bid to disarm the critics.
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So should I be on it? If you want to show off your niftiest dance moves, your bad jokes and your smart editing skills, then there’s no time to lose. Fund administration and special vehicle structuring skills are not a thing on TikTok – yet.
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Directory To advertise in the directory in print or online contact Carl Methven on + 44 (0)1534 615886 or email@example.com
Independent and Professional We offer a full range of management and fiduciary services to our domestic and international private clients and corporate structures: Family office - bespoke assurance l Wealth management - your strategy l Trustee - impartiality with vision l Corporate services - attention to detail l Good governance - a helpful eye l Strategic guidance - controlled ideas l
Our team has many years of experience dealing with a wide range of clients in different countries. We look to provide good corporate governance to achieve your aim. Contact us: Tim Cartwright – Director firstname.lastname@example.org Lisette Le Creurer – Associate Director email@example.com Wendy Warder – Associate Director firstname.lastname@example.org Áine O’Reilly – Director email@example.com www.baccata.co.je Tel: 00 44 1534 870670 We aim to assist in the provision of personal service to meet your requirements. Ask us. Being vigilant and proactive in the face of a fast changing legal, economic and fiscal landscape. We can provide the focus to your solution. Try us. Regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission
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Carey Olsen is a leading offshore law firm. We advise on Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Guernsey and Jersey law across a global network of nine international offices. We are a full service law firm working across banking and finance, corporate and M&A, investment funds and private equity, trusts and private wealth, dispute resolution, insolvency and property law. Our clients include global financial institutions, investment funds, private equity houses, multinational corporations, public organisations, sovereign wealth funds, high net worth individuals, family offices, directors, trustees and private clients. We work alongside all of the major onshore law firms, accountancy firms and insolvency practitioners on corporate transactions and matters involving our jurisdictions. Our advice is delivered by an approachable and experienced team of globally-minded lawyers who work in partnership with our clients to help them achieve their objectives. We have the expertise and resources to handle the most complex international transactions combined with a personal approach to business. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org T +44 (0)1481 727272 email@example.com T +44 (0)1534 888900 www.careyolsen.com
Deloitte LLP provides audit, tax, consulting and financial advisory services, bringing world-class capabilities and high-quality services to clients. The company has the broadest and deepest range of skills of any global business advisory organisation and is a world leader in the professional services industry. We advise and deliver for the public sector as well as global and local businesses across every industry. Deloitte employs over 200 professionals in Jersey and Guernsey and is part of Deloitte North South Europe (NSE). The NSE firm brings together 13 countries and over 40,000 talented people, giving the firm the expertise to solve organisations’ most complex challenges and make an impact that matters. John Clacy Partner, Guernsey D: +44 1481 703 210 firstname.lastname@example.org Jo Huxtable Partner, Guernsey D: +44 1481 703 308 email@example.com Alex Adam Partner, Guernsey D: +44 1481 703 214 firstname.lastname@example.org Martin Rowley Partner | Jersey D: +44 20 7007 7665 email@example.com Siobhan Durcan Partner, Jersey D: +44 1534 82 4274 firstname.lastname@example.org Theo Brennand Partner, Jersey D: +44 20 7303 0035 email@example.com www.deloitte.co.uk
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.
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
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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 email@example.com
For further information, please contact Jacob Smed Managing Director, Jersey +44 (0) 1534 504000 firstname.lastname@example.org Marie McNeela Managing Director, Guernsey +44 (0) 1481 211275 email@example.com
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Shaun Kelling Head of External Asset Management email@example.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.
Intertrust Jersey is regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission and Intertrust Guernsey is regulated by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org Jersey 44 Esplanade St Helier Jersey Channel Islands JE4 9WG T +44 (0)1534 514000 E email@example.com Website: www.ogier.com
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Specialty: Bespoke IT Development & Business Consultancy
Building trust in society and solving important problems
Puritas is an award-winning provider of intuitive software and business solutions for the financial services industry.
We focus on three things at PwC in the Channel Islands: assurance, tax and advisory services. But how we use our knowledge and experience depends on what you want to achieve. So whichever one of our 390 staff in the Channel Islands you work with (or 225,000 people across the PwC global network of member firms), they’ll start by asking the following questions:
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The digital issue 2020 Publishing in december FOR EDITORIAL QUERIES, CONTACT email@example.com FOR ADVERTISING, EMAIL CARL.METHVEN@BLGLOBAL.CO.UK
Representation of women on boards Proportion of women on executive committees and boards in financial services firms globally 25 EXEC COMMITTEES BOARDS
% OF WOMEN
20 15 10 5 0
Source: Oliver Wyman, Women in Financial Services 2020
TRENDS IN THE REPRESENTATION OF WOMEN ON BOARDS As set out in our feature in this issue (see page 50), last year the governmentpublished Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship showed that huge leaps are still needed to reach parity when it comes to the representation of women in financial services. The report highlighted the fact that 92% of partners in venture capital firms are male, for example. But what progress are we making when it comes to the representation of women on boards across the financial services sector globally? According to the Oliver Wyman Women in Financial Services 2020 report, progress remains steady – yet slow. In more than 15 years, amid active efforts to improve representation, the proportion of women on boards has risen from only 11% to 23% – while representation on executive committees lags further behind, at just 20% of global financial services firms.
OF TOTAL GLOBAL WEALTH IS NOW HELD BY WOMEN
12% OF CFOS IN LARGE-CAP FIRMS GLOBALLY ARE WOMEN
• Turn to page 50, The gender agenda
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Your partner of choice for trusts, funds and pensions. At Fairway Group, we keep our clientsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; best interests at heart. As a truly independent fiduciary group, we are nimble enough to react to changes and understand the individual needs of each relationship through a director-led, dedicated team. We can be trusted to get it right every time. Find out how. +44 (0)1534 511700 GetInTouch@fairwaygroup.com Visit fairwaygroup.com Follow us on Follow us on Follow us on Follow us on
Fairway Group is a registered business name of Fairway Trust Limited, Fairway Fund Services Limited and Fairway Pension Trustees Limited. Regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission.
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We advise six of the seven funds to have gained Guernsey Green Fund status.
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