Bl Magazine Issue 54 January/February

Page 1



What does 2018 ? e r o t s n i e v a h


Finance Tourism Technology Law Brexit Banking Regulation Business


Our investment funds team is "a cut above the competition" LEGA L 5 0 0

No.1 1,200+ We are the largest team of investment funds lawyers across the Channel Islands (CI).

We advise more investment funds serviced in the CI than any other offshore law firm*.



We advise on 46% of new investment funds business across Guernsey and Jersey*.

We advised on the launch of the world's first regulated, cryptodenominated fund.


No.1 We are the only tier one law firm for investment funds in both Guernsey and Jersey (Legal 500).



We advised on the SoftBank Vision Fund – the world's largest ever investment fund.



We are instructed by 8 of the 10 largest private equity real estate firms worldwide (PERE, 2017).

We advised on the launch of Guernsey's first Private Investment Fund.

We are instructed by 9 of the 10 largest private equity firms worldwide (PEI, 2017).

For further information, please contact one of our investment funds partners at *Based on the latest available statistics from Monterey Insight.








Cover images: Twocoms , Illustration above: Thinus Slabber

Stepping into the unknown AS WE ENTER the new year, it’s traditional, not only in this magazine, but pretty much everywhere across the media, to look at what the year ahead may hold. When things are uncertain – and let’s face it, things are pretty much all over the place at the moment – there’s something to be said about trying to make sense of what’s going on. If only so that we can maintain the tiniest bit of our own sanity. So this year, as we have done previously, we asked a number of experts to tell us about the state of play across the Channel Islands in their area of expertise – finance, tourism, technology and law – and to try and predict what the challenges and opportunities may be in 2018. Unsurprisingly, the one word that came up time and again – and will continue to do so for the next year at the very least – was Brexit. While it has created massive uncertainty, there was agreement from our experts that Guernsey and Jersey will navigate the UK’s exit from the EU and aim to reap any benefits that might arise – as the islands have with many of the challenges in recent years. That’s not to say that Brexit is the only challenge that the islands are going to face in the year (or years) to come. Indeed, a very big note of caution is sounded by technology evangelist Gus Fraser in this issue’s ‘Opinion’ piece. He believes that if Guernsey and Jersey don’t get to grips with, and start making the most of, technology, then financial services will suffer a death by 1,000 cuts – possibly taking the islands down with them. It’s a strong sentiment, but one that Gus argues very persuasively. It seems appropriate, then, that we also look at the eight tech trends set to dominate in the years ahead. These are the cutting-edge technologies that, if those in the know are correct, will become part of our everyday work and personal lives in some shape. As someone who recalls having a Sinclair Spectrum, I have to confess that the advances in tech both excite and terrify me in equal measure.

COMING SOON… As always at the beginning of the year, it’s all a bit ‘Rumsfeld’ – what with the known unknowns and the unknown unknowns, and all that malarkey. We know, for instance, that the General Data Protection Regulation will come into effect in May this year, and that this will have an impact on a large number of firms in the Channel Islands. This is something we’ll be looking at again in detail in the next issue. We also know that the ringfencing rules affecting UK banks will come into effect at the very end of this year – or 1 January 2019, to be precise. This is something that will affect banks in Jersey and Guernsey, so we’ve produced one of our ‘Bluffer’s Guides’ in this issue to try and make sense of exactly what the impact will be. Another thing that’s happening this year, and something we’re very excited about, is the launch of our new Channel Islands and the City magazine, which will be published at the beginning of June. For many years, Businesslife has been distributed in the City, and we’re going to take advantage of that network by producing this one-off magazine. With 80 per cent of its distribution in London, it will explore the relationship between the islands and the City, the ways in which they already do business with one another, and the opportunities that may arise from emerging sectors such as cryptocurrencies and technology. All in all, it looks set to be a fascinating next 12 months. n

As someone who recalls having a Sinclair Spectrum, I confess that advances in tech excite and terrify me in equal measure

Nick Kirby, Editor-in-Chief, Businesslife

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4 july/august 2015



14 bl guernsey


The latest financial and business news and views from the bailiwick



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

7 News

42 fund managers

A round-up of the latest Channel Island business news

They’ve been some of the biggest names in fund management, but is the era of the ‘star’ coming to an end?



Recent appointments among businesses in Guernsey and Jersey

22 Interview Paul Luxon, CEO of Condor Ferries, on the challenges of being at the helm of his firm

28 the year ahead Our experts look at what’s in store for law, finance, tourism and technology in 2018

Finance 36 ringfencing With a year until UK banks have to ringfence operations, just what will the impact be?

business 56 respect in business Do business pressures mean some firms are being disrespectful towards others?

47 enforcement

59 corporate rebels

While many financial institutions have been fined for wrongdoing, some individuals are making a call for prison sentences

We’ve all heard about funky tech start-ups that do things differently – but what makes for a real corporate rebel?

18 bl Jersey A review of the biggest business developments and finance news stories


50 fine art

technology 62 augmented reality

Always popular with collectors, the fine art market is proving to be an area of interest for investors

While the focus has been more on virtual reality, the really exciting tech story could be in its close cousin

54 opinion

66 tech trends

The Agenda

Aonghus Fraser on why the Channel Islands will suffer a gradual demise if they don’t make the most of technology

Everyone wants to know what’s coming next in tech. So we identify eight trends that will play a big part in our futures

Winter’s here, so our lifestyle section lights a candle, puts on a jumper and gets all ‘Hygge’

contributors The BL Global Discussion Forum


Follow us @blglobalnews Office: Meadowlands, La Rue a la Dame, St Saviour, Jersey JE2 7NQ © Chameleon Group Limited, all rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Views expressed by our contributors are their own and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of Chameleon Group. While every effort is made to achieve total accuracy, Chameleon Group cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions.

With every company looking for that elusive ‘edge’, could it actually come from the way the firm is set up? Business writer Emma takes a look at how ‘corporate rebels’ do things differently.


In the latest of our ‘Bluffer’s Guides’, freelance writer Tom gets to grip with ringfencing of UK banks – how it came about and what it means in reality for banks and their customers.

HOWARD LITCHFIELD When it comes to investing in fine art, it helps to know your Picasso from your Matisse. Thankfully, art historian Howard is on hand to explain why the market is blossoming right now.


It’s two opposite pieces for Chris in this issue. On the one hand, he asks whether jail sentences should be more common for financial crime. On the other, he explores eight tech trends that will be huge very soon.

january/february 2018 5

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Blue Islands challenges air regulator

Channel Islands not on EU blacklist JERSEY AND GUERNSEY have not been included on the EU’s list of 17 blacklisted jurisdictions that are seen as not cooperative on tax matters. The EU Code of Conduct Group on Business Taxation has determined that the islands are cooperative tax jurisdictions, and will work with them in 2018 to ensure that this position is maintained. The assessment, which was approved by EU Finance Ministers at the meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council in Brussels in early December, follows a year-long screening process. Following multiple disclosures of offshore tax avoidance schemes by companies and wealthy individuals, EU states launched a process in February 2017 to list tax havens, in a bid to discourage setting up shell structures abroad that are themselves, in many cases, legal but could hide illicit activities. Blacklisted countries could lose access to EU funds. Other possible countermeasures will be decided in the coming weeks. The EU blacklist comprises: American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, Macau, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, Saint Lucia, Samoa, South Korea, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.

Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man are, however, included in a wider ‘grey list’ of 47 countries that have promised to bring their fiscal rules into line with EU expectations. This list also includes Hong Kong, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Switzerland and Turkey. Channel Island leaders have welcomed the EU’s decision not to include Jersey and Guernsey on the blacklist, but also recognise the need to meet EU expectations going forward. Guernsey Finance Chief Executive Dominic Wheatley said: “The government of Guernsey is regularly liaising with authorities in key markets, including the EU, to address issues of clarity or concerns. It is important that this engagement continues to ensure our standards of economic substance are aligned with those being developed by the EU to safeguard Guernsey’s continued and fair market access and maintain a good trading relationship with the EU and its member states.” Jersey has made a written commitment to addressing concerns identified by the Code Group by the end of 2018. These relate to a perceived lack of legal substance requirements that could result in profits being registered in Jersey that do not demonstrate real economic activity. n

BLUE ISLANDS HAS begun legal proceedings against the States of Guernsey’s regulatory body, the Transport Licensing Authority (TLA), claiming its new rival Waves should have a local air transport licence. According to reports in the Jersey Evening Post and Guernsey Press, Waves has marketed itself as an air taxi service that is exempt from such a licence because it is an ‘ondemand service with flight times requested and booked by the individual traveller’. Blue Islands argues that Waves isn’t an air taxi because it sells individual seats to customers; it’s been marketing seats for sale on flights that have no passengers booked on them; and the destination – Guernsey or Jersey – is specified by the airline, not the customer. To qualify for an air taxi exemption, a plane should be ‘hired by the customer for the purposes of a journey to a particular destination specified by the customer’, the airline added. Blue Islands said it had written to the TLA but not received an adequate response. ‘The call for a judicial review is intended to compel the authority to uphold the law it is meant to enforce, and protect the travelling public from an operator acting outside the rules.’ The TLA said it had been asked to consider matters regarding Waves’ services, but couldn’t comment further. Waves has said it doesn’t operate as a scheduled airline or offer timetables or schedules for inter-island flights. n

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Done Deals

IT skills holding CI firms back SKILLS ARE THE BIGGEST barrier to digital transformation in the Channel Islands, according to the Logicalis Global CIO Survey 2017-2018 – which questioned nearly 900 CIOs and IT Directors about issues surrounding digital transformation. In the Channel Islands, 62 per cent of CIOs cited skills as a main barrier to digital transformation in their organisation, nearly double the global average of 34 per cent and the UK average of 29 per cent. Organisational culture, cost and complex legacy infrastructures were key issues. Only 23 per cent of Channel Island CIOs cited security as a main barrier, however, compared with a global average of 34 per cent. When it comes to cloud-based services, security is a much bigger concern, with 65 per cent of Channel Island CIOs citing security as a challenge standing in the way of increased use of cloud services. The Logicalis survey also found Channel Island CIOs have slightly different worries to global counterparts regarding IT security threats. Some 88 per cent think ransomware and corporate extortion pose a significant risk to businesses over the next 12 months – higher than the European average of 80 per cent and the global average of 72 per cent. Identity and credential hacking is also a prime security concern for Channel Island CIOs, with 73 per cent believing they will pose a significant threat to business over the next 12 months. Despite this, security concerns or considerations have only prevented or stopped 19 per cent of new IT projects going ahead, compared with the UK, where they put the brakes on 36 per cent of projects. Into its fifth year, the Logicalis Global CIO Survey offers an insight into information security trends as viewed by senior IT executives. The figures have been drawn from a survey of 890 CIOs and IT Directors from mid-market organisations in 23 companies spanning Europe, North America, South America and Asia-Pacific. n

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Teams from Bedell Cristin’s London and Jersey offices have advised WisdomTree Investments on its acquisition of ETF Securities’ European exchange-traded commodity, currency and short and leveraged business, which includes $17.6bn of assets under management. Subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close late in Q1 of 2018. Bedell Cristin advised WisdomTree on all Jersey law aspects of the deal. The team from Bedell Cristin was led by Partner Bruce Scott and includes Senior Associates Guy Westmacott and Will Austin-Vautier, Associate Laura Hendrick and Paralegal Dan McAviney. Lawyers from Carey Olsen’s corporate and finance group in Guernsey have advised London-based Inflexion Private Equity on its minority investment in fleet payments and telematics provider Radius Payment Solutions. Inflexion has invested £150 million in Radius, with the deal valued at £800 million, through its Partnership Capital Fund. Partner Andrew Boyce led the Carey Olsen team advising Inflexion on all the Guernsey legal aspects of the deal and associated finance facility, with assistance from Associates Rachel de la Haye and Jamie Oldfield. Collas Crill has advised on the purchase of Royal Bank Place in Guernsey by a group of high-networth investors. As legal advisers for the purchase team, Collas Crill provided expertise from its commercial, banking and property teams. Senior Associate Tristan Ozanne led the commercial and banking aspects, together with Partner and Head of the Corporate and Commercial Team Paul Wilkes, while partner and Head of Guernsey Property Jason Green ran the property side. A separate team at Collas Crill advised the seller, led by Partner Paul Nettleship. Intertrust and Collas Crill have assisted Riverside Capital with the purchase of 197-205 City Road, East

London, a mixed-use asset in the capital’s Tech City. Riverside Capital is an FCA-authorised and regulated full-service property investment company, providing a platform for investors around the world to access and invest in the UK commercial property market. Intertrust assisted Riverside Capital with the acquisition, led by Andrew Maiden, Director of the Intertrust fund services team in Guernsey. JTC Fund Services has provided management, company secretarial, fund accounting and administration services in relation to the admission to trading in London of a £100 million investment vehicle focused on supermarket real estate assets across the UK. Supermarket Income REIT, a property investment company focused on UK supermarkets, is managed by JTC AIFM Services, JTC’s Guernsey-licensed management company. Jersey law firm Voisin has acted as legal counsel in connection with two issuances of CLO (collateralised loan obligation) refinancing notes. Saranac CLO V Limited and Saranac CLO VII Limited, together with Saranac CLO V LLC and Saranac CLO VII LLC, issued just over $640 million of refinancing notes. The notes, which are rated by Moody’s Investors Service, are collateralised primarily by a portfolio of senior secured syndicated corporate loans. Voisin Associate Howard O’Toole led the law firm’s structured finance team. The Jersey office of Walkers has advised Arzan Wealth (DIFC) and Amsterdam-based asset management services firm Equity Estate in establishing Hill Top 3, an investment structure for the acquisition of the office building currently occupied by research council NWO in The Hague. Arzan Wealth is a Dubai International Financial Centre-based investment advisory firm. The Walkers team was led by Partner Nigel Weston, with assistance from Senior Associate Bella Ward and Associate Hayden Reyngoud. n


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BL to launch City magazine BL GLOBAL IS set to launch a new title, focusing on the link between the Channel Islands and the City of London. The magazine will be published in early June, and 80 per cent of the print run will be distributed to financial institutions and locations in the City. The new publication will cover a wide range of financial subjects. It will highlight the ways in which Guernsey and Jersey already work with the City and how this may develop, not least because of Brexit. Businesslife Editor-in-Chief Nick Kirby said: “As the UK tries to negotiate its way out of the EU, now is exactly the right time to examine how the Channel Islands work with the City and how this may change.” The new title is expected to be a yearly publication, but as Carl Methven, CEO of BL Global, explains: “If we find there is a real appetite for this new magazine, we’ll consider publishing it on a more regular basis.” Anyone interested in being involved in this new publication should contact Carl Methven by email at n

islands’ Information Commissioner to leave PAN-CHANNEL ISLAND Information Commissioner Emma Martins is to leave her post in March 2018, prompting a rethink on the role in Jersey and Guernsey. Martins took responsibility for data protection in Jersey in 2004, providing leadership during a period in which the role of data in islanders’ private and professional lives has grown significantly. Since 2011, she has supported Jersey and Guernsey, including preparing for the implementation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The States of Guernsey is keen to avoid having a pan-Channel Island Information Commissioner managing two different sets of legislation, and intends to establish its own Commission. Meanwhile, Jersey will bring forward plans for a dedicated Information Commission. Assistant Chief Minister, Senator Paul Routier, said: “We will continue to work with Guernsey, but it is right we appoint a dedicated Jersey regulator to oversee compliance with the new legislation.” n

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MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS Alter Domus has signed an agreement to acquire US-based Cortland Capital Markets Services. The terms have not been disclosed and the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and closing conditions. Based in Chicago and with offices in New York, London, Los Angeles, Austin, Indianapolis, and China, Cortland provides third-party fund administration and middle and back-office outsourcing to financial institutions. It has over $180bn of assets under administration. The firm was founded in 2008 by Doug Hart CEO, Tim Houghton, Lora Peloquin and Russ Goldenberg. Its more than 400 employees are all expected to join Alter Domus as part of the acquisition. The management team of BNP Paribas Real Estates (Jersey) has completed a management buyout of the business. The company, which will rebrand as D2 Real Estate, will continue to be led by Phil Dawes and Chris Daniels, who will be supported by a consortium of private investors. BNP’s eight staff have transferred across to the new company. D2 Real Estate will provide services through the spectrum of the commercial property lifecycle. The firm will remain an alliance member of BNP Paribas Real Estate, which has a presence in 36 countries and has more than 180 offices worldwide. Capricorn Capital Partners has led a group of investors to buy a ‘significant’ equity stake in Guernsey-based asset management company RAW Capital Partners. As part of the deal, the company has secured initial multimillion-pound investment in the RAW Mortgage Fund and RAW Sterling Cash Deposit Fund. Capricorn, which has its roots in South African group Hollard Insurance, focuses on private equity

investments in the financial services sector and offers investment advice. RAW Director Richard Avery-Wright said: “Capricorn has a significant share, but not a controlling one. This is more about the opportunities the partnership can bring. Capricorn brings large distribution – in terms of capital and investors – intellectual capital and a track record in building financial services businesses in the UK and Internationally.” Guernsey-based Louvre Group has formed an alliance with legal and corporate services firm M/HQ Dubai to enhance its specialist fiduciary services offering from the United Arab Emirates. The partnership will enable both parties to provide a broader range of services to clients. M/HQ will initially help Louvre to service its Middle East clients by providing a variety of corporate services. The firm can also establish and administer a wide range of local companies for new clients. Through the M/HQ stable, Louvre says it can provide new and existing clients with a more comprehensive selection of services, from legal and tax advice to audit services. In turn, M/HQ will have access to the personal and corporate services offered by Louvre Group’s family office, fiduciary and fund administration teams. Stockbroking and investment management company Ravenscroft is to buy Guernsey-based precious metals business BullionRock for an undisclosed sum. BullionRock founder Robin Newbould will return to Ravenscroft after a six-year break – he helped establish the business more than a decade ago. Newbould set up the bullion business in 2012 and has diversified the portfolio to include BullionRock Invest, which deals in and stores precious metals in a secure vault in Guernsey. n


Whether it’s an established company, a family business, an entrepreneurial start-up or the local arm of a larger operation, what businesses in the Channel Islands need to thrive in an ever-changing economy are trusted advisors who understand how to take advantage of opportunity, manage challenges and mitigate risk. Ogier’s local legal services team covers property, employment and regulatory law. We work with clients who are buying or selling a business, entering into a joint venture or restructuring, as well as advising on day to day issues from financing and corporate governance to contracts.

Local legal services Business and commercial law Competition law Dispute resolution Employment law Offshore relocations Planning and environment law Property and construction law Regulatory law Trusts Advisory Group Wills, probate and estate planning

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Appointments The International Stock Exchange (TISE) has appointed Mark Nicol as Managing Director of its regulatory arm, The International Stock Exchange Authority (TISEA). Mark joined from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, where he has held a number of senior positions, most recently Head of Business Unit Delivery. Before joining the FCA in 2010, he spent 12 years working for exchange businesses in London, including the London Stock Exchange – latterly as Head of Business Finance – as well as EDX London and OM London Exchange. Now based in Guernsey, he succeeds Advocate Diana Thompson in the regulatory role.

Bedell Cristin has appointed Neil May as its new Chief Operating Officer. Neil has extensive management experience in the professional services and legal industries, including at EY, Clifford Chance and Hogan Lovells. Before joining Bedell Cristin, he was CEO at London chambers 42 Bedford Row. He has also worked as a senior consultant for firms in the capital. Now based in the firm’s Jersey office, but with responsibility across all jurisdictions, Neil will work with the senior management team, overseeing change management and leadership, operational matters and client services.

Collas Crill has appointed David Walters as an Associate in its Jersey corporate and commercial team. David has a wide range of experience with fund managers, administrators and financial institutions. He has advised on the fundraising of international buyout funds, real estate funds and infrastructure funds, from inception to final close. He also has experience advising investors on their investment into funds and in advising sovereign wealth funds, family offices, foundations and fund of funds. Prior to joining Collas Crill, David worked as an Associate in the London office of US law firm Ropes & Gray.

Investment management firm Brewin Dolphin has appointed Bianca Jacques as Business Development Manager. She will work in the Jersey office, promoting the company’s investment management services to the intermediary community in the Channel Islands. With over 10 years’ experience in the financial services sector, Bianca was a Director at MUFG Investor Services before joining Brewin Dolphin. She has previously held roles at other large international banks, including UBS and BNP Paribas. She is a chartered member of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment.

Private client wealth manager Charlotte Denton is the new Global Chief Executive Officer of NWH Global, formerly Newhaven. Having led the Guernsey office since January 2017 and overseen its rebranding, Charlotte will now take on the global role. A chartered accountant, she began her financial services career more than 20 years ago at Rothschild and then moved on to Barings. When the latter was acquired by Northern Trust, she spent five years in London, rising to the position of Managing Director of the Global Family and Private Investment Offices Group.

Graham Kybett has joined BDO Greenlight as a Senior Consultant to work on a variety of change projects within the finance sector. With over 15 years’ experience in banking, Graham joins the firm from RBSI, where he worked across private, retail, corporate banking and markets, most recently as Head of Management Information (MI). Before joining RBSI in Jersey in 2008, Graham spent four years in London with Royal Bank of Scotland. In his new role at BDO Greenlight, he will manage the impact of change on data, as well as delivering MI and creating data solutions for new jurisdictions.

Finding the best brains in the business... 12 march/april 2017


James Anderson (pictured) has been named Group Managing Director at Rossborough Insurance, Gallagher’s personal and commercial lines broking business in the Channel Islands. James will take up the post in January, subject to regulatory approval. He brings to the role more than 20 years in the UK insurance industry. Over the past three years, he has been Managing Director of Brand Partners at parent company Gallagher. He takes over from Clive de la Cour, who steps down after 10 years as Jersey Managing Director and five as Group Managing Director. Clive becomes Chairman of Rossborough Group.

Chris Taylor has been appointed Business Development Manager at Sancus BMS Group. Chris will work in the Guernsey office and will be responsible for generating new business and managing client relationships for Sancus on the island. He moves from HSBC, where he has been a Corporate Relationship Director, having moved to Guernsey in 2015. Chris worked primarily within funds, fiduciaries and insurance with a multinational focus. His career with HSBC began in 2011 as a graduate management trainee, after which he worked with the bank in the UK as a Corporate Banking Analyst.

Advocate Emma Wakeling has joined BCR Law, increasing the number of Jerseyqualified lawyers in the team to 10. Emma was called to the English and Welsh Bar in 2009 and qualified as a Jersey Advocate three years later, specialising in family and criminal law. She will maintain an interest in criminal advocacy, but will lead the family team at BCR. In this role, she advises on a wide range of family work, including divorce and financial matters and on issues involving children, including public law proceedings. Emma is accredited to the Children Panel and is able to represent parents and children.

Corporate services provider Intertrust has appointed Chris Bowden as Associate Director to its corporate services team in Jersey. Chris joins the company from Vistra, bringing 19 years’ experience in the trust and corporate services sectors. He will look after a portfolio of clients, offer company administration, director and company secretary services to corporate structures, and develop the corporate services business. During his career, Chris has managed complex corporate structures in multiple jurisdictions with a diverse asset base – mining and exploration, commercial and residential property, and e-commerce.

Private bank Julius Baer has appointed Jon Burrows as Chief Risk Officer within the Guernsey office. Jon has been promoted from the role of Deputy Chief Risk Officer in Guernsey, a position he has held for the past five years. A specialist in compliance and regulation, he is a fellow of the International Compliance Association. Jon’s career, which started in 1994, has included a period as an analyst within the Guernsey Financial Services Commission. He has also served as Money Laundering Reporting Officer at Julius Baer since 2008.

Fund services provider Moore Management, part of First Names Group, has appointed Nigel Hill to the position of Funds Director. Based in Moore’s head office in Jersey, Nigel will be responsible for driving European business development and promoting Moore across the investment manager and intermediary market, as well as within First Names locations. Prior to joining the firm, Nigel spent more than 11 years as a Vice President at State Street, where he oversaw the funds services business and also served in sales and product roles.

We call it resourcing excellence. march/april 2017 13

BL guernsey Beijing and Guernsey in captive joint venture

GFSC issues regulation guide



eijing Airport Captive Management Consulting (BACM) has established a joint venture with Guernsey-based insurance manager Alternative Risk Management (ARM). The partnership will see ARM assist and work alongside BACM in the creation of captive structures and the provision of captive management services for Chinese businesses. BACM is the only captive insurance consulting group in China and is backed by the Beijing Airport Economic Core Zone (BAECZ) – a key hub for China’s business, industrial and creative sectors. Guernsey Finance signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the BAECZ on behalf of Guernsey’s finance sector in March 2017. ARM Managing Director Charles Scott said: “Chinese companies with international operations, and those looking at expanding overseas, are considering ways to use captive vehicles for their risk management needs, rather than having to insure through the commercial market.

“It is therefore an opportune time to have established a key partnership on the ground in Beijing. The fact that Guernsey Finance signed an MoU with the Beijing Airport Economic Core Zone in March really facilitated our own agreement.” News of the partnership follows an earlier announcement that Brilliant Reinsurance (Guernsey) had become the island’s first Chinese insurance company. Managed and established by ARM, Brilliant Reinsurance will focus on business being retroceded from the Lloyd’s of London market. n

he Guernsey Financial Services Commission has published a guide to financial services regulation on the island, which is intended to clarify and explain regulation in a non-legal way. In the introduction to the publication, Regulatory Framework: A guide to financial services regulation in the bailiwick, the Commission explains: ‘One drawback of statutory backing is that the law is not expressed in an easy-tounderstand form. It creates institutions, powers, rights and obligations but there is neither the legislative resource nor time to explain why the regulatory regime has been created, what its scope and limits are. This document seeks to help fill that gap. It is intended to clarify and explain regulation in a non-legal way. It does not override the law. It is a living document that may be expected to evolve over time.’ The Commission has also updated its guide to risk-based supervision in Guernsey, which was first published in April 2016. The guides are available at n

Stanley Gibbons (Guernsey) goes into administration


IM-listed company Stanley Gibbons’ postage stamp investment business, based in Guernsey, has gone into administration and has ceased trading. According to a report in the Mail Online, the Guernsey-based subsidiary is in possession of £12.6 million worth of rare stamps, but has about £54 million of liabilities relating to the buyback guarantees, a further £11 million in undefined liabilities, and £6.5 million it owes to the parent company. The scheme – which guaranteed customers at least 75 per cent of the book value of their stamps at the end of a given period – was stopped in 2016 amid concerns over the guarantees.

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The administrator, PwC, will take control of the stock and will let investors know about the options available to them. The four employees working for Stanley Gibbons in Guernsey will continue to be employed by the company, and the rest of the Stanley Gibbons Group will continue to trade as normal. Administrator Nick Vermeulen commented: “Stanley Gibbons (Guernsey) has faced a challenging trading environment and has insufficient cash resources to continue to trade. The directors have therefore decided to appoint administrators to preserve value and to deal with the interests of investors and creditors in an equitable manner.” n


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BL Guernsey

Funds masterclass to explore post-Brexit opportunities


he upcoming Guernsey Funds Masterclass, to be held in London in February, will explore the opportunities ahead despite the current Brexit-fuelled uncertainty. As ‘divorce’ negotiations continue, it looks increasingly likely the UK will be outside the EU trading block after the separation, which could lead to increased trade barriers and reduced access to financial services between the two. This means the UK will have to look further afield for investment opportunities and will have to reassess its place in the world as a non-EU jurisdiction. The event – ‘The second age of discovery’ – will focus on the non-EU distribution of investment funds. PwC’s UK Asset Management Tax Partner, Robert Mellor (pictured), will be the keynote speaker, discussing how asset and wealth managers

N can raise expectations, move confidently and outpace accelerated change facing the industry. A panel session will discuss the regulatory environment outside the EU, the advantages and disadvantages of operating outside the block, the lessons provided by Guernsey, and the opportunities for cooperation between the UK and its dependencies. The free-to-attend event will take place at etc.venues St Paul’s, 200 Aldersgate, London, on Thursday 8 February 2018. For further information and to register, visit n

Guernsey Finance to hold industry update


uernsey Finance stakeholders have the opportunity to learn more about the promotional agency’s plans, as well as Guernsey’s relationship with the City of London, at its annual industry update in January. Miles Celic, Chief Executive of TheCityUK – the representative body championing the UK-based financial and related professional services industries – will be the keynote speaker. He will discuss his organisation’s work in the UK, how Guernsey’s financial services sector fits with its remit, and TheCityUK’s involvement in positioning London and the wider UK financial services market for a successful post-Brexit future. In addition, delegates will be briefed on Guernsey Finance’s plans for 2018 across

16 january/february 2018

Monterey Insight releases Guernsey Fund Report

its target markets and hear analysis of the agency’s performance during 2017. Dominic Wheatley, CEO of Guernsey Finance, said: “We are part-funded by industry, so this is a valuable opportunity for our stakeholders to see what effect their contribution has had. It will also be a good chance for them to see how they can get involved in our activities to benefit the local finance industry as a whole.” The Guernsey Finance Industry Update takes place at St James Concert and Assembly Hall on Wednesday 24 January. Refreshments will be served from 2.30pm, with the event starting at 3pm followed by a drinks reception to finish. For further information and to reserve a place free of charge, visit n

ew findings from the 23rd edition of the Guernsey Fund Report, from fund research company Monterey Insight, reveal the market shares of all service providers in Guernsey’s funds industry. For fund administration services of domiciled and non-domiciled funds, Northern Trust continues to lead the rankings as the largest administrator by total net assets ($63.9bn), with Ipes ($48.9bn) and Apax Partners ($40.3bn) ranked second and third. For funds under custody services of domiciled and non-domiciled funds, Northern Trust also maintained its lead with $23.8bn. There was a change in the rankings for second place, with BNP Paribas Securities Services ($9.3bn) second, ahead of Kleinwort Benson ($8.2bn). Transfer agents are the new category in the rankings this year, with Northern Trust in first position with a total of $50.7bn, followed by Ipes ($48.9bn) and Aztec Group ($31.2bn). Among legal advisers, the ranking remains the same. Carey Olsen leads the way, offering legal advice to 729 funds, followed by Mourant Ozannes (220 funds) and Ogier third. In the auditors category, PwC maintains its leading position, auditing 372 funds, ahead of KPMG with 298 funds. EY takes third position this year (133 funds). Among fund management companies, the largest promoter of funds serviced in Guernsey is Apax Partners, with $41.3bn. There was a switch in the rankings for second and third position, with Cinven taking second place ($21.4bn), ahead of Partners Group ($19.1bn). Monterey Insight MD Karine Pacary said: “It’s encouraging to see positive returns for the Guernsey fund industry, which continues to be an attractive financial centre despite a challenging European environment. “While private equity is a crucial element to Guernsey’s success, other types of products launched this year have a more accelerated growth rate in comparison to private equity.” n

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

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BL jersey New data protection legislation unveiled


he Council of Ministers at the States of Jersey has proposed new data protection laws that it says will help to strengthen individuals’ rights and ensure that Jersey businesses remain competitive. The Data Protection (Jersey) Law 201- and Data Protection Authority (Jersey) Law 201- were lodged at the beginning of December and are scheduled to be debated by the States Assembly in January 2018. The purpose of the new legislation is as follows: ● Provide equivalent protection to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Law Enforcement Directive ● Enhance individuals’ rights ● Enable data to move freely between Jersey and the EU. This legislation will be essential to facilitate trade and ensure that law enforcement authorities in Jersey can continue to cooperate with their colleagues in other jurisdictions.

T The Assistant Chief Minister, Senator Paul Routier, said: “Jersey is committed to implementing a data protection regime that meets the needs of islanders and businesses. By achieving the highest standards on data protection, Jersey’s businesses will continue to enjoy access to international markets.” If approved by the States Assembly and the Privy Council, the laws are expected to come into effect on 25 May this year. n

Jersey invests in Internet of Things


n November 2017, the government of Jersey approved a nonrecurring budget transfer of up to £449,000 to enable Digital Jersey to establish the island as an Internet of Things (IoT) testbed. Digital Jersey will use the funds to set up an IoT Lab, promoting the growth of the local digital sector and creating opportunities for product development. The initiative is part of a series of projects that have applied for funding from the Economic and Productivity Growth Drawdown Provision, which supports initiatives to improve economic growth and productivity on the island. Investment in the IoT sector is consistent with the government of Jersey’s aims to promote the digital economy and position Jersey as a testbed jurisdiction based on its telecommunications infrastructure. Digital Jersey says it's been working with JT, Sure, JEC and other utility companies, information services and States of Jersey departments to develop an IoT strategy for Jersey. Its CEO, Tony Moretta (pictured), said: “The facility will offer a focal point for businesses to collaborate and share resources. The IoT Lab will offer access to a data platform for analysing large data sets collected from around Jersey, and communal workshop space for building and testing IoT devices.” n

18 january/february 2018

JFSC warns on initial coin offerings he Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) has issued a warning about initial coin offerings (ICOs), following similar warnings from the UK, US, Canada, Germany and Singapore. ICOs are a digital way of raising funds from the public using distributed ledger or blockchain technology. Participants are normally issued with digital tokens (coins) linked to a specific business or project. They will typically obtain tokens by transferring an amount of cryptocurrency to a blockchain-generated address supplied by those organising the ICO campaign. While the JFSC recognises the potential of distributed ledger technology, it is concerned about retail investors participating in ICOs, which are typically highly speculative and risky investments, often subject to high price volatility. The JFSC is also aware of some ICOs being used for fraudulent purposes. It has listed the key risks: ● Complex and uncertain nature of rights – in many cases, it is unclear exactly what the investor is entitled to receive back from their investment ● Price volatility ● Unregulated space – many ICOs are unregulated and operate with no or limited investor protection measures in place, so there is a higher risk of fraud, money laundering or association with illicit activities ● Difficulty in exiting the investment ● Inadequate information – ICOs, especially if unregulated, are unlikely to be subject to fair disclosure obligations, so the information issued to investors may be misleading or inaccurate ● Flaws in technology ● High risk of losing all of the investment. The JFSC warned that anybody thinking of investing in an ICO should carefully consider these risks and how they relate to the offer. Potential investors should be experienced and knowledgeable, confident in the quality of the ICO project – the business plan, technology, people involved – and be prepared to lose their stake. n

Jersey reports on pension fund investment


ension fund investment through Jersey is supporting the futures of almost 60 million people around the world, according to new research published by Jersey Finance. Undertaken by consultancy Europe Economics, the research – Jersey for Institutional Investing: A Clear Choice – looks at how Jersey supports and facilitates the management of pension funds and other institutional assets, such as endowment funds and sovereign wealth funds. The report shows that pension fund assets worth £160bn are invested through Jersey, including £39bn in fund structures and £120bn in corporate vehicles. It also found that: ● A total of £52bn of funds under administration in Jersey is attributable to tax-exempt institutional investors, and the focus of that institutional fund business is overwhelmingly on pension funds, accounting for 79 per cent of the total ●4 6 per cent (£18bn) of pension fund

assets in Jersey originate from the EU (excluding the UK), including the Netherlands, France, Denmark and Germany. Another 13 per cent (£5bn) comes from the UK ● Most of the institutional investment administered in Jersey (60 per cent) is invested in private equity and venture capital, with around 19 per cent invested in real estate. Ross Dawkins, Principal at Europe Economics, said: “This research helps explain how tax neutrality plays a vital role in supporting institutional investment. "For institutional investors who make cross-border investments into non-tax-neutral countries, creating tax-transparent vehicles can be complex and costly. Investing through a tax-neutral finance centre like Jersey avoids these complications.” Jersey for Institutional Investing…, including key findings and the full methodology, can be viewed at n

Jersey wins IFC Award


ersey has won the International Finance Centre – Editor’s Award at the WealthBriefing GCC Region Awards 2017. The awards presentation, held in November at the Taj Dubai, recognised companies, teams and individuals deemed to have demonstrated innovation and excellence during 2017. The awards showcased the best-of-breed service providers in the global private banking, wealth management and trusted adviser communities. Commending Jersey, the judges said: “The scale of banking and investment fund activity, coupled with the sheer number of international agreements on informationsharing, as well as the high scores accorded it by entities such as the Financial Action Task Force and OECD, prove that Jersey is in the top rank. "With stories from around the world showing why reputation is a precious asset, and easily damaged, this IFC has worked hard to protect it.” n

20 january/february 2018

Fund report reveals company rankings


he latest report from fund research company Monterey Insight highlighted the companies at the top of the Jersey fund sector. For fund administration services across domiciled and non-domiciled funds, Aztec Group remains in lead position for the second consecutive year, with $77.5bn in assets, followed by Saltgate ($34.2bn) and Ocorian third ($22.9bn). For domiciled and nondomiciled funds, the top three remain BNP Paribas ($22bn in assets), JP Morgan ($12.6bn) and Capita Trust Company ($9.8bn). Newly introduced information on transfer agents ranks Aztec Group as the largest agent, with total net assets of $81.1bn, ahead of Computershare Investor Services ($22.2bn) and Intertrust ($18.9bn). Among legal advisers, Mourant Ozannes maintains its top spot, advising on 790 funds, followed by Carey Olsen (508 funds) and Ogier (367). The ranking also remains the same for auditors – PwC (432 funds), KPMG (309) and EY (193). Among fund management firms, ETF Securities remains top among Jersey domiciled schemes, with $17.1bn of assets, ahead of CVC Capital Partners ($15.3bn) and BlackRock Financial Management ($13.1bn). Most popular Jersey-domiciled funds are private equity/venture capital, with a total of $91.1bn ($83.7bn in 2016), which accounts for 41.3 per cent per cent of assets in Jersey. These are followed by property real estate funds, with $53.6bn. n

PRIVATE BANK OF THE YEAR CHANNEL ISLANDS Nedbank Private Wealth - Voted Private Bank of the Year - Channel Islands at the Citywealth International Financial Centre Awards 2017. The latest accolade in over 16 years of award-winning performance across all our office locations. For outstanding UK and international banking and investment services, visit











Nedbank Private Wealth is a registered trade name of Nedbank Private Wealth Limited. Nedbank Private Wealth Limited is licensed by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority. Registered office: St Mary’s Court 20 Hill Street Douglas Isle of Man. The Jersey branch is regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission. The London branch is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Registration No: 313189. The UAE representative office in Dubai is licensed by the Central Bank of UAE. Licence No: 13/191/2013. Representation in South Africa is through Nedbank Limited. Registered in South Africa with Registration No 1951/000009/06, an authorised financial services and registered credit provider.



interview Paul Luxon 22 january/february 2018


As CEO of Condor Ferries, Paul Luxon oversees essential sea connectivity between the Channel Islands, the UK and France. He tells Businesslife about the challenges he faces and why he enjoys life at the helm

Tell us how you got to where you are now. I was born in the UK, but returned to my father’s home island as a young child. I’ve spent most of my working life between the Channel Islands, except for 10 years in the UK. Most recently, I was the MD of Cimandis, working at the company from 1994 to 2011. After that, I spent four years as a Minister in the States of Guernsey, before joining Condor in early 2016. I see myself as a Channel Islander. Going from a corporate life into politics and then becoming CEO of Condor might seem an odd career path on the surface, but at Cimandis we were the largest importers of food and drink products into the islands. So, in terms of logistics and the shipping part of the business, that wasn’t alien to me at all. Certainly, in my past, I’ve tended to move between different ‘genres’ in a relatively straightforward way. Living in the islands, I’ve had a close relationship with Condor most of my life – be that as a boy playing sport in Jersey and France and using the ferry service, or later on as a freight customer running one of the larger distribution businesses. When I was approached at the end of 2015, I recognised that becoming CEO would be a challenge, but understanding the importance of a ferry service for the Channel Islands meant it was a challenge I was willing to take on. In a nutshell, what does Condor do? The simple answer is it’s a ferry service. But the more informed answer is that Condor provides the sea connectivity part of the important sea, air and digital connectivity ‘holy trinity’ that is crucial to the economic success of the islands. This is a really incredibly important segmentation. Our business comprises freight, tourism and islander ‘lifeline’ sea travel. While those three things are all important, you could say that freight has to come first because 98 per cent of everything we use and consume in the islands is imported – and of that 98 per cent, 80 per cent is brought in by Condor. That

Some might say that being CEO of Condor is the most difficult role in the Channel Islands – what’s your take on that? I wouldn’t agree it’s the most difficult job, but I do understand the thinking. Condor, like any high-profile business, is always going to be in the spotlight – and obviously, if things go wrong, then we’ll be in a bad spotlight. Running a ferry company is, without doubt, a difficult proposition. The very nature of the sea can be unforgiving, ships are very expensive and complex assets, and there can be mechanical and technical issues. There’s a lot of external pressure too. Take globalisation, for instance – the world has shrunk, low-cost air travel has had an impact on the islands. Then there’s digitalisation, the speed with which we’re all applying ourselves to living our lives and the way businesses have to digitalise just to make themselves more efficient. And then consider social media – the ability for the general public, the consumer, to have a very loud voice or platform to be able to share their experiences of a company’s services or products in a very penetrative way. All of this makes it a challenging role, but I enjoy a challenge. There are other far more difficult jobs. I wouldn’t want to be the Health Minister of either island – and I was the Health Minister of Guernsey – because the demands on those people every single day are just unbelievable. So, there are many other roles that are very difficult. It’s just that Condor has had a particularly difficult couple of years. You mention social media. Some of the comments about your company on certain platforms have been scathing. Does it feel at times that people are simply ‘out to get’ Condor? Social media does allow customers to really vent their feelings, be they good or bad. And there’s part of me that completely agrees with what you say. However, the freedom of speech, the right to reply, and the customer – the general public – having an ability to get their message across, I think that’s really important. Many businesses or brands could be arrogant or domineering in the past because

january/february 2018 23

Words: Nick Kirby Pictures: Chris George

said, we’re a Channel Island ferry company, so all aspects of our business are important. We currently have four ships operating from five ports – Jersey, Guernsey, St Malo, Portsmouth and Poole. We served routes to Cherbourg and Weymouth, but aren’t on those any more. We also have access to a back-up freight ship on permanent charter.


they had the power of a corporate brand or the might of marketing or advertising, and could almost dictate what the general public or the consumer did or didn’t do, or thought or didn’t think. The great thing about social media and digital platforms is that all that’s changed – the power is with the consumer now, so that can’t be a bad thing. That said, do I think some of the criticism on certain social media platforms is unreasonable or goes too far? Yes, when it’s just an outright mistruth or misrepresentation. We’ve seen things posted that are completely and utterly bonkers. I developed the phrase ‘as odd as a gregarious pineapple’ to deal with some of the absurdity. When I see stuff that people are posting, when it becomes personal, or when the criticisms are completely wrong, I find that really disappointing, unfair and, at times, sadly frustrating. And we’ve had to make complaints. There was one particular Facebook page that I engaged with from day one. I arranged to meet the administrators, and have done so regularly over the past 18 months. I offered to go onto that page to simply correct inaccuracies, but they declined my offer, which is their prerogative. At that point, I stopped monitoring it. I used to monitor it because I felt it was important as it was a group of people who were passengers or customers of Condor. I found that there were some genuine criticisms that we rightly deserved. But equally, I found some of it offensive and, at times, plain wrong. If I’m not going to have the ability to correct or respond, how can I engage with it? So, in answer to your question, for some people it’s become a bit of an obsession. I’m happy to reach out and engage and answer any questions, but sometimes people don’t want to hear the answers. If I hear something that is tosh, I’ll say it’s tosh. If I see something that’s bonkers, then I’m going to say that’s what I think. Equally, if I see something that looks like we’ve made a mistake, I’ll hold my hand up, apologise, reach out and we’ll try and fix it or make amends. Why wouldn’t I want to do that for our regular passengers as part of our Comprehensive Service Agreement?

If I hear something that is tosh, I’ll say it’s tosh. Equally, if i see something that looks like we’ve made a mistake, I’ll hold my hand up, apologise and we’ll try to fix it

24 january/february 2018

Condor had issues with Liberation just after she came into service in 2015. Did you feel there was a loss of faith there? There’s no doubt that 2015 was an awful year for Condor. We invested £48 million in Liberation, and that’s a big investment. We marketed the new ship in a strong way, because the company was very proud to have made the investment. The sad thing was that a whole series of things happened in 2015 around bringing Liberation into service, that had an impact on our passengers. We absolutely regret that, it was a bad year. As we moved into 2016, many of those issues had been mitigated and were resolved, and as we moved into 2017, there have been a smaller number of issues in real terms. In October 2017, we put Liberation into dry dock early, having discovered a few technical problems, and quickly implemented our contingency plans, which did go well and helped passengers get to their destinations with minimal disruption wherever possible. The reality is, we’d planned to put her into dry dock anyway, so we just did it a few weeks early. This year, it’s the 10th anniversary of the Macquarie acquisition, and in September 2017 you completed the most recent debt refinancing. What does this all mean going forward? Every five years, we would naturally have a corporate refinancing – that’s how the company is set up. In September, we completed a normal five-year rolling rotation. We just went through a refinancing process where we look again at future plans in terms of capital requirements. So that was a normal process and happened very smoothly and efficiently. As part of that, there is the provision for the acquisition of a new vessel. In November 2016, we published our Comprehensive Service Review, which examined our entire ferry services and the ferry services of the Channel Islands. In that, we talked about replacing Rapide on the southern route in the next few years – so in our refinancing, part of that was to make sure we had access to capital in terms of funding that replacement tonnage. So, we’ve provisioned ourselves appropriately going forward. In terms of our shareholder’s ownership of the company – that was set up in the Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund II. It was a 10-year term, and that comes up in 2018 as part of the normal process. While there are no plans right now, at some point our current investor will look to sell Condor as one of the assets in that fund. But at the moment, we’re busy just working on running the business and implementing our improvement plans. Can you share anything specific with us on your plans for the fleet and any future routes? In the Comprehensive Service Review, we clarified that we would commit to replacing Rapide on the southern route with an alternative high-speed craft. And we also committed to replacing Goodwill, our freight-only vessel, when she came to her natural replacement time. And we’ll look to do that as part of the normal process. It’s important to note that the Review, which was independent, stated that a four-ship fleet is the right size for the Channel Islands. At the same time, we recognise that there’s been considerable noise around the islands regarding wanting more ships and different ships. But the combined Channel Islands population is equivalent to a small town, and that makes it very difficult to justify a bigger fleet. That said, we’ve been in dialogue, separately and jointly, with the States of both islands over fleet size. And those conversations continue around the overall ferry services in the broadest sense. That’s all I can say right now because the conversations are ongoing. People often point to the fact that we used to have five


ships in the fleet – we took the Express and the Vitesse out of service in 2015 before Liberation came in. However, the reality was that the Vitesse was on a permanent morning charter to Britanny Ferries, so we only ever had her in the afternoon. So, we effectively only had four and a half ships at that time. How have declining tourism figures in the islands affected your business? About a dozen years ago, when tourism was at its peak, total tourist numbers were something like 1.4 million across both islands – one million into Jersey and 400,000 into Guernsey. Once the low-cost airline model developed, that market suddenly dropped by about a third, and visitor numbers fell to under one million in total. One-third of those were travelling by sea. As a result, Condor was taking 150,000 fewer bookings, and the loss of revenue was significant. It’s worth relating this back to the calls for more ships – and it’s this particular dynamic that no one has really had a conversation about. There are fewer tourists, how can we justify more ships? When people say Condor is being ‘mean’, it just isn’t true. Condor is a private business, we have no subsidy or underwrite, and we haven’t asked for them either. We’re a private company trying to offer a service across freight, tourism and islander travel, but when your small market shrinks by a significant amount, that has a real impact. And it’s very hard to grow because of where we operate, having a finite market size. Does the proposed inter-island ferry represent a possible new avenue for Condor? Right now, the States in both islands have asked for expressions of interest from people prepared to operate an inter-island trial ferry service this summer. That closed on 20 October last year. We’re waiting to see what the next steps will be from the States. I imagine that soon they’ll be deciding what steps to take next, so until then we don’t know. We offered to run a trial inter-island daily service from May

to September 2017 and were committed to it. We’d invested £30,000 to get it ready to go, but unfortunately that trial had to be stopped at the last minute because the Committee for Economic Development in Guernsey wasn’t able to continue supporting it because of internal funding issues. So, we’re waiting to see what will come of it this year. Finally, what does the next 24 months look like for Condor? I’ve been in post for 18 months. The first six months I spent very actively making sure that I understood all of the issues and problems, difficulties and challenges. And in the last year, I’ve been busy leading an improvement plan for Condor. We’ve drawn up a five-year plan for the business, and that will come to the end of its first year in March. So, we’re at the end of year one. Years two and three have exciting plans for additional customer service benefits that we intend to introduce, refine and improve. And we begin the process of looking at the next fleet replacement heading towards 2022, which we will start planning for soon. So, we’ve got a very detailed five-year plan, which our board and shareholder have approved. It gives my executive leadership team clarity about what we should be doing. At the heart of that is reliability, punctuality, customer satisfaction and customer service. The plan isn’t about the degree of profitability or that kind of thing. It’s part of it, because we do have to reinvest, but it’s much more about how can we make sure we play our part in supporting the economies and communities in Guernsey and Jersey. How can we do that as best we can, bearing in mind the significant shrinkage in the market we’ve seen? How can we absolutely make sure that we’re able to generate the funds so that we’re able to reinvest? So it’s that balance that we’re really focused on – making sure we’re operating the business in a way our passengers and customers will feel comfortable about and be able to rely on. And we realise we have more to do there. n NICK KIRBY is Editor-in-Chief of Businesslife

january/february 2018 25

A BL event

The Channel Islands NEDs Forum 2018 the must-attend event for neds in the islands In partnership with:

Sponsored by:

Wednesday 21 March 2018 The Royal Yacht, st helier, Jersey 9am to 1pm 3.5 Hours CPD available DELEGATE RATE ÂŁ195 (+ 5% GST if applicable) Places can be booked by visiting or emailing


What does

2018 have in store?

Experts across the Channel Islands peek into the future and give their view on what might happen this year in funds, private clients, banking, capital markets, technology, tourism and law FUNDS Martin Paul, Partner, Bedell Cristin, Jersey, and Richard Sharp, Partner, Bedell Cristin, Guernsey

© Bank of England [2017]

As we enter 2018, what’s the general health of funds in the islands? The funds industry in the Channel Islands remains in good health. In Jersey, the private placement fund has been a success, and figures show that they continued to rise in popularity in 2017. Some ‘mega funds’, such as the SoftBank Vision Fund, have also been established, which highlights the Channel Islands’ expertise and capabilities. A large segment of Jersey’s funds industry focuses on quasi-funds such as club deals and other investment syndicates – we’ve remained busy in this area, which is a positive indication for 2018. As for Guernsey, total net assets under

28 january/february 2018

management and administration increased by 9.6 per cent in the year to the end of June 2017. In the past 18 months, Guernsey has also launched two structures – the Manager-Led Product (MLP) and the Private Investment Fund (PIF). Aimed at circumstances where a special relationship exists between managers and investors, PIFs dispense with any formal requirements for information particulars, and involve very quick regulatory approval. PIFs have been widely welcomed and represented 14 per cent of Guernsey fund launches in the three quarters to the end of June 2017. The MLP was introduced in expectation of Guernsey receiving a third-country passport under the AIFMD. It follows the approach of AIFMD in regulating a manager rather than the underlying fund structure, providing yet another structuring option for managers. In the next 12 months, what do you think will be the biggest challenge(s)? The biggest challenge is perhaps a general environment of uncertainty. There is economic and capital market uncertainty, with a long-in-the-tooth bull market, inflation on the horizon and central banks raising interest rates. We also have uncertainty in the run-up to Brexit. The Channel Islands may need to slightly reposition how they fit into the wider financial world, but the extent of the impact is still unknown. The Paradise Papers present a further challenge that we can’t ignore. We should keep reiterating the positive role that

Jersey and Guernsey play in international finance and stress that they provide highly regulated and transparent centres for tax-neutral, cross-border investment. And where will the greatest opportunity lie? Opportunities lie in all of the challenges noted above. The scrutiny of offshore finance, and any re-evaluation of the Channel Islands’ relationships with Europe and the wider world, may eventually bring an increased awareness and understanding of Jersey and Guernsey’s positive role in the efficient international movement of investment capital, and in finding muchneeded inward investment. The transparency and substance being demanded play to the islands’ strengths, as they have always been early adopters of international regulatory initiatives and have, for many years, operated as well-respected and highly regulated jurisdictions. They also have well-established reputations for corporate governance, and breadth and depth of industry capabilities. Geographically, we will see opportunities arising in new markets, or in markets where there is still growth potential, such as the Middle East, Asia and other emerging markets. Is there one thing that will dominate in funds this year? Brexit – merging somewhat with questions arising from the Paradise Papers. A key question is what our market access will be. The need to secure market access and an acknowledgement of the legitimacy of

Review offshore finance centres will be key issues in the context of Brexit, potential black listings and the tide of opinion. We’ll all need to work together as an industry to achieve clarity on what our proposition and markets will be beyond 2018.

of the UK’s exit from the European Union continue. It’s a topic that comes up in almost every meeting I take, and I expect the same as the UK’s exit takes a more defined form as 2018 continues. Luckily for us, and for our clients, the Channel Islands will continue to be a stable jurisdiction during these unpredictable times.



Fiona Waite, Client Director, RBC Wealth Management

In the next 12 months, what do you think will be the biggest challenge(s)? Because of the strong relationships and history our islands have with the UK and Europe, the private client industry faces a number of challenges, including the uncertainty around Brexit and readiness for implementation of new regulations such as MiFID II and data-based risk supervision. There are, of course, the global challenges that we in the Channel Islands private client business aren’t immune to. In the coming year, we must prepare for challenges such as cyber security and the rise of non-traditional competitors in the

Tracy Garrad, CEO, HSBC Channel Islands and Isle of Man

wealth management space. While these challenges might not be resolved over the next 12 months, it’s anticipated to be a large part of the conversation for our industry, both here in the islands and around the world. And where will the greatest opportunity lie? The greatest opportunity for the Channel Islands’ private client industry is one that will affect our industry around the world – the transfer of wealth from one generation to the next. As our population ages, we have to consider succession planning as part of the wealth management services we provide for our clients and their families. A study conducted by RBC Wealth Management found that within a generation, $4 trillion is expected to be passed down to inheritors in the UK, US and Canada. Those in the next generation have a different outlook as to how they want to manage their wealth, and we as an industry need to be adapting to take this into account. While it might not be front of mind for many islanders, wealth transfer planning is a huge opportunity. It’s an important consideration for us, as wealth managers – and a necessary one – to ensure that our clients are prepared for when the time eventually comes. Is there one thing that will dominate in the private client space this year? The obvious answer is, of course, the most pertinent – Brexit. With the UK economy expected to continue to be mired by uncertainty, and as Westminster struggles with the task of redefining the country’s business model, clients will continue to watch with trepidation as the negotiations

As we enter 2018, what’s the general health of banking in the islands? The financial crisis had a substantial impact on the banking industry and had implications for the industry here in the Channel Islands. However, a decade on since the crisis hit, the consensus is that we’re on a steady growth trajectory in the islands, with much greater confidence in the sector’s future. The recent increase, and forecast increases, in base rates across different currencies, for example, will help improve bank business models and could help restore the sector’s fortunes locally. The banking sector is having to evolve, too, in line with market and regulatory demands, and this is largely reflected in the concerted effort banks are making in terms of recruitment and job creation, which is allowing a more diverse talent pool and skill set to be attracted to the islands. There’s now also a real appreciation of the need for the banking industry to do the right thing, demonstrate their understanding of local markets and deliver much better decision-making. We’re seeing that in practice already in the islands, and that will help instil a much greater sense of pride in the sector in the coming months. In the next 12 months, what do you think will be the biggest challenge(s)? The obvious challenge remains the fallout of Brexit, but actually we’re well placed in the islands to maintain good trade links with the UK and EU. For me, sourcing talent to meet growth objectives within the industry is likely to be just as much of a challenge. There’s still an element of residual distrust after the financial crisis, so 2018 will see banks focused on communicating that they’re open for business, offer reliable products, follow strict regulatory frameworks and, crucially, that they provide excellent career opportunities. Particularly with

january/february 2018 29

As we enter 2018, what’s the general health of private client business in Jersey and Guernsey? Throughout 2017, the private client industry across our islands enjoyed a very strong year. We’ve long been known as premier offshore financial centres and, building on that momentum and reputation, we’re increasingly seeing a number of clients relocate to Jersey and Guernsey. This allows our industry to demonstrate the exceptional client expertise we offer to a larger local client base. The work undertaken by the islands’ businesses and governments to attract inward investment is paying off. By showcasing the islands as stable, highly respected and well-regulated places to do business, live and work, we now have many new businesses, individuals and families calling the islands their home. We’re seeing a healthy diversification in the types of businesses moving here, which in turn offers new job opportunities in developing sectors. Many of these new clients have complex wealth planning needs, further allowing the private client industry to help these individuals navigate the management of their personal wealth.


the industry evolving and embracing technology more and more, recruitment remains a struggle across the islands. This will be a priority in the coming year. Elsewhere, the uncertainty surrounding the implementation of a demanding and evolving regulatory agenda certainly poses a significant challenge too, and compliance is putting a huge demand on banks’ capital and time commitments. The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), for instance, will provide a particular challenge for banks and their customers, as will meeting the challenge of cyber security, where the sophistication, time and effort invested by perpetrators continues to increase. Financial institutions must maintain vigilance and defences, while trying hard not to make the customer experience cumbersome and difficult. And where will the greatest opportunity lie? An obvious opportunity lies in the ringfencing process, which is being rolled out across all UK banks. Ringfencing essentially gives banks here the opportunity to develop products and services more tailored to the needs of islanders. It’s an opportunity to really galvanise relationships with the local market and build trust in the community. In line with other geographies, new technologies will present opportunities to enrich the customer journey and drive efficiency. Is there one thing that will dominate in the banking sector this year? In a word, Brexit. It will definitely dominate 2018. With all eyes on 29 March 2019, the negotiations around Brexit will be crucial to the banking sector, and the islands could benefit or suffer, depending on the final trade agreements reached. What’s certain is that international connectivity will become increasingly important, particularly post-Brexit. Just as Jersey and Guernsey are increasingly reaching out to do business around the world, there will be opportunities for banks in the islands to help connect clients and provide services internationally. It’s likely that the intense scrutiny of

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Anything else you’d like to say about the sector? Another factor that’s increasingly shaping the banking sector is the rise of fintech and the public demand for better technology to make banking easier, quicker and safer. With cyber crime a growing threat, banks must be increasingly vigilant and agile, adapting and investing in systems to keep customers safe. It’s a new challenge, but also an opportunity – banks will have important decisions to make in 2018 on how they embrace technological change. Overall, banks in the islands have been through enormous change in recent years, but in 2018 we should see more positivity around their role as the backbone to financial activity in the islands, the contribution they make to the islands’ economies, and the part they and their employees play in community initiatives.

CAPITAL MARKETS Stephen Langan, Director of Capital Markets, Intertrust As we enter 2018, what’s the state of play with capital markets business in the islands? Capital markets business in the Channel Islands is fairly steady and showing signs of picking up. Although there was a marked

slowdown in new business post financial crisis, there was still plenty of work to be done with respect to existing transactions that needed to be restructured and/or were heading for a default. Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen an uplift in new generic and bespoke transactions coming to the islands. Certain types of structure – short-term debt instruments such as commercial paper conduits, for example – haven’t really come back to the market, but we’re still seeing a wide variety of transaction and asset classes, including debt factoring, Islamic finance and real estate financing. Synthetic securitisations are also popular with banks in terms of credit risk management and associated regulatory capital relief. The wider capital markets industry is dynamic, with lots of moving parts. It’s hoped the anticipated scaling back of the Bank of England Term Funding Scheme – which allowed eligible banks and building societies to borrow central bank reserves – may encourage certain banks to come back to the securitisation market. Documentation around new and existing deals will need to be amended to factor in the proposed end to Libor in 2021, and the European Commission’s simple, transparent and standardised (STS) regime will be fully implemented in the EU over the next couple of years – regulating securitisations even further. We’re encouraged that clients and intermediaries still consider the Channel Islands to be key jurisdictions for capital markets work despite strong competition from onshore alternatives such as Ireland and Luxembourg. Our client base is truly global, which demonstrates the international attraction of the islands to blue-chip financial institutions and leading law firms. In the next 12 months, what do you think will be the biggest challenge(s)? At industry events, when this question is asked, the typical answer is uncertainty around changes to legislation and regulation affecting the industry. For certain clients, this has put a brake on their ability to bring transactions to the market. There are likely to be further changes in the pipeline for 2018, such as an increase in bank capital adequacy requirements for holding non-performing loans (NPLs) and preparation for compliance with the new STS regime. This could result in a spike in new issuance in late 2018, before the new rules come into force, and a rise in NPL trading activity. Given the islands’ close proximity to and relationship with the City of London, any downturn there as a result of Brexit, or similar factors, would be felt here. A change to the UK government in the next 12 months could also bring a new set of challenges.

offshore centres will continue. Banking institutions and other financial sectors will no doubt need to commit real time and resources to telling the positive story of what our industry does here to correct misconceptions beyond our own shores.

channel islands and the city a brand new magazine for 2018




Review And where will the greatest opportunity lie? The debt capital markets have evolved in the post-financial crisis period, and whereas some traditional banking clients have (temporarily, we hope) exited the markets, some of this space has been filled by newer participants such as funds and peer-to-peer lenders. The market is fairly fluid and firms need to be as flexible as possible in offering their services. Regulatory changes also provide an opportunity for us to step in and assist our clients in implementing the necessary procedures or reports. The anticipated scaling back of cheap bank funding by the Bank of England may also provide some spark in the volume, pricing and spread of new debt issuance. Is there one thing that will dominate in the capital markets sector this year? The big trends we foresee for 2018 are, of course, Brexit, which will be a fixture in the financial markets. And in terms of asset class, access to the untapped NPL pools in southern Europe will be very topical. The expected scaling back of the Bank of England’s Term Funding Scheme should have a positive effect. Anything else you’d like to say about the sector? Clients advise us that securitisation works because customers want it (as do investors with limited yield available elsewhere). It’s been resilient, it provides diversity of funding, and it’s hoped the European capital markets will pick up in terms of volume in the near future.

TECHNOLOGY Lance Plunkett, Founder and CEO, Found, Guernsey As we enter 2018, what’s the general health of the tech sector in the islands? There’s been a positive move from the States on both islands to improve the tech sectors. The investments in the Digital Hub in Jersey and Guernsey’s Digital Greenhouse have started the ball rolling. Now, I hope both government and the private sector will take the appropriate steps to develop an effective tech culture in the Channel Islands. It’s a big challenge to create a new sector and requires complete commitment, but the positive outcomes could be significant. The islands have been very successful at reinventing themselves in the past, as our size makes us nimble and quick

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to react. So our future success in this area really comes down to our willingness to recognise and embrace the opportunity. In the next 12 months, what do you think will be the biggest challenge(s)? Attracting tech talent to these shores. There’s no doubt that both islands lack access to top-level IT skills, and attracting those people should be a priority for the government and the private sector. They will be the catalysts of any successful tech revolution. Where will the greatest opportunity lie? I believe the islands offer an amazing test bed for new technologies. Guernsey and Jersey provide a perfect microcosm of society, with defined borders, controllable variables and a very similar demographic to mainland UK. One very positive advantage in the islands is the ease with which anyone can gain access to government and international business – that’s so important. Speaking with key decision-makers and investors really speeds up the development of projects and creates important relationships with people and organisations that can make things happen. I love the fact that it’s so simple to meet senior ministers or a multinational CEO for a coffee. Is there one thing that will dominate tech in the islands this year? There seems to be a move towards blockchain technology, which obviously complements, and has specific uses in, the finance industry. In simple terms, this is a bit like a continuously updated spreadsheet hosted by millions of computers simultaneously, its data accessible to anyone on the internet. At the moment, there’s a massive demand for blockchain developers. Anything else to add? Creating what is essentially a new industry on both islands needs commitment from

government and the private sector and a great deal of focus. Fintech seems to be the obvious focus, given the financial sector on both islands, but it’s hard to compete with the big boys elsewhere, and a lack of skills is a huge challenge. Attracting 20 tech gurus to our islands would make a tremendous difference and could help to solve that problem overnight. If fintech is our focus, then we need to target a specific niche within finance. Work needs to be done to identify where that niche and opportunity lies and then get key stakeholders committed to exploiting it. With Guernsey having one of the biggest captive insurance industries in the world, I’m sure there’s also a great opportunity in the islands for yet more innovation around insurance products. My view is that the test bed idea is a genuine opportunity for both islands. Imagine companies testing driverless cars here, or Amazon testing drone deliveries – it would certainly put us on the map.

TOURISM IN GUERNSEY Wendy Pedder, Marketing Manager, Trade and Media Relations, VisitGuernsey As we enter 2018, what’s the general health of tourism in Guernsey? Guernsey enjoyed a successful 2017, with leisure visitor numbers showing a positive picture in an evercompetitive market. Up to September 2017, total staying visitors, total day visitors and visitors staying in commercial accommodation were all up compared with the same period in 2016. This is particularly encouraging as these groups

Review harness the opportunity the film brings to drive visitors to the island and increase tourism revenue off the back of it. We’re also looking to profit from the rise of ‘bleisure’ – where travellers mix their business trips with leisure time – to encourage business travellers to bring their family to the island and spend additional nights (and money) on the island.

In the next 12 months, what do you think will be the biggest challenge(s)? The leisure market is increasingly competitive and price-driven, and with Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt likely to return to the holiday market in 2018, further price drops by major tour operators are predicted. It’s encouraging and positive that Guernsey’s tourism figures have been able to grow against this backdrop, but it also reinforces that our value proposition is key in our marketing messaging.


And where will the greatest opportunity lie? We have a big hook with the release of the film adaptation of the bestselling novel The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which will firmly place Guernsey in the spotlight of domestic tourism for 2018. Set for release across the UK on 20 April, the film stars Lily James (Downton Abbey) and Michiel Huisman (Game of Thrones). It will shine a new light on the island’s history during the German occupation, as well as our unique location and landscapes. Ahead of the film release, we’re working with on-island partners and the wider trade to

Is there one thing that will dominate tourism this year? Uncertainty over Brexit and the associated currency fluctuations are affecting tourism in a number of ways – from the way people are booking holidays and when they’re booking, to where they choose to go. Anything else you’d like to say about the sector? The aforementioned currency fluctuations, as well as greater talk on perceived ‘safe destinations’, have led to a rise in the staycation – from which Guernsey is already benefiting. Our other key messages for 2018 will therefore focus on Guernsey’s walking, heritage and fantastic artisan food product, its short travel times from the UK, and our unique island-hopping offering.

Keith Beecham, CEO, Visit Jersey As we enter 2018, what’s the general health of tourism in Jersey? Tourism is important. In 2016, the visitor economy contributed 8.3 per cent gross value added (GVA) and 12.6 per cent of employment to Jersey. Tourism and our other big island industries support each other. Finance

and agriculture both benefit from tourism services – flights, restaurants, hotels and shops all contribute to making our island a better place for all. In 2017, we saw a good pick-up in people choosing Jersey. Four per cent more people came to the island for many different reasons from January to September, compared with the previous year. Especially promising was the 17 per cent increase in staying holiday visitors, many travelling to Jersey outside the main summer season. Jersey scooped a number of awards during 2017 – the 2017 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards named Jersey as the third best holiday destination in the British Isles after London and Edinburgh. Entrepreneurs are once again investing – many hoteliers are upgrading their establishments, Premier Inn opens in Spring 2018, new restaurants have opened, and our attractions are extending the months they’re open. All this suggests that 2018 will be another year when we can look forward to welcoming increased numbers of holidaymakers. In the next 12 months, what do you think will be the biggest challenge(s)? Businesses want to offer the very best services for their customers, but there’s likely to be continuing pressure on staffing. Jersey is near full employment, and to remain competitive with other destinations, we must strive to offer great experiences, which calls for passionate, skilled people. Businesses are concerned about staffing to provide the very best customer service. Tourism is a global business, characterised by very high levels of competition. Higher costs will have an impact on Jersey tourism businesses’ competitiveness. We also fully support the principle of investing in a modern infrastructure for the treatment of waste. This brings benefits to islanders and visitors alike. Jersey’s tourism and hospitality sector is comprised of many small and medium-sized businesses and we trust a fair solution will be found for the management of waste. And where will the greatest opportunity lie? We’ve a number of opportunities. Last year, working with Condor, we promoted Jersey to staying French visitors – over 1,000 more French cars came to Jersey in 2017. We intend to continue this push into France this year. In 2018, there will be more

january/february 2018 33

generate the greatest financial return to the local Guernsey economy. After a recent three-year decline and plateau, our business travel figures are also regaining strength as budgets for corporate travel are starting to grow again. Business travel is a critical part of the Guernsey tourism economy and very much part of our offering, so we’re continuing to develop our infrastructure to welcome more business travellers in 2018. We also finished the 2017 cruise season on a high, with predictions for 2018’s growth already promising, and an increase in ships scheduled to call. Our continued development and infrastructure in the cruise market has continued to pay dividends. In 2017, Guernsey was voted one of the top five British Isles and Western Europe destinations in CruiseCritic’s Cruisers’ Choice Awards – decided by votes from cruisers themselves. For 2018, there are already a recordbreaking 124 ships scheduled to call at St Peter Port. This includes 12 inaugural visits and represents a potential 15,047 passengers. Looking further ahead, 88 ships are already committed to 2019, proving that Guernsey’s popularity as a cruise destination is well established, with the cruise lines factoring in port calls to their long-term plans.

Review than 60 per cent more seats flown from Germany to Jersey than in 2017 – we’re already tying up marketing campaigns with German tour operators. And in the UK, we’ve identified regions around key ports where we will work with carriers that will allow us to develop tourism from across Britain during the year. The Jersey Super League Triathlon showed what a great venue the island can be for sporting events. Working with sister agencies and commercial firms, we will be looking to build on this success. Our product team also has exciting plans to align the Jersey brand more effectively with all the on-island holiday experiences. Is there one thing that will dominate tourism this year? In all my years in tourism, I’ve learnt that the unexpected and unplanned will happen – sometimes man-made and at other times acts of God. Having said that, I expect our tourism businesses will be focusing on how to raise productivity – managing their resources to deliver great services for their customers. Anything else you’d like to say? We’re beginning to see signs that our tourism sector can grow all year round, signs that businesspeople are investing and innovating, and signs that more people want to visit our beautiful island. Visit Jersey is committed to partnering with the public, voluntary and commercial sectors to encourage these trends.

GUERNSEY LAW Partner Elaine Gray, Associate Tim Molton and Paralegal Rebekah Johnston, Carey Olsen What changes in Guernsey law can we expect to see in 2018? Last year was a busy year for our lawmakers, with new legislation coming into effect in diverse areas such as population management, same-sex marriages and neighbouring landowners’ rights. It looks as though 2018 will be a busy year too, as the States of Guernsey looks to address key areas of concern for Guernsey plc. While there are some substantial policy issues to be determined on economic development, healthcare partnerships and the future of education, there are three changes more closely on the

34 january/february 2018

horizon that will have an impact on the vast majority of islanders. The first change concerns the pension provision of Guernsey and Alderney employees – or, more correctly, the lack of provision. For some time, there’s been growing concern over long-term problems if inadequate pension provision isn’t addressed. This ‘demographic timebomb’ is represented by the growing number of people living longer after retirement versus the diminishing pool of people generating taxes to pay for them. The States decided that the best way to ensure investment in pensions was to establish a secondary pension. This would be administered by the States, which would collect the payments alongside tax and social insurance. However, the actual investment and management of the funds would be carried out by a private company, selected after a public tendering process. The proposal requires employers to enrol their employees automatically into either a qualifying private scheme or the States’ secondary pension scheme. Employees will have the opportunity to opt out and, if they do, neither they nor the employer need pay into the scheme. This follows the model used by the UK for secondary pensions. The new regime is intended to come into effect in 2020 and, in order to ease the strain on businesses, the contributions will be phased in from 2020. The second big change is in relation to consumer protection legislation. For many years now, Guernsey residents have expressed

concern at the lack of consumer protection, and the States have been toying with a consumer protection regime for more than two decades. In February 2016, the States brought forward proposals for the introduction of consumer protection legislation. This will be done by secondary legislation issued under the existing trading standards law and the intention is to provide consumers with clear rights, which apply when purchasing goods and services, similar to the rights that consumers have enjoyed in other jurisdictions for several years. The new statutory rights will help to ensure that goods and services comply with appropriate standards (including safety) and that appropriate information is provided to customers. This will allow consumers to make a fully informed decision before they make a purchase or during the subsequent ‘cooling-off period’. There will be a prohibition on unfair contract terms. This will force a more balanced relationship between traders and consumers by invalidating any unreasonable provisions forced on consumers, who invariably find themselves in an inferior bargaining position. If a seller breaches their statutory obligations, they will be liable to a penalty imposed by Trading Standards. Businesses will need to think and plan carefully for the new regime, so that their processes, policies and agreements match up with the new requirements. The third big change is the introduction of new data protection legislation, due to come into force in May 2018. The legislation, approved in November 2017, creates significant new rights for individuals in relation to the information or data that organisations collect, process and hold in relation to them. For organisations,

Review the new law will require significant updates to how they manage data across every aspect of their business, with the potential, for the first time, of significant fines for any failures. What do you expect to be discussed in 2018? Data protection will be a major topic of discussion, especially as businesses try to grapple with the scope of the work needed to get their work processes, systems and practices ready. Eyes will be on the Data Protection Commissioner to see how tough he or she will be on any breaches. On the pension front, we expect to see detailed proposals setting out the scheme’s structure and how exactly it will be implemented in September 2018. Again, this will provoke discussion as businesses grapple with the additional costs to them and the changes to systems needed to administer the scheme. The changes to consumer protection will affect all businesses and they will need to undertake work to ensure they are ready when the new regime is scheduled to come into force later this year. Are there any other areas that you anticipate will come up this year? We expect there to be further focus on the perceived failure to progress Guernsey’s anti-discrimination regime. Whereas Jersey has had race discrimination laws in place since 2014, sex discrimination since 2015 and age discrimination since 2016, thus far Guernsey has only introduced sex discrimination law – and that was as far back as 2006. Although the States identified disability discrimination as a key workstream for 2016, it appears that legislation is a long way off. A statement from the responsible department indicates that Guernsey has yet to settle on a model for the legislation. This is causing significant dissatisfaction and we expect that pressure will be exerted on the States to speed up progress by groups such as the Guernsey Disability Alliance.

JERSEY LAW Victoria Grogan, Counsel, Ogier What changes in Jersey law can we expect to see in 2018? One big change will be brought about by the Capacity and Self Determination (Jersey) Law 2016, which is due to come into effect in April 2018. This

will make a welcome and long overdue update to the old customary laws that are currently in place. The new law will give people the opportunity, while they still have capacity, to make decisions regarding their financial and personal affairs and welfare, which will take effect should they lose capacity. At the moment, there’s no mechanism in place in Jersey for a person to do this, or to put in place the equivalent of an English Lasting Power of Attorney. Currently, a Power of Attorney can be drafted and signed, giving your Attorney the ability to do certain things on your behalf. However, as soon as you lose your mental capacity, this Power of Attorney is immediately invalidated. There is, therefore, no way for a person to appoint, while they have capacity, someone to look after their affairs when they no longer have capacity. The new law will enable anyone over the age of 18, and who currently has mental capacity, to put in place two different types of Lasting Power of Attorney. One will deal with health and welfare matters, such as medical treatment and wishes in relation to life-sustaining treatment; the other will cover property and financial affairs, enabling the person to name someone to assist with the management of their assets. What do you expect to be discussed in 2018? The concept of légitime, which is Jersey’s forced heirship regime, might be reviewed in detail once more. Under current Jersey succession laws, only a spouse or a child of a deceased person can make a claim against the deceased’s will, covering their movable estate if the will doesn’t make sufficient provision for them as determined by the law. Removing this concept of forced heirship would bring Jersey in line with both England and Guernsey – the latter replaced its forced heirship regime in 2011 with a system of full testamentary freedom. This may also pave the way for relatives other than a spouse or children to be able to make a claim against a person’s will should the need arise. While it could be seen that this will increase litigation around the distribution of a person’s estate, thereby eating into the estate assets, it would also offer more flexibility and is more in step with the diverse family set-ups that we see today. Jersey succession law doesn’t make any provision for a common law spouse or for dependant parents, which, with Jersey’s ageing population and the popularity of families living in two-generation homes, is more prevalent now than ever.

to the Wills and Succession (Jersey) Law 1993, which was the subject of an independent report back in 2015 by Professor Meryl Thomas. The report surrounded the issue that prevents people who can’t write, due to a physical disability, being able to make a valid will – currently you have to be able to sign a will, or make your mark upon it, in order for it to be binding under Jersey law. This report followed the decision taken in the local case of a man who was deemed to have died intestate because he was unable to sign his will, which the report stated breaches the European Convention of Human Rights. The man in this case drew up a will in accordance with his wishes but was unable to physically sign it, although he instructed an independent person to sign on his behalf. While there is legislation that allows this in both Guernsey and England, there's nothing similar here in Jersey. I would hope and expect the law to be changed in this regard as soon as possible. Another area that could do with a review is the historical requirement that a Will of Jersey Immovable Property be read out loud to the person making the will by a qualified person, prior to them signing it. This is a customary law requirement stemming from the time when illiteracy was more common in Jersey, and it is much less relevant these days. Anything else to add? I would like to see Jersey’s succession law brought more into line with what has been introduced in other jurisdictions, such as Guernsey and England – I do think that the above shows that there are steps being taken in this direction. From a personal point of view, I also think a more flexible approach to how maternity and paternity leave is taken and offered by employers should be reviewed. New legislation was introduced in the UK in 2015, allowing parents to take up to 50 weeks off between them, following the first two weeks after birth, and to receive statutory pay. I understand this is currently being looked into in Jersey, which is great news. n

Are there any other areas you anticipate coming up this year? I expect we may see a change

january/february 2018 35



s ’ r e f f Blu e to d g i n u i G c

n e f ing


With less than a year to go before UK banks need to separate retail and commercial operations, we take a look at what ringfencing is and who will be affected Words: Tom Huelin

36 january/february 2018


morning in the City of London. Rain is in the air. Dead leaves lay trodden on the dirty ground. The rush of commuters flocking into the City after the weekend begins earlier than normal. Coffee shops are bristling with people loading up on caffeine before heading into the office. There’s tension in the air. TV screens on the trading floors are tuned in to the news channels – news channels are broadcasting from the trading floors. Spreadsheets are hastily prepared for impromptu, hurried early morning meetings, with people from across the business in nervous attendance. There aren’t enough seats for everyone. Stunned people look at each other, before one individual eventually summons up the bravery to ask… “So, how much exposure do we have to Lehmans and Merrill Lynch?” The financial crisis of 2008 rocked markets around the world. Companies that were ‘too big to fail’ failed. In London, both RBS and Lloyds Bank had to be given government bailouts. Northern Rock would be less fortunate. Politicians ordered investigations. In the US, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act would bring greater transparency to financial transactions. In Europe, Basel III would order companies to hold higher levels of capital in reserve. In the UK, the Vickers Commission called for the introduction of ringfencing in the hope of preventing another banking crisis in the future.

SO, WHAT EXACTLY IS RINGFENCING? Ringfencing is the structural separation of retail and commercial operations in UK banks. Legislation comes in next year – on 1 January 2019 – although banks have been preparing for this change for several years. UK banks will have to physically split their global, commercial and investment divisions from their UK retail banks. For some, this could mean opening new offices and moving staff. HSBC, for example, is building an office in the Midlands to house its ringfenced business from 2019 onwards. The iconic tower at Canary Wharf, meanwhile, will become the HQ for its global, non-ringfenced, operations. Firms may need to change legal entities as a result of this corporate restructuring, while IT systems will need to be split in two.

THAT SOUNDS A BIT TECHNICAL – WHAT’S THE SIMPLE VERSION? Ringfencing isn’t a simple affair – but, in a nutshell, the services that customers would get in a branch or online, or which small businesses would use, will be separated from the investment banking and global operations of the giant banks. However,

this does depend on what services each of the affected banks already offers. The idea is that the essential parts of the business will become safer, making it less likely that everyday people will be affected by a failure in the riskier parts, such as investment banking. So, even if the bank does crash, the new rules should make it easier for the Bank of England to keep the retail bank running.

WHICH BANKS ARE AFFECTED? Banks and building societies with average deposits of £25bn over a three-year period will need to comply with ringfencing. At the moment, there are six UK banks affected – HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group, RBS, Santander UK and the Co-operative Bank.

AND WHAT ABOUT THE CHANNEL ISLANDS? Tracy Garrad, Chief Executive at HSBC Channel Islands and Isle of Man, explains: “For many of the Channel Islands banks, their operations here will historically have been part of a UK set of operations and legal entities. These need to be separated – and that’s why ringfencing does have a direct impact on us in the islands.”

WHY HAS RINGFENCING COME ABOUT? The 2008 financial crisis led to the freezing up of the financial system. “It actually affected communities,” explains Graham Marsh, Head of Banking Relationships at Equiom in Jersey. “People couldn’t access their money, get a loan or a mortgage, because institutions were no longer accepting them for finance. At the same time, lending rates became quite severe, and that had another knock-on effect on communities. in that the cost of debt became significantly higher.” A financial crisis like that couldn’t be allowed to happen again. So, the UK government assembled the Vickers Commission, made up of several high-profile names, including Oxford academic Sir John Vickers, banker Bill Winters and Financial Times columnist Martin Wolf. It was the Vickers Commission that came up with the idea of ringfencing, which both the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority subsequently backed.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR CUSTOMERS? Although many of the changes brought about by ringfencing will not be visible outside of the banks, some of them will have an impact on customers. The banks have already been proactive in explaining these changes to their customers and, where possible, changes to things such as sort codes and international banking account numbers (IBANs) will be automated. Activities such as the issuance of new bank cards, however, will require customers to take action.

january/february 2018 37

MONDAY 15 SEPTEMBER 2008 – a bleak, autumnal


WILL THE COST OF BANKING GO UP? Banks have been working for several years to prepare for ringfencing – work that’s required a large amount of resource. Is there a risk, therefore, that customers will have to foot the bill? “We won’t be increasing our charges directly as a result of ringfencing, and I can’t imagine other banks will either,” says Tracy Garrad. “In fact, in our case it’s going to give us more autonomy to really specify both our proposition and our pricing structures with much more relevance to our local market.” But not everyone believes pricing will stay the same. Whether it’s as a direct result of ringfencing or not, some say free banking may not be sustainable in the long term. “We’ve been through a phase over the past 20 years where we’ve gone from being charged for the account to having free banking,” says Graham Marsh. “I do suspect charges will go up for holding bank accounts.”

WHAT ARE THE IMPLEMENTATION CHALLENGES? One of the biggest challenges that’s facing banks is unweaving the financial records of retail and commercial customers on ageing IT systems. Data for ringfenced and non-ringfenced customers will need to be migrated to separate infrastructure, a painstaking and delicate piece of work where 100 per cent accuracy is essential.

One of the biggest challenges facing banks is unweaving the financial records of retail and commercial customers on ageing IT systems

The timing of the legislation is also significant, coming as it does just weeks before the scheduled conclusion of Brexit. “It could be challenging,” says John Stubbs, Senior Partner at Bank Brokers UK. “Brexit is a big concern for the banks, and ringfencing lands at virtually the same time.” Then there’s additional legislation coming in alongside ringfencing, such as the systemic risk buffer (SRB). SRBs are calculated as a percentage of a bank’s assets under management – the higher the AUM, the larger the buffer they’re required to hold. It’s designed to ensure firms have enough capital in reserve to deal with any distress or failure they may experience. “Having the bigger buffer of equity is a big demand,” Stubbs continues. “It could present companies with accounting challenges when it comes to showing their profitability and performance.”

SO, WILL RINGFENCING PREVENT ANOTHER BANKING CRISIS? Ringfencing and the capital reserve provisions are two pieces of legislation designed to prevent a similar financial crisis to the one experienced in 2008. But that’s not to say that a different type of financial crisis couldn’t happen at some point in the future. “It’s far more than just a network of banks,” Stubbs adds. “The next crisis could be a major cyber attack, or the payments network could collapse, as opposed to the banks themselves failing.”

BUT OVERALL, RINGFENCING’S A GOOD THING, YES? The financial crisis was a bleak time for the markets, and for companies, investors and customers alike. No one wants a return to those dark days, and if ringfencing helps prevent that, it has to be a good thing. “My general philosophy to new regulation is that it always comes from a place of good intent,” Garrad concludes. “For consumers, and for their trust, faith and belief in banks, and the protection of consumers in the future, it’s definitely a positive thing, however complex and difficult it has been to do. I think the future of banking, in Europe and globally, is definitely on a more solid footing.” n TOM HUELIN is a freelance finance writer

38 january/february 2018

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Catch a

falling star 42 january/february 2018


OVER THE PAST couple of decades, the often-grey investment industry has been brightened up by the presence of movie action heroes and legendary football bosses. Well, that might be overdoing it slightly. But through those years, star fund managers such as Templeton’s Mark Mobius, once described as the ‘Indiana Jones of emerging markets’; Anthony Bolton of Fidelity, aka the ‘Quiet Assassin’; and Invesco Perpetual’s Neil Woodford, the ‘Sir Alex Ferguson of investing’, have created a formidable reputation for success and won the trust of scores of retail investors. As manager of the Fidelity Special Situations fund, Bolton, in the 28 years to 2007, achieved annual returns of nearly 19.5 per cent. And Woodford, who left Invesco Perpetual in 2014 after 25 years, oversaw about £25bn worth of savers’ money in his Income and High Income Funds, which alone notched up year-on-year returns of over 13 per cent. When Woodford launched his CF Woodford Equity Income Fund later in 2014, investors followed in huge numbers, attracting an initial £1.6bn. The fund has notched up a 30 per cent return since its launch, which beats the FTSE All-Share Index at 28 per cent. According to a report from Hargreaves Lansdown in early 2017, it wasn’t only Woodford’s star that was shining. The report looked at the performance of equity income fund managers over the period between 2006 and 2016. It found that investing in Francis Brooke of the Trojan Income Fund would have seen £10,000 grow to £23,000. Thomas Moore of Standard Life Investments wasn’t far behind, with growth to £22,000.

MIXED VIEWS Annabel Brodie-Smith, Communications Director at the Association of Investment Companies, is unconvinced, however, that this signals the end of the starlight. “We’ve seen some managers have a tough time recently, but the star concept still carries a lot of weight,” she says. “A lot of retail investors, financial advisers and wealth managers still feel more comfortable investing in a fund where one main person has a strong and long track record in bull and bear markets. If we do emerge into a more volatile equity period, we’ll see investors looking to active fund managers to earn their stripes and pick the stocks that will perform well.” One financial adviser who doesn’t agree is Patrick Connolly from Chase de Vere. “The investment industry tries to sell funds, and the star manager is a marketing gimmick,” he says. “Yes, some managers have performed consistently well, but there are very few now you could call a star. Many have disappeared or their performance has suffered. We tell investors: don’t believe the hype.”

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Words: David Craik

At the time, Hargreaves Lansdown described the men as ‘very good custodians of your money’. So, is this ‘article over’? All move on? Everyone seek out a star to follow? Not quite. There’s increasing evidence that the star manager’s shine is beginning to dim. Bolton is a prime example. He launched a Fidelity Chinese Special Solutions Fund in 2010, which, three years later, was 14 per cent down on launch price. He announced his retirement and managed to recoup the losses before his departure. The fund has gone from strength to strength since. Let’s also look more closely at the Woodford Equity fund performance. In the year to end of November 2017, it posted a 1.59 per cent return compared with the FTSE All-Share Index at 9.76 per cent growth. In the latter three months of that period, it was down three per cent compared with the 2.84 per cent rise in the FTSE All-Share. The fund has been hit by the poor performance of holdings such as drugs firm AstraZeneca and the AA. In October last year, it was reported that asset manager Jupiter had withdrawn £300 million from the fund.


Connolly says he seeks out funds that have a deep support team of managers and analysts. “We look at fund consistency, risk management and capital allocation. We want to know that the fund will continue to do well even if the main manager gets up and leaves. We want to understand the process and the risks they’re undertaking, so there are no nasty surprises in the future,” he explains. He also believes that the increase in demand for exchange traded funds (ETFs) and passive investing in recent years has put pressure on the concept of an active star manager. “There’s a perception that the value for money you get from an active manager compared with a passive option isn’t as much as first thought,” he states. “This is despite more price competition and the need for greater transparency driving active management fees down.”

The increase in demand for exchange traded funds and passive investing in recent years has put pressure on the concept of an active star manager

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Jason Hollands, Managing Director of investment management group Tilney, picks up on Connolly’s points. He says that following the Retail Distribution Review, which was aimed at creating more investment transparency, FAs have started to use more discretionary fund managers and multi-asset fund-of-fund propositions. “Financial advisers are no longer so driven by star names. They’re increasingly referring their clients to investment managers and advisers like us,” he explains. “We have full-time analysts and undertake a more thorough approach to finding funds. As such, we look more at risk controls and methodology than individual managers outperforming for a period of time. The industry has shifted. It’s not just based on one manager’s reputation, but a deep understanding of fund process and strategy.” Star managers have also lost the trust of investors, argues Thomas McMahon, Senior Analyst at FE Trustnet. “The increased access to online investment data has chipped away at the lure of star managers for many years. Retail investors aren’t in thrall to the top managers as they once were,” he says. “Since the financial crisis, investors have also seen fund managers make the wrong calls or give the wrong opinions on the state of the economy. They bet against a recovery and came a cropper. There’s now a greater recognition that the ability to forecast multi-markets isn’t within an ordinary human being’s capability.” So, does this mean investors should simply latch on to the recent growth in robo-advisers? Perhaps not. Jonathan Miller, Director, Manager Research Ratings UK at Morningstar, believes the majority of these are focused on passive funds to keep costs low. “There’s a good user experience, but at present it’s more ‘tech’ than ‘fin’. You could buy a similarly priced multi-asset fund from an investment platform. This could advance with machine learning in the future, but not yet,” he states. Instead, McMahon, like Connolly and Hollands, sees more emphasis from investors being placed on a fund’s management team, rather than a sole leader. This is despite Trustnet producing its own fund manager performance league tables. “We look at the performance of the manager against a benchmark of their peers, including in falling and rising markets and their track records,” McMahon explains. “We have noticed, though, when compiling our research, that fund groups are increasingly keen to show that the manager has able deputies and a succession

plan in place. This is linked to greater scepticism of the star manager idea.” McMahon also mentions more of a scientific and strategic approach to selecting the best funds. “We don’t try and pick managers who outperform one year, because they may not do it the next. We look at what their focus is – M&A opportunities or stable defensive stocks,” he says. “We understand when it’s going to do well and when it isn’t. “When you look at Woodford, he’s a fund manager who has a certain strategy that some years underperforms and in others outperforms. Look at past markets and his valuations and fundamentals. His fund could rally again in different market conditions in, say, six months’ time.” It seems the lure of the star manager hasn’t quite gone away. “There’s still space for the big characters, the managers who attract a devoted crowd because of past performance and airing their views on a range of issues,” Hollands says. “But consider how much of their success is because of the support behind the scenes – the research analysts and colleagues who challenge them and the strength and consistency of the fund strategy.” n DAVID CRAIK is a freelance finance writer

What to look for in a fund manager ● Look at the manager’s performance data, and benchmark against peers. What are their top holdings in the fund portfolio? Is their experience relevant to those companies/sectors Why have they outperformed – has a particular market suited their style? ● What’s their approach to risk management? What’s made them sell a stock in the past and how do they react during difficult times? Do they invest outside of the core strategy or prefer to stay consistent? ● Look at the team behind them. How deep and experienced is it? If the main manager leaves, how badly will the fund be affected? ● Talk to the fund manager – they should be upfront and tell you when their strategy is likely to outperform or underperform. ● Look to diversify in fund managers and types of investment.

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Laying down the law Words: Chris Menon

SINCE THE BANK failures that produced the financial crisis, we’ve had numerous banking scandals, including HSBC laundering drug money for Mexican drug cartels; manipulation of the Forex markets; LIBOR fixing; the gold price fix; RBS and the actions of its Global Restructuring Group; the Wells Fargo fake accounts scandal; and the HBOS Reading fraud. In most of these cases, the banks received fines. HSBC paid $1.9bn to the US authorities in settlement for money laundering in 2012; Bank of America, UBS, RBS, JP Morgan, Citigroup and Barclays were fined a total of $9bn by US authorities and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for rigging foreign exchange markets in 2015; and Barclays was fined £26 million by the FCA in 2014 for manipulating the price of gold, with one of its traders banned and fined for inappropriate conduct. Indeed, banks globally paid $321bn in fines from 2008 to the end of 2016, for an abundance of regulatory failings, from money laundering to market manipulation and terrorist financing, according to recent data from Boston Consulting Group. In the UK, it was only in the case of the LIBOR scandal, prosecuted by the Serious

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institutions and individuals often only face a fine for their financial transgressions – so does enforcement go far enough or should the perpetrators be put behind bars?


Fraud Office (SFO), and the HBOS Reading fraud (prosecuted by Thames Valley Police) that anyone was jailed. Moreover, these weren’t senior bank staff but ‘foot soldiers’, traders, or mid-level managers. Consequently, there’s a feeling among certain groups that the people running financial institutions on both sides of the Atlantic are seemingly above the law and that the penalties imposed for ‘misdemeanours’ simply aren’t sufficient to act as a deterrent. So why have so few people been jailed? Is there a problem in assigning accountability? Is there a lack of appropriate legislation. Or is it because of a lack of enforcement? According to Anat Admati, Professor of Finance and Economics at Stanford University: “All of the above are reasons for a fundamental lack of accountability.” In a notable essay entitled It takes a village to maintain a dangerous financial system, she wrote: ‘In banking, the public interest in safety conflicts with the incentives of people within the industry. Protecting the public requires effective regulations because market forces fail to do so. Without effective regulations, dangerous conduct is enabled and perversely rewarded. Because the harm is difficult to connect to specific policy failures and individuals, it persists. ‘Even if a crisis occurs, the enablers of the system can promote narratives that divert attention from their own responsibility… The narrative that crises are largely unpreventable shifts attention to emergency preparedness and away from better rules to reduce the frequency of emergencies in the first place.’ Ian Fraser, an investigative journalist who wrote Shredded: Inside RBS, the bank that broke Britain, broadly agrees. He acknowledges that “the way bankers are incentivised – which hasn’t really changed that much since the financial crisis – drives them to push the envelope and, in extreme circumstances, to turn a blind eye to, or commit financial crimes. “The real problem, and the reason you get recidivism in financial services, is because of Deferred Prosecution Arrangements and other settlements between regulators and financial institutions. These give the individuals responsible for the criminal behaviour – which could be LIBOR rigging, false accounting, money laundering, all manner of financial crimes – a ‘get-out-of-jail-free’ card.”

there’s a feeling among certain groups, that people running financial institutions on both sides of the atlantic are seemingly above the law

LEVEL OF PUNISHMENT Responsibility for imposing penalties depends on the nature of the crime. An FCA spokesperson says a distinction must be made

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between regulatory infractions – where a firm or individual breaches its rules or principles for businesses – and a criminal case, where they break the law. This spokesperson stresses that the regulator has punished banks with fines, where appropriate, although the FCA also has the power to prosecute some offences through the criminal courts – for example, insider trading. It’s the SFO that generally investigates and prosecutes the most serious or complex cases of fraud, bribery or corruption, where a jail sentence is more likely. But in such criminal prosecution cases, the burden of proof is higher – beyond reasonable doubt – than for civil enforcement. Still, shouldn’t criminal charges be more common, especially for people running these institutions? This is certainly the view of Jonathan Fisher, a barrister who specialises in fighting corporate wrongdoing. “It’s unacceptable that companies bearing a responsibility for their contributing conduct – for their failure to supervise and have adequate systems in place to prevent economic crime – haven’t been required to answer for that failure in a criminal court.” The direction of travel seems to be increasing corporate liability for failure to prevent financial crime. With the UK Bribery Act (aimed at bribery and corruption) and the recently introduced Criminal Finances Act (aimed at tax evasion), prosecutors must only prove a corporation failed to prevent a crime, rather than direct complicity. Under these acts, any penalties for a criminal offence are imposed by the court and there are no statutory minimums.

RAISING THE BAR The SFO appears to be more bullish on amending corporate criminal liability law to ensure the people at the top are punished for financial crimes. It’s been arguing that, apart from bribery and tax evasion, the law should encompass fraud, theft, false accounting, and acquiring and concealing the proceeds of crime. Hannah von Dadelszen, Joint Head of Fraud at the SFO, was quoted in the Financial Times as saying: “Increasing the scope of corporate criminal liability would have a massive impact on the way we are able to prosecute.” David Cadin, Managing Partner of law firm Bedell Cristin, doesn’t think regulators need more powers. “They need more structure,” he says. “We should decide what we want to achieve and what the rules should be, so that the regulators have a transparent framework within which to work.” Others, however, are much more critical. Indeed, Ian Fraser argues: “To an extent, they don’t fully use the powers they have. But there’s also a widespread view that the FCA, in particular, is a ‘captured’ regulator, to the extent that a lot of the senior people from there go through a revolving door to much higher paid jobs in banks, then come back again.”


A distinction must be made between regulatory infractions and a criminal case where firms break the law

Naturally, the FCA rigorously disputes this, with their spokesperson stating: “The FCA is aware of both the potential risks and benefits of this movement. As part of our Code of Conduct, the FCA actively manages possible conflicts of interest when an individual accepts a new role outside of the FCA. We will move an individual to a role that removes any conflict of interest during their notice period.” The SFO comes out only slightly better in Fraser’s estimation. “The SFO is definitely under-resourced and it is pretty incompetent,” he claims. Cadin agrees that, given the events of 2008, the current system is evidently not working. His solution appears enticingly straightforward. “To improve, all institutions should lay down internal rules, which need to be clearly defined and regularly measured against.” Others are convinced that the laws must be changed and enforced. Anat Admati explains: “There isn't a ‘silver bullet’ answer to get corporations to act on behalf of society. We probably need to change laws to create more accountability.” Ian Fraser adds: “I think the solution is to apply the law as you do in other areas of human activity. Why should there be a two-tier justice system, whereby bankers appear still to be able to commit crimes with impunity and just walk away with their pensions and their past bonuses? It is just wrong.” Clearly, some feel strongly that financial enforcement needs to go much further to deal with financial wrongdoing in the UK if corporations and the people running them are to be properly accountable. Choosing the way forward might not be so straightforward. n CHRIS MENON is a freelance finance writer

The view from the Channel Islands Enforcing financial regulation is a mammoth task and David Cadin, Managing Partner at Bedell Cristin, believes it’s easier to regulate in the Channel Islands. “We have more engaged regulators in the islands who are closer to the businesses and have a better understanding of their activities,” he says. “We also have a shorter regulatory chain and people who work to ensure that the islands’ reputations remain strong by being at the forefront of regulatory standards and transparency.” This is also the view of John Harris, Director General of the Jersey Financial Services Commission. “It’s a lot easier in a small place like Jersey. As the regulator, we take regulatory action when offences are committed, we work hand in hand with our investigation and criminal prosecution colleagues. We share information, intelligence and evidence according to standard protocols, and we work out who is best placed to take a case forward. “The key message I would like to get across is that obviously Jersey is a different ecosystem than the UK. The legal structure and apparatus are simpler. The regulator is the sole regulator and works with counterparts in the island’s sole criminal prosecution authority and the police authorities. In this small jurisdiction, the liaison, the delineation and demarcation lines relative to an active case are easier to manage.”

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A fine

romance It seems that the fine art market is enjoying a purple patch, making it an appealing proposition for investors – but, as with any alternative asset class, it pays to do your research up front

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in global culture, they’ve also contributed to changes in global taste, particularly when looking at individual artists or movements. Clifford cites an increase in collectors of the Arte Povera movement as a good example. In the late 1980s, global collectors hungered for works that embodied a celebration of wealth and consumerism. Pop Artists such as Jeff Koons produced artworks that were highly finished, glossy, brash, and often deliberately banal celebrations of their own status as consumer products. In interviews, Koons, who had spent time as a Wall Street commodity broker, presented himself as a businessman rather than an artist. It was a strategy that led to Koons being one of the most soughtafter artists of the 1980s. Yet as the recessions of the early 1990s hit America and Europe, the taste for ostentatious displays of wealth began to fade. For younger wealthy collectors, many emerging from the socially liberal atmosphere of Hollywood and a nascent Silicon Valley, the modest appearance and cerebral meanings of Arte Povera felt a better fit for their portfolios and for the public images of collectors themselves. Those who caught this shift early were rewarded as an academic reappraisal of these artists took place and national collections staged major retrospective exhibitions, raising the visibility of the movement as a whole and, in turn, the value of the individual works.

GUIDING HAND With a market so strongly influenced by immeasurable, unpredictable and subjective forces such as ‘taste’, and which has its own rarefied and specialist language developed over hundreds of years by an international network of gallerists, practitioners and academics, it’s clear that anyone new to collecting needs a reliable and trustworthy guide to navigate this labyrinthine world. Increasingly, these guides are taking the form of consultants and private dealers. Such has the importance of these independent advisers risen that private dealer sales have now overtaken auction sales – once the backbone of the industry. In part, this is due to the privacy and discretion that conducting sales and purchases away from the headlinegrabbing environment of the public auction can afford. But the private dealer can also offer a one-to-one relationship and access to a wide range of expertise. Cory Fuller of Gladwell & Patterson, a Knightsbridge-based dealership with a 250-year history specialising in modern and contemporary painting, stresses the importance of this personal relationship. “It’s important to remember that auction

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Words: Howard Litchfield Pictures: Charles Shearn

ON 15 NOVEMBER 2017 at Christies in New York, Salvator Mundi, a Renaissance portrait of Christ attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, sold at auction for $450.3 million, shattering the record price for a painting. Given that this represented a return for the seller of more than $300 million since it last appeared for auction in 2013, even those who’ve never previously thought of investing in art may pause for thought. While such headline-grabbing sales are outliers rather than regular occurrences, even the most cursory glance at reports over the past 10 years reveals a global fine art market that continues to remain in rude health, despite a decade of economic and political upheavals. The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) annual report 2017, for example, reveals that global fine art sales in 2016 amounted to $45bn. One of the first puzzles that a new investor encounters is, what exactly is ‘fine art’? The term once referred to objects whose only purpose was aesthetic, as opposed to the ‘applied arts’ or ‘crafts’ – those practices such as ceramics, furniture and textiles which produce primarily functional objects. Since the turn of the 1900s, however, artists have broadened their practices to include these materials and processes – Picasso, for example, made many ceramic works, and the definition of fine art has expanded to include almost anything an artist chooses to turn their hand to. These days, a fine art sale can include almost any form of art or material, from painting and sculpture to maps, tapestries and photographs – or even nautical models. Historically, the fine art market has weathered global economic storms, partially as a result of the confidence that art’s status as a tangible asset class inspires, but also because of the way in which the dynamics of the collecting market can shift. Chris Clifford, Director of CCASM Modern and Contemporary, an art consultancy based in Jersey, points to a shift that was seen in the profile of global collectors around the financial crash of 2008. “There was a sense that established collectors from Europe and America were being more cautious. But that gap in the pool of buyers was quickly filled by new high-wealth individuals from emerging markets such as China and Russia, who didn’t feel so exposed to risk,” he explains. Indeed, the TEFAF report describes the market as undergoing “a shift rather than a shrinkage”. While these shifts in the profile of collectors have functioned as a bulwark against the slings and arrows of global finance, combined with broader changes


houses have to balance the competing interests of the seller and the buyer, whereas we work for the buyer only.” So what are the risks and pitfalls that a good art adviser can help you avoid? As with any investment, due diligence is a must and in the art world, the provenance and authenticity of an artwork are key to ensuring that you’re getting what you think you’ve paid for. Greta Pender, Senior Trust Manager at Saffery Champness, describes provenance as “an unbroken chain of evidence that links the work to the artist.” In the modern and contemporary markets, provenance can include a wide range of documentary evidence, from receipts and ledger books from the original sale, to a framer’s label on the back of a painting, contemporary photographs and newspaper reviews – anything that can track the journey of the work from the original artist to the current owner. In the Old Masters market, however, the fragility and scarcity of surviving documentation can lead to breaks in the chain of evidence. In these cases, a consensus among art historians, curators and dealers is vital. Hence the Salvator Mundi is categorised as being ‘attributed to’ rather than ‘by’ Leonardo as, despite a huge consensus that he did indeed paint it, absolute proof is unavailable. In this area of research, once largely

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conducted in dusty archives and libraries, digital technology has had a perhaps surprising impact. Prender highlights the increasing use of blockchain technology in assembling a work’s provenance. “Now we can compile all this information and copies of documents into one file which we can pass on to the client,” she says. In this case, the ‘unbroken chain’ and any changes made to it are permanently recorded and embedded into the architecture of the digital file itself.

BURDEN OF PROOF And yet provenance isn’t the whole story. Once you’ve established that there are records of the artist producing the work, you must next prove that the work itself isn’t a copy or a forgery. Traditionally, the proof of authenticity has been in the purview of connoisseurs – respected experts whose study of a particular school or artist enables them to identify such minute details as an artist’s characteristic brushstrokes. But scientific advances in imaging and the chemical analysis of materials used have moved this process into the laboratory. Here again, a good dealer will have access to this technical expertise through a network of contacts within the academic institutions that conduct this sort of analysis. Pender, Clifford and Fuller all stress the need for doing your research – both

in terms of the works themselves and the dealer or adviser you choose to be your guide through the art world. As Fuller says: “You need to research your dealer as much as the art.” In the case of a dealership such as Gladwell & Patterson, a 250-year record of satisfied collectors is a solid indicator of reputation and expertise. But beyond that, digital technology is increasing transparency by making it easier for collectors to research the pedigree of artworks and dealers, with websites such as, and Artprice making auction and sales records freely available. Clifford agrees that the increased transparency the digital revolution has brought can only be a good thing for collectors. “When the market was centred around a handful of commercial galleries, there was no benchmark, no ability to make comparisons, but now the market is becoming demystified and democratised.” Another consideration is hidden costs. While the headline price for Salvator Mundi was $450 million, $50 million of that was the auction house’s commission. In addition, there may be other costs that need to be considered. As Pender highlights: “Will an export licence be needed? Does the work have any special storage, conservation or handling needs? What about insurance?” Uncovering these costs is a key function of a good art adviser.

So, are there any particular artists, schools or movements that offer a good starting place for the new collector? Twentieth century art has traditionally been one of the strongest areas, with Chinese and European painters making up the top 20 artists by sales in 2016. Fuller cites Impressionism as a good example of a modern movement that traditionally performs well in terms of sales, but also offers opportunities to the newcomer. “You have your ‘big brands’ like Claude Monet whose work always sells at headline prices, but there are lesser known artists such as Gustave L’Oiseau and Mary Cassatt, and across the modern movements there are plenty of artists who are unknown outside art history circles,” he says. As these lesser known artists are researched and re-evaluated, new passions are ignited among collectors and it can take only a couple of high-price sales to push that artist’s work into the big leagues. So, what should the guiding principal be for the new collector taking their first steps into art investment? For Fuller, an awareness of both quality and price is primary “We advise collectors to buy the best they can with their money. They may have their eyes on a work coming up at auction, but with our contacts, we may well be able to find a better work by the same artist for sale at a lower price from another source.” In this world, where such apparently intangible factors as taste and passion compete with monetary value, what should lead – the heart, the passion and the love of art, or the head and the bottom line? In the final analysis, it has to be a careful balance of both. Or, as Pender says: “Just because the heart leads, it doesn’t mean the head should be asleep.” n HOWARD LITCHFIELD is a freelance art writer

The importance of independent advisers has risen so much that private dealer sales have now overtaken auction sales

Glossary of artistic movements Old Masters – broad term applied to works created before c.1800 (Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Artemisia Gentileschi) Modern Art – painting and sculpture produced from the mid-19th century to the 1960s. Characterised by an increased focus on abstraction, shape, form and colour. Includes movements such as Impressionism, Cubism and Abstract Expressionism (Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondrian, Lee Krasner) Contemporary Art – broad term to describe work produced and exhibited by living artists, often used incorrectly as interchangeable with Modern Art (Phillida Barlow, Rachel Whiteread, Chris Ofili) Pop Art – art produced from the 1960s onwards that celebrates consumerism, advertising and popular culture. Often practitioners used commercial production techniques such as screen printing and casting to produce multiple versions of the same piece. (Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Jeff Koons) Conceptual Art – art which rejected the traditional forms of painting and sculpture in favour of household and industrial materials and processes to foreground the idea behind the work rather than the work itself (Marcel Duchamp, Joseph Kosuth, Mary Kelly) Arte Povera – literally ‘poor art’. Conceptual art from 1960s Italy (Mario Merz, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Luciano Fontana) Impressionism – group of European painters who rejected the mythological and historical subjects and techniques of academic art in favour of painting scenes from modern life using rough brushwork and newly available commercially produced paints to convey the impression of the dynamic light and movement of urban life (Claude Monet, Mary Cassatt, Camille Pissarro)

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Is the end nigh for the Channel Islands? Aonghus Fraser, Technology evangelist and CEO of ATAM ID Technologies, argues that Guernsey and Jersey will suffer a gradual demise if they don’t get to grips with technology IN THE EARLY 19th century, the unanticipated downfall of shipbuilding in the Channel Islands was triggered by steam-powered vessels and the transition from wood to steel – the first industrial revolution. Not technology as we know it today, but technology nonetheless. As quickly as Airbnb disrupted the hotel industry and Uber disrupted taxis, shipbuilding in the islands was gone. Shortly after World War II, the tourism boom barely lasted a generation, as lower cost air travel made it more cost-effective to spend a week in Spain or Greece than a relatively expensive Jersey or Guernsey. Economies of scale, coupled with supply and demand and aircraft fuel efficiency, were all factors in this shift. The pivot from tourism-dependent economies to globally renowned financial centres of excellence didn’t happen overnight – there was a very deliberate collective effort. The Channel Islands have re-invented themselves through the centuries. But if we don’t pay attention and act on the threats to our current dependency on financial services, we risk becoming irrelevant and obsolete in a competitive global market.

FINTECH REVOLUTION Technology isn’t new in finance, but the term fintech is relatively recent. It isn’t just an amalgamation of the words finance and technology, but signifies a disruptive approach in the finance industry, leveraging technology. Over one million traditional banking customers have switched to services provided by fintech start-ups such as Revolut and Monzo. Both offer pre-paid currency cards with a richer user experience, consumer-friendly features, reduced FX costs and better service – all thanks to technology. Fintech start-ups have significant advantages when competing with established traditional financial services companies – no legacy estate; no difficult

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roadmap to plan; the ability to leverage cloud services; and no legacy (human) resource pool. The technological advantages of fintech start-ups are fairly obvious. Arguably a greater benefit for start-ups, however, is their attitude and culture. A traditional workforce that’s set in its ways and resistant to change can result in an institutional failure to adapt quickly enough, and presents a significant risk to those organisations. An adaptive culture is as important as the correct adoption of technology – the famous Peter Drucker quote ‘Culture eats strategy for breakfast’ rings true.

GRADUAL DEMISE If the Channel Islands are collectively unable to adapt to the evolving landscape, there’s no doubt that business will start to trickle away – a death by 1,000 cuts. This will be echoed in supporting industries and will have a dramatic effect on our economies as a whole. The finance era initially attracted experienced financiers and accountants, and we’ve since been successfully ‘growing our own’ too. However, an unintended side-effect of the success of the finance industry is that many school leavers without a specific vocation will default to ‘just getting a job in finance’. Lower skilled, relatively manual jobs that are widespread in the finance industry are in real danger of being replaced permanently by automation and artificial intelligence. Anything that’s easy for a human to do will soon be automated. Organisations capable of reducing their dependency on the lower skilled administrative jobs by automating them will be able to scale cost-effectively and reduce their costs. Those that continue to rely on manual, paper-based approaches will be left behind. This shift in mindset needs to be mirrored between industry and education – it’s important for the default ‘just getting a

Illustration: Thinus Slabber

job in finance’ school of thought to evolve if we want to be able to adapt. The gradual decline in the finance industry is a concern. However, it’s not one that we’re powerless to stop – we can start working towards a smarter future. As small jurisdictions, there’s a need to recognise that we’re in permanent competition with an increasingly global market. Globalisation and advances in technology continue to make doing business even easier – with anybody, in any location, at any time. Whilst this presents opportunities for the Channel Islands, new markets with hungry, lean, low-cost start-ups are also presented with these opportunities. So, there’s increasing opportunity, but increasing threat. What are our unique selling points? What areas are going to present the best opportunities for the Channel Islands to compete? What will continue to ‘keep the Channel Islands great’? There are local advantages that could be more competitive globally and mitigate some of the risks our islands face.

WORKING TOGETHER Trading on our reputation is a real advantage. All financial services organisations are trying to implement cost-effective Client Due Diligence (CDD) and Know Your Client (KYC) programmes, each investing separately in technology and people (some with large offshore teams). Automated reporting to regulators is another area that can be a significant cost to financial services organisations, yet will become the norm. What if the debatable advantages in

Opinion competing with each other on regulatory efficiency were sacrificed for the greater good? A collective effort in solving some of the regulatory challenges would result in lower overall costs and all participants being able to focus less on the regulatory issues and more on quality and level of service. Working with the regulators for standardising approaches as a jurisdiction would then be an advantage in the global marketplace. A rising tide lifts all boats. One area that would benefit from working together, and which could be promoted off-island as an advantage when doing business here, is digital identity – facilitating CDD/KYC. The quicker and easier it is for anybody to be checked to an appropriate trusted level, the better. As more and more reporting becomes automated, making a collective and consistent effort in this area will result in reduced overall costs and competitiveness in the global marketplace.

teachers, parents and industry. There are initiatives under way, but there’s always more that could be done. Fostering entrepreneurship and an attitude for lifelong learning mitigates the risk of us being left with unemployed lower skilled finance workers. Just as change in large organisations can be difficult, changing the mindset of a generation and population overall isn’t going to be easy, but it’s essential – the risks are real.

It’s incumbent on all of us to work together for the benefit of our islands to avoid our collective demise. We need to be ‘match fit’ for the future; ready to adapt and change. Lobbying our governments and regulators where appropriate, collaborating to ensure we can continue to prosper as the technology landscape evolves at an ever-increasing pace. n

CUTTING-EDGE COLLABORATION Neither are we spending enough time looking at how the latest technologies can benefit our customers and our own organisations. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are becoming easier to leverage, but it can still be risky or cost-prohibitive for smaller companies to embark on programmes exploring these cutting-edge technologies. By collaborating and pooling together resources, scenarios that benefit all could be explored and evaluated with a view to being more competitive globally. In some sectors, there’s a shift in demographic in terms of high-net-worth clients – the younger generations will be expecting technology-led services. Retaining this clientele will be key to avoiding a gradual decline. Technology worldwide is a growing sector, and will continue to grow. Instead of ‘just getting a job in finance’, there could be a significant impact on the Channel Islands if our school leavers were better equipped for careers in technology. This requires a collective effort from everybody – education,

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Show a little respect There’s an old saying about attracting more flies with honey than with vinegar – and it appears the same can be said when it comes to being respectful in business Words: Dave Waller

out her timeless call for a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Half a century on, and everyone from Hollywood’s Harvey Weinstein to the UK’s very own Football Association seems intent on demonstrating how far we still have to go in that respect. But while the abuse of power quite rightly grabs the headlines, the issue of respect goes far beyond individuals vastly overstepping the mark in the workplace. Businesses are equally likely to disrespect clients and suppliers too. A lack of respect can manifest itself in myriad ways, from taking an age to respond to emails or settle invoices, to treating dealings with a particular client like it’s a massive chore. And disrespectful people may be perfectly happy to make unreasonable demands the other way – expecting people to be on call and to do whatever it takes to achieve what they feel they’ve paid for. “People will reveal how much they respect the other person by how they behave towards them,” says Rob Grundel, Founder of Somekind, a London-based change consultancy. “Often it’s implicit. If you ask whether they respect them, they’ll say they do, but their behaviour will demonstrate differently. So, does it matter what the other side thinks, or is it just about what you think about things?” Grundel notes that these giveaway behaviours can often be subtle, such as how people treat other people’s time – whether meetings start and finish punctually, for example. But disrespect can be more overt. Phil Eyre, Founder of Guernsey-based consultancy Leaders, recalls working with one team that had developed a habit of giving each other nicknames – and then begun applying it ‘quite aggressively’ to the head of another business. “They had an

internal lack of trust and respect,” he says. “Their approach was disrespectful, even if this key stakeholder was totally unaware of it, and it began affecting the negotiations with him.” If a lack of respect isn’t exactly difficult to spot sometimes, neither are the reasons why it may have developed in the first place. The capitalist system still puts far greater emphasis on competition than it does on collaboration, creating a dog-eat-dog world where each party may feel encouraged to treat those it encounters along the way simply as a means of achieving the best terms for itself. “If the core of the relationship is purely transactional, and the other party becomes nothing but a facilitation for more money, you have the beginnings of a lack of respect,” says Eyre. “And there’s a strong chance trust has evaporated.”

FROM THE TOP DOWN This seems a danger inherent in the system. And it only gets worse when the economy goes belly-up like the UK’s has. Shelley Kendrick, Founder of Jersey-based recruiter Kendrick Rose, says this has created a ‘concertina effect’, in which pressured employees simply pass their stresses on to their opposite numbers, who are themselves under greater pressure too. Respect suddenly slips a long way down the to-do list. “I’ve spoken to clients being cut to the bone in terms of service fees and what their client wants,” says Kendrick. “Everyone’s under pressure to deliver a bang for their buck. Lots of companies out there are very respectful and nice to deal with, but if people are under the cosh from their bosses, it all just spirals down.”

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IT’S NOW JUST over 50 years since Aretha Franklin first spelled


A lack of respect can be symptomatic of a wider cultural problem in how a particular business is run, and the clues people pick up from how their managers act. Even if individuals aren’t disrespectful, things may well turn toxic if a company isn’t deliberate about establishing and promoting its values. “If no one knows what everyone else’s values are, they won’t be brave enough to bring a higher virtue into the mix,” says Grundel. “And it’s a brave thing to stand up and say: ‘Guys I think we should be more like this’. They’ll probably choose to dumb down their values instead.” So, what does all this matter? Is it actually important to be all nicey-nicey when it comes to turning the wheels of business? Actually it is. While some of this is going to manifest itself in small, daily niggles, it isn’t just another issue to be lumped in under the ‘snowflake’ banner. Disrespectful behaviour can quickly prove costly – both to your reputation and, consequently, your coffers. “A disrespectful business might get a very good short-term deal on the table – saving money, or poaching the best salesperson,” says Eyre. “So they can say ‘well done’ for about five minutes. But in the longer term, a second deal – a far more rewarding long-term partnership – won’t happen. And these can become financial costs quite quickly. A good reputation is built on trust. And trust is built on respect.”

TAKING STOCK The good news is that instilling respect needn’t require a full-scale cultural overhaul. A good first step is to look at how you set up your relationship with your clients and suppliers in the first place. “So little work is done around building contracts, agreeing up front how we’re going to work together,” says Grundel. He points out that even though he’s fully

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A lack of respect can manifest itself in myriad ways, from taking an age to respond to emails or settle invoices, to treating dealings with a particular client like it’s a massive chore

aware of the dangers here, even he can still fall victim to it – he recently realised that one client is starting to use him as ‘a commodity’. “Some of the people there are so lazy with some of the work, they just go: ‘Well, Rob will do it’,” he says. “They’re holding me to a higher level of accountability than they are holding themselves. “I find that hugely disrespectful, so now I’m in a position of asking how I’m going to renegotiate the contract of how we work together. They’re not going to do it, obviously, so that’s on me to do.” Much of this comes down to taking stock of behaviours and being proactive about sorting them out. When made aware of their patterns, Eyre’s toxic nickname team decided to make a point of resisting making comments about the external party,

and instead viewing them in a more positive light. “They took out the personality from the equation and approached any negativity much more objectively,” he says. “And they got a much better outcome as a result. “We ended up creating a respect charter – providing this business with a dozen or so actual behaviours of what respect looks like in business. A key one was: ‘argue the point, not the person’.” Eyre admits that it did take a month for some people to “realise that true business success relies on the importance of relationships over numbers”. But the key thing is that people can learn. This is important, as respect certainly needs to come from the top – where attitudes can often be the source of the problem. “I met one senior director who was very abrasive,” says Kendrick. “He had no self-awareness and didn’t realise his own actions. But a couple of years later, we met up for coffee and he was a completely different person – pussycat nice and humble, when he’d been nasty and arrogant. He’d had executive coaching, which had helped him realise the impact of how he behaved on others. So it can work.” And how can you deal with a lack of respect if you’re on the receiving end? It’s perfectly easy for relationships that were once healthy to slip and become less constructive. The reality is that the vast majority of us need to work with those we may not wholly respect. If that’s the case, it’s about finding common ground where you can connect. “Choosing to be respectful and behaving well with this other business, even if you have some concerns, is far better for longterm growth than being suspicious and treating them badly,” says Eyre. “It’s about becoming the bigger person.” n DAVE WALLER is a freelance business writer


Rebels with a cause

Words: Emma De Vita

WE’VE ALL NOTICED those crazy firms based

somewhere hip like Silicon Valley, whose rebellious ways spark jealousy or incredulity. Maybe it’s unlimited staff holiday, no managers, or setting your own salary that catch the eye. But which of these corporate rebels are really pioneering radicals using groundbreaking strategies to give themselves a competitive edge, and which are the wannabes clumsily following new trends? And what can the rest of us learn from them? According to Julian Birkinshaw, Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at London Business School, there are two types of rebellious firm. The first is the start-up with a founder who deliberately seeks to create a countercultural way of working. Take software start-up Valve, based in Seattle, whose founders decided to run it without any hierarchy or managers. Other examples from the tech world include

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The road to business success can be a bumpy one, so it’s not surprising that certain bosses – so-called corporate rebels – are coming up with new ways of getting there


One of the biggest differences is that corporate rebels give a lot of responsibility, freedom and trust to the employees to make the most important decisions in the business

Riot Games in LA, and Supercell in Helsinki, both of which also eschewed the traditional corporate hierarchy. “These are companies that were founded in typically very tech-friendly sectors with visionary chief executives who said: ‘I want to create a different type of company’,” says Birkinshaw. They’re able to try out radical ideas because they’re so small, he explains. If a company has 150 employees or fewer, a founder can know everyone and get things done through personal relationships. The company has the freedom to organise itself in whatever wacky way it likes, and still enjoy success. “Once you get beyond that magic number, you’ve got to start building some kind of rules and structures to cope with size, otherwise the system collapses,” says Birkinshaw. This is when things get interesting. As the radical tech start-ups grow into huge companies – Spotify, Amazon and Facebook, for example – they look to resolving the tension between being small and radical with the demands of running a large organisation. This means taking corporate rebellion to the next level, where experimentation with new ways of organising work and people can provide inspirational lessons to other medium-sized and large organisations.

ORIGINAL THINKERS Alternative or crazy management systems aren’t the sole purview of Silicon Valley. There are famous examples of pioneering companies elsewhere that over the decades have dared to do things differently. These include Danish hearing aid company

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Oticon, famous for its ‘spaghetti’ style of management. In 1990, its new boss scrapped formal job titles and no employee had a desk or role of their own, except one they chose from a list of projects on a bulletin board. Managers became coordinators and each self-managed their own projects. Then there’s Brazilian manufacturer Semco Partners, run by Ricardo Semler, who turned the company around by adopting a radical, highly democratic and transparent approach to organising employees. He got rid of rules, working hours and most layers of management, and introduced profit sharing – with astonishing results. “The trouble is that, as soon as you start picking up on this stuff, you start going a bit crazy because you realise there’s no new idea under the sun,” says Birkinshaw. Pim de Morree is one of the Dutch self-styled Corporate Rebels, whose mission is to visit 60 fellow rebels around the world who challenge the status quo. “One of the biggest differences is that they give a lot of responsibility, freedom and trust to the employees to make the most important decisions in the business,” he says. Corporate Rebels has identified eight rebellious traits: swapping rules for a clear set of values; replacing the traditional corporate hierarchy with a network of small teams; favouring supportive leadership over directive leadership; moving from trying to predict and plan to experimentation and adaptability; giving people freedom and trust instead of rules and control; having


authority distributed not centralised; being radically transparent about the organisation not secretive; and letting people create their own job descriptions. De Morree holds up two radical examples from his ‘bucket list’ of pioneers. One is Buurtzorg, a Dutch healthcare start-up that employs 14,000 homecare nurses. It’s run with teams of 12 nurses who completely self-manage themselves and are entirely responsible for running their own neighbourhood team – from planning the work and executing it, to hiring staff. They operate without rules or guidelines and there are no managers. As long as the teams produce the right results, head office doesn’t interfere. “They manage themselves, so there’s no appointed team leader,” explains de Morree. “But, of course, in such things when there’s no official hierarchy, a natural form of hierarchy arises. So, the people with the more natural leadership skills will be the ones who take more leadership within the team.” De Morree’s other surprising example of a rebellious pioneer is the Belgian Federal Office of Social Affairs (see box, right).

REAPING THE REWARDS The benefits these corporate rebels describe are numerous. Henry Stewart founded computer training business Happy 25 years ago along the radical lines that Ricardo Semler set out at Semco. “If you trust people and instead of telling them what to do, support them and coach them, you’ll get a better place to work, and they’ll be more productive and innovative,” says Stewart. “Everything we’ve done has proven that.” Not only will employees be more engaged and therefore more productive, they will also be easy to recruit and retain. “The motivation [behind corporate rebellion] is sometimes productivity-based, sometimes it’s a conviction on the part of a chief executive that they want to do good in the world,” says Birkinshaw. “They want to have a happy workforce who are therefore more engaged, and they want to be more agile – they want to be able to compete with Silicon Valley start-ups. They want to attract the next generation of workers, who want to have meaning in their work. There’s always a business imperative.” However, the path to corporate rebellion doesn’t just involve the wholesale transplant of another organisation’s way of doing things. “The biggest mistake you can make as a big company is to say: ‘That’s what Spotify’s doing, so we’re just going to do that ourselves’,” cautions Birkinshaw. “Almost certainly, that will fail because you haven’t built the surrounding set of capabilities or processes to support whatever it is Spotify is doing. What you have to do is extract the principle and make it your own.” De Morree agrees. “The Spotify model is very hip, but when we visited Spotify, the first thing they said was: ‘This Spotify model everybody talks about isn’t the way we work ourselves – it’s way too fixed’. Because people have seen a blogpost and a video on how we work, they take this as the complete truth. They don’t look at the nuance behind this system, which is that all

Case study: The Belgian Federal Office of Social Affairs The Belgian Federal Office of Social Affairs began a massive transformation in 2004, under its new Secretary General, Frank van Massenhove (pictured). He employed radical techniques to turn around the ailing department, which he described as “the worst government ministry in the western hemisphere”. Although the transformation was led by van Massenhove, employees were very much involved in determining how the government department should be run. “It gave its employees a huge amount of freedom and trust to make their decisions,” explains Pim de Morree from Corporate Rebels. “These people are allowed to work whenever and wherever they want, so they don’t need to be in the office from nine to five. The only thing they have to take care of is that they get the stuff done. On an average day, there are only 10 per cent of employees actually in the office and the rest are either working from home or not working.” The result? Year-on-year double-digit productivity growth despite fewer hours worked – and people knocking down its door to work there.

the teams at Spotify can determine their own way of working. When other companies start implementing this Spotify model, they’re really implementing a fixed way of working which is completely against the whole idea that Spotify itself has.” Even so, de Morree says the biggest risk for most companies is to continue working the way they do. What corporate rebels are really good at is asking employees how their work can be better organised, what barriers can be removed, and involving them in running the business. “By doing that, you don’t have to make this crazy transformation from one day to another, you can simply start making small changes, start experimenting and moving from there,” he says. Not every radical idea works, however. “Doing away with managers altogether – maybe it has worked for some, but I don’t go that far,” says Henry Stewart. “You have to work out the balance that works for you and for your people. Try it out, see if it works. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all.” n EMMA DE VITA is a freelance business writer

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Augmented reality:

the real next big thing?

with its futuristic headsets, Virtual reality may have all the razzle-dazzle, but augmented reality could turn out to have far more applications in the real world 62 january/february 2018

Words: Kirsten Morel HUMANS HAVE ALWAYS struggled to accept reality. Whether we choose to escape via entertainment, self-medicate with a pint or three, or just prefer to disappear into a book, there’s an incredible strength to our yearning for something beyond the mundanity of daily lives. The explosion of digital technology over the past few decades has enjoyed a close – some might say exploitative – relationship with our desire to escape via entertainment. In doing so, it’s given us new ways to access games, video and people who were previously located far beyond our merely analogue real-life networks. Augmented reality (AR) is one more


sensors), projection-based (movementsensitive light projections) or mapping technology, known as SLAM.” The fact that AR maps digital elements onto real-world images is the key difference between it and virtual reality (VR), which creates a immersive digital environment around the user, who wears a headset to access and interact with the virtual world. The fact that interaction with AR is primarily via mobile devices makes it far more accessible to consumers, and a vastly different commercial proposition to VR. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t being pushed towards the more immersive virtual experience.

step on the journey to an enhanced reality. As a technology, it’s being touted for uses in sectors as wide-ranging as retail, engineering and medical services, but its use within one particular game is what introduced the technology to most of us. “Augmented reality has been used in apps for years, but we hadn’t seen mainstream adoption until Pokemon Go,” says Mike Fawkner-Corbett, Head of Product at Sure. The AR trick pulled by Pokemon Go was the placing of digital characters in a real-world environment using smartphones as the interface. It’s this combination of the digital and the real that characterises AR. “Augmented reality is the layering of digital content onto the real world,” explains Max Dawes, Partnerships and Marketing Director at UK-based AR company Zappar. “The content could be in the form of a video playing on a page

of a magazine or a three-dimensional model that seems to sit on the page and can be manipulated and interacted with.” While Pokemon Go may have proven to be something of a fad – the number of players plummeted within 12 months of release – that shouldn’t detract from the sophistication of the technology that made it possible. “In technical terms, there are several ways to create an augmented reality experience,” says Jane Todavchych, Business Development Manager at Ukrainian AR developer ThinkMobiles. “Marker-based examples of AR are the most common, requiring a camera for image recognition. When you point it at a marker – for instance, a printed image, code or a real person – it triggers the digital AR elements. “Alternatively, markerless AR could be location-based (GPS data and phone

“There’s a middle ground between VR and AR, called mixed reality,” says Andy Delaney, Senior Consultant at C5 Alliance. “AR overlays digital information without having any awareness of the outside world, but mixed reality senses the environment and lets you interact with the physical world through digital interaction.” Apple, which has actively promoted the development of AR applications by launching a developer tool called ARKit, has clearly decided that mixed reality is the future. It’s equipped the new iPhone X with the technology it needs to deliver a mixed reality experience. “Apple has introduced a number of sensors onto the iPhone X to give it an awareness of the world around it,” explains Delaney. This awareness of the surrounding environment is already being used by companies – most famously Ikea, which is using it to create a new online shopping environment. As Delaney explains: “The Ikea AR lets you see the chosen furniture within the room you want to put it in, and lets you ‘walk’ around it.” In the world of consumer brands, AR isn’t only about selling, it’s about finding ways to get people to engage with the brand. And with attention spans in freefall, that means applying AR to a wide range of ideas. “Asda wanted to engage with their customers in ways that weren’t transactional, which led us to create Easter egg hunts and Halloween competitions,” says Zappar’s Max Dawes. “For other clients, it’s about data capture, whilst others want to engage with people on their mobile devices. Pez wanted to sell more refill packs, so we created an application called Pez Play. We’re in year two of that and they’ve had half a million downloads of the app.” As is the case with modern technology, it’s consumer applications that are garnering most of the headlines and,

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The fact that augmented reality is primarily interacted with via mobile devices makes it far more accessible to consumers

indeed, are driving the AR field forward. However, AR’s deployment will eventually reach far beyond tracking down interesting ways to encourage customers to interact with brands. “Augmented reality can take time-, location- and business-sensitive data and present it to operatives such as medics or engineers in the field, as and when they need it,” says Mike Fawkner-Corbett. “The military have long been users [think pilots’ heads-up displays], but in other areas AR could effectively simplify the level of skill needed to do a job. “Businesses can use it to drive efficiencies or improve quality – and manufacturing, medical and engineering firms will benefit from it hugely,” says Fawkner-Corbett. To some, the ultimate use of AR is to

gather distant people together for meetings. However, while it’s possible to do this using virtual reality headsets, the Hollywood dream of holographic images of people sitting around the boardroom table is still that – just a dream.

IN REALITY But while living holograms are still in the distant future, the use of virtual screens, Minority Report-style, is closer to reality. “Within a three- to five-year period, I can see people wearing headsets that give them access to screens they can interact with,” says Delaney. “Manufacturers know that the biggest impact they can have on the workplace is to enable people to define their own workplace.” And it’s at work that we may soon

see the resurrection of a technology we all thought had passed with little more impact than a fidget-spinner. “Google has relaunched Google Glass as an enterprise edition,” says Delaney. “They recognise it has a strong use case in certain sectors.” Whether it’s on our mobile phones, via headsets or with the latest rendering of Google Glass (see below), AR is edging into our world. While some of us already use it, it won’t be long before the rest of us are viewing our favourite tourist hotspots through the lens of additional digital information, or choosing our furniture without having to worry whether it actually goes with the wallpaper. n KIRSTEN MOREL is a freelance technology writer

Google Glass is Back! When Google Glass was in its heyday back in 2013/14, plenty of people feared it wouldn’t be long before we were all wandering around speaking to our hi-tech specs rather than to each other. Fast forward a couple of years and Google was announcing the end of Google Glass, much to the relief of commentators, whose fears of impending social Armageddon had been narrowly avoided. Now, just a few years after its withdrawal, Google Glass is back, only this time it’s been redeployed as a business tool rather than a consumer must-have. As a workplace tool, Glass is able to deliver information to skilled workers precisely at the point in time they need it. Paradoxically, the very fact that workers will no longer need to learn how to do the job in advance suggests that their skills may diminish over time – but that’s an argument for another day. Today, GE Aviation, a subsidiary of industrial giant GE, is using Glass in its Cincinnati plant to deliver instructions to workers on the assembly line. Rather than having to learn giant manuals of information or stopping regularly to check how to deal with an issue, the instructions are delivered to the worker within

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their line of sight as they look at the problem facing them. GE’s research has shown that production efficiency has improved by between eight and 12 per cent as a result of no longer having to stop work to check the next step. Similarly, agricultural machinery manufacturer AGCO has reported a 25 per cent fall in production time and a 30 per cent reduction in inspection times as a direct result of staff using Google Glass.


Reliable, secure and trusted. Your data, our insight. Sure International brings together industry experts in cloud services and data hosting solutions, including Mimecast, VMware, eVault and Zerto. This ensures your business has an effective and seamless multi-vendor solution for all your business needs, from disaster recovery to enterprise email management to harnessing the power of cloud computing. All solutions are delivered from our own PCI DSS and ISO 27001 accredited facilities and linked to our global network offering unsurpassed private connectivity on and off-island. Trust our experts with the security of your business data. Contact us at

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tech trends to watch

Words: Chris Menon

Want to grab a piece of the tech investment action? Here are eight sectors that are likely to have a huge impact on business – and our lives in general – in the very near future 1. EDGE COMPUTING Recent reports from research companies Gartner and Forrester identified one trend driven by the development of the Internet of Things. Known as ‘edge computing’, the collection, processing and delivery of information will take place in the device itself instead of going back to a centralised, cloud-based infrastructure. As devices such as autonomous cars and robots proliferate, for example, they’ll require extremely rapid processing power. Given the need to calculate almost instantly, sending data up the cloud and back again to get an answer will be too slow. Forrester states that by 2020, a few leaders will have emerged with integrated solutions that help them intelligently serve customers.

2. BLOCKCHAIN Blockchain, or distributed ledger technologies in general, are going beyond cryptocurrencies ‘to attack any market with valuable assets’, according to Forrester. The organisation cites distributed trust systems for shipments, which would reduce the cost of tracking and lower the risk of the shipment being stolen or payment for it being fraudulent. Many companies are working on developing this technology in the banking sector, such as venture capitalist-backed start-ups Ripple, Circle and Blockstream. In addition, John Davison, Chief Information Officer at Guernsey-based FCG, which owns First Central Insurance

Management, believes blockchain technology has the potential to disrupt the insurance vertical. “The distributed and trusted nature of the data held within the blockchain itself creates the possibility to reverse some of the historical interactions between brokers, insurers and reinsurers,” he explains. “Add to that the near real-time nature of the data transfers and there are further opportunities to challenge the way these businesses reconcile data with one another.”

3. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE/ MACHINE LEARNING Artificial intelligence (AI) has become increasingly popular over the past few years due to advances in deep learning and machine decision-making. Lorne Daniel, Research Director, Technology at broker finnCap, says: “AI is being applied pretty much everywhere now in every offering. Everyone’s collecting so much data that it’s impossible to do anything manually anymore. Data storage and processing is so cheap in the cloud that AI is economic for every application, and has become a necessity to compete, given that everyone else is using it.” Banking, for example, will use AI techniques to model current real-time transactions, and to make predictive models of transactions based on how likely they are to be fraudulent. Oswald Lopes, Head of Operations and Delivery for Infrasoft Technologies, explains: “We’ve seen a lot of demand from banks for our fraud solution using AI, and we’re also developing chatbots using machine learning to service bank customers online.”

4. VIRTUAL REALITY Virtual reality (VR) is set to become a powerful tool for business, as it enables people to immerse themselves in a digital


world, interacting and learning from situations that can be altered at the press of a button. Almost any task that can be completed in the real world can be modelled and tested in the VR one. Today, this is used in areas such as aircraft design, with Boeing and Airbus using VR to design and test prototypes. In the future, as eye-tracking software and haptic feedback is added to fully simulate sight and touch, and the quality of graphics improves, everyone from fighter pilots to surgeons will be able to hone their skills in the VR world. It should also be possible for groups to participate in virtual meetings.

5. SOFTWARE ROBOTS According to Forrester, software robots will increasingly take over white-collar jobs, so that by 2020 it will be common for humans to be working alongside software bots. As Martin Ford, author of Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future, says: “Workers will face an unprecedented challenge trying to adapt to a world in which machines take over most of the routine, predictable tasks… and more advanced work as well.” Consultancy and construction company Mace, for instance, estimates that 600,000 jobs in construction could go by 2040. And even doctors could be replaced by software able to diagnose and treat illnesses.

6. AUTONOMOUS CARS Cars are increasingly going to take over the driving function from drivers. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are expected to increase by more than 40 per cent a year over the next couple of years, according to Asian investment consultancy CLSA, driven both by regulatory mandates and consumer demand. The first level 3 car (in which no driver is required under certain conditions such as motorways) is already on the road. Established carmakers Honda, General Motors, Ford and Volvo, as well as new entrants Waymo, Tesla and Dyson, are working on bringing fully autonomous cars into cities by 2020/21 – most likely in taxi-type services. However, widescale adoption of driverless cars is expected to be 10 to 15 years away, according to many industry commentators. As Ramnath Eswaravadivoo, Senior Research Analyst at research company Frost & Sullivan, states: “Reliability of the software, infrastructure, regulations, insurance, connectivity and many more factors need to be considered before it’s commercialised.”

7. E-SPORTS E-sports, organised competitive online gaming as a spectator sport, is set to go mainstream. Global tournaments are already being watched by millions around the world. Indeed, one recent tournament – the 2017 League of Legends World Championship – attracted an audience of 60 million. Twitch, the live streaming video platform bought by Amazon in 2014, reaches half of all US millennial men, according to research from Baidu and KPCB, and the global number of players is set to hit 165 million this year. Research firm Newzoo, meanwhile, predicts revenues of $1.5bn by 2020 in this area, mostly from media rights, advertising and sponsorship. And given the youth of its audience, continued growth in players and revenues seems assured.

8. BRAIN-COMPUTER INTERFACES Hitherto the stuff of science fiction, scientists have made great strides in linking people’s brain activity to computers to give humans the ability to sense, control and communicate with the outside world through the power of thought. Facebook is said to be developing a skullcap that will allow users to mentally type their thoughts at 100 words per minute. And Silicon Valley entrepreneur Elon Musk has launched medical research company Neuralink, aiming to connect human brains to computers, so that thoughts – and perhaps even human consciousness – can be uploaded and downloaded. While virtual immortality may be some way off, tech firm Neurosky is already selling a device that uses brainwaves to play apps and games. n CHRIS MENON is a freelance technology writer

Three companies to watch Lower risk — One company that stands to benefit from the growth in AI, autonomous cars, gaming and VR is the US company Xilinx, which makes semiconductors core to the development of all these technologies. Medium risk — AIM-listed company Gfinity is a pure play on the growth of e-sports. It’s run by Neville Upton, who built and sold The Listening Company for more than £60 million and, according to its website, serial investor Nigel Wray holds 13 per cent of its shares. Higher risk — Coinsilium finances and manages the development of early-stage blockchain technology companies. It was the first blockchain company to go public in the UK and its shares are quoted on the NEX Exchange.

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THE AGENDA The Agenda is compiled by Businesslife’s Fashion and Lifestyle Editor, Thom O’Dwyer, with additional material by Danny Cobbs

goes all hygge

1. IN THE COMFORT ZONE This is the kind of chair you might find next to a wood-burning stove in a rustic log cabin deep in the woods with snow all around. The Yeti Armchair is the inspired work of Nick Smith, the main man at Smithers of Stamford, an online store specialising in reworked vintage, industrial and retro furniture, quirky homeware and lighting. He also creates bespoke designer furniture and upcycled homeware, all featuring an edgy, unique and curious twist on the contemporary. In 2016, his Yeti Armchair – handmade in solid mahogany and covered in long-haired Mongolian sheepskin – was featured on BBC2’s BAFTA Award-nominated TV show Money for Nothing. The simple, pure lines of the chair, combined with the inviting furry texture, sums up what hygge (pronounced ‘hue-guh’) is all about. You don’t even have to sit in it to feel warm, comfortable and snug as a bug in a rug! £950,



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2. ART UNDER FOOT When it comes to Danish interiors, carpeting is out, rustic wooden flooring is in. Understated, laid-back elegance is the goal. So soften the stripped-back flooring with area rugs, creating an inviting, relaxing ambience. At Danelaw Vintage, you’ll find a massive collection of original, one-off, heirloom Scandi rugs at every price point. The superb example pictured is a vintage Swedish woollen röllakan (or rug), designed and made circa 1948 by renowned artist and designer Judith Johansson (1916-1993). As one of Sweden’s legendary rug designers, her accomplishments as an artist earned her several distinguished awards. She drew her inspiration from the idyllic Swedish countryside round the tiny village where she lived and worked, reinterpreting it in geometric and abstract floral carpets using a specialist weaving technique. Minimalist patterns and a tight colour palette were Johansson’s trademark. That and her famous ‘JJ’ initials, which appear as a hallmark on all her treasured work. £12,500,

3. LET THERE BE CANDLELIGHT Candles – and lots of them – are an integral ingredient in the whole hygge equation. Danes reportedly burn more candles per head than anywhere else in Europe. Nothing emits an ambience of welcoming conviviality and cosiness quite like clusters of candles flickering their warming glow. Be they simple beeswax altar candles, tea candles or scented candles that summon an additional sensory pleasure to your space, scatter them like stardust around your home. Stine Dulong works and lives in London, and is the Danish ceramicist behind the brilliant SkandiHus brand. The scented, hand-poured Danish Diamond candle, pictured, is from her studio. The container is crafted using a classic technique called ‘pinching’, so every piece is unique and slightly different in size and shape. The candles come in two colours and fragrances: Black (Norwegian Wood and Musk) and White (Midsummer Sheets). Nothing says romance quite like candles. £32,


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4. GET KNITTED Cosy warmth and comfort are a crucial part of the hygge ideology. And, ladies, a full body of knit clothing is right on target! Start with a big, bulky, all-enveloping cardigan. Top Bulky is one of the brilliant styling tips you’ll find in The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking, CEO of the magical-sounding Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. To ‘hyggify’ your wardrobe, rustic romanticism is the key. The languid silhouette of the cardigan from See by Chloé, shown here, takes its inspiration from those protective coverings, capes and blanket scarves worn to ward off the brutal bite of the Nordic winter. The deep fringes and hard-edged, geometric and floral jacquard patterns give the wool and cotton blend knit that all-important folklore feel. Layer it over an outsized rollneck jumper and pair it with an asymmetric knit skirt for a top-to-toe look that will blow the winter wind away. £440,

THE AGENDA 5. BEACON OF LIGHT ‘Less is more’ – a phrase coined by 20th century minimalist architect and designer Mies van der Rohe – is an essential diktat in creating the hygge home. Keep it simple and uncomplicated. Scandi style isn’t about over-elaborate embellishment or loud colour schemes. The idea is to create a calm, serene space that’s peaceful and clutter-free. Go purely monochrome or with a subtle mixture of neutral tonal shades. Surround yourself with a few well-chosen objets to modestly enhance your unfussy home environment. The super-modern white globe table lamp with a bent metal base, pictured, is by Danish design company Bloomingville. It’s a perfect example of the New Nordic style, deeply rooted in the minimalist tradition. This major global interiors brand continues to bring new life and small surprises into the modern home. It’s all about “cultivating an environment of happiness… making the entire home look surprisingly refreshed and stylishly confident”, says Bloomingville Creative Director Betina Stampe. That and a large dose of sophisticated simplicity. £125,

6. SWEET SCENT OF NATURE Swedish-born artist Ben Gorham started his luxury fragrance brand Byredo in 2006, with a mind to create fragrances instead of paintings. Initially inspired by the olfactory delights experienced when visiting his mother’s hometown in India, he became intrigued by the creative possibilities of scent. Staying true to his Nordic roots, Gorham has brought utter simplicity and poetic purity to his understated approach to perfumery. All his fragrances are kindled by the people, places and memories surrounding his life, and every perfume produced tells a story. The distinctive smell of pencil shavings evident in the Super Cedar Eau de Parfum conjures up nostalgic memories of school days and simpler times. Cedar is one of the most identifiable scents for the human nose. It adds a certain comforting warmth redolent of log cabins, Scandinavian furniture and cosy wood fires. Perfume, as a wise man once said, is the most intense form of memory. £142, 100ml; £95, 50ml,

7. FEEL GOOD FACTOR There’s an old Danish saying that goes: ‘There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing’. Despite being as British as roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, Clarks Shoes are well in tune with the whole hygge psyche. That is, footwear that’s winter-warm, hard-wearing and unashamedly outdoorsy. So, guys, why not go with the flow and sink your feet into something you can trust. Cool dude shoes that are comfy, durable and stylishly understated. The Clarks Original Cola Leather Desert Trek Hi Boot, pictured, is crafted from rugged, heavy-grain leather, and features a comfortably roomy round toe. The boot is finished with the distinctive centre-seam stitching detail, two-eyelet lacing, and chunky crepe wedge soles. The perfect masculine addition to every man’s wardrobe. £120,




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8. ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE Hygge offers us a heart-warming lesson from Denmark. So it’s no surprise that the heart motif is also one of the most prominent symbols in Danish folk art, and that the country is reportedly the happiest country on earth – every day is Valentine’s day there. So why not bring a touch of Danish romance to Britain on 14 Feb, and celebrate that special occasion with Gucci. Add a shimmering touch of class to your beloved’s wrist with this crystal-embellished bracelet. The strap features the label’s signature red and green stripes, while the heart-shaped bauble has been lovingly struck by Cupid’s arrow. Oh, and don’t forget those three little words when you slip it on her wrist! £380,

9. SCANDI STYLE This season, American fashion designer Tory Burch drew her inspiration from her own personal heritage, going back to her roots and doing a take on all things familiar, reminders of her happiest moments. No doubt she’s well aware of the concept of hygge and its purity of purpose. While minimalism is, of course, fundamental, individualism is more often expressed through clever details and trims. In addition, being comfortable and feeling good at home are essential ingredients in the hygge lifestyle. The pure cotton Carlotta dress, pictured, ticks all the right boxes, either for a low-effort, low-pressure dinner party at home or a relaxed evening out. The shape is simplicity itself – the only decoration being the graphic geometric patterned panels and the enchanting lace trims. With a button front and charming folkloric drawstring ribbon waist, this frock is sweeter than any Danish pastry you’ll find. £465,

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10. JUST BOOTYLICIOUS Fashion-wise, head-to-toe hygge isn’t all that difficult, but you’ve got to be sure you get the footwear right. What you wear on your feet must be visibly warm, comfortable and cosy, and stylishly rugged. Functional footwear for the great outdoors on blustery winter days. Inspired by traditional Danish workers’ clogs, the ankle boots by Burberry, pictured, are meticulously handcrafted in Italy from creamy distressed leather that’s particularly soft and supple around the ankle, despite the hard-wearing appearance. Burberry’s cleverly reinvented clogs feature gold-tone metal toe panels, gold and silver-tone rivets, and decorative folklore-style perforated patterning and fringing. The bright red statement laces, studded welts and solid wooden heels give the boots a handmade, traditional, village clogmaker feel. Wear them with a full body of Scandi-patterned knit clothing, or with a decidedly feminine dress to toughen up the look. Whichever route you take, these boots will get them talking! £750,


11. GLACIAL COOL By playing to their strengths, Volvo is giving the S90 the best chance yet of taking on the dominant German brands in the premium executive saloon sector, writes Danny Cobbs. Volvo’s meticulous build quality can be seen in every facet of the S90. The highlight is the car’s interior, which easily matches the market leaders. It’s extremely spacious, with enough room for five adult passengers, and a pretty big boot for luggage. As expected from the Swedish brand, there’s an abundance of cutting-edge safety equipment, but the S90 also gets a bountiful amount of standard kit that’s traditionally been included as an option. Even the most basic model, the S90 Momentum, boasts such luxuries as leather


seats, 17-inch alloys and Volvo’s Sensus infotainment system. The engine line-up is pretty simple, with just a pair of twin-turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesels to choose from. The more modest of the pair, badged D4, brings 187bhp and takes the front-wheel-drive S90 from 0-62mph in 8.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 140mph. This is the most efficient engine in the range, with official fuel economy of 64.2mpg and CO2 emissions of 116g/km. The more powerful motor is the D5, which has 232bhp. It also gets a small electric compressor – PowerPulse – which uses a blast of air to spin up the turbocharger and cut down the amount of turbo lag – the muchhated delay between pressing the throttle and

the engine providing its maximum thrust. On the road, the S90 may not be a class leader, but it’s not far off. It really is that good. Plus, it’s extremely comfortable. Add Volvo’s advantageous pricing structure into the mix and it makes the S90 a very compelling alternative indeed. From £34,465,

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12. STATEMENT SILVER The Scandinavian design philosophy is built on the principles of affordability, functionality and, most important, simplicity. Through simplification, visual elegance can be achieved. And nothing encapsulates that aesthetic more eloquently than Scandinavian jewellery. Specialising in 20th century design, Gråsilver sells only the crème de la crème of Nordic style. Its carefully curated collection of jewellery, watches and ornaments comprise one-off vintage pieces – mainly in sterling silver – created by some of Scandinavia’s most celebrated designers, including Georg Jensen, Ben Knudsen and Hans Hansen. Ladies, any one of these simple, beautiful sterling silver pieces from the 1960s will instantly update your look this season. Gråsilver is a veritable treasure trove of modernist silver jewellery. Pieces that are contemporary, iconic and timeless. From arm to wrist: George Jensen bracelet, £3,200; Georg Jensen bracelet, £3,000; Hans Hansen bracelet, £1,600; and Ben Knudsen ring, £750,

13. NORDIC KNITS The over-sized Nordic-patterned jumper worn by Sarah Lund in Danish TV series The Killing turned into a fashion pandemic in 2011. The original – made by Gudrun & Gudrun, a small knitwear company in the Faroe Islands – was created from pure organic wool, making it warm and functional but amazingly lightweight. The very essence of hygge. And the look is still very much with us in this traditional Fair Isle crewneck sweater from Copenhagen clothing company and design studio Norse Projects. Made from pure Scottish lambswool and knitted in Scotland, the sweater combines traditional workmanship with fresh colours. Wear it with easy-fit corduroy trousers by the same label or your favourite jeans for a contemporary, casual and functional look. £170,

14. RUSTIC CHARM Hygge hates waste. So, recycling antique pieces or finding a new use for an old item is essential to the happy home. This large 19th century antique dough bowl, available from Danelaw Vintage, was made from a single piece of pine or birch and is crudely carved. In hygge, nothing is perfect. This purely utilitarian naïve farmhouse bowl has an antique patina and was made simply to do a job. The only decoration is the pie crust detail on the ends. A nice touch. The simplicity and purity of the bowl’s design embodies the whole hygge philosophy, and would enhance any urban dwelling or country kitchen. £145,

15. SERIOUSLY SWEDISH What you eat is an essential part of the homey hygge vibe. Simple meals that can be easily cooked and shared with family and friends with minimal fuss; food with warming, rib-sticking, nap-inducing yumminess. And Swedish meatballs are top of the Nordic comfort food list. Traditionally served with mashed potatoes or buttered egg noodles, brown cream gravy, pickled cucumber and tart lingonberry jam, it’s said that the meatballs must be made with love. Which explains why they are colloquially referred to as ‘Mom’s Meatballs’. Since its founding in 1899, HKScan Sweden has been the favourite purveyor of ready-made Mom’s Meatballs in Sweden and Denmark. And they’ve now hit Old Blighty – find them at Ocado, Asda and Sainsbury’s. Eating the hygge way has arrived at last. £2.79, 350g regular meatballs; £2.99, 300g cheese-filled,

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16 16. WINTER WARMER Winter is the most hygge time of year. It’s all about simplicity, living cosily, celebrating tradition, making the ordinary special, keeping out the brutal cold, and staying warm as toast indoors and out. So bring out the warm utilitarian clothing – aka British outerwear brand Gloverall. Pictured here, a contemporary reworking of the firm’s famous classic pea coat has been cleverly mated with its other historical best seller, the classic duffel coat. Nice one, guys! Constructed from premium quality wool, the coat features a shawl collar, big, functional, roomy pockets, and the ubiquitous twin-toggle duffle coat fastening. This is the perfect coat to keep out the worst of British weather, and totally fashionable to boot. £250,


17. SPIRIT OF HYGGE Brimming with comforting, fragrant notes of cosy firesides in deepest winter, Spirit of Hven Organic Winter Schnapps is handcrafted at one if the world’s smallest distilleries on the tiny, unspoilt, magical island of Hven, which lies in the Oresund Strait separating Denmark and Sweden. The spirit is distilled old-style in small copper pot stills and oak-matured before and after distillation to give it a unique depth and sweetness. Quite simply, this is winter warmth in a glass. Fragrant cloves and creamy vanilla with a strong hit of clementine make up the wintry bouquet, as cinnamon and cardamon rise to the top, balancing the citrus tang. The warmth lasts, as sugary caramel notes slide in. Best enjoyed after a filling meal of Swedish meatballs or crispy pork with parsley sauce – serve it in short glasses either neat or with ice. This elixir is guaranteed to warm the cockles of anyone’s heart when winter’s winds blow. £32.45,


18. SMART AND FUNCTIONAL Finch & Crane is a lifestyle brand with a strong sense of tradition. The modest but bustling online family business is based in a small wine-growing village in the south of France. Its collection – with kitchen products a strong suit – is deeply rooted in the functional simplicity of hygge living. Carefully curated with a focus on natural materials, unpretentious purity and classical designs, everything is trend-free. The ethos is about keeping our lives simple and uncomplicated, but not forgetting that feeling of owning something really special. A perfect example of the brand's homespun credo is this linen and leather apron. Beautifully made, it features an adjustable soft leather neck strap, two deep functional pockets, and a generously long tie waist. It’s a must-have kitchen accessory for relaxed and informal hygge get-togethers. Think warming soups, hearty stews and Swedish meatballs, of course. Not to mention a glass or four of spicy hot mulled wine. Skål, as they say in Denmark. £50,


19. CARDI COOL This cream wool cardigan from Loewe is a sophisticated casual piece – a cool reworking of the ageless lived-in cardigan, morphed into classic duffel coat look. A brilliant styling juxtaposition, thanks to Jonathan Anderson, Loewe’s Creative Director, who now also has his own eponymous label. Since French multinational luxury goods conglomerate LVMH acquired a minority stake in Anderson’s fashion business, his status as a rising new-generation designer has been sealed. The cardigan is knitted to a modern slim-fitting shape with a deep V-neck. It's then secured with the archetypal duffle toggle fastening, edged with contrasting tonal-brown, black and cream leather trims. Front patch pockets add an extra laid-back homey touch. Simple, uncomplicated, functional and ever so cosy, this is hygge menswear heaven. £625,

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

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

Appleby is one of the world’s largest providers of offshore legal advice and services. Uniquely positioned in the key offshore jurisdictions of Bermuda, BVI, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, Mauritius and the Seychelles, as well as the international financial centres of London, Hong Kong and Shanghai. We are also the only firm to have offices in all three British Crown Dependencies. Our services include:

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Members of the Jersey and Guernsey offices regularly advise London City and international law firms on all legal aspects of offshore corporate, finance and investment fund transactions and arrangements in the Channel Islands.

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Ashburton Investments is a new generation investment manager building on a solid foundation to provide global investors with multi asset, specialist emerging market and equity products. As part of the FirstRand Group, one of South Africa’s largest financial services institutions, Ashburton has a strong footprint in Africa and understands volatile emerging markets. Ashburton believes that taking a broad-brush view of emerging markets is no longer effective and it is important to make country by country judgements enabling its specialism in Africa and India. For more than 30 years multi asset has been the cornerstone of the business, with the product set evolving over time to suit ever changing market conditions and understanding clients’ needs to effectively manage risk and access more sources of return. Globally, Ashburton Investments has over £8.8bn under management as at June 2017 with offices in the Channel Islands, United Kingdom, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates. For more information please do not hesitate to get in touch: Laythamm Malorey E: T: +44 (0)1534 512010

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Independent and Professional We offer a full range of management and fiduciary services to our domestic and international private clients and corporate structure: l 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 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. 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: Lisette Le Creurer – Senior Trust Manager Wendy Warder – Senior Trust Manager Justin Clapham – Client Director Áine O’Reilly – Client Director

Carey Olsen is a leading offshore law firm advising on British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Guernsey and Jersey law across a global network of eight international offices. We are a full service 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, multi-national 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 commerciallyminded lawyers, led by 48 partners, who help our clients achieve their objectives. We have the expertise and resources to handle the most complex international transactions combined with a personal approach to business. Contact: T +44 (0)1481 727272 T +44 (0)1534 888900

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

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Equiom is fast becoming the stand-out business in the professional services sector, with offices in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. We provide a range of innovative and effective business partnering solutions. Our experienced and highly qualified teams support corporations and high-net-worth individuals around the world with their fiduciary and related support-service needs. We are an independent, managementowned company focused on strategic thinking and quick responses to clients’ requirements. We continually seek to develop our product range, in order to provide an unrivalled range of options and opportunities. Equiom’s Jersey and Guernsey teams have a wealth of experience relating to the set up and administration of trusts and companies and the market-leading knowledge required to appropriately protect clients’ assets. Equiom (Jersey) Limited is regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission. Equiom (Guernsey) Limited is licensed by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission. Equiom (Jersey) Limited One The Esplanade St Helier Jersey JE2 3QA Tel: +44 1534 760100

We are Estera, a leading provider of offshore fiduciary and administration services. Established for more than 25 years, our strong legal heritage, rooted in our previous partnership with Appleby, and resolute commitment to the delivery of service excellence is what sets us apart. Independent and global, we have over 350 dedicated, professional and highly qualified employees supporting smart and integrated fiduciary solutions. Our comprehensive and diverse service offering is split across our four core service lines: l Corporate l Trusts l Funds l Accounting Our unique understanding of the complexities surrounding the world of fiduciary services inspires us to achieve the best possible results for our clients. This, combined with our commercial acumen, attention to detail and responsiveness, enables us to meet our clients’ needs. Richard Prosser Group Director +44 1534 844 809 Estera Trust (Jersey) Limited is regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission.

About EY EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transactions and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities. Our strong network has enabled us to build close working relationships with our colleagues in EMEIA and across the world. This allows us to respond quickly to our CI clients’ needs, drawing upon our industry experience across all our services lines. To discuss how we can support your business, please contact one of our partners below: Mike Bane, Partner, Assurance and TAS E: T: 01481 717 435 Andrew Dann, Managing Partner, Assurance E: T: 01534 288 655 Richard Le Tissier, Associate Partner, Assurance E: T: 01481 717 468 Chris Matthews, Partner, Assurance E: T: 01534 288 610


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We are a leading independent provider of trust, corporate, fund and real estate administration services with 800 people in 14 strategically located offices worldwide. Our presence in – and knowledge of – the regulatory landscape in so many of the world’s key financial jurisdictions means we can respond to the varied and specific needs of our clients, either directly or via their trusted advisers. We are director led and have a clear focus on professional qualifications among employees, with many trust and estate practitioners, accountants, lawyers and chartered secretaries providing the necessary experience. We believe that our people give us our edge and that what makes us special is the way we share our experience and pool our knowledge. We take the time to understand our clients’ individual requirements, and we take pride in our ability to tailor the right solutions. If you’re looking for a tailored solution to meet your needs, get in touch with:

We’re a global leader in delivering fund, corporate, capital market and private wealth services to multinationals, fund managers, financial institutions and business entrepreneurs. With over 2,500 employees working from 39 offices in 28 countries across Europe, the Americas, Asia and the Middle East, we’re focused on delivering high-quality tailored services to our clients with a view to building long-term relationships. In the Channel Islands we offer a comprehensive range of services to our clients and business partners: orporate Services C Fund Services l Real Estate Services l Capital Markets l Private Wealth l Employee Benefits l Regulatory Compliance Services l l

We work closely with our clients, helping them to identify and grasp opportunities, and mitigate risk. KPMG’s global network enables us to draw on our international resources to meet our clients’ needs. Our member firms are located across 152 countries and employ more than 189,000 people around the world. With passion and purpose, we work shoulderto-shoulder with our clients, integrating innovative approaches and deep expertise to deliver real results. Jersey Jason Laity Chairman

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KPMG in the Channel Islands is a leading provider of professional services, including audit, tax and advisory. With offices in Jersey and Guernsey, we employ over 260 members of staff across the two islands.

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Marsh & Parsons has been selling and letting property in London for over 160 years. We now operate 28 offices which are situated in prime positions across central and Greater London. We have an intimate and extensive knowledge of these areas as well as the ability to reach a global audience through our strong links with international corporates. Our people deliver the perfect balance of professionalism, transparency, enthusiasm and determination. It’s this, combined with our ongoing assessment of the local property market, that means we can deliver the best possible service and results. Since 2009, we’ve won 44 industry awards – most recently Overall UK Estate Agency of the Year and Best Large UK Estate Agency of the Year at The Sunday Times and The Times Estate Agency of the Year Awards 2016. For a free up-to-date valuation of your property portfolio speak to William Hughes-Ward on 020 7590 0801. Sales • Lettings • New Homes • Residential Investments

Minerva is a family owned business that has been in existence in Jersey for over 35 years. As a leading independent provider of trust, corporate and fund administration services, we focus on internationally active clients located in sub Saharan Africa, India, the GCC and Europe. We firmly believe in the value of personal relationships and are familiar with how our clients and professional intermediaries operate from a cultural and business perspective within these regions. In addition to Jersey, we provide services from a number of offices based in key jurisdictions including London, Geneva, Mauritius, Dubai, Singapore and Kenya, as well as India where services are provided through affiliates. For further information, please contact: Steven Bowen Group Managing Director & Head of Jersey Office Minerva Trust & Corporate Services Limited T: 01534 702940 E:

Global fund services by experts We are a leading specialist provider of independent fund administration and management services to corporate and institutional clients around the world. What makes us different is our dedication to exceeding the expectations of our clients, which range from major investment banks and large financial institutions to boutique alternative asset managers. Our specialist teams support the management and fund servicing needs of: l Real estate funds l Private equity funds l Structured funds l Open ended funds l Alternative investment funds We have extensive experience with complex investment holding company structures, carried interest structures, special purpose vehicles and special limited partners, as well as a variety of performance fee models. We are licensed to provide fund administration and management services in Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. If you’re looking for expert, individual attention rather than an off-the-shelf product, get in touch with: Jon Trigg Head of Global Fund Services, Moore Group D +44 1534 822545 M +44 7700 713570 Moore consists of a number of companies operating in multiple jurisdictions. These include entities licensed by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission and Jersey Financial Services Commission. For details of specific activities and regulatory status please visit our website Moore is a First Names Group company

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

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

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

Viberts is dedicated to providing outstanding legal advice and customer service, both in Jersey and internationally. Our clients range from private individuals to multinational corporations, local businesses and public authorities. We are large enough to offer a full service but small enough that each client has direct contact with one of our partners. We always take a pragmatic approach so that we can deal with matters as efficiently as possible, but we are also compassionate and understanding when it comes to sensitive issues. We partner with other specialists across the globe where required to bring you the best possible advice and representation. Our range of bespoke legal services includes: l Commercial l Employment l Family l Litigation l Personal l Property For expert legal advice, please contact us today. E: T: +44 (0) 1534 888 666 W:

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

january/february 2018 81

questions with ALISON MACKRILL


Favourite movie? I rarely watch a movie more than once, but could happily watch Amelie, An American in Paris, Dr Zhivago or Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café again. Most amazing place you’ve visited? Vietnam. I’d thoroughly recommend a trip – for the people, the food, the history and the scenery. What’s the scariest thing that’s happened to you? Taking a bomb call when working on the switchboard at Debenhams in Exeter, my Saturday job while at university. It was the week after an explosive device planted by the IRA was found in Debenhams, Oxford Street. The call turned out to be a hoax, but I didn’t know it at the time.

Something that drives you nuts? Young people smoking. Having had a friend who was a smoker die of lung cancer recently, I’ll speak up against smoking when I can – as some of my young colleagues will attest.

Last meal on death row? A Vietnamese banquet, including bún chả, cao lau, banh bot loc, xoi dau phong and cá kho tộ, then durian ice cream and Vietnamese coffee.

If your house was on fire and you could save one item, what would it be (family excepted)? No material possession is worth risking my life or that of a firefighter.

Cats or dogs? There’s never been a time when there hasn’t been a dog in my life. Currently we have two border collies – very energetic and intelligent animals.

Buzzword you hate the most? Humble, as ‘in my humble opinion’. Generally the person using the expression is anything but.

What was your first job? Saturday job in a discount warehouse.

82 january/february 2018

Last time you cried? Watching Breathe last week at a private screening for Purple for Polio.

The worst thing about you? See above. My husband would say I’m hopelessly optimistic.

Favourite band? Thanks to Spotify, I still listen to albums from the 70s and 80s – Pink Floyd, Genesis, Fleetwood Mac, Mike Oldfield, Santana, Steeleye Span, the Moody Blues, Wishbone Ash, Yes. Last year, I managed to see Paul Simon on his UK tour and he was still fantastic.


Sweet or savoury? Both. I’m a live-to-eat, not an eat-tolive person.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? I was fortunate to be mentored by two wonderful female partners, Dianna Kempe and Monica Jones. Dianna said the only way to become a good presenter (I was extremely nervous when making presentations) was to force myself to make them as often as possible. I’m now much more at ease when making presentations, but it was a real challenge.

Your best quality? Always looking on the bright side.


Favourite item of clothing? I have a sweater which I’ve had for over 30 years that I can’t bring myself to throw away. Sadly it’s now very tatty and only worn for gardening.

Worst job you’ve done? A summer holiday job inputting part numbers into a computer system for a global business. My boredom must have been obvious because I was moved to calculating currency conversions and tracking currency movements, which wasn’t quite as deathly.

What do you have for breakfast? Weekdays it’s just a bowl of cereal, but at weekends it can be eggs with toast (including eggs benedict and French toast), pancakes, porridge or finnan haddock, plus a smoothie or fruit and yoghurt. Christmas morning it’s always a glass of buck’s fizz and a plate of kedgeree with wholemeal bread and butter. This was what my mother always prepared and I’ve carried it on as a family tradition.

Paul Simon credit:


➤ Tea or coffee? Strong black coffee – although I now also love Vietnamese iced coffee.

Something about you that people might be surprised by? When practising in Bermuda, I taught law to two inmates at the correctional facility, who both successfully obtained their degrees. Alison MacKrill is Group Partner and Head of the Private Client & Trust department at Appleby (Guernsey)



TROUBLEMAKERS Every now and then it’s important to see the world from a fresh perspective, be willing to break the mould and make the bold moves first. We take the time to get to know you, your situation and what matters to you most - because anyone can give you an answer, but we’ll put our reputation on the line to find the answer that’s right for you.

To find out how a fresh perspective can help your business visit BVI // Cayman // Guernsey // Jersey // London // Singapore

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