Guernsey's credentials as an international funds centre have been showcased to the leading asset management groups in China.

Guernsey Finance - the promotional agency for the Island's finance industry - hosted an event in Beijing in conjunction with the Asset Management of Association of China (AMAC), which attracted more than 20 delegates.

The presentation was led by Fiona Le Poidevin, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance and Mark Huntley, Managing Director of Heritage Fund Services. Also attending the event were Mark Bright, Managing Director of Kleinwort Benson's Offshore Business; Paul Christopher, Partner in the Hong Kong office of Mourant Ozannes; and Steve Bougourd and Marco Ferreira of Louvre Group.

Mr Huntley said: "I have been working in the Chinese investment market for more than 25 years and what we are seeing is that while the asset management industry is still relatively immature, it is rapidly developing and there is a real willingness to learn from more established international fund centres, such as Guernsey.

"There was genuine interest in Guernsey fund structures and how they might be used for both inbound and outbound investment projects, particularly in relation to more alternative asset classes such as real estate and private equity and where a capital market listing might be required.

"There is increasing diversification within the Chinese asset management industry and we believe that Guernsey can play a pivotal role in the distribution of funds to and from China."

Mr Huntley told the audience about Guernsey investment fund structures, fund servicing in the Island and its regulatory regime, including Guernsey's dual regime response to the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD). Mr Huntley and Mr Bright provided case study examples from their own businesses of Guernsey funds which invest into and out of China.

Miss Le Poidevin provided an introduction to Guernsey, its financial services industry, its investment fund sector and the key milestones in the developing relationship between Guernsey and China.

She said: "Guernsey has been forging a closer relationship with AMAC over recent months and I am delighted that we have been able to hold this event as partners. It has been extremely useful to showcase Guernsey's fund credentials to this audience alongside senior members of Guernsey's funds sector and to discuss how we can play a part in the distribution of funds to and from China for mutual benefit. I look forward to seeing Guernsey's finance industry work even more closely with AMAC and their members in the future."

The event was introduced by Kevin Stewart, Guernsey's Commerce and Employment Minister, and chaired by ZHANG Qi, Director of the International Department of AMAC.

Earlier in the week, Guernsey Finance supported, alongside the City of London, the China Britain Business Council (CBBC) and UK Trade and Industry (UKTI), a UK-China SME forum in Shanghai. Mr Huntley spoke on a panel session about how financial institutions can assist Chinese SMEs in their growth and internationalisation.

Guernsey Finance representatives and members of the Island's finance industry have been on a two-week delegation to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing. This included sponsoring the STEP Asia conference in Hong Kong, hosting a private wealth event in Shanghai and signing a statement of cooperation between the Guernsey Government and the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Financial Work.

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