Guernsey: Guernsey Funds Forum reassures London market
Last Updated: 2 June 2010

London’s investment community has been reassured that Guernsey is extremely confident of continuing to be a leading funds centre despite current uncertainties, including the EU’s proposed Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFM) Directive.

More than 250 delegates attended the Guernsey Funds Forum which was held on Wednesday 26th May at the Grange St. Pauls Hotel.

Peter Niven, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance, said: "This event was aimed at reassuring our key supporters in London that we are dealing positively with a number of current uncertainties, in particular the AIFM Directive, and as a result of this work, the Island continues to be an attractive and competitive funds domicile. It was a recurring theme that came from all our panellists and one that was accepted and well received by the many delegates.

"It was also reinforced that Guernsey is seeing an increasing amount of fund business coming through the pipeline as confidence returns to the markets. Indeed, this is reflected in the newly released figures that show the value of our funds business grew by 7.2% during the first quarter of the year."

ITV news anchor Alastair Stewart OBE moderated the day’s sessions covering ‘transparency’, ‘distribution’ and ‘alternatives’.

Mr Niven added: "Alastair Stewart has an amazing ability to quickly assimilate and understand some very technical issues and bring out the very best in every single panellist to ensure that difficult issues were tackled head on. He brought everything together, provided a great fluidity and encouraged audience interaction that created a great buzz to the event and initiated a lot of discussion during the break-out sessions."

Mike Hansall, from UK investment manager Baillie Gifford, said: "You had the perfect host; the best I have ever come across and it held my attention throughout. It’s given me a lot more depth and I will come along again, no question about it."

Speakers included Bridget Barker, Partner – Head of Investment Funds and Financial Services Group, Macfarlanes; Ian Sayers, Director General of the Association of Investment Companies (AIC); Scott Cochrane, Partner – Corporate, Herbert Smith; Jonathan Hooley, Chairman of the Channel Islands Stock Exchange (CISX); Carl Rosumek, Deputy Director of the Investment Business Division at the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC); and Jarrod Cowley-Grimmond, Director of the Finance Sector Development Unit at the Commerce and Employment Department.

Panellist Nick Sanders, Head of Portfolio of Jon Moulton’s Guernsey-based private equity vehicle Better Capital Limited, told the audience: "The thing we like about Guernsey is there is just a good solid base of advisory people; a good supply of professionals ready to support the private equity business…because our timescales are really tight."

Mr Niven added: "The event was extremely successful both in terms of the number and quality of delegates and the high calibre of our speakers. The event really did leave the audience in no doubt that Guernsey has dealt effectively with threats in the past and we will continue in a similar vein to ensure the Island remains a leading European funds centre for the future."

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