Guernsey's position as a leading fund domicile has been further endorsed by a series of new administrators and managers establishing a presence in the Island.
Global brands J.P. Morgan and BNY Mellon have both added their names to the roster of fund administrators in Guernsey and BlueCrest Capital Management – one of Europe's largest hedge fund managers – and stockbroker Shore Capital have relocated their headquarters from London to the Island during the first half of the year.
Peter Niven, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance – the promotional agency for the Island's finance industry, said: "We have seen several new entrants to the Guernsey market in recent months, including some major global players. This really is a significant endorsement and shows confidence in the Island's continued position as a leading fund domicile and in particular our experience and expertise in the alternative and more niche asset classes like private equity. I am also extremely hopeful that we will see more heavyweight names establishing in Guernsey during the coming months."
J.P. Morgan announced that custody and fund services provider J.P. Morgan Worldwide Securities Services has signed an agreement to acquire the private equity administration business of Schroders PLC, subject to regulatory approval, including its Guernsey operation.
Alternative and hedge fund administrator BNY Mellon has established BNY Mellon Fund Services in Guernsey to develop its private equity servicing capability. The office will be run in partnership with IAG, a locally-based specialist fund administrator for private equity, real estate and alternative asset funds.
J.P. Morgan and BNY Mellon follow a list of leading brands that have also developed a presence in Guernsey during recent years, including Alter Domus, BNP Paribas, Capita, Citco, Custom House, PPF Partners and State Street who themselves joined the diverse array of administrators on the Island ranging from global giants Northern Trust and HSBC to boutique fund service providers Ipes and Augentius.
BlueCrest Capital Management – reportedly the third largest hedge fund manager in London and among the leaders in Europe – sent letters to investors at the start of April informing them that the company was to undergo a reorganisation, including relocating its head office from London to Guernsey and followed a similar announcement by London-based stockbroker Shore Capital.
Private equity giant Terra Firma has also expanded its Guernsey office in parallel with Chairman Guy Hands taking up residence in the Island. Other private equity managers like Permira, EQT, Alchemy and Jon Moulton's Better Capital also have their funds administered in Guernsey.
The last few months have also seen international legal, fiduciary and administration services provider Appleby open an office in Guernsey and the merger of Mourant du Feu & Jeune with Ozannes to create Mourant Ozannes, the largest law firm in the Channel Islands.
Mr Niven added: "It is noticeable that these developments come at a time when confidence is returning to the markets. Certainly our practitioners are reporting increased business flows and in particular with closed-ended funds for asset classes such as private equity.
"It is still early days and there are several challenges still on the radar but I am encouraged that the renewed upturn in business flows combined with the new arrivals to the Guernsey market indicate that we will be seeing a period of sustained growth for the Island's funds industry during not just 2010 but also beyond."
Figures from the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) show that the value of investment funds in Guernsey increased by £13.2bn (7.2%) during the first three months of this year. The third successive quarter of growth took the total value of funds business in the Island to £197.4bn at the end of March 2010. This represents a year on year rise of £21.5bn (12.2%).
For more information about Guernsey's finance industry please visit www.guernseyfinance.com.
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