Guernsey has become the cornerstone of an offshore expansion for a wealth management company.
Odey Wealth Management has recently celebrated the first anniversary of its successful Odey Opportunity Fund, which was launched just a few months after the company expanded to the island.
"The environment that has been created in Guernsey is very business friendly and we have nothing but praise for Guernsey Financial Services Commission who have supported our expansion. I see offshore being a growing theme for Odey following the success of our first year in business in Guernsey," said Odey's Chief Executive Officer David Stewart.
The company was founded in 1991 by Crispin Odey with the aim of focusing on absolute returns at a time when most fund managers were embracing index relative returns. Over the last 18 years, the company has expanded and assets under management at the end of August 2009 totalled $6bn.
"Our focus is on performance rather than asset gathering. We take a dogmatic and pragmatic approach and are intolerant of losses. That is especially true in the current economic environment where the outcomes are not going to be simple. In order to overcome these challenges, you have to be nimble and exploit the opportunities as they happen."
Over the last year the company has built up a solid client base within the Channel Islands. As well as managing private portfolios for clients, Odey has had particular success with its Odey Opportunity Fund which had returned just under 11% for the year to the end of August 2009.
"The uniqueness of this fund allows us to be flexible. We are moving away from a world where clients are put into boxes. We have taken back the responsibility so that we are able to move clients' assets to protect and grow their wealth," said Geoff Marson, Director and Portfolio Manager of Odey Investments (C.I.) Ltd.
The Fund is also highly liquid, allowing both regular subscriptions and redemptions with a very short notice period. Although the Odey Opportunity Fund has performed well, Mr Marson accepts that the outlook for the global economy remains unclear.
"We do not have a precedent for the scale of Government monetary and fiscal intervention that we have seen recently," he said.
"If governments continue to intervene at the same levels then we will stay on track towards recovery but if it's derailed and expenditure is cut or taxes are raised then we could be heading into a very different world. The key to success then will depend on the approach that wealth managers take and we believe that a flexible approach is of paramount importance."
For more information about Guernsey's finance industry please visit www.guernseyfinance.com.
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