Originally published 18 February 2009
Guernsey's new fund regime will be examined at a masterclass in London at the start of March.
In recent months the Island has made several legislative changes related to funds business and introduced a new set of fund rules.
The main result is that both Guernsey open and closed-ended funds can be established as authorised or registered funds. Authorised funds are regulated by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) and subject to continuing supervision by the Commission. Registered funds whilst also regulated by the GFSC are not authorised and subject to separate rules.
Applications for registered funds are processed by the GFSC within a three working-day timeframe (this is now also available to open-ended schemes having previously only been applicable to closed-ended funds). Authorised funds remain subject to the traditional approval process unless they are established as Qualifying Investor Funds (QIFs) when again they will be processed within three working days.
In addition, a new fast-track procedure will now allow managers and general partners who need to be licensed under Guernsey law to service these (registered or QIF) funds to take advantage of a reduced application period of 10 working days. All timings are subject to meeting designated conditions. Visit http://www.gfsc.gg/ for more information on these and further details on the new regime.
"Global economic conditions are making it difficult for fund managers and promoters to raise money," said Peter Niven, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance.
"Investors have an increased need for confidence in the product, the service provider, the domicile and its regulators. In making these changes to our fund regime we are providing the tools that fund architects are demanding to enable them to create the funds which will meet the requirements of the new market place.
"These changes provide us with a comprehensive menu of options offering real choice in terms of speed of approval and levels of supervision while highlighting our hallmarks of high quality regulation and strong corporate governance. It demonstrates our continued adaptability and flexibility to be able to meet current demands of fund managers, promoters and investors."
The forthcoming masterclass will look at the changes in more detail and explore the implications for fund promoters. The event is entitled 'Guernsey's new fund regime under the microscope – an exceptional regime for exceptional times' and will take place from 5pm on Thursday 5 March at the America Square Conference Centre in London. Contact Jennifer Baudains on email@example.com or +44 (0) 1481 720071 for more information or to book a place at this event.
Delegates will hear from a panel of Guernsey and UK fund experts chaired by Chris Russell from the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) and comprising: Sean Cheong from Guernsey law firm Collas Day; John Clacy of Deloitte; and William Saunders from London law firm Stephenson Harwood. Attendees will also get the chance to raise specific points during the question and answer session and network during the drinks and canapés reception sponsored by Kleinwort Benson.
Mr Niven added: "This masterclass will provide a very timely update on our new fund regime to promoters in London – a centre that remains the principal introducer of business to Guernsey. We are committed to keeping this market up to speed with the latest developments across our banking, funds, fiduciary and insurance sectors. However, we are also continuing to press on with establishing the Guernsey brand in 'new' jurisdictions such as China, India and the Middle East."
Figures from the GFSC show that the total value of funds under management and administration in the Island was £200bn at the end of December 2008.
For more information about Guernsey's finance industry please visit www.guernseyfinance.com.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.