Guernsey Finance, on behalf of Guernsey's financial services sector, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Shanghai Family Office Union (SFOU).
The agreement was signed by Kate Clouston, Director of International Business Development at Guernsey Finance, and Antoine Kuo, Chairman of the SFOU, at a co-hosted wealth management event in Shanghai last month.
The MoU sets out a statement of intent to support business development initiatives between Guernsey and the SFOU, provision of office and meeting room space in Shanghai, organisation of events, employee exchange programmes and registration services.
"We are thrilled to have a partner in Shanghai with whom we can work to develop ties and increase business exchanges in the private wealth space," said Ms Clouston.
"Guernsey industry experts now have the opportunity to help Chinese firms understand international regulatory and compliance standards and procedures, and the Union will in turn act as a conduit to a vast and growing network in mainland China. The MoU also shows a broadening of the relationship between Guernsey and China which has continued to build since we first established our Shanghai office in 2007."
Mr Kuo, speaking after the signing ceremony, said: "The MoU we signed today is to share the financial services industry's resources to promote the depth of cooperation between the Shanghai Family Office Union and Guernsey to provide professional, high quality standards of service for both sets of customers."
The Shanghai wealth management event, which took place at the Fairmont Peace Hotel, attracted an audience of more than 100 finance professionals from the region. Guernsey Finance China Representative Wendy Weng gave a presentation on Guernsey trusts and foundations and the differences between them, while Ms Clouston, speaking in Mandarin, provided an introduction on Guernsey as a jurisdiction and its relationship with China.
The signing of the MoU marked the culmination of an Asia trip by a Guernsey Finance delegation, accompanied by members of the Island's finance sector, which incorporated visits to Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Beijing and Shanghai.
In addition to meetings with financial services firms and regulatory officials across these locations, the Guernsey delegation attended the Asian Venture Capital Journal's Private Equity and Venture Forum in Hong Kong, the Singapore Trustees Association Conference and the STEP Asia Conference in Singapore.
Guernsey Finance announced at the beginning of December that it will open a representative office in Hong Kong in the first quarter of 2016. The office will be the promotional agency's second overseas outpost, in addition to its Shanghai office.
Mrs Weng, who is based in Shanghai, will use the office at Three Pacific Place in Admiralty as a base from which to carry out further promotional activities concentrated on the wider South East Asia market and it will also be utilised by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission to provide regulatory advice to those in the region who might be considering Guernsey-specific ventures.
Mrs Weng said: "We have made real progress in increasing awareness of the Guernsey brand during this recent trip and added to the number of very good contacts we have not only in China, but Asia overall. Our event in Shanghai was incredibly well received as the use of trusts and foundations is an increasingly popular area for Asian practitioners."
For more information about Guernsey's finance industry please visit www.guernseyfinance.com.
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