A Guernsey investment funds expert who spent five years working in the Far East has welcomed the opening of Guernsey's representative office in Hong Kong.
Julian Carey, Head of Client Services at Orangefield Legis, said that Guernsey is highly regarded by the Asian financial services market. It will be particularly attractive to fund managers who want to access the UK and European markets via Guernsey fund structures.
"Institutional investors and family offices in the region like the image of Guernsey. It's well regulated, well organised, well supported," he said.
"Both Hong Kong and Singapore offer a great market for Guernsey financial services businesses. Both are targeted by funds investing from the UK and Europe into the Far East and also have Far Eastern managers who want to access the UK and European markets via Guernsey fund structures."
Mr Carey said that the UK is also one of the most accessible markets in the world for private equity and real estate managers. Guernsey has a reputation for good quality private equity and real estate fund administration and most of the international legal advisers will recommend a Guernsey structure.
The use of tax neutral jurisdictions by Asian investors is tried and tested, added Mr Carey. While Guernsey as a domicile is not as established as Cayman, which has been a dominant jurisdiction in Asia for many years, Guernsey benefits by having far more substance in the financial services business conducted here which appeals to both tax authorities and regulators.
"Guernsey also has law firms and fund administration firms like ourselves at Orangefield who can offer multi-jurisdictional servicing with points of client contact in Hong Kong and Singapore as well as back home here in Guernsey."
Mr Carey urged Guernsey's financial services industry to get behind the activity in Asia to ensure its success.
"Competitors such as Luxembourg, the Bahamas and Jersey are putting together very impressive roadshows and presentations in the region involving both regulators and practitioners so we need to make Guernsey's presence felt. It will be really important that fund administrators, law firms and international tax practitioners here are supportive of Guernsey Finance so that the initiative will work. It's vital that the Far East fund managers and other intermediaries actually see practitioners visiting Hong Kong and the region."
For more information about Guernsey's finance industry please visit www.guernseyfinance.com.
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