The Investment Business Division ("IBD") of the Commission is responsible for the development of policy and the supervision of the investment business sector of finance in Guernsey. The Division (pictured below), through its Superintendent and staff, are always prepared to meet potential promoters/sponsors or their professional advisers in order to discuss matters of policy and practice regarding proposed open or closed-ended funds.
The staff have a wide range of knowledge and experience and keep abreast of new developments in the fund industry in order to offer comprehensive guidance and support to promoters, particularly in the light of increasingly complex fund structures required by global investors.
Official policy has always been to encourage quality rather than quantity of business and, in consequence, Guernsey has achieved an enviable reputation as a well-regulated centre for legitimate offshore business. There is no doubt that businesses with ambitions to grow and be internationally recognised want to set up in areas which are acknowledged as meeting internationally accepted standards. Therefore, Guernsey's policy of selectivity has to be viewed with hindsight as the correct approach and, thus far, this policy has proved effective.
On an international scale, the Commission's involvement in external groups - through its membership of such organisations as IOSCO and the Enlarged Contact Group of CIS Supervisors - allows Guernsey to remain at the hub of regulatory discussions where the Commission can influence the debate on topical issues and can keep Guernsey in the limelight.
IBD also works closely with numerous local industry groups and by doing so it receives valuable input from practitioners which helps to shape policy and introduce new legislation like, for example, the recent Limited Partnership Law. IBD, as well as the other Divisions of the Commission, consults on the major regulatory issues, not least to iron out practical matters - with no investor protection implications - which might otherwise hinder legitimate business.
As both the guardian of Guernsey's reputation and its promoter, the Commission sees itself as having not only a clear duty to uphold international standards - which ensures for Guernsey a secure place in the greater financial community - but also a role of encouraging the growth of the finance sector. However, prudential considerations will always prevail if ever there should be a conflict between the dual roles.
Recent initiatives undertaken by the Commission with reference to investment business are as follows.
- In February this year, The Limited Partnership (Guernsey) Law, 1996 was introduced which it is anticipated will appeal to investors and promoters alike, particularly in less conventional assets such as venture capital and management buy-out situations.
- An Eligible Markets Regime came into force in September this year and follows nearly a year's development in consultation with HM Treasury enabling Guernsey Class A schemes to invest in eligible markets as do their UK counterparts.
- An amendment to Company Law to allow Protected Cell Companies is anticipated by the end of the year. This has been designed to prevent contagion between various share classes in a single company and will appeal to fund managers in particular.
Each of these initiatives demonstrates the close working relationship which the Guernsey regulator has with its local finance community to promote Guernsey's professional services and to ensure Guernsey remains competitive.
For further information contact Peter Crook on Tel: +44 (0) 1481 712 706 or fax: +44 (0) 1481 712 010 or e-mail: email@example.com
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