Fiona Le Poidevin, Deputy Chief Executive at Guernsey
Finance, speaks to journalist Polina Khoroshilova about the success
of the recent delegation to Moscow. Originally published on thewealthnet
, 7 June 2011.
A Guernsey delegation has recently returned from a trip to
Moscow in high spirits, inspired by "plenty" of potential
Fiona Le Poidevin, deputy chief executive of Guernsey Finance,
the promotional agency for the island's finance industry,
explained to thewealthnet why the two jurisdictions could
work so well together. Firstly, according to Ms Le Poidevin, there
already is a solid base for the relationship, so they don't
have to start from scratch.
"A lot of Russian businesses and funds investing into
Russia are already here. We've got names like Aurora,
Prosperity Capital, Ashmore; there is a lot of investment into
Russia using Guernsey as a funds jurisdiction," she said.
Guernsey also has a lot to offer when attracting new business
from Russia, one of the key advantages being the island's
specialism in private equity. Ms Le Poidevin explained that
recently there was a survey of chief financial officers (CFOs), and
61 percent of those CFOs said that Guernsey was the jurisdiction of
choice for private equity admin.
"We've also done some recent research into the number
of listings on the London Stock Exchange, and Guernsey has
significantly more listings on the Main Market, AIM and the
specialist fund market than our closest competitors, which include
Jersey, BVI, Cayman Islands and the Isle of Man," added Ms Le
In addition, Guernsey has recently got approval to list its
companies on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, which should give the
island more exposure for companies looking for Asian
When talking about Russia, it is impossible to ignore the amount
of private wealth - Moscow boasts the highest amount of
billionaires in the world compared to other cities, and Guernsey
has the right structures to support them. "The island is
seeing increasing Russian business in the private wealth area, for
example trust structures for wealthy Russian individuals,"
said Ms Le Poidevin.
There is no denying the fact that Russia still has a reputation
as a risky place to do business, but Ms Le Poidevin said that today
there is a noticeable shift in attitudes. "Investors are often
hesitant and end up going elsewhere, but I think our success
stories speak for themselves. The hurdles can be overcome, and
already have been in quite a lot of cases."
Ms Le Poidevin said that the growing appetite for greater levels
of corporate governance is apparent in Moscow.
Facts speak for themselves: Russia's President, Dmitry
Medvedev, has finally recognised that the Russian business
environment is poor, and he has set a 1 July deadline for Prime
Minister Vladimir Putin to oust ministers from the boards of large
public companies, notoriously famous for their poor governance and
lack of transparency.
A Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) is also on
Guersney's 'to do list', but there is no specific
timetable at present.
Ms Le Poidevin concluded that the two jurisdictions could work
very well together, with Guernsey being an established
international finance centre with a good reputation easing the way
for a maturing Russian economy.
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