Guernsey's funds sector is well-placed ahead of the
activation of the Island's 'third country' passport, a
London funds audience has heard.
Approximately 300 delegates were in attendance at the Guernsey
Finance-hosted masterclass on Wednesday 3 February to hear a panel
of leading funds experts debate the current market landscape as it
relates to the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive
(AIMFD) and National Private Placement (NPP) regimes.
Held at the British Museum, the event titled 'NPP or
third-country passport?', considered the European Securities
and Markets Authority's (ESMA) recommendation that Guernsey
should be given access to the AIFMD passport scheme and how the
industry generally was utilising NPP in relation to AIFMD.
Kate Clouston, Director of International Business Development at
Guernsey Finance, said: "It was encouraging to see the event
so well attended and that we were able to have such an interactive
discussion between panellists and the audience. What came out very
clearly from the debate was that Guernsey's national private
placement regime is held in high regard by those in the industry
and that once we receive our third country passport Guernsey's
offering will become even stronger."
Since recommending Guernsey for a third country passport in July
ESMA has been asked by the European Commission to complete, by 30
June this year, the passport assessments for the second wave of
nations - Japan, Isle of Man, Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Australia
- as well as the three outstanding countries from the first wave -
US, Singapore and Hong Kong. As a result, Guernsey is waiting for
the activation of the relevant provision in the Directive to extend
In addition, ESMA is planning to produce another opinion on the
functioning of the third country passport and the current system of
NPP after suggesting that the delay in implementing AIFMD, together
with the delay in the transposition of the Directive in some member
states, had made it difficult to provide a definitive assessment by
July 2015, the initial legislative deadline.
"We appreciate that activation of Guernsey's passport
may not now happen until later in the year, but the event provided
a great insight into the various ways managers and advisers have
been utilising the options currently available to them," said
"It was also positive to hear such strong endorsement of
the Guernsey Financial Services Commission as a flexible and
efficient regulator. Similarly, Storm's [Boswick]declaration
that Guernsey emerged as the fund domicile of choice following an
extensive due diligence process was equally pleasing as it
reinforced the fact that Guernsey as a jurisdiction provides a high
level of comfort to investors."
Ian Fox, Partner at Norton Rose Fulbright, was one of those in
the audienceto echo Guernsey's good pedigree in the funds
"I thought it was a useful session. It reinforced what I
already think about Guernsey. I do a lot of listed funds and
it's our jurisdiction of choice and nothing has changed that.
We will continue to recommend Guernsey as a good jurisdiction in
which to do business," he said.
Tim Lyle, Group CEO at City & Merchant, and Giles Vardey,
Senior Adviser at Smith Square Partners, both found the discussion
"What most surprised me was that the passporting regime and
the AIFMD regime were not quite connected together. The opportunity
to bridge both ends certainly came through today and I hadn't
appreciated how the passporting regime will make life easier for
us," said Mr Lyle.
Mr Vardey said: "It's important you do events like
this. Things are happening and thoughts must be expressed. It's
good that people turn up and interact."
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