Guernsey: Guernsey Continues To Stand Strong

Last Updated: 27 July 2016
Article by Oliver Godwin

Most Read Contributor in Guernsey, September 2018

Oliver Godwin of Bedell Group examines the fund landscape of Guernsey.

HFMWeek (HFM): Over the last 12 months, what regulatory changes have been of the most significance to Guernsey and why?

Oliver Godwin (OG): Regulation is constantly changing, not only within Europe, but worldwide. This ever-evolving process creates an air of uncertainty for many jurisdictions, although, Guernsey continues to more than just meet its regulatory obligations on the local and international stage.

The proof of this is evidenced by Esma recommending that Guernsey be given the third country passport under AIFMD. This recommendation highlights that Guernsey is receiving recognition for its hard work in having a regime that meets the requirements of the AIFMD rules, being OECD compliant for tax transparency and having appropriate AML laws in place.

Other developments have come in the form of the manager led product (MLP), which is aimed at AIFMs establishing themselves in Guernsey to market AIFs into the EU under the applicable national private placement regime. It ensures a proportionate risk-based level of regulation by placing the regulations on the AIFM only, avoiding duplication of regulatory requirements over several entities. Within 24 hours of receipt of a notification the GFSC will license open-ended or closed-ended funds, as well as general partners or managers formed solely for the purpose of such funds. Guernsey committed itself to the adoption of the global Common Reporting Standard on Automatic Exchange of Information (CRS) with effect from the beginning of this year, with first reporting taking place in 2017. Guernsey is one of approximately 60 jurisdictions working to this implementation timetable, including all EU member states (with the exception of Austria, which will have an extra year before implementation of the CRS).

HFM: Guernsey is well known for its high standard of transparency, how did it achieve this reputation and how will it maintain it?

OG: Guernsey has strong presence in international finance and has firmly cemented itself in the funds market. With over 50 years' experience of being an international financial centre, Guernsey has worked extremely hard to achieve its reputation. A key contributing factor to this success has been a willingness to engage with external authorities, for instance the UK and the EU, to give a level of transparency that provides a truly comfortable environment. Additionally, Guernsey is keen to work with other jurisdictions to ensure that it is transparent from a tax perspective.

Guernsey has traditionally listened to, and implemented, all of the requirements and rules raised by international organisations such as the OECD and FATF. It has been a conscious movement of ours to comply with the highest levels of transparency available so, in relation to the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (Beps) and tax transparency, Guernsey is tax transparent and has tax neutral structures. Ultimately, we hope to be seen as the epitome of dependability by both onshore and off shore jurisdictions. This reputation, in conjunction with a strong regulatory system and a very knowledgeable regulator, acts as an impressive attraction for those considering Guernsey.

HFM: How does Guernsey innovate to differentiate from other jurisdictions?

OG: The island has always been an innovator. Guernsey has consistently been at the epicentre of the launch of new products, for example, we were pioneers of the protected cell company (PCC) structure, which is now being copied all around the world in various forms. The PCC has been an incredibly popular product which has allowed Guernsey to explore different markets, i.e. the funds market and the insurance market.

Additionally, Guernsey's industry always works hard with the local regulator to ensure that there is flexibility in our regulatory framework. This typifies our business friendly attitude. Despite being relatively small in size, Guernsey uses its stature in its favour, allowing for the utmost in versatility and enabling a speed of conducting affairs that is second to none. Our history speaks for itself and works as our best attraction.

Guernsey boasts an amalgamation of flexible structures and regulators, laws, courts and experienced professionals who can come together to push the industry forward.

HFM: Which fund structures are the most popular in Guernsey, how much variety is there?

OG: The popularity of the structure corresponds to the type of business. One of the structures more commonly used is the limited partnership structure, which is utilised for private equity funds and cleantech funds. Guernsey is used as a tax neutral jurisdiction which allows pension funds and internationally-based investors to really enhance their return. The Class B funds regime, which is an open-ended fund regime, is also quite prevalent. The PCC structure is widely used for fund platforms and insurance products because it permits the segregation of assets and liabilities. In a similar vein, we have the incorporated cell companies where each cell is its own separate legal entity, under an umbrella. Ultimately, there is a vast variety of structures in place. Furthermore, Guernsey has just started consulting on very private funds, which is almost like a club deal and will require less regulation, thus will be quicker to get to the market.

HFM: How is Guernsey's relationship with the London Stock Exchange?

OG: Our relationship with the London Stock Exchange (LSE) is deeply ingrained. We have something resembling an 'open mic' relationship with them, and are in constant contact, directly and through lead counsel in London. The listing of Guernsey structures on the AIM market of the LSE, where Guernsey is a market leader, is a key driver in the relationship.

HFM: What other crucial components attract managers and institutions to Guernsey?

OG: A key attraction is our very strong legal system which has its roots in Norman-French law, but is clearly recognisable to those used to common-law jurisdictions. Another huge factor is our position as a tax neutral and tax transparent jurisdiction. It all adds up to a solid and reliable offering for international investors who don't want to be onshore.

HFM: What key industry trends will impact Guernsey the most over the next 18 months?

OG: The main obstacle that is perhaps of the most importance, and is certainly the most pressing, is that of a 'Brexit', which is ultimately more than just an "in" or "out" choice. There are two fundamentally different paths which the UK could follow and at the helm of this decision are the British public. I think that in the short-term there will be disruption whatever the outcome, and as polls continue to see fluctuations in potential voting patterns and the outcome continues to remain uncertain, everyone is on the edge of their seat. Despite things looking slightly uncertain now, Guernsey is well-placed to react to either outcome. Much work has already been done by the States of Guernsey to understand the impact on Guernsey should the UK decide to leave the EU, and how to mitigate that impact. Indeed, Guernsey's States Assembly has been told that the island is 'well placed' to deal with any challenges that occur, in the event of the UK voting to leave the EU and the potential change for Guernsey will be 'less substantial' than the potential change for the UK given that the Crown Dependencies are relatively stable in respect of their EU relationship, compared to the UK.

An original version of this article was first published in HFMWeek's 2016 Guernsey report, June 2016.

For more information about Guernsey's finance industry please visit

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions