Guernsey is a great place to do business according to Jon
Moulton, the Founder and Managing Partner of Alchemy
Mr Moulton, who now lives in the Island, was the keynote
speaker at the Guernsey Private Equity Funds Masterclass in
More than 100 funds industry practitioners attended the
event last Thursday which was held in The Gallery at Old
"I recommend any of you to use Guernsey for private
equity it works," he said.
Mr Moulton said that Guernsey has a solid infrastructure
including not just fund administrators but accounting, tax and
legal advisers who offered a personal service.
A major attraction is that Guernsey is "not flaky"
but has sensible laws and regulations which are always updated
quickly so that the Island is at the forefront of developments
such as the introduction of new products and services. Mr
Moulton also praised the speed of doing business in Guernsey by
saying that "things happen at a pace which is
inconceivable in the UK."
He added that Guernsey's taxation structure was
straight forward and easy to understand and was noticeably more
stable than the regime in the UK.
"Overall it [Guernsey] is a nice place to
operate," said Mr Moulton.
Mr Moulton said that the immediate prospects looked gloomy
for the private equity industry as a whole. Guernsey's
ability to continue to attract private equity and the business
of other asset classes would ensure its sustained strength in
the investment funds industry.
Speaking after the event Jim Gilligan, Chairman of
GuernseyFinance the promotional agency for the Island's
finance industry, said: "I would like to thank Jon for
what was a topical and thought-provoking talk. Obviously we are
especially appreciative for the feedback from his experience of
using Guernsey. The fact that such a respected figure within
the industry should be so positive about the Island is a
significant endorsement of Guernsey as a centre of excellence
for private equity."
The masterclass, entitled Guernsey leading the way in
private equity', was opened with a short welcome speech
from Mr Gilligan. Mr Moulton then gave his keynote speech
before taking part in an interactive panel session chaired by
Connie Helyar, Executive Chairman, IPES and also including:
Mark Huntley, Managing Director, Heritage International Fund
Managers; Ben Morgan, Partner, Carey Olsen; Tony Mancini, Tax
Director, KPMG Channel Islands; and Rob Hutchinson, Executive
Director, KPMG Channel Islands.
"I have in the past established private equity/real
estate funds in Guernsey but never pure private equity funds
however more recently my experience has been to act as an
adviser to clients investing into Guernsey funds," said
Dale Gabbert, Partner, Nabarro in London.
"This session has been very useful. Quite often these
sorts of events are just about marketing but this was a helpful
overview of what Guernsey can offer from a private equity
perspective. It was very interesting and off the back of this I
can see potential developments."
The latest figures from the Guernsey Financial Services
Commission (GFSC) show that overall funds business in Guernsey
grew another £13.7bn (8.3%) in the final three months of
2007, taking the total value of funds under management and
administration in the Island to another record high of
£178.2bn at the end of December up £48bn (37%)
during the year. The most eye-catching results came in the
private equity asset class where values increased by
£5.5bn (19%) during the quarter and £13.6bn (66%)
year on year to reach £34bn at the end of 2007.
"Guernsey is a very important jurisdiction for private
equity," said Mrs Helyar.
"Guernsey administers some of the largest and well
known private equity funds in the industry. A number of these
groups have relocated their entire back-office operations to
the Island in the last two years. It is therefore important
that as changes to the regulations come through we keep
business introducers informed of the potential benefits.
"This event has undoubtedly been a tremendous success
in promoting the Island to both existing contacts and those
introducers who don't yet have any experience of using
Guernsey for private equity business."
Plans are already in place for a similar event on Wednesday
18 June at the Signet Library in Edinburgh.
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