Guernsey: Looking East – Guernsey Offers International Structuring Solutions

Last Updated: 10 October 2018
Article by Steve Desmond

Most Read Contributor in Guernsey, November 2018

BDO (Guernsey) Director Steve Desmond explains that structuring through Guernsey works for a range of investment vehicles, which can be attractive for Asian business.

Guernsey does provide a truly global offering for structuring investment products.

We have seen the appeal of the Guernsey insurance market in Asia with the development of a Chinese commercial reinsurance company in the island and continued growth in captives. The island was also named the best Non-Asian Domicile at the 2018 Asia Captive Review Awards.

In the investment sectors, there is still work to be done to promote the benefits of choosing Guernsey to domicile investment companies. But it is a proven path already taken by many international private equity managers such as Permira, Apax Partners, Cinven, Macquarie, Partners Group and Inflexion.

Despite fears over rising policy tensions between the USA and China under the Trump administration, US private equity firms are investing more into China in 2018 than in the previous year. There were some 150 private equity transactions amounting to $25.8 billion from January to mid-August 2018, compared to just $5.2 billion for the similar period in 2017. On the flipside, Chinese outward investment into the USA has fallen 50% to $4.7 billion from the $9.4 billion seen during the same period in 2017.

Europe appears to be a winner, with an overall increase in Chinese foreign direct investment at $22 billion by the mid-point of the year, far outstripping that of the USA.

The PE giant KKR sees these trade tensions as a 'significant' opportunity for 'outsized' returns in China amid the trade war, citing the burgeoning millennial consumer market in China driving appetite for the latest in technology and apparel trends. Disruptor companies such as Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent (known as BAT) are key to this change moving from an export-based economy, accelerated by the US administration's move to levy large tariffs against Chinese imports.

The millennial demographic only makes up some 25% of the Chinese population, some 351 million individuals, this number exceeds the total population of the USA and dwarfs the US millennial population of 73 million.

China is also seeing a raft of new general partners whose principals have a proven track record with previous firms such as Dehong Capital Partners, led by former KKR executives David Liu and Julian Wolhardt; Centurium Capital, led by David Li, the former head of China at Warburg Pincus; C-Bridge Capital, founded by ex-Temasek Wei Fu; Rivendell Partners, founded by Alex Ying, a former managing director at Carlyle Group; and Nexus Point Partners by the former MBK Partners KC Kung. These GP's have a truly global investor base from the US, Asia, Middle East and Europe, with a focus on inward investment into China.

Structuring of these investments is key and this is where a jurisdiction such as Guernsey can come to the fore. Guernsey has a leading and well-established private equity industry (almost 60% of closed-ended structures being private equity structures) with internationally-recognised funds located in a stable (yet innovative), well-developed and regulated tax-transparent domicile. This enables cross-border transactions during a period when the world is going through such uncertainty and change.

While there are a number of investment vehicles available in Guernsey, a common entity used for private equity and venture capital investing is the limited partnership.

The principal attraction of the limited partnership is its tax transparency for partners. Profits and losses of the limited partnership are attributed to the partners in their own place of tax residence with, usually, the added benefit of any losses set off against the profits from other investments attributed to them in the same partnership. Additionally, those same profits and losses may be treated as arising in the country in which the investment of the LP occurs.

The limited partnership vehicle is neither a person nor a company and as such is not subject to any Guernsey tax. Nor will any non-Guernsey resident partner be subject to tax on their share of profits in Guernsey, unless there is Guernsey source income.

Limited partnerships are formed, registered and operated under the provisions of the Limited Partnerships (Guernsey) Law, 1995. A limited partnership exists following the signing of a written limited partnership agreement (LPA) and registration of the partners on the register of the LP.

For each LP there is one or more general partners (GP) who are jointly and severally liable for all debts of the limited partnership without limitation. There would also be one or more limited partner(s) who contribute or commit an investment sum to the capital of the limited partnership, but unlike the GP are only liable to the extent of their contribution (or commitment). Both the GP and LPs can be body corporates or individual persons.

The prize for Guernsey is not only making sure Chinese general partners are familiar with the benefits of domiciling their limited partnership in Guernsey, but also we must consider that the investors, the limited partners themselves, have a major influence in selecting the domicile. The marketing focus must target both the GPs and the LPs to have any impact.

The BDO network has established a China Advisory Services Team in London, and a European China Desk which works with BDO member firms across Europe and China. The China Advisory Services Group and the BDO offices in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan have a network of excellent local connections, and are available to support companies with aspirations in other South East Asian countries.

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