Leaders from Guernsey's funds industry have revealed that
the Island is aiming to achieve equivalence with the EU in light of
the proposed Directive on Alternative Investment Fund Managers
Guernsey's determination to maintain access to EU markets in
the face of the Directive was highlighted by speakers from the
Island at a debate in London on Tuesday evening assessing the
future of the funds industry following the credit crunch and
subsequent global economic downturn.
Horace Camp, a member of the Guernsey Investment Funds
Association (GIFA), said: "While it is unclear at the moment
exactly what form the Directive will ultimately take, it is certain
to be enacted. Our intention is that if anybody gains equivalence
so that they continue marketing into the EU then Guernsey will be
included on the list. We have a united effort in place led by our
government and industry so that we take the steps necessary to
ensure that this happens. We are not a lone voice and we are
certain sense will prevail."
Guernsey hosted 'The Big Debate: Investment Funds in the
post G20 world – threats and opportunities for the
Island's funds industry' at the Grange St Pauls Hotel.
Keynote speaker and chair of the debate was BBC Radio 4's
Financial Reporter and Presenter Adam Shaw.
He was joined by John Roche, Partner, PwC; Christopher Anderson,
Partner, Bedell Cristin; Mark Russon, Business Development Manager,
London Stock Exchange; Scott Cochrane, Partner, Herbert Smith; and
Daniel Godfrey, Former Director General, the Association of
Investment Companies (AIC).
More than 80 delegates from leading fund management, law and
accountancy firms attended the debate.
Mr Camp added: "It went extremely well. Adam Shaw added the
independence and balance needed for such a debate and still a very
clear message came out that Guernsey is going to do everything it
possibly can to achieve equivalence. The UK panellists showed that
they understand and support our position and were quick to
emphasise that they are advising clients not to make any rash
decisions on the basis of what could happen because there is
uncertainty about what is coming round the corner."
The debate tackled key issues such as the credit crunch and new
fund industry trends; beyond G20 'white listing'; the
changing face of Guernsey as a home for administration and
management; an update on Guernsey's legal framework; the
EU's AIFM Directive; and the future of the 50 year relationship
between Guernsey and London.
Christopher Anderson added: "I think the debate picked up
on a lot of the genuine issues. I think it showed that there's
concern but in a positive way that's being addressed and will
Stephen Newby from Herbert Smith, who was a delegate at the
event, said: "We set up funds domiciled in Guernsey and then
listed on the London market or Euronext. It has been an interesting
evening, with a wide variety of people here and quite a consistent
message in terms of the focus that people have on appropriate
regulation and developing a consensus to meet the political demands
that have come out of the credit crisis."
The main debate was followed by a Q&A session and then a
drinks and canapés networking reception sponsored by HSBC
Securities Services in Guernsey (HSSG).
Figures from the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC)
show that the net asset value of funds under management and
administration in the Island reached £170bn at the end of
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