Article by Sean Costello Head of Business Development for India and the Gulf Cooperation Council, Jersey Finance

To continue building business with clients and professional contacts in India, we recognise that it is vitally important to establish a permanent presence there as well as provide a commercial framework that meets the needs of Indian based investors and their advisers.

The launch of our representative team in Mumbai and New Delhi, the interaction at senior government level and the continuing dialogue between regulators are all part of that ongoing process. It is also crucial that Jersey keeps its legislation and regulations under review and, whilst maintaining robust standards, we are eager to innovate in these areas to enable international investment to be facilitated.

The new Cross Border Merger Regulations, which will permit companies incorporated in Jersey to merge with foreign companies and other bodies incorporated outside Jersey, are an example of this and offer an enhancement which will assist Indian investors in their strategic decisions in identifying suitable vehicles when investing in Europe. We know there is huge interest in Indian businesses expanding internationally but there is also a need to recover and repatriate the profits made from that capital investment back to India. These amendments using a Jersey company make that process far easier to achieve.

The finance industry in Jersey invests heavily in such improvements to its legislation and works closely with the authorities and with the Jersey Regulator. Amongst other developments which will be outlined to our intermediary contacts in meetings this year are:

  • Changes to Partnership Law
    Jersey has introduced Separate Limited Partnerships and Incorporated Limited Partnerships. These new vehicles widen the choice in the funds sector and in structured finance. The range of possibilities that the new partnerships will bring, with their variations of legal personality and asset ownership, combined with commercial flexibility, will further enhance Jersey's appeal as a domicile for fund and finance vehicles.
  • Foundations
    Jersey's Foundation vehicle has added to the options available for those considering wealth management strategies for families and high net worth clients. Through the concept of 'a guardian', which is one of its features, it has introduced a greater element of corporate governance oversight than exists in similar structures in some other jurisdictions. Jersey Foundations have a wide appeal, particularly for those who remain unfamiliar with the trust concept.

Alongside these developments, Jersey continues to grow its fund administration services, wealth management services and its capabilities as a listing provider on worldwide exchanges using the Jersey holding company. The thriving funds sector is supported by a flexible regime for professional investor funds, including a Feeder Fund that is recognised and marketable in the European Union and the Gulf, unlike similar fund vehicles provided by some competitor jurisdictions.

Throughout the global financial crisis, Jersey has remained a strong, stable partner for international business, acting as a conduit for the distribution of capital to the world's leading finance centres and as a gateway to European markets. As the global recovery continues to gather pace led by the emerging economies, Jersey's legal and finance practitioners, working from a jurisdiction of substance with high standards of corporate governance, are well placed to build on their long established commercial ties with clients throughout India.

Jersey Finance's new representative team in Mumbai and New Delhi will act as a hub to enable us to communicate that depth and range of our financial services and the wider uses of some of Jersey's investment structures.

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.