Jersey's position as the first 'third country' to offer the option of a fully-compliant AIFMD regime is set to be highlighted at Jersey Finance's annual Funds Conference in London this year.
Entitled 'Through the Looking Glass', the event will also highlight how a growing number of managers are considering relocating to Jersey while they assess the full impact of AIFMD.
To be held on Wednesday, 19 March at 8 Northumberland Avenue, the first London venue to have Musion 3D hologramming, the half-day conference will feature Gillian Tett as the keynote speaker and panel moderator. A British author and an award-winning journalist at the Financial Times, where she is a markets and finance columnist and an assistant editor, Gillian is known for being one of the first people to have warned of the financial crisis.
Two panel sessions will be included in the programme featuring a range of Jersey, UK and European private equity, real estate and hedge fund practitioners. The first panel session will look at how the AIFMD is affecting fund structuring decision-making in reality and the relationship between onshore and offshore fund domiciles. Panellists will also discuss the steps Jersey has already taken to secure private placement access into the EU, including the UK investor market, whilst providing the alternative option of a fully-fledged EU passporting regime from July 2015.
The second panel session will discuss topical operational issues relevant to industry and fund managers as they contemplate fund structuring, including establishing a full presence in Jersey and using the depth of Jersey's fund industry to ensure appropriate levels of management substance. The panel will also consider the increasing use of private investment vehicles by sophisticated investors making global real estate, private equity and infrastructure investments and the key advantages Jersey offers in this arena.
Geoff Cook, CEO, Jersey Finance, who will provide an introduction at the event, said:
"The offshore funds world is very much alive, and we see a number of real opportunities where Jersey is concerned. In particular, UK and European fund managers are able to use Jersey to adopt a 'wait and see' strategy, without committing to a costly and burdensome onshore EU option, enabling them to continue business as usual within and outside the EU and giving them time to assess the full impact of the AIFMD on their EU business.
"In this period of AIFMD transition, this year's conference aims to illustrate that Jersey's funds regime is entirely future proof, and demonstrate just how simple, timely and cost-effective it is to establish a fund management entity in Jersey with an appropriate degree of substance. I am sure this conference will help resolve some of the uncertainty relating to the new-look funds landscape and generate some thought-provoking debate."
Ben Robins, Chairman of the Jersey Funds Association, added:
"As well as providing an attractive AIFMD-compliant option, the feeling is that Jersey's unchanged regimes for non-EU funds and non-EU investors, which are outside the scope of the AIFMD, is proving attractive for UK and EU managers. Recent research suggested that over three quarters of EU fund managers are considering setting up offshore structures to target non-EU investors as a result of the Directive*. This option offers reduced costs, including reduced reporting, no remuneration rules, no depositary or leverage requirements and low regulatory capital requirements, which an onshore option would not be able to match.
"With Jersey's funds sector continuing to perform well, with the net asset value of funds under administration remaining stable around the £195bn mark and with fund formations on the rise, this conference will demonstrate that Jersey is in a strong position and can present alternative fund managers with significant opportunities in and outside of Europe."
Jersey Finance's annual Funds Conference, 'Through the Looking Glass', takes place on Wednesday 19th March 2014 at 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, starting at 12.30pm and finishing at 5pm, with a drinks reception afterwards.
Further information is available and places can be booked at www.jerseyfinance.je/events.
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