JCS recently completed a 35 day tour of Europe to connect a wide variety of Jersey service providers with asset managers, fund promoters, tax advisors, lawyers and other intermediaries in 18 European cities. Early indications are that the tour has been a great success; 6,780 kilometres and 203 face to face meetings later, JCS has made in excess of 300 introductions to service providers internationally.
Foundations and Incorporated Cell Company (ICC) structures
Meetings that took place in the Netherlands highlighted an evident respect for Jersey and a particular interest in Foundations and ICC structures. This interest was also shown in other cities, including competitor jurisdictions such as Luxembourg, where several professionals deferred to Jersey's more competitive trusts offering and made requests for information on Jersey Foundations.
Pre-tour research showed that Jersey Foundations would attract real interest. JCS translated a Foundations briefing note into several European languages, including Russian. This provided added value to the marketing of Jersey's services.
Property specialists across Europe were familiar with the standard real estate structure utilising various relevant jurisdictions, but they usually expected to see the parent domiciled somewhere other than Jersey. The ICC structure, most notably its simplicity, was very well received. Many hosts requested further information and it is hoped that these contacts will start to consider using Jersey in future.
Jersey for Funds
The focus of conversations in Germany was on funds, primarily real estate and renewables, although at present holdings are typically organised through Luxembourg or the Netherlands. There was also strong interest in Poland regarding Jersey's status amongst offshore jurisdictions and its adoption of and adherence to international standards.
Residential real estate was of key interest to German financial service specialists in what can only be described as a buoyant market. Munich, Berlin and Frankfurt remain the industry 'thoroughbreds' but other European cities such as Hamburg, Warsaw and Vienna offer excellent investment potential. French service providers also perform cross-border work with German counterparts in cities like Stuttgart, making real estate funds the focus of discussion in Paris.
Jersey's interest in renewables and sustainable energy caught the attention of European service providers and this was bolstered by reference to the new Jersey Cleantech initiative. The rapid growth of this global market, expected to reach $500 billion annual investment by 2020, was most evident in Poland and the Czech Republic. Activity in sustainable energy, particularly in Combined Heat and Power, was compelling. Germany, of course, remains the European leader in this sector by far.
With JCS support, Cleantech Jersey is now scoping an ideas exchange with German investment professionals to learn from their experiences and to help demonstrate Jersey's commitment to sustainable energy and technologies. There are clear benefits to be gained from an enhanced awareness of Jersey's legitimacy among key decision-makers in Europe.
In short, the outlook for Jersey in Europe is positive. There is a real opportunity to inform key intermediaries about Jersey and our excellent reputation and international standing – and to develop stronger relationships with them. Various strategic partners from Europe will be visiting this year at the invitation of JCS to see for themselves the quality and calibre of our jurisdiction.
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