Today's investors and finance professionals looking to set up funds and structures have numerous choices when deciding on the jurisdiction to use. The following are some of the main reasons why Jersey is a sensible choice.
Why offshore at all?
From a fund administration point of view, the jurisdiction should provide a venue for the pooling of investments from various parties who may be from a number of different jurisdictions themselves. The aim is to provide a high quality administration service without adding an additional layer of tax so that the investment vehicle is taxed in the countries within which it operates, and the investors are taxed in their country of residence.
The jurisdiction should also provide flexibility and variety in investment vehicles to allow investors to take advantage of the tax incentives provided by various countries around the world in order to encourage inward investment.
Jersey provides all of the above to the highest standards which is why it was recently rated the number one offshore financial centre by the Global Financial Centres Index, together with numerous other awards from international organisations and publications.
The Jersey Financial Services Commission ('JFSC') ensures that Jersey's reputation for being a leading financial service provider is maintained by having a comprehensive regulatory framework.
Jersey has one of the highest rankings amongst all financial centres (not just offshore) under the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) 40+9 ratings with regard to anti-money laundering. Indeed it scored higher in the recent round of International Monetary Fund visits than many larger economies including the USA and United Kingdom.
This contradicts the idea that all offshore jurisdictions are places where the bad money goes to hide.
The regulatory framework is flexible and designed to protect investors whilst giving freedom to expert and institutional investors to make investment decisions commensurate with their risk appetite.
Jersey is a Crown Dependency of the United Kingdom whose legislative processes have developed over the last 800 years. As such, it is not subject to political turmoil or upheaval and professionals doing business can be confident in the long standing and robust legal framework.
Jersey can provide a tax neutral jurisdiction. This is of particular advantage where the investor profile in a structure is multi-national which can lead to excessive complications and cost burdens were it is necessary to work out double taxation reliefs and other issues for all parties involved.
Jersey's Tax neutrality means that investors can, in certain circumstances, take advantage of tax incentives by which various countries encourage non-residents to invest in their economies. Jersey has 22 Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) with major economies including the United Kingdom, the USA and France with at least 17 more in the pipeline. This demonstrates the lead role that Jersey plays in this area.
The Jersey finance sector
There are over 13,000 finance professionals working in Jersey with service providers in all sectors of the industry. Jersey also benefits from having the Channel Islands Stock Exchange for situations where access to a greater number of investors is required.
A combination of numerous professional service providers, providing bespoke solutions to complex financial structures and a strong IT and support sector, enables Jersey to provide a high standard of professional service to meet all the needs of a sophisticated investor, a fund promoter or those merely looking for a stable home for their hard earned assets.
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.