If 2016 was all about bad news and uncertainty, there's
every reason to start this year with a much more optimistic frame
of mind – especially from the perspective of the investment
funds industries in the Channel Islands, which see conditions set
for a very positive 2017.
Last year saw statistics showing growth of 12.3% in the net
asset value of funds under management and administration in
Guernsey, and a corresponding figure of 6.3% in Jersey. Those are
numbers that give an encouraging message, and they're a strong
base from which to start.
But there are also very specific reasons to think that 2017 will
be a year that builds on that base.
The first is the pressure that fund managers and underlying
investors are putting on service providers to reduce fees. Although
it sounds counter-intuitive coming from an investment funds lawyer,
that's good news for the islands – the lower overheads
and costs here compared to City firms mean that we're always
likely to be a cheaper option.
Over the last 12 months the investment funds industry around the
world has seen a noticeable price squeeze from clients, which for
local providers is a potential plus point – where structures
permit set-up in Jersey or Guernsey instead of London, operational
and overhead costs will be lower, and savings can be passed back to
In addition, the launch of the new manager-led product and
private investment fund regimes – the manager-led product was
launched in Guernsey last year, and is expected to arrive in Jersey
this year – demonstrate that the islands' legislatures
and regulators are not standing still where new opportunities
Both developments may help streamline the set-up of investment
fund vehicles, while also keeping costs down and adopting a
risk-based approach to investor protection and regulation.
The manager-led product and private investment fund developments
are just two examples of the way that the investment funds space is
changing in terms of innovation and regulation – and that
pace of change is itself changing the role of lawyers in the
investment funds industry in particular.
The backdrop of regulatory change means that we are being asked
to provide advice that runs not just cradle-to-grave, but also with
an international perspective. In a practical sense, clients are
looking not just for help establishing vehicles and legal advice,
but also business advice and input on structuring. Increasingly,
they’re looking for commentary on what's happening in
different jurisdictions, which is clearly good news for an adviser
such as Ogier which has an international outlook.
A great deal of the focus in considering the prospects for 2017
has fallen on the uncertainty around BEPS and Brexit in particular
- but any balanced view would find plenty of reasons to be cheerful
about the next 12 months.
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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