The Island's enhanced status as a jurisdiction of choice for the blue chip global funds industry is demonstrated by the rapid success of new Isle of Man based operations attracted by the growth potential in this highly competitive area of the international market.

One of these, IOMA Fund and Investment Management, already administers gross assets in excess of US$8 billion since its launch two years ago. The operation, part of the Isle of Man Assurance Group, is heavily involved in aiding companies prepare for floatation on AIM, the London Stock Exchange's market for junior companies.

'The Isle of Man in general now has an impressive professional skills base of accountants, lawyers and brokers,' pointed out Managing Director of the funds division, Philip Scales. 'We have all the necessary specialist skills we require in our various areas of operation available to us here on the Island which gives us the flexibility and speed to facilitate a high level of growth.'

IOMA is currently handling substantial business on both markets – in the case of AIM, involving initial gross valuations of between £100 million and £250 million. The company also administers the affairs of three companies listed on the main register. The companies range across the board, from property to those involved in environmental concerns.

'Only recently we had two companies which attracted enough interest from the City that they were able to raise substantial sums from major financial institutions without actually being listed,' added Mr Scales.

The Mayor of London, Alderman David Lewis, an eminent City lawyer, has praised the Isle of Man's leading role in attracting foreign investment to the City of London. A further testament to this is the calibre of companies now using Isle of Man based services to float on AIM or seek a full stock exchange listing.

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