Uncertainty Meets Stability: UK Trends With Jo Kitcat



Guernsey Finance is a joint industry and government initiative which seeks to promote and connect the island’s financial services sector in its chosen markets internationally. Based in Guernsey, the agency conducts marketing, communications and business development for members firms and also employs representatives in London, Hong Kong and Shanghai.
2024 continues to be a year of uncertainty, opportunity and change in the global private wealth and funds sectors.
European Union Finance and Banking
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2024 continues to be a year of uncertainty, opportunity and change in the global private wealth and funds sectors. Current industry challenges include fund raising and exit issues, and in the listed space, liquidity and size issues.

I recently attended the BVCA conference, the Guernsey Funds Forum and the Guernsey Roundtable Dinner where continuation funds and secondary solutions were discussed and it would appear that private equity professionals, including fund managers and lawyers, are enhancing their secondaries teams.

In the listed space, following a Guernsey roadshow visiting lawyers specialising in listed vehicles, it was clear that Guernsey continues to be a favoured domicile with the experience and expertise in listed vehicles. However, structural issues in the market – namely liquidity, fund raising, fund sizes and reduced diversity of investors following wealth manager mergers, continue to impact the listed market.

Private wealth also has its challenges, including uncertainty surrounding politics and future planning.

With the UK election called for July, the private wealth industry is hopeful that more certainty will come, and in Guernsey we are well placed to support international clients through any changes. More broadly, with the number of elections taking place around the world and changes of government potentially in the UK and other countries, we could see considerable global macroeconomic change, which at this stage is difficult to anticipate. Advisors in the UK and Guernsey are actively monitoring the potential impacts on behalf of their clients.

Guernsey continues to be seen as a stable and supportive jurisdiction for clients, with the island also providing steady investment inflows into the UK according to a report by Frontier Economics released at the start of the year. The key figure for me is that Guernsey-based funds support significant investment into the UK economy, and currently channel £57 billion of international capital investment from around the world into the UK. The findings also show how Guernsey's financial services expertise is aligned with several UK policy priorities such as the transition to net zero, infrastructure funding and regional investment.

Global wealth is also going through a period of flux as the geopolitical dangers create concern in certain areas. Following on from conversations during a recent private wealth roadshow, it seems clear that despite this, Guernsey has again retained its position as a centre of excellence and stability during this period of uncertainty.

There have been two particularly fascinating insights over recent weeks. The first was at a roundtable dinner discussing issues around funds, during which one of the guests brought us up to date with her plans and progress to launch a space fund. She discussed the technology, the issues, the opportunities in space and how it has become an integral part of everyday life. It was particularly interesting to understand how technology in space can have a positive impact on Earth's environment.

I was also privileged to listen to the great explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes who was the keynote speaker at the Guernsey Funds Forum. He talked us through his life from what sounded like a fairly rebellious time at school through to a stint in the SAS and as a soldier in the Oman fighting insurgency. He finished with a discussion around his visits to both the North and South Pole and the crossing of Antartica. The mental and physical resilience he must have had was amazing. He delivered the talk with real humanity and wit and people were on the edge of their seats.

Guernsey Finance has been active in the UK with roadshows, roundtable dinners, networking events, the Funds Forum and third-party events. As an agency, we have continued to build a network of advisors in the UK who are constantly investigating opportunities with Guernsey professionals to work with the island.

As we move into the second half of 2024, Guernsey Finance will continue to build these connections with networking events culminating in the Private Wealth Forum and Sustainable Finance Seminar in October and November.

For more information about Guernsey's finance industry please visit www.weareguernsey.com.

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.

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