Walkers partner Kate Storey, on behalf of the Guernsey Investment & Funds Association, has worked with the Guernsey Financial Services Commission to introduce a fast track licensing regime for investment managers of overseas (non-Guernsey) funds. The new fast track regime, which launched on 12 June 2020, will enable an overseas fund manager to migrate to Guernsey and obtain the necessary Guernsey investment business licence within a 10 business day period. Alternatively, a newly incorporated Guernsey manager can be established and licensed within 10 business days under the regime ( more details here).

The fast-tracking would apply for either a general partner of a non-Guernsey limited partnership, or a standalone manager wishing to move domicile to Guernsey

This development has arisen after Guernsey has seen a significant number of new enquiries over the past 18 months about establishing managers of overseas funds in Guernsey, whether through migrating existing overseas fund managers or establishing new Guernsey fund managers for overseas funds – the new licensing regime caters for both scenarios.

Fund managers are being attracted to Guernsey due to its strong legal, technical and professional services infrastructure with a wide choice of quality fund administration firms and locally based directors, and its EU and OECD "white listed" tax transparency and fair taxation standards. In 2018 Guernsey introduced legislation to meet EU requirements on economic substance which require that fund managers carry out their core income generating activities in their jurisdiction of tax residence. Guernsey's pre-existing financial services infrastructure and regulatory framework meant that fund managers established here were readily able to meet the EU requirements when they were implemented.

Guernsey's strong substance and tax standards compliance is combined with robust yet proportionate regulation of fund managers by the Guernsey regulator and Guernsey's longstanding pedigree and reputation as a world leading jurisdiction in private equity.

Fund administrators and auditors in Guernsey have long experience of working with overseas non-Guernsey funds. Non-Guernsey schemes for which some aspect of management, administration or custody is carried out in Guernsey, had a net asset value of £40.7 billion at the end of 2019, and this is a growth area.

This new fast tracking regime for managers of overseas funds adds to the existing fast track licensing processes in Guernsey for Guernsey managers of Guernsey funds (also 10 business days), and the fast track registration of Guernsey funds within 3 business days for registered funds, and 1 business day for private investment funds (PIFs) and the PIF Manager.

Originally published 16 June, 2020

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