Recognition by G20 leaders that the Isle of Man is an international finance centre committed to international standards of best practice has been widely welcomed across the industry.

The Isle of Man's achievement of a place on the OECD's list of jurisdictions substantially implementing its internationally agreed tax standard has resulted in a marked upsurge in confidence.

David McGarry, who heads the Isle of Man operation of accountants KPMG, said the fund industry's trust in the Island as a progressive and forward looking jurisdiction, committed to positive engagement with its major trading partners, had been 'well rewarded'.

As a leading member of the Fund Managers Association, Mr McGarry was a prime mover in promoting the Island's innovative new funds regime that has resulted in a major boost for the industry.

He said: 'The Isle of Man funds sector has achieved significant growth in recent years. I am certain that all of the fund managers, promoters and investors who have established business relationships with the Isle of Man over the past several years will be very encouraged by the recognition by the OECD nations.

Funds Boost

'This excellent news confirms the approach the Isle of Man has adopted over the years. For the Isle of Man fund industry, it is a very strong boost and places us in an ideal position to take advantage of the significant increase in the formation of new funds that we anticipate will occur over the coming months.

'As a responsible jurisdiction, the Isle of Man has worked very hard to ensure that the Island is at the forefront of global initiatives to secure greater tax transparency - and to eliminate historic misconceptions regarding the business conducted within financial centres like the Isle of Man.

'This news rewards all of our efforts as a jurisdiction and distinguishes the Isle of Man from other so-called competitor jurisdictions which have not chosen to bring equal commitment to bear in this important area,' added Mr McGarry.

Another key area in which the Isle of Man sees potential for significant growth is the captive insurance sector. Captives have assumed an even greater role in the current financial uncertainty with owners seeking responsible domiciles with proven track records to establish their companies. The Island already plays host to captives belonging to a large tranche of the UK's Top 100 companies, as well as global operations.

Captives Reputation

Derek Patience, Chairman of the Manx Insurance Managers Association, said: 'Placement on the OECD white list could be key to attracting new business for the Isle of Man's captives sector. Large companies listed on various stock exchanges around the world own most captives. Typically, these large concerns form captives in domiciles where they do not have existing businesses, so reputation is a key factor when choosing a domicile.

'The Isle of Man already enjoys a number of advantages as a mature captives domicile, including simple yet robust captive regulation; a pragmatic regulatory approach; realistic and competitive capital and solvency requirements; a wide range of captive options and structures; as well as extensive infrastructure.

'Those companies who already have a captive in the Isle of Man are well aware of these advantages and of the high quality of our financial services sector. However, achieving the OECD white list is akin to the G20 recognising the Island as a leading international financial centre where business is conducted in a transparent manner - and this recognition will assist greatly in raising the profile of the Isle of Man.'

'Badge Of Approval'

Steve McGowan, Chairman of SMP Partners, one of the Island's biggest Corporate Service Providers, said the G20 had effectively awarded the Isle of Man with its 'badge of approval' and confirmed the Island was an appropriately regulated international finance centre.

'This is good news for the finance industry and professional services providers on the Island. The Isle of Man is a major financial centre with a substantial infrastructure of banks and legal, accounting and corporate service providers. The recognition of this by the G20 vindicates the approach of the Isle of Man government to position the Island as a fully regulated, transparent and stable international finance centre.

'The fact that the Isle of Man is now included on a white list will ensure that the Island is not discriminated against in the international arena. This will provide much comfort to the international finance community and reinforce the message that the Isle of Man is jurisdiction of choice for funds and other special purpose vehicles.'

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