First fund authorised under Jersey's new Expert Fund regime

The introduction of the streamlined regulatory regime for expert funds in Jersey has led to the swift authorisation of a property fund and over 40 enquiries from promoters in the six weeks since launch.


The property fund received regulatory consent from the Island's Regulator, the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC), under the Expert Fund Regime, in less than two days from the point when the application was received.


The island has also received interest from fund administrators interested in extending their operations to Jersey, and it is understood that hedge fund administration giant Citco is looking at both Jersey and Guernsey.


City advisers were given further details of the advantages that the Expert Fund Guide would provide to the promoters of hedge funds, private equity schemes and other alternative investment strategy funds in a series of presentations at a seminar in London on Monday.


A change in the method by which the Jersey Financial Services Commission collates statistics on the Island's funds business provides the Industry with a clearer indicator of the contribution of specialist funds.  The most recent statistics, covering the period up to 31 December 2003, prior to the introduction of the Expert Funds Guide, show that the estimated value of Jersey's collective investment funds stands at GBP 98.7 billion.  Of that total, more than GBP 25 billion were specialist funds, of which hedge funds make up GBP 13 billion.


Delegates heard that in addition to new business, the Regulator was willing to look at existing funds that are issued under a rolling programme over a period of time to consider, depending upon the type of structure, whether the authorisation process for future units of such funds could also be streamlined under the Expert Funds criteria.


Phil Austin, Chief Executive, Jersey Finance Limited, the promotional arm for Jersey's Finance Industry who organised the London event, said: "Latest figures show that specialist funds already contribute 25 per cent of the total value of the funds industry in Jersey.  With the introduction of a fast track authorisation process, successfully illustrated by the turnaround on the property fund, together with the existing experience and track record of the Island's finance professionals working in the funds sector, Jersey intends to compete for a larger slice of the global funds market.


The Expert Funds Guide, which was launched by the Commission in February, enables authorised functionaries in the Island, including administrators, fund managers and trustees, to self certify expert funds which meet criteria set down by the Commission in the Guide.  There is no longer a requirement for a management company and, in the case of hedge funds, no requirement for a local custodian, provided the fund has an approved prime broker.  Details are available at the JFSC website www.jerseyfsc.org


Monday's seminar was the first time that Jersey's funds professionals, represented by the Jersey Funds Association and the Regulator have presented together to City advisers in London.

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