Ogier advises on first Guernsey registered fund

Guernsey lawyers from the international legal and financial services group Ogier have advised Gottex Fund Management on the London Stock Exchange listing of the first fund to take advantage of the Guernsey registered closed-ended investment fund regime, which was introduced on February 1.

Roger Le Tissier, the founding partner of Ogier's Guernsey office, and senior associate Andy Lowe made use of the new regime's fast-track procedure for closed-ended funds under which regulatory consent may be obtained from the Guernsey Financial Services Commission within three days of filing the required documents.

The listing of Gottex Market Neutral Trust comprises a placing and offer of shares which closed on March 23, having raised GBP45m, albeit less than half the GBP100m it was targeting.

The principal feature of the new regime that allows the registration to occur so rapidly is that the onus to fulfil the due diligence function, normally undertaken by the regulator, is instead placed on the administrator.

A certificate is required from a Guernsey-licensed administrator confirming that it has performed sufficient due diligence to be satisfied that the promoter and associated parties of the fund are fit and proper persons. It is the administrator that must be satisfied as to the integrity, solvency and competence of the promoter.

Says Le Tissier: 'Ogier is well qualified in terms of expertise and location to fully capture the potential benefits of registering funds in Guernsey. We are the first firm to make use of the new regime and this iterates our reputation as a leading adviser on all funds-related business.'

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