Fri, 10/10/2008 - 15:26
Fund managers are increasingly looking to establish a physical presence in offshore jurisdictions, either to optimise tax efficiencies for their funds and management companies or simply because a lifestyle change is desired.
At Capita Fiduciary Group (CFG), we have seen a rapid increase in demand for support in establishing a physical presence in Jersey. Setting up an office can be a costly exercise, and most fund managers are reluctant to take on the burden of finding office space and staff and dealing with the necessary regulatory licences and government approvals that are frequently required.
The impact of tax legislation in the jurisdiction where the client and/or advisor is based may have a significant bearing on the development of a physical presence in Jersey. This means that the services required and supplied can vary widely, based on advice from tax and legal advisors and the requirements of local regulatory bodies.
If the activities of the Jersey office fall within the regulatory scope of the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC), which may be the case for certain fund management services, there will be additional requirements of the service provider appointed to help.
In determining whether to licence a fund management company, the JFSC will be considering whether the applicant is 'fit and proper' and, in particular, the integrity, competence, financial standing, structure and organisation of the applicant and certain persons related to it.
If an applicant is seeking to outsource to a specialist service provider under a managed office arrangement, the JFSC will also look at the appropriateness of those systems, controls or functions to be outsourced. A detailed services agreement should be in place between the applicant and the service provider, which the JFSC will consider as part of the licensing process.
Fund managers moving to Jersey will need to have an appropriate procedures manual to document the systems and controls in place to manage the affairs of the regulated activities effectively. Furthermore, a compliance officer, money laundering reporting officer and Jersey-based directors with relevant skills and experience might be needed.
As the complexities increase, it is vital that fund managers moving to Jersey engage with service providers that have specialist skills and experience that demonstrably go beyond straightforward company administration.
At CFG, we have a team specialising in providing turn-key managed office services that include the provision of serviced office facilities with phones, faxes, secretarial support and employees, to the provision of all relevant regulatory and compliance support, including pro-forma procedures manuals, compliance officers and directors with relevant experience.
The methodology we have adopted allows fund managers to focus on what they do best - manage their funds.
Based in Jersey, CFG is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Capita Group, a FTSE 100 company. Originally founded in 1956, CFG is now one of Jersey's biggest and fastest-growing financial services groups, with offices in London, Dublin, Guernsey and Amsterdam. Having recently acquired the trust business of PricewaterhouseCoopers in Jersey, CFG now employs around 250 staff, the majority of which are professionally qualified, including in-house tax and legal specialists.
Completely independent of any bank, investment manager, lawyer or accountant, CFG provides a wide range of services to both private and corporate sectors, including trustee, corporate, fund, custody, registrar and managed office services.
Rob Ayliffe is head of business development at Capita Fiducia
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