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London’s investment community has been reassured that Guernsey is confident of continuing to be a leading funds centre despite current uncertainties, including the EU’s proposed Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive.

More than 250 delegates attended the Guernsey Funds Forum which was held on Wednesday at the Grange St. Pauls Hotel.

Peter Niven, chief executive of Guernsey Finance, says: “This event was aimed at reassuring our key supporters in London that we are dealing positively with a number of current uncertainties, in particular the AIFM Directive, and as a result of this work, the Island continues to be an attractive and competitive funds domicile. It was a recurring theme that came from all our panellists and one that was accepted and well received by the many delegates.

“It was also reinforced that Guernsey is seeing an increasing amount of fund business coming through the pipeline as confidence returns to the markets. Indeed, this is reflected in the newly released figures that show the value of our funds business grew by 7.2 per cent during the first quarter of the year.”

ITV news anchor Alastair Stewart (pictured) moderated the day’s sessions covering transparency, distribution and alternatives.

Speakers included Bridget Barker, Partner, head of investment funds and financial services group, Macfarlanes; Ian Sayers, director general of the Association of Investment Companies; Scott Cochrane, partner – corporate, Herbert Smith; Jonathan Hooley, chairman of the Channel Islands Stock Exchange; Carl Rosumek, deputy director of the investment business division at the Guernsey Financial Services Commission; and Jarrod Cowley-Grimmond, director of the finance sector development unit at the Commerce and Employment Department.

Panellist Nick Sanders, head of portfolio of Jon Moulton’s Guernsey-based private equity vehicle Better Capital, told the audience: “The thing we like about Guernsey is there is just a good solid base of advisory people; a good supply of professionals ready to support the private equity business…because our timescales are really tight.”

Niven adds: “The event was extremely successful both in terms of the number and quality of delegates and the high calibre of our speakers. The event really did leave the audience in no doubt that Guernsey has dealt effectively with threats in the past and we will continue in a similar vein to ensure the Island remains a leading European funds centre for the future.”

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