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Funds the star performer for Jersey’s financial industry in 2007

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Jersey’s fund sector provided the highlight of a strong year for the island’s financial services industry in 2007, with the value of funds under administration growing by GBP67bn or 37.4 p

Jersey’s fund sector provided the highlight of a strong year for the island’s financial services industry in 2007, with the value of funds under administration growing by GBP67bn or 37.4 per cent to a new record of GBP246.1bn, according to the Jersey Financial Services Commission.

Banking deposits also enjoyed a solid year of growth, increasing by 11.9 per cent to end the year at GBP212.3bn – despite a GBP7bn dip in deposits during the final quarter as a result of two banks restructuring their branch operations.

Jersey also welcomed a number of new financial services providers last years with the issuing of new banking licences to EFG Private Bank and Investec Bank (Channel Islands), the arrival of several new fund administrators and significant growth in the asset management sector.

The newly authorised fund administrators are Saltgate, Nordic Capital, Rathbone Fund Services Jersey, Horizon Trustees (Jersey), Pentera Trust Company, Walbrook Fund Managers (Jersey) and Investec Trust (Jersey).

The aggregate assets of Jersey-domiciled Expert Funds grew by GBP28.7bn to GBP58.3bn, an increase of no less than 97.5 per cent, while their number rose by 109 to 383, an increase of 39.7 per cent.

The total value of funds under investment management increased by GBP16.7bn to GBP78.8bn, an increase of 26.8 per cent, and the market was boosted by new entrants Savills Private Finance, EFG Offshore, Abbey National Financial & Investment Services, Ermitage Asset Management, Heritage Insurance, Redwood Group Investment Management and DPZ Capital.

‘While 2007 was an excellent year for growth across all sectors, we are particularly pleased with the continued growth in new entrants to the island, which illustrates the attractiveness of doing business in Jersey,’ says Geoff Cook, chief executive of the industry’s promotional organisation, Jersey Finance.

‘We have every confidence for 2008, particularly in the area of funds where we recently introduced the Unregulated Funds regime, a significant development for the industry in Jersey. This innovative product offered to sophisticated and high net worth investors widens the spectrum of regulatory fund offerings. In particular it is believed it will complement existing impressive growth in the expert fund regime.

‘In addition, recent changes to the island’s company law will further increase the attractiveness of incorporating in Jersey. New benefits include the removal of the financial assistance provisions, the introduction of corporate directors and treasury shares, and the simplification of capital reduction.’

Cook says that new legislation currently in the pipeline includes measures to revise the limited liability partnership and to introduce incorporated limited partnerships as well as the development of a law bringing the civil law concepts of foundations into Jersey’s legislation.

‘A number of new vehicles are currently in the pipeline, which we believe demonstrates Jersey’s commitment to product development and the evolution of our long-established financial industry. Together these future enhancements and recent developments underline that Jersey is very much open for business and determined to continue last year’s success story.’

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