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Record growth for Jersey fund industry, says Lipper

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Jersey’s fund servicing industry has grown to USD225.9bn (GBP112.5bn) in 1,367 funds and sub-funds at the end of June, an increase of nearly 150 per cent from USD91.0bn (GBP59.7 billion) i

Jersey’s fund servicing industry has grown to USD225.9bn (GBP112.5bn) in 1,367 funds and sub-funds at the end of June, an increase of nearly 150 per cent from USD91.0bn (GBP59.7 billion) in mid-2002, according to the 13th annual edition of the Jersey Fund Encyclopaedia published by Lipper.

The reference work, launched by Fitzrovia International – since acquired by Lipper – in the mid-1990s, examines the market shares for auditors, lawyers, custodians, administrators and fund promoters in Jersey.

Among funds domiciled on the island, the largest asset classes are real estate funds, with total net assets of USD69.4bn, representing 41 per cent of the total for domiciled fund assets, followed by private equity and venture capital funds (USD33bn).

By far the largest administrator of all funds serviced in Jersey, including both locally-domiciled and foreign funds, is Mourant International Finance Administration, with USD74.5bn in assets, followed by Bedell Trust Company (USD26bn), State Street (USD15.4bn), UBS (USD12.8bn) and Ogier Fund Administration (USD12.2bn)

BNP Paribas’ acquisition earlier this year of Royal Bank of Scotland International has helped to secure its leading position in terms of assets under custody in Jersey, servicing USD45.3bn in assets, ahead of State Street’s USD14.2bn. Standard Bank has USD9.8bn in assets under custody, followed by Royal Bank of Canada (USD9.4bn) and Deutsche Bank International (USD8.5bn).

Among professional firms, PricewaterhouseCoopers is the largest auditor to the sector with 661 funds, followed by Ernst & Young (214), KPMG (150) and Deloitte & Touche (108). Mourant du Feu & Jeune is the largest legal adviser with 873 funds, ahead of Bedell Cristin (539), Ogier (497) and Carey Olsen (357).

‘It is gratifying to record such strong growth in the island’s fund servicing industry,’ says Ed Moisson, director of European fiduciary operations at Lipper. ‘The attraction of alternative investments has been particularly impressive.’

Michael J. Le Garignon, head of sales and business development for UK offshore markets with BNP Paribas Securities Services, says: ‘The Channel Islands have continued to deliver exceptional growth within the funds industry. With increases in both islands exceeding 40 per cent growth throughout 2007, both Jersey and Guernsey have established themselves as international centres for funds business.

‘The islands are establishing an excellent reputation for alternative fund administration services globally, coupled to this both islands understand the need to adapt the regulatory environment to keep pace with the demands of an evolving industry. With a developing infrastructure and committed sector supported by significant expertise both islands provide attractive locations from which fund managers seek to do business.’

Cyman Davies, head of the funds team at Mourant du Feu & Jeune, says: ‘This is the eighth consecutive year that Mourant du Feu & Jeune has been recognised as the number one legal adviser to funds in Jersey by Lipper Fitzrovia. Our position as market leader is reflected in our market share of 43 per cent. Mourant has also merged with Cayman-based firm Quin & Hampson, opened a legal practice in New York and launched fund administration services in San Francisco, Singapore and Hong Kong.’

Brendan McMahon, a financial services partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers, adds: ‘Jersey remains the offshore financial services centre of choice for alternative investment funds, particularly property and private equity funds. The regulatory authorities continue to ensure that appropriate legislation is in place to support the growth, and recent changes in the Expert Fund legislation offers a very attractive structure for hedge funds. I am extremely confident in the continued growth of the fund industry in Jersey.’

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