UK Update – Jo Kitcat, July 2022 – Fund Management / REITs


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For the first time in our regular WE ARE GUERNSEY Business Development Team blogs, we hear from UK Rep Jo Kitcat talking about his first few months on the job.

Much of Guernsey’s success in financial services is based on the island’s unique symbiotic relationship with the city as a primary provider of capital and conduit to other economies.

Guernsey is a well-known and respected jurisdiction in London, so I enjoy the challenge of keeping and raising that profile.

So far, I have made presentations to IFA and global lawyers, and one of my goals over the next few months is to identify, develop and improve contacts with lawyers and accountants in London, and to approach asset and wealth managers about Guernsey structures and fund administration services.

One of my most exciting wins was an introduction that led to a PCC structure in Guernsey for carbon offset investments, which aligns with our desire to be a leader in sustainable finance and a force for good global.

Over the past few weeks, certainly, a theme I’ve picked up from various meetings is a shift in the traditional values ​​of the younger generations of the wealthy, with the focus now largely on philanthropy, impact investing, crypto and technology. There have also been several discussions around ESG at seminars and meetings. One meeting included a discussion around a green app for millennials to learn and invest using mutual funds.

Guernsey appears to have the advantage on funds over rival jurisdictions, and this was helped by advice from Guernsey experts who joined me in London. In one such instance, during a fund dinner debate, there was an outdated perception of Guernsey regarding ‘grey money’, which was quickly corrected by Guernsey delegates.

More recently, I hosted a roundtable luncheon at the Institute of Directors, London, to discuss Guernsey’s strengths in insurance-related securities.

We invited insurance professionals, including lawyers, insurers, reinsurers and asset managers, and there were presentations from experts from Guernsey. Walkers Partner Kate Storey reminded us of some of Guernsey’s advantages, including stability and a high level of compliance with international standards. Adele Gale, Head of ILS at Robus Group, identified how Guernsey is playing a key role in helping the insurance industry reach net zero by protecting new assets and sharing risk. Aon’s chief financial officer, Stuart Brown, gave examples of some of the innovative structures created from Guernsey, including volcanic catastrophe bonds and central fund hedging structures. Caroline Bradley from the Guernsey Financial Services Commission provided an update on regulation which included systematic and structured fund assessment, how the regulator continues its active international engagements with the International Association of Insurance Supervisors and the how it helps the financial sector through the green transition.

Interesting discussions took place during the presentations and over lunch and it seemed to offer value to all. I look forward to welcoming more in the future.

For more information on Guernsey’s financial sector, please visit www.weareguernsey.com.

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