JERSEY’S funds industry hit new records last year but the Island must remain alert to potential regulatory changes and shifting investor behaviour to remain competitive, according to the Jersey Funds Association.
JFA chairman Michael Johnson said that while the sector was ‘maintaining its upward trajectory, evolution in the market, regulatory change and competition means that the association is busier than ever’.
At the organisation’s recent Chairman’s Update event, Mr Johnson and vice-chairman Joel Hernandez assessed the current landscape and set out some of the priorities for the group over the coming year.
Sub-committee heads also took part in a question-and-answer session highlighting some of the trends, challenges and opportunities on the horizon.
Pointing to the fact that the value of assets serviced in Jersey rose to new record levels of more than £0.5tn in 2022, Mr Johnson also emphasised how important it was to be alive to the potential for change in the wider landscape.
He said: ‘Our figures continue to illustrate an upward trend, but it’s really important we stay ahead of the curve and anticipate regulatory change and shifts in investor behaviour to maintain our attractive ecosystem for alternative funds. Speed to market, cost-effectiveness and service quality are absolutely crucial in our segment of the alternatives market and we are fully focused not only on safeguarding our position but on enhancing our proposition in those areas.
‘On the ESG front, for example, the key is to establish a robust framework but without creating hurdles, while on the innovation front we see opportunities to build up a track record in blockchain, tokenisation and digital assets.’
Mr Hernandez added: ‘From a legal and technical perspective, it has never been busier in terms of the need to respond to consultations and international and domestic regulatory change, such as looking at our AML/CFT frameworks, enhancing our range of fund structures and regimes, and ensuring we keep the cost of doing business with Jersey competitive.
‘We are fortunate in the JFA to have broad and diverse expertise through our membership to support our efforts in these areas.’
The JFA will be holding a series of further events for members over the coming months to explore key areas of note for the industry. These include a Legal and Tax Masterclass tomorrow, and two events at the Town Hall focusing on ESG (on 15 May) and on digital on 5 June.