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IFCs and the Changing Environment

Jersey confident in island’s offering to hedge funds

Hedge fund managers come from many countries – with some large firms employing dozens of nationalities – and can hop around multiple countries over their careers. Says Jersey Finance Deputy Chief Executive, Richard Corrigan, “Hedge fund managers are under increasing scrutiny by regulators and tax authorities. An offshore standalone alternative investment management company may not have enough substance, based on the facts and circumstances in each case”. That could, for instance, restrict their ability to make use of transfer pricing to allocate profits to an offshore company that has insufficient substance. Meanwhile, an onshore structure can be slow to set up. The UK regulator, the FCA, has sometimes taken as long as nine months to approve a new management company. Multi-month lead times are also normal elsewhere, partly because regulators have a heavy workload of new regulations to implement, and there can be multiple divisions to deal with.

In contrast, “a Jersey manager entity is simple and cost-effective,” according to Corrigan, who claims that “the JFSC’s fast-track licensing regime is the envy of many offshore locations and can award licenses in a matter of weeks”. Over the years Corrigan has found the JFSC “a very good and effective regulator”. What makes ongoing dialogue with the JFSC so much easier to handle is that “when dealing with the regulator you deal with the same one person every time, rather than different people for every area.” The JFSC has just under 200 staff and a reputation for efficient regulation. “Everyone does what is expected of them and the JFSC is more efficient and on the ball than other regulators,” claims Corrigan. An IMF review in 2009 endorsed the quality and transparency of local regulation.

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