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Jersey private funds: a new era

by Contributor 21 October 2021

According to the last set of statistics from the Jersey Financial Services Commission the Net Asset Value of regulated funds under administration in Jersey has now reached just over half a trillion US dollars – growing by nearly 10% in a single quarter.

What those numbers don’t tell you is the value of assets held in private fund structures in Jersey - they are, after all, private.

As a serving member of the executive committee of the Jersey Funds Association, I am particularly proud of how successful the Jersey Private Fund (JPF) has been since its launch. We continue to see great demand for Jersey Private Funds both from existing clients, who are familiar with Jersey, and new clients structuring funds in the jurisdiction for the first time.

It’s not surprising, as the Jersey Private Fund has universal appeal attracting a wide variety of family offices, promotors, managers and investors across sectors.

We continue to see varied demand from managers for a mix of assets, including venture capital, private equity, debt, alternative energy, traditional assets, and a whole host of niche assets.

Although Europe, Asia and the Middle East have been longstanding core markets for Hawksford and JPFs more broadly, we are seeing increasing interest in African and US markets with investors seeking alternative options for their funds.

Because of JPFs’ flexible, versatile, quick to market nature, they are popular to an extremely broad range of users, from family office co-investment syndicates and groups of High Net-Worth (HNW) investors right through to the largest of institutional managers. The value of assets and complexity of the structures varies significantly as the JPF can be tailored to accommodate such a broad spectrum of investment and funding scenarios.

The reason why the JPF system is so popular is thanks to its progressive, flexible, and resilient nature, under which to launch new private investment structures.

When a JPF utilises the professional investor regulated scheme (PIRS) exemption, its manager does not require a financial service licence in Jersey. This makes JPFs highly effective for new managers where track record is limited as well as experienced managers regulated in other jurisdictions.

JPFs also benefit from tech-enabled regulatory approval processes which can be followed once the Jersey service provider has submitted the fund application documents. This is coupled with a fast-track legal formation process, which can see a Jersey company incorporated in a matter of hours.

Jersey’s progressive and responsible legal outlook, also makes the local private funds investments market highly responsive to new developments in legal compliance and emerging asset classes.

With markets remaining buoyant, there are opportunities for savvy family offices and HNW syndicates putting private capital to work. I think we can expect strong deal flow in the remainder of 2021 and would expect to see a healthy slice of that being structured through Jersey funds and investment structures.

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