The value of fund assets administered in the Channel Island jurisdiction of Jersey rose by 15% last year to stand at a record £260 billion, according to new data from the region’s financial regulator.
The growth was driven primarily by a similar surge in alternative asset classes, Jersey Finance said in a statement. At the end of 2016, the total value of alternative asset funds stood at £189.2 billion, also a record.
Within alternatives, private equity rose by almost a third year-on-year (30%) to stand at £59.7 billion, while specialist funds (which includes credit, debt and infrastructure vehicles) rose 48%. Hedge fund values remained steady, meanwhile, ending the year at £52.4 billion.
Almost three quarters (73%) of Jersey’s total funds activity is from alternatives, the statement continued.
“These are clearly very encouraging figure for 2016, and support the view that, in an uncertain market, Jersey is an attractive, stable and effective platform for alternative fund managers,” said Jersey Finance CEO Geoff Cook in the statement. “We are a well-governed, risk-averse, outward-looking jurisdiction with ongoing European market access and strong links to the UK, and all that is proving an attractive proposition for managers and investors looking for stability and certainty.”
“It’s a powerful global endorsement of Jersey that some of the highest value funds in the world are deciding to launch in Jersey and a number of new promoters are now using Jersey for the first time,” added Mike Byrne, chairman of the Jersey Funds Association.
Jersey, which sits off the French coast in the English Channel, has long been considered an attractive domicile for investment managers due in part to its tax-neutral environment. It holds allegiance to the British Crown but is not considered part of the U.K. and practices substantial domestic autonomy, factors that will become highly relevant as Britain implements its withdrawal from the EU as part of the Brexit process.