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Dominic Wheatley, Guernsey Finance

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Guernsey funds sector sees largest growth in four years

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The Guernsey funds sector enjoyed its largest growth in four years during the first quarter of 2017.

The latest figures from the Guernsey Financial Services Commission show that the net asset value of funds under management and administration in the island grew by GBP10.6 billion (4.1 per cent) over the quarter – the highest margin of growth since the first quarter of 2013, when funds grew by GBP19.7 billion. From the end of March 2016, total net asset values increased by GBP28.6 billion (12 per cent).
 
The statistics also build on six straight previous quarters of growth to take the total value of funds business in Guernsey to GBP266.5 billion at the end of March 2017. This marks the longest continued period of increased value in nearly six years, when June 2009 to June 2011 reached eight straight quarters of growth.
 
Guernsey Finance Chief Executive Dominic Wheatley (pictured) is encouraged by the latest figures.
 
“Due to the political instability causing global uncertainty at the moment, it is reassuring that Guernsey’s fund industry is showing itself to be a sector of stability and one that is experiencing ongoing growth,” says Wheatley. “When coupled with the fact that Guernsey continues to meet the highest international standards in terms of regulation, transparency and substance, and is regarded as a ‘BEPS-compliant jurisdiction’, it comes as no surprise that the island is enhancing its position as a funds domicile of choice.
 
“We have now seen seven consecutive quarters of growth, with the value of open-ended funds on the rise again after a brief dip last quarter which is especially pleasing as it shows the island is on the right track. The growth in the first quarter of this year was more than a third of the entire growth in 2016 so marks a very positive start to the year for the funds sector.”
 
The figures show the Guernsey closed-ended sector was valued at GBP164.3 billion at the end of March – up GBP4.9 billion (3.1 per cent) during the first three months of 2017 and up GBP14.7 billion (9.8 per cent) compared to 12 months earlier. Guernsey domiciled open-ended funds now stand at GBP43.9 billion, which is an increase of GBP1.6 billion (3.8 per cent) during the quarter, and up GBP3.6 billion (8.9 per cent) year-on-year.
 
Non-Guernsey schemes – funds that are not domiciled in Guernsey but have some aspect of their management, administration or custody carried out in the island – increased by GBP4.1 billion (7.6 per cent) during the first quarter of this year to be valued at GBP58.3 billion. This represents an increase of GBP10.4 billion (21.7 per cent) on the same point in 2016.
 
Guernsey has shown its innovation and nimbleness in the funds sector recently with the world’s first commercial deployment of blockchain technology in the administration of investment funds, while the total value of private equity business in the jurisdiction surpassed GBP100 billion for the first time at the end of December 2016.

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