Thanks to a forward-thinking approach, Jersey is at the forefront of banking, wealth management, funds and capital markets. At the heart of Jersey’s international appeal is its enduring political and economic stability.
In this environment, it has developed an offering that balances product innovation alongside high standards of regulation, world class legislation and a depth and breadth of expertise. This sets Jersey apart from other jurisdictions, particularly in wealth management servicing South African ultra high net worth families and individuals.
Set in the sparkling Channel seas, and boasting history, culture, natural beauty and sophisticated urban life, Jersey is to many a true island paradise. But while an evening on the St Helier seafront, surrounded by the cosmopolitan bustle and snatches of conversation in French and English – Jersey’s two official languages – is enough to convince anybody of the island’s charms, it’s not just the lifestyle that brings Africans to its shores.
Through a quirk of medieval history, Jersey enjoys the status of a British Crown dependency. This gives the island a tight political and economic relationship with the UK alongside the freedom to set its own laws. The result is a comprehensive and rigorous, though investor-friendly regime which, when combined with its long-standing trade and cultural exchange with continental Europe, gives a unique mix of stability, flexibility and proximity that has been the basis of a highly competitive and dynamic financial services industry.
In the age of globalisation, Jersey has developed leading expertise in the profitable conduct of complex, international financial affairs. As Africa’s capital markets deepen amidst unprecedented domestic expansion and rapid increases in international inflows, an emerging cast of internationally mobile high-net-worth individuals and families are discovering these benefits.
In 2014, Jersey supported over £15 billion in deployed capital across Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and Egypt, whilst acting as the ideal base for Africans to access financial markets in the UK and EU. On the personal side, there is £1.14 trillion in trusts and asset holding vehicles administered in Jersey and over a thousand members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).
Jersey is a true international financial centre; a ‘goldilocks’ pound economy. With expertise and frameworks covering all aspects of the wealth management process, it offers a stable, tax- and cost-effective home for African wealth in a world that becomes more uncertain by the day.
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‘We are a specialist centre for supporting wealth management in South Africa’
Above: An early morning view of St Helier Marina on the island of Jersey. (Image: Gary P le Feuvre / Adobe Stock)
As Africa becomes increasingly economically and politically strategic in our fast changing world, the unbounded opportunities on the continent have led to increased prosperity and wealth. This is particularly so for South Africa, which is a key hub for the opportunities on the continent, with its deep financial services sector and developed city infrastructure and air links, writes Allan Wood, Global Head of Business Development, Jersey Finance.
Here in Jersey, we are proud of our long-standing relationship with South Africa. Over the past 30 years we have been helping ultra high net worth families diversify their investments, to ensure capital preservation and effective estate and succession planning. We are a specialist centre for supporting wealth management in South Africa, and also find that many South Africans who are internationally mobile have also made a home in Jersey.
We are seeing more and more that as people become more prosperous, they want to give back. Our recent work complements the increased emphasis on sustainable and impact investing, and we have specialist expertise in philanthropy and environmental social and governance (ESG) frameworks.
Further, our recent global value chains research report shows that Jersey’s deep financial services expertise, its respected regulatory framework and its robust legal system mean that our Island is a key location for pooling capital and for facilitating international trade and economic activity.
Jersey’s global economic footprint and its contribution to global value chains (GVCs) supported £170.3 billion of global GDP on average each year during the period studied, of which £6bn flowed to Africa. I am positive that we will see an increase in such activity and a continued strengthening in our relationships in South Africa and the wider continent.