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Fiona Le Poidevin, chief executive of Guernsey Finance

Delegation to reiterate Guernsey offering for Indian clients

A delegation from Guernsey is heading to Mumbai later this week to promote the island’s financial services offering for Indian companies and individuals.

The delegation will be led by Fiona Le Poidevin (pictured), chief executive of Guernsey Finance – the promotional agency for the island’s finance industry. She will be accompanied by her predecessor, Peter Niven, who remains a consultant with the organisation until the end of the year.

They will be joined by three Guernsey-based financial services practitioners, John Morris from Legis, Keith Corbin from Nerine, and Gerald Hough from State Street.

Le Poidevin says: “The first official delegation from Guernsey visited India in 2010 and since then we have been building relationships and raising our profile in the country and also with professional advisers in centres such as London who service Indian companies and individuals.

“What we are seeing is that there is increased awareness of Guernsey as a location from which Indian companies can establish structures to either invest out of or back into their home country. Indeed, the Island has established itself as the domicile of choice for Indian-focused investment funds seeking to raise monies through European capital markets and, in particular, listings on the London Stock Exchange. For example, the India Capital Growth Fund, Indus Gas, Kolar Gold, Skil Ports & Logistics and Mytrah Energy Limited are all Guernsey-incorporated entities which are currently listed on AIM.

“However, more recently, local practitioners have been reporting increased interest in the services Guernsey can offer Indian high net worth individuals and their families. Indian clients and their advisers are pointing to the Island’s long-standing experience and expertise in providing trust and company services but also the fact that this is now being complemented by recent developments such as the approval of Guernsey Foundations and world-first image rights legislation.” 

The group will be in Mumbai from 1 December through to 8 December. Their itinerary includes hosting two dinner debates with local professional advisers such as lawyers and accountants. One session will be focused on the investment funds sector and a second focused on fiduciary services.

Meetings are also planned with other financial services firms as well as Indian banking groups, business representative organisations and officials from the British High Commission in the city. In addition, the team will be exhibiting at the International Taxation conference on 6 December and 7 December in Mumbai.

Le Poidevin adds: “We are taking this visit to India as an opportunity to meet with as many relevant people in Mumbai as possible within the week. Similarly to our recent visit to China, we will be meeting with banking groups to highlight the potential opportunity for them to establish an operation in Guernsey which could act as a hub particularly to meet the private banking needs of non-resident Indians, including those based in the UK or Europe.

“We will be meeting with a wide range of people to raise Guernsey’s profile in India and showcase the tremendous breadth and depth we have in our industry, including the funds and fiduciary sectors but also banking and insurance, as well as the support services such as multi-jurisdictional law firms and global accountancy practices. It is vitally important that we maximise the return from these visits to ensure that we keep pace with competitor jurisdictions that will be targeting similar business flows.”

The Guernsey Government signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) with the Indian Government in December 2011.

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