Fiona Le Poidevin, chief executive of Guernsey Finance, has just returned from a week in China where it was confirmed that Guernsey fund managers can now apply for Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII) status.
In addition, Guernsey-headquartered fund administrator International Administration Group (IAG) has announced joint ventures in both Hong Kong and Singapore with the Tricor Group.
Le Poidevin says: “I have just spent a week in China continuing the dialogue with both regulatory and professional services contacts we have built up since we established our office in Shanghai at the end of 2007. It is the strength of these relationships which has ensured that Guernsey fund managers can now apply to receive QFII status and, as such, a quota for investing into China. This makes Guernsey an extremely attractive jurisdiction for fund managers who are seeking to invest into the Chinese market.”
Le Poidevin visited Beijing and Shanghai last week where she met with lawyers, fund managers and private banks to showcase the advantages of using the Guernsey funds and private wealth sectors to service their clients. Alan Chick, Chairman of Richmond Fiduciary Group, which is headquartered in Guernsey and has an office in Shanghai, joined the meetings in Shanghai.
Le Poidevin also met with the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) and the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC). The Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) signed a Statement of Cooperation with CBRC in 2011 and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the CSRC in November last year.
It has now been confirmed that the MoU between the GFSC and the CSRC enables Guernsey fund managers to apply to be QFII licensed and therefore, receive a quota for investing into China.
In a separate development, IAG has formed joint ventures with the Tricor Group. Tricor is a member of the Bank of East Asia Group and joint ventures have been established with IAG in Hong Kong and Singapore.
The new joint ventures provide fund administration services to private equity, real estate and alternative assets funds in Hong Kong and Singapore. IAG already has offices in both locations and also a joint venture with the Exceedor Group in Shanghai.
Johnny Ng, Tricor Group chief executive, says: “We are impressed by IAG's extensive and proven experience in fund administration services. By joining forces with IAG, we have enhanced both the scope and strength of our fund administration services.”
Raymond Page, managing director of IAG, says: “IAG is delighted to have Tricor, the leading corporate services group in the region, as our joint venture partner, in continuing our growth in Asia. We are excited by the prospect of working together in conducting a successful independent fund administration business in Hong Kong and Singapore.”
Le Poidevin adds: “This is a great development. It demonstrates how Asian firms value the experience and expertise offered by Guernsey fund administrators – especially in niche asset classes such as private equity and real estate – and that they can mutually benefit from working together to service their client base.
“Alongside the confirmation that Guernsey fund managers are able to receive QFII status, it also highlights the inroads the Guernsey fund sector is making in the Asian market. This is something which we will be looking to build on both when we exhibit at the SuperReturn conference in Beijing between 7 and 9 April and again when we have a delegation visiting the region around the STEP Asia conference in Hong Kong in October.”
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