High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI) are allocating increasing amounts of their wealth outside of their home region, up from 25 per cent to 37 per cent in the year to 2014.*
This trend for wealth creation and diversification is reflected in new economic powerhouses, such as India, where demand is increasing for high quality wealth management and cross border transaction services. Jersey meets the Indian investors’ requirement for a jurisdiction of substance, it has close constitutional ties with the United Kingdom and its finance industry has become an ally and commercial partner to the City of London, providing a gateway into European markets.
Home to a number of global banking organisations, all major accountancy firms, leading offshore law firms and specialist providers of wealth management services and established as a successful International Finance Centre (IFC) for more than 50 years, Jersey has one of the largest specialist workforce of any European offshore centre, including the biggest and most active STEP membership of any jurisdiction.
It is a business environment and infrastructure that has appealed to Indian firms including Bharti Enterprise Group, which used Jersey as a test bed for Airtel Vodaphone and Infrasoftech, who chose Jersey as a base to concentrate on services to the finance industry.
In 2013 it was calculated that around £ ½ trillion worth of assets were held in Jersey trusts and special purpose vehicles. At the core of its offering is the Jersey trust structure, which was established in law more than 30 years ago and has been a model for other jurisdictions, while benefiting also from a strong and impressive array of case law.
Complementing the long established trust vehicle is the foundation, which was introduced onto the Jersey statute five years ago. More than 260 foundation have been formed, with a reasonable proportion of those having been created on behalf of Indian customers. The range of investment structures available, combined with the expertise of the Jersey based practitioners, has wide appeal to wealthy Indian entrepreneurs and families.
With representatives based in both Mumbai and Delhi, Jersey Finance has a platform to build ties in the Indian market. It aims to engage with a broad range of intermediaries and to highlight the role Jersey can play in asset protection, estate planning, family governance and in acting as a suitable, well regulated hub for the structuring of wealth for those Indian investors with overseas investment ambitions.
*Cap Gemini and RBC World Wealth Report 2014.