Pragmatic and scalable solutions from Guernsey

Chris Colclough, Head of Wealth Management, Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management, outlines Guernsey’s strengths in offshore financial services.

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Guernsey is the second largest of the Channel Islands

Guernsey established itself as an international finance centre over 50 years ago, and has been building strong business relationships with South Africa for many years.

A typical route for South African advisers to use Guernsey to manage their client’s wealth overseas is to establish a trust, foundation, company or life policy arrangement, then establish an investment portfolio beneath. We have also seen South African managers establish Guernsey funds and invest the offshore portion of their client’s wealth into this. This is a cost-efficient and tailored approach when an adviser has a larger pool of clients.

But what are the core strengths which South African advisers like about Guernsey?

  • A secure, stable jurisdiction of substance

With more than £300bn of AUM, 10 000 financial services professionals and 1 000 funds administered, there is no doubting Guernsey’s substance in wealth management. Guernsey is the leader for London-listed funds and our banking, investment and fiduciary firms are regulated by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission.

  • Breadth and depth of service providers

Guernsey has more than 20 licensed banks ranging from major European retail banks, globally recognised private banks and custodial banking institutions, and a rich investment management sector, from major, publicly listed firms to more boutique, specialised asset management and private equity managers.

An extensive range of fiduciary and corporate service providers can establish and manage your clients’ structures, from trusts and companies to investment funds, overseas pensions and insurance solutions. Guernsey meets your entire wealth management requirements.

  • Chris Colclough, Head of Wealth Management, Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management
    Specialist wealth management services

As well as hedge fund and real estate managers established here, the introduction of the Guernsey Green Fund and specialist sustainable finance advisers based here means ESG is another growing specialism. Guernsey has all the structuring solutions and services relevant to family offices and is attractive for family offices to base themselves.

  • Frictionless access to UK/European wealth service providers

Guernsey is internationally recognised as an equivalent jurisdiction. This means there are well-established routes to UK and European managers from a Guernsey base.

  • Ease of establishing structures

Because South Africa is deemed an equivalent jurisdiction by Guernsey’s regulatory regime, establishing structures incurs the same checks and balances expected for a Guernsey resident, and Guernsey firms can place reliance on South African processes to alleviate duplication of documentation. This is also mitigated in Guernsey, where firms are working together for a common entity, ensuring a smooth client experience. Relations between South Africa and Guernsey are established, well understood and frictionless.

The pragmatic and scalable solutions available for South African wealth advisers speak to the regulatory regime in place. Guernsey’s industry is as healthy today as ever.