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Isle of Man Takes Its Case to London

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LONDON (–A delegation from the Isle of Man’s Treasury and its Fund Management Association arrived in London in mid June to make the case that fund managers ought to establish their funds on that island, between England and Ireland, rather than in the Cayman Islands or other traditional venues.

The delegation included Steven Beevers of the international services division of the Treasury. The FMA team was headed by that body’s chair, Liz Tansell. The ISD and FMA plan to continue their joint promotional/marketing activities.

In a statement June 24, Mr. Beevers acknowledged that the team was very well received at these presentations hosted by City law firms and prime brokers, although he also said he met with skepticism in some quarters.

He is confident that “strategic changes to the tax and regulatory environment for funds” underway at the Isle of Man mean that “we are now seen as offering a product which is every bit as good as our competitors.”

These changes include: a zero-rate tax for all third-party fund administrators and for managers of experienced investor funds and professional investor funds as well as a value-added-tax exemption for EIFs and PIFs–representing an extension of the VAT exemption on management fees. It also includes an overseas fund exemption in the context of Isle of Man regulation, such that an overseas fund may be administered in the Isle of Man without “dual regulation” when it is incorporated in a jurisdiction having an appropriate regulatory framework.

Added credibility in “the specialist areas of private equity and hedge funds” doesn’t arrive overnight, Mr. Beevers cautioned, so the marketing efforts will continue.

In February, Treasury Minister Allan Bell said, in his budget statement, “Notwithstanding the current downturn in equity markets, the global funds industry continues to experience significant and sustained growth. I wish to see the Isle of Man competing for business in this vital sector of the global finance industry.”

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