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Island in the Funds: Jersey Shows Growth

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LONDON (–The Jersey hedge fund industry has continued to expand, with the number of funds now serviced there rising almost 14%, to 839 funds and subfunds, over the year previous to June.

Total net assets represented by those funds rose from $US102.3 billion to $US107 billion, according to Fitzrovia, which published the findings in its 10th annual Jersey Fund Encyclopedia.

Looking solely at actual funds domiciled in Jersey, Fitzrovia found that total assets under management for them grew by almost 25%, from US$62.6 billion to US$78.2 billion. The number of Jersey funds grew to 744, up from 638.

Assets in property/real estate funds from the island more than doubled over the 12-month period ended June 30, 2004, increasing to US$22.7 billion from US$10.5 billion. The second-largest asset class there is private equity/venture capital funds, with assets of US$14.3 billion, which Fitzrovia took as a sign that Jersey is establishing itself as a center for specialized funds.

In the service provider category, the largest administrator on the island is Mourant International Finance Administration, which serviced fund assets of US$30.9 billion. Mourant secured the greatest amount of new business over the year, adding US$12.7 billion in administered assets.

SG Hambros Trust leads the administrators category in sheer number of funds serviced, with 141.

Among Jersey custodians, State Street took over the lead in total assets serviced, with US$13 billion. Next is Royal Bank of Scotland International, with US$12.8 billion, followed by Royal Bank of Canada, with US$11.1 billion.

The largest auditor for the island is PricewaterhouseCoopers, which scrutinizes 503 funds. Next is Ernst & Young, serving 154 funds.

The largest legal adviser is Mourant du Feu & Jeune, counseling 640 funds, ahead of Bedell Cristin, with 364 funds, and Ogier & Le Maurier, with 330 funds.

Describing the overall state of industry on the island, Brendan McMahon, financial services partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers said, in a statement, “Jersey continues to demonstrate, through its dramatic growth in funds administered, that it is clearly an offshore center of choice for the establishment of alternative investment products. We have the appropriate regulatory environment, a tax-neutral fiscal environment and first-class supporting legal and accounting experts. This ensures that investment funds as well as innovative investment products are brought to market in a timely and cost-effective way.”

Contact Bob Keane with questions or comments at: [email protected].