There’s no doubt that, despite the persistent unusual environment, Jersey has had a busy and positive year in 2021.
As well as marking the 60th anniversary of Jersey as an international financial services centre, Jersey has launched an ambitious sustainable finance strategy, continued to cement its reputation through a number of industry award wins, grown its funds business to new record levels and bolstered its visibility and relationships in key overseas markets, including Asia Pacific, the GCC, the US and Africa.
Jersey’s progress as an IFC has been reflected, of course, in our own activity at Suntera Global. 2021 was the year we transferred our corporate headquarters to Jersey and obtained a new fund administration licence in the jurisdiction as part of our strategy to strengthen our European funds proposition.
But one thing is certain – Jersey is not a jurisdiction for sitting on its laurels, it is a progressive centre always with one eye on the future. And there’s no doubt that 2022 will prove just as busy.
So what of the future? Where are the key opportunities?
The first must be in the sustainable finance space. If 2021 was a year for galvanising support for ‘building back better’ in a post-pandemic world, then 2022 must be the year to put those plans and intentions into practice. Jersey has, thanks to its strategy published this year, got a good foundation to build on and in 2022 we will undoubtedly see some important progress in this space.
As COP26 has highlighted, progress in ESG will take significant collaboration and partnerships if the world is to realise its mutual objectives of combatting climate change and there will be numerous societal issues to tackle too as economies and communities recover from Covid-19. The framework Jersey has in place gives it a fantastic platform to showcase its capabilities and intent against this backdrop.
2022 looks set to be a year for digital innovation too – in both a positive and a negative sense. The downside will be in terms of cyber security, as online and cyber fraud become increasingly widespread. IFCs with a robust infrastructure to tackle this will be well placed, and Jersey could win business in this area with its sophisticated approach.
On the more positive side, fintech innovation will continue to march on, and the investment and joined-up thinking Jersey has put into fintech development and support for the sector from Government and the Regulators means it will be in a strong position to nurture really pioneering solutions.
Meanwhile, governance and stability will continue to grow in importance in 2022, and again it’s an area where Jersey can capitalise. As a jurisdiction, Jersey has long had an assumption towards substance and its commitment to rigorous and high standards of governance runs through its funds, corporate and private wealth capabilities.
And finally, connectivity. Jersey is perhaps in its own league when it comes to its global reach – it’s well-established, long-standing reputation in markets in Europe, Asia, North America and Africa gives it a fantastic opportunity to act as a nexus for financial connectivity – in a landscape that is increasingly fractured and disrupted as a result of Brexit, political uncertainty and regulatory complexity. Its knowledge of international markets and suitability of the solutions and expertise it offers puts it in pole position to facilitate and support global financial flows at a time when supporting investment in a targeted, efficient way is vital to global efforts to rebuild economies post-pandemic.
These are important and significant times for Jersey and, as an IFC with one eye always on the future, we at Suntera Global are pleased to be a part of its journey.