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Green Funds, Foundations And Other Qualities: The Guernsey Formula

Tom Burroughes

16 February 2023

Offshore centres need to stand apart from rivals and build reputations for expertise. Guernsey’s already-established wealth management sphere, green funds and philanthropy appear as standouts. 

Earlier in September, the period,” Pleasant said.

Cautious on cryptos
Away from these areas, Guernsey takes a relatively cautious approach. Take the area of digital assets and cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. Heavy falls in prices suggests such a stance makes sense.

“We have a much more conservative approach when it comes to cryptocurrencies. We launched the world’s first crypto ETF at the start of the year. The regulator here has been sensible to watch and observe and they are aware of what is going on the market,” Pleasant said.

Looking ahead, Pleasant said he expected to see more consolidation among the firms operating in the island – a view that seems to chime with what businesses have told this publication. 

“There has been a great deal of consolidation within the trust and fiduciary sector in recent years with some very large multi-jurisdictional companies now emerging,” he said. “However, unlike other jurisdictions, Guernsey has continued to support smaller and more boutique fiduciary providers, who are often privately owned on the island. So it’s all about choice for clients – Guernsey will continue to offer a complete range of fiduciary providers, whereas other jurisdictions may only be able to offer larger more institutional players.”

As noted with other IFCs, Guernsey has to think about a global marketplace. And it has a particular connection to South Africa, Pleasant said.

“I’ve just completed a seven-day trip to South Africa, part of a 32-strong Guernsey delegation that visited the country. It is very apparent that there is a special relationship between the two jurisdictions and has been so for over four decades. Guernsey is seen as a very safe pair of hands in politically and socially turbulent times, whilst being the conduit for many billions of dollars being invested back into Africa creating value and jobs within the continent. So a solid, special relationship is more important than specific structures,” he said.