Guernsey is a leading specialist financial services jurisdiction with close ties to SA. The sector specialises in funds, private wealth and is also a leader in ESG/green and sustainable finance as a member of the UN Financial Centres for Sustainability, the Network for Greening the Financial System, and home of the Guernsey Green Fund, the world’s first regulated green fund regime.
An interview with Stephanie Glover, Green Finance Manager at WE ARE GUERNSEY - as published in the September 2021 edition of MoneyMarketing.
Guernsey has long been regarded as a leading financial services market in investment funds and private wealth for SA. At the start of 2021, those ties became even closer with WE ARE GUERNSEY, the promotional agency for Guernsey’s specialist financial services industry, appointing Grant McLeod its first dedicated business development representative in the country. He has spent more than 20 years in financial services in SA, and since joining in March, has built on significant developments made by Guernsey in SA over the past few years in areas including investment funds and private wealth, through open-ended fund structures, trusts, pensions and other vehicles. For anyone who is unfamiliar with Guernsey, it’s a self-governing island of just 25m2, with a close working relationship with the UK but remaining outside the UK and EU. It has built an excellent reputation as a jurisdiction of stability and substance, with financial services expertise dating back five decades, and most recently emerging as a leader in green and sustainable finance.
Guernsey is not just a facilitator of global investment, but also an efficient investor into causes that generate a genuine and tangible social return, with much philanthropic and charitable activity, as well as impact and ESG funds, benefiting from this economic efficiency. There has been a significant growth in interest in responsible investment in SA, and practitioners in Guernsey have seen this interest focused in particular on the social aspect of ESG and the rise of impact investing.
In 2018, Guernsey launched the world’s first regulated green fund regime – the Guernsey Green Fund – which is regulated by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission. As ‘green-washing’ comes further to the fore, the Guernsey Green Fund is a robust and clear reminder that Guernsey is serious about mitigating climate change.
2021 has been a very busy year for Guernsey in the green and sustainable finance space, with the launch of the world’s first ESG insurance framework for on-island member firms of the Guernsey International Insurance Association. It also saw Sanne, a local leading fund administration business, launch Sanne Rio – a next-generation ESG reporting platform.
Being at the forefront of providing seamless technology solutions to ESG funds is also something Guernsey is leading in. Guernsey partners with a wide variety of professional services businesses that deal with cross-jurisdiction ESG and alternative asset fund structuring. Sanne proudly launched its ESG reporting platform, Sanne Rio, to the market in January 2021, putting Guernsey further on the map as a leading financial jurisdiction of choice for fund managers in SA.”
WE ARE GUERNSEY recently produced a series of educational materials for practitioners, including Impact Investing and Sustainability: A Practitioner’s Guide to Engaging Families on Impact Investing and Sustainability, and Sustainable Investing for Private Wealth and Family Offices, Guidance for Developing Sustainable Trust Deeds, further supporting Guernsey’s position as a leader in green and sustainable finance, and aiming to help family offices and private wealth practitioners develop sustainable finance practices and knowledge.
The island’s reputation and expertise in this field is increasingly becoming a key reason as to why business activities are either being launched from, or moving to, Guernsey.