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Guernsey’s foundations legislation taking off in Asia

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Guernsey’s new foundations legislation, which is currently awaiting Royal Assent from the Privy Council before it comes into effect later this year or in early 2013, has already caught the eye of practitioners in Asia.

The legislation was a hot topic of conversation at the STEP Asia conference held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Hong Kong on 16-17 October.

Fiona Le Poidevin, chief executive of Guernsey Finance, who attended the leading fiduciary conference as part of a delegation from the island, says the event was the perfect place to showcase Guernsey’s private wealth offering and reinforce the benefits of its new foundations legislation. This year’s conference, which attracted more than 450 delegates, had Guernsey Finance as a gold sponsor.

“Kenny Foo of JP Morgan Hong Kong spoke on the first morning of the conference as part of a panel discussing global wealth trends and opportunities for innovation and mentioned foundations. His view was that they would become important structures for Asian clients in the future and specifically mentioned Guernsey as one of the jurisdictions who can readily offer these structures. This was particularly pleasing given that our foundations legislation has only recently been released,” says Le Poidevin.

The second day of the conference saw the Guernsey delegation host a breakfast seminar on the new foundations legislation. Speakers for the seminar, which was attended by more than 60 delegates, were Jarrod Cowley-Grimmond, director of finance sector development for the States of Guernsey, and Konrad Friedlaender, partner at Carey Olsen in Guernsey. Nick Jacob, partner at Lawrence Graham in London, moderated proceedings.

Le Poidevin says: “There was much interest in foundations at the briefing and over the two days of the conference but also in the extensive range of other services Guernsey service providers can offer to the Asian market including our long standing trust offering, but also the new image rights legislation that is shortly to be introduced.

“Guernsey is clearly increasing its profile in the Asian market and we will therefore continue to make visits to the region, attend further conferences and support our local industry in any way we can to make sure that Guernsey becomes a specialist finance centre of choice for Asian clients.”

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