Guernsey Finance addresses how Guernsey fits into the “bigger picture” at Heritage Insurance-sponsored IoD lunch
The way in which Guernsey Finance fits into the “bigger picture” of the island’s economic infrastructure was the focus of the Institute of Directors (IoD) lecture lunch sponsored by Heritage Insurance.
Guernsey Finance’s chief executive Fiona Le Poidevin gave an overview of the work the organisation does to promote the island’s financial services industry worldwide.
Since the beginning of the year Guernsey Finance has promoted the jurisdiction at around 60 third party events and has increased its focus on marketing, particularly through editorial coverage, web campaigns, social media initiatives and advertising to help spread the Guernsey message.
With the additional financial support of some £900,000 received from the Commerce and Employment Department, spread over three years, Guernsey Finance has been able to build traction in various areas, such as stepping up activity in Europe to ensure that the island protects work from its major markets, including the City of London.
“Our response to Guernsey’s solution for AIFMD which is having such a significant effect on the funds industry at the moment is one particular major marketing campaign we have invested in,” said Miss Le Poidevin.
Guernsey Finance is also using the new funding for research into markets such as Latin America where it believes there are significant opportunities for the island’s captive insurance, private equity and private wealth industries.
Miss Le Poidevin’s said her word of the moment was “focus”.
“Guernsey cannot be all things to all people and we cannot be everywhere at once. We have to listen to the needs of industry, carry out our own research, understand the Island’s risk appetite and the views of government and regulator and piece the jigsaw together to come up with a realistic and targeted approach,” she said.
“With such large budgets being granted to competitors such as Luxembourg, Jersey, Dublin and others, it is becoming increasingly difficult to compete. That’s why it is equally important to protect work from established markets as well as research new opportunities – otherwise the others will eat our lunch and steal our pocket money.”
She went on to emphasise the fact that Guernsey is adept at exploiting niche business areas such as cleantech, renewable energy and, more recently, insurance-linked securities.
“It is crucial that our industry, regulator and government all work together, with the same goals in mind and the States’ financial services strategy is instrumental in this.
“Our historical advantage has been about speed to market and first mover advantage; we need to regain that advantage and steal a march on competitors where new legislation or products are needed,” she said.
Miss Le Poidevin highlighted her top three priorities that need to be tackled through multi-agency collaboration in order for the island’s finance industry to prosper going forward.
“The first is to address air links and housing licences so that Guernsey has the right environment to welcome new business. The second is to find a way of stimulating innovation and entrepreneurship to ensure Guernsey has the right offering and, finally, to figure out what the island’s risk appetite should be to work out where in the world Guernsey wants to win business and what types of business it wants to attract to the island.
“We have so much going for us – some areas could be improved but we should remember to give ourselves a pat on the back for everything that is going well right now, learn from it and build on it in the future,” she concluded.
Paul Luxon, the Minister for Public Services will be presenting at next month’s IoD lunch series sponsored by Heritage Insurance which will be held on 18 July, 2014. To reserve a seat contact Tony Brassell at firstname.lastname@example.org
Category: Finance & Business