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Jersey launches unregulated funds regime for alternative managers

Date: Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Author: Joyanta Acharjee, Thomson News.com

LONDON (Thomson IM) - Jersey has introduced two new classes of investment fund aimed at alternative asset managers which can be established without regulatory approval under the Channel Island's funds legislation with immediate effect.

The unregulated funds regime, first announced last October, has no audit requirement, no limit on the number of investors, no investment or borrowing restrictions and no requirement for Jersey service providers. Promoters are offered a choice of fund vehicle including company, protected cell or incorporated cell company, unit trust or limited partnership.

Robert Kirkby, technical director of Jersey Finance - the promotional body jointly set up by the island's government and finance industry - commented: 'Jersey is now a much more attractive prospect for the typical hedge fund or private equity manager who invariably wants a fund set up and ready to trade in short timescales with no local minimum regulatory input.'

The island has launched two fund categories as part of the new regime: Unregulated Eligible Investor Funds which may be open or closed ended and are restricted to sophisticated investors with an initial investment of 1 mln usd and Unregulated Exchange Traded Funds which must be listed on one of 50 pre-approved stock exchanges.

Kirkby added: 'Since Jersey announced its intention to launch the unregulated model alongside its existing fund categories, there has been considerable interest from the market and we anticipate it will be only a short time before the first funds in these classes are established.

'Jersey has been experiencing record growth in fund assets under administration and in particular has attracted considerable new business in the alternative fund sector, which now accounts for more than half the total value of the funds industry.'

Jersey is a self-governing Crown Dependency located in the English Channel which is independent of the UK and not part of the European Union.

By Joyanta Acharjee: +44 (0) 20 7422 4928; joyanta.acharjee@thomson.com