Domiciles Q&A: KPMG’s Honeywood on Jersey

Seven lawyers and fund administrators make the case for their jurisdiction. Here, Ben Honeywood, private equity group director at KPMG talks about the island.

Ben Honeywood

Is Jersey gaining or losing interest as a fund domicile?

Jersey continues to gain a strong level interest as a premier fund domicile, and some of the largest funds have established in Jersey in recent years – Softbank Vision Fund, CVC Fund VII. Recent stats from Monterey Insight show that Jersey’s PE fund market has grown by 2.5 times in the past five years, largely being a beneficiary of the increased capital allocation to PE seen globally.

What is the attraction compared with other domiciles?

Consolidation of the fund administrator market has enhanced the service quality as managers require faster turn around and higher tech, digital solutions. Jersey has various practical benefits – notably strong connectivity to London and an English-speaking workforce with Anglo-Saxon working culture. There remains a choice of service providers, with real critical mass from lawyers/accountants and administrators and custodians, providing comfort if a relationship needs to change. Jersey is well regulated and is recognized as such by global bodies such as OECD and Moneyval.

What is the fund structure of choice?

There are other structures being established or in the pipeline, but the limited partnership continues to work for most situations.

Which investors does it appeal to?

The Channel Islands – Jersey in particular – continue to appeal to funds with a large and diversified investor pools. Many Jersey-based funds have investors across multiple geographies and cover institutional and high-net-worth investors.

What is its weakness/downside compared with other domiciles?

Access to a strong workforce is always a challenge for any small jurisdiction, but a greater number of global administrators headquartering in Jersey, and a greater level of global mobility programs and tech solutions, mean that fund administrators can still service the current level of activity and forecasted growth. Jersey’s government has also shown a high level of pragmatism in recent years supporting the funds industry, in relation to immigration and licensing policy.