PE and RE managers eye different domiciles

Luxembourg is emerging as a private equity hub, while real estate fund managers are drawn to the Channel Islands.

Alternative asset domiciling hotspots have emerged in Europe, with private real estate, private equity and private debt managers opting to domicile their funds in different jurisdictions, according to fund administrator Ocorian.

The choice of jurisdiction is typically driven by structuring advice, which in turn is driven by double taxation treaties, Simon Burgess, the firm’s managing director, told pfm.

“Our Luxembourg office has seen material growth in private equity and debt funds (focusing on pan-European assets) whereas, we have witnessed unprecedented real estate growth in the Channel Islands (especially investing in UK real estate) and material aviation investment activity via Dublin,” Burgess said.

US managers have targeted structures in Jersey and Luxembourg and capital has been flowing in from Asia and the GCC states, he added.

Demand for fund administration services in Europe in general has also surged, and continues to grow thanks to the pace of change in fund and investment management and investor demand for greater transparency, Burgess said.

“The appointment of a fund administrator to oversee the operation of private equity, real estate or debt fund is the norm, not the exception as was the case, say 10 years ago,” he added.

Channel Islands-headquartered Ocorian, a portfolio company of UK mid-market private equity firm Inflexion, has become the latest fund administrator to purchase a rival, acquiring Luxembourg-headquartered MAS.

As well as strengthening its offering in Luxembourg the deal, announced this week, will also give Ocorian a presence in Mauritius and North America.