Delegates at the upcoming Guernsey Funds Masterclass in London will hear of the opportunities that will exist for the UK in the future despite the current Brexit-fuelled uncertainty.
As divorce negotiations continue, it looks increasingly likely that the UK will be outside the EU trading block after the separation, which in turn could lead to increased trade barriers and reduced access to financial services between the two.
This uncertainty means the UK will undoubtedly be looking further afield for future investment opportunities and will have to reassess its place in the world as a non-EU jurisdiction.
Having to look outwards has inspired ‘The second age of discovery’ theme for the event on Thursday 8 February, with a particular focus on the non-EU distribution of investment funds, according to Guernsey Finance Chief Executive Dominic Wheatley.
“More than 500 years after the European age of discovery, the UK is again looking to the rest of the world with a sense of exploration. Our theme is therefore very apt given the uncertain times looming for the United Kingdom,” said Mr Wheatley.
“As the UK could soon be in a similar position, it can learn from Guernsey’s experience of having its third-country status with the EU.
“We will be weighing up the UK’s options, while relating it back to Guernsey and demonstrating how the island can provide some answers. As an international finance centre, Guernsey is utilised by the UK as a gateway for investing into and raising capital from the rest of the world. Indeed, Guernsey funds facilitate £35 billion of investment into the UK economy.”
The panel session will discuss the regulatory environment outside the European Union, the advantages and disadvantages of operating outside the block, the lessons provided by Guernsey and the opportunities for cooperation between the UK and its dependencies.
“Our panel will consist of UK experts who have used Guernsey to reach all four corners of the world, demonstrating how Guernsey is a productive partner to the City of London,” said Mr Wheatley.
PwC’s UK Asset Management Tax Partner Robert Mellor has been confirmed as keynote speaker. He will discuss how asset and wealth managers can raise expectations, move confidently and outpace accelerated change facing the industry.
Mr Mellor has more than 25 years’ tax experience within the asset management sector, beginning his tax career at the UK Inland Revenue before joining PwC in 1998. He is now responsible for a number of asset management and alternative asset management clients and is experienced in addressing issues such as fund, management team and portfolio structuring; transfer pricing and residency; reward and retention planning; application of the UK's Investment Management Exemption; and tax authority investigations
Mr Wheatley said: “Robert is a highly-regarded expert in his field and his advice on keeping up to speed with the changes facing the funds sector will be timely in the current climate. Tax and investment funds go hand in hand and have been extremely topical of late, so this is one not to be missed. We had over 200 delegates attend our last funds masterclass and with such topical issues to be debated, we’re hopeful of attracting even more in 2018.”