Belasko continues the growth of its senior leadership team with the appointment of Alex Le Prevost as Associate Director.
In his new role, Alex will utilise his 18 years of experience in the private wealth sector and oversee the Guernsey fiduciary team and drive growth initiatives within the business.
Andy Bailey, Group Head of Private Wealth at Belasko, said: ‘We are pleased to welcome Alex to the team. We look forward to supporting him drive new initiatives and continue the business’ chapter of growth across all jurisdictions of operation. His experience and knowledge of off-island markets complements our existing team.’
Alex has a strong background in the South African market and is eager to share his knowledge of client relationships with the team.
On his appointment, Alex said: ‘I’m very excited for the opportunity to be a part of Belasko’s exciting future and join what is already an energised senior management team. I look forward to working across our jurisdictions to continue delivering excellent client services.’
There are a number of considerations before deciding where to domicile your private closed-ended fund. Regulations, reputation, experience, geopolitical environment and tax status to name a few.
Nick McHardy, Group Head of Funds for Belasko has written a reference guide that details the key features and regulatory options when considering whether Guernsey is the right domicile for you. You can also contact Nick here: [email protected]
I would imagine that by now, ESG is close to being a better-known acronym than KYC in financial services. This is ultimately because ESG dominates news headlines on a daily basis and as a consequence, buyers of goods and services now differentiating where they allocate capital – seeking out businesses pushing to make a difference.
This means ESG or sustainable finance is becoming more than just ‘buzzwords’. Capital inflow into ESG-related funds more than doubled in 2021 compared to the previous year and analysts expect ESG AUM to reach c20% of Global AUM or $33.9trn by 2026 ($18.4trn 2021) according to PwC.
Ross Youngs, Chief Commercial Officer at Belasko, identifies how to navigate the rising waters, the impact on our clients and the business’ proactive approach to lead the way.
How are our clients impacted?
Our fund clients are impacted to varying degrees depending on their size and marketing plans. Many share our proactive approach and have, generally speaking, adopted two different routes depending on the level of regulation required. This includes:
The Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR).
The Principles for Responsible Investing (PRI) : – Where SFDR has not been relevant, our clients have chosen voluntary compliance with the PRI. (The PRI is a set of ESG principles developed by investors to have a positive sustainable impact in the global financial system.)
Unpacking the SFDR
There are three levels of regulation applicable to funds marketed in Europe under the SFDR:
Article 9 covers funds that have a sustainable objective /outcome. They have strict requirements on how they achieve their goals. There has been a great deal of focus on this category of fund and as such, the burden of evidential reporting is very high. This has led to c40% or $175bn of article 9 funds reclassifying to article 8.
Article 8 is for funds that promote positive environment, social and governance characteristics but do not have those as their overarching objectives.
Meanwhile, article 6 is for funds that do not integrate any kind of sustainability into their investment.
These three levels of regulation can be considered stepping stones depending on where the business or fund is on its ESG journey.
How has ESG impacted Belasko?
The team and I at Belasko recognise that ESG has several positive impacts when successfully incorporated into business strategy. We are not required by regulation to report on sustainability however, we have chosen to partner with Terra Instinct to create a Responsible Business Policy.
We have dedicated resources to steward the implementation of our policy which requires a group-wide committee, the definition of sustainable metrics relevant to Belasko, measurement and target setting. This resource also includes an annual report for clients and investors on our sustainable journey.
I envisage that businesses like ours will soon have mandatory reporting on ESG areas in years to come. We deem it essential to be a leader in this area and will continue taking proactive efforts to stay ahead of the curve.
How can we help you?
No matter the complexity of compliance with the PRI or SFDR, there are common challenges with which we can assist.
The first challenge is defining a policy of responsible investment. The policy must consider the fund’s impact on ESG factors and then set appropriate data points with which to measure and track positive impact according to the goals set.
Data collection sounds easy, but it is not standardised across markets and countries so the sophistication and resource availability of portfolio companies to stream up the data sets can vary considerably. This is a major hurdle for our clients.
Regulation and investor demand are evolving at pace. Our clients do not usually have internal resources to dedicate to ESG and therefore rely on Belasko to keep them advised as to what’s next and how to remain compliant.
Belasko has developed an end-to-end solution in partnership with Terra Instinct to power auditable data collection. It is helpful to have a specialist like Terra Instinct to define policy and collect, validate and where data is not available provide reasonable industry estimates. The benefit of having an advisory expert is of critical importance to ensure data quality, meaning it is auditable and reporting to investors (on which decisions are made) is accurate and reliable.
It should be clear by now that ESG is not going anywhere and there is a market expectation to consider sustainability in our personal and business lives. We must adopt positive impacting principles going forward.
If you would like to get ahead of the curve and prepare yourself for the ESG future, get in touch with Ross at [email protected].
Today’s investment landscape is a myriad of potholes and craters, persistent inflation, blunt fiscal policy, digitalisation and market volatility all contributing to the bumpy ride. Navigating this landscape is a challenge therefore, timing is critical to a successful capital raising.
In this article, Greg McKenzie, Managing Director at Belasko in Guernsey, considers fund domiciles and deep dive into Guernsey’s fund establishment offering as a well-trodden path for US Managers seeking an immediate solution in a narrow window of availability to launch their structure.
What makes Guernsey an attractive domicile for many US managers accessing European capital?
With more than 50 years of experience servicing a variety of fund structures and strategies, Guernsey has a long-standing reputation as a leading international finance centre and is no stranger to US Managers. As of June 2022, Guernsey’s funds under management equated to $517bn, of which over $60bn was managed by US promoters. But what makes the island different to competitors some may ask?
Guernsey’s regulation is known for being flexible and pragmatic, where a proportionate approach is taken to regulation.
The island is tax-neutral, meaning investors are not impacted by double taxation and benefit from an extensive network of double taxation treaties with other countries, providing additional certainty to investors.
Guernsey has a strong commitment to environmental, social, and governance factors. The island has been a leader in sustainable finance, with a range of initiatives aimed at promoting responsible investment. This includes the Guernsey Green Fund, which was the world’s first regulated green investment fund product.
The island’s funds can leverage the National Private Placement Regime (NPPR), allowing a faster and easier way to access European capital in comparison to a full AIFMD passport.
Guernsey offers a range of both legal structures and investment regulations that can accommodate complex investor requirements.
PIF – the solution for US managers
A somewhat recent development is the Guernsey Private Investment Fund (PIF), which offers a lighter-touch regulatory framework suitable for sophisticated investors.
The PIF was introduced in 2016 and saw some revisions in 2021 – these include increasing the maximum number of investors to 50; and creating 3 routes, which better align with the usage of the vehicle.
The PIF has seen take-up across numerous asset strategies from institutional to family office-based managers with interest for both first time and established managers looking to establish a fast and effective investment vehicle. There are a number of reasons why a PIF could be a viable solution:
There are no legal restrictions on structure, so you can use companies (including cell companies), limited partnerships, or unit trusts.
It is recognised within the EU, and can benefit from the NPPR regime, more broadly there is the ability to evolve in time, potentially to expand the investor base, or to a publicly offered investment product.
Where all the criteria are met, a PIF can obtain regulatory approval in 24 hours enabling an instant solution for US Managers.
In summary, Guernsey offers US Managers a range of benefits over other, commonly referenced, domiciles as a jurisdiction for their next investment fund. Its well-established financial services industry, tax-neutral status, flexible regulation, range of fund structures, and commitment to ESG factors make it an attractive option. You can find out more by contacting Greg at: [email protected].
Local community crowdfunding charity, 100 Women Who Care Guernsey, raised £5,530 for three local charities at its fifth fundraising event. As the event sponsor, Belasko donated an additional £1,500 to the charities, to bring the total amount raised to £7,030.
The event took place on Thursday 15th June and was attended by more than 50 local women inbusiness and the third sector.The organising committee choose charities who have a smaller profile in the island. This event hosted Business Beats Cancer who received £500, Guernsey Community Savings who received £1,530, and Le Vois PTFA who received £3,500.
At the event, each participant is asked to donate £100 into a pool, and following the charity’s presentations, individuals choose where their contribution is made. Belasko’s sponsorship allows the total amount of the participants’ donations to be shared between the charities, without deduction for expenses, in proportion to their selected charities on the evening. Belasko also donated an additional £500 to each charity.
Patricia White, Director of 100 Women Who Care Guernsey, said: ‘We are so pleased to have hosted another successful event in support of three fantastic local charities. Being able to bring together a group of women to raise money for valuable local initiatives makes it all worthwhile, and we can’t wait to see how everyone’s generosity will be used in the local community.’
Greg McKenzie, Managing Director of Belasko in Guernsey, said: ‘We are thrilled to have sponsored this event and helped to support the three local charities who benefited from the donations. The opportunity for a supportive space for women in Guernsey to network can’t be understated and we’re proud to have played a small part in helping the initiative.’
Community crowdfunding organisation ‘100 Women Who Care’ is returning with its fifth event in Guernsey, thanks to sponsorship from Belasko, on Thursday 15 June at Les Cotils.
The 100 Women Who Care organisation was founded in the US in 2006 and was launched in Guernsey in 2021, modelled from this international framework. The event welcomes 100 women to a unique networking evening and to hear presentations from three local charities.
Each participant is asked to donate £100 into a pool, and following the charity’s presentations, participants choose where their contribution is made. Belasko’s sponsorship allows the total amount of the participants’ donations to be shared between the charities, without deduction for expenses, in proportion to their selected charities on the evening.
Presenting charities are chosen by the organising committee with the specification that they must be Guernsey registered charities, but local charities with a smaller profile are favoured.
Patricia White, Director of 100 Women Who Care Guernsey, said: ‘We are so pleased to return with our fifth local event and provide another opportunity to support local charities. Our aim is to encourage the kindness and giving spirit of women in our community, as well as provide a unique networking space to share professional knowledge and provide support.
‘We hope to welcome another sell-out event allowing a full pot of £10,000 to be donated to three local charities. We want to thank Belasko for supporting our next event, helping our group to give back and ensuring the full donation amount is available to charities.’
Each charity will receive a minimum donation of £500 by participating in the event.
Greg McKenzie, Managing Director of Belasko in Guernsey, said: ‘Belasko is thrilled to support such a valuable event. 100 Women Who Care provides an inclusive networking space and an opportunity to make a massive impact on local charities. We are proud to get involved in this fantastic initiative.’
Following a three-year break, Guernsey Cricket and Jersey Cricket can announce the return of the Channel Islands Cricket League to the inter-insular cricket calendar. The combined league will also welcome Belasko as the title sponsor for the next two years.
The previous iteration of the pan-island cricket league was ceased in 2019 due to the global pandemic with current champions ATF St Ouen Springfield taking the crown in a hard-fought victory over Farmers Caesareans.
Commenting on the deal for Guernsey Cricket, CEO Mark Latter said, “It has been great to work with Lee Meloy and Sarah Gomersall in Jersey to bring the return of the Belasko Channel Island Cricket League. There is excited anticipation at the renewing of rivalries at inter-insular club level. To be able to attract a title sponsor of the profile of Belasko speaks volumes for the interest such cross water fixtures can create.”
Sarah Gomersall, Jersey Cricket CEO, added “The Belasko Channel Island Cricket League will add more variety and healthy competition to our club cricket calendar. Securing the return of inter-island club cricket has been a top priority for us. We are delighted to have secured Belasko as the title sponsor for the next two years and thank them for their assistance.”
Paul Lawrence, Group Managing Director at Belasko, said: “The team at Belasko is committed to supporting our local communities and we’re pleased that our support will help the Channel Islands Cricket League get back off the ground after three years. We are thrilled to bring our two Channel Island offices together for a summer of cricket.”
The Belasko Channel Island Cricket League of course relies on inter-island travel and timings to suit a cricket match and Guernsey and Jersey Cricket wish to extend their thanks to Brent Blondel, and all at Blue Islands, for their work and flexibility in creating the required flight schedules to allow the matches to take place.
Fixtures are scheduled to commence earlier than usual with the first game 27th May and they run through various weekends until the Final to be held in Jersey on 26th August. More information on the Belasko Channel Island Cricket League can be found at www.guernseycricket.com or CLICK HERE.
Belasko has appointed Tom Lambrechts as Client Services Director to support the continued growth of the business and lead the Guernsey funds team.
Prior to joining Belasko, Tom held the position of Client Director at a global fund administrator. He has extensive experience in corporate governance and establishing high-performing teams servicing a varied portfolio of private capital clients. Tom graduated from the University of Bath with a BSc (Hons) in Business and is a qualified chartered accountant (ICAEW).
Greg McKenzie, Managing Director in Guernsey, said: ‘Belasko continues to grow our fund services offering with Tom’s appointment. He brings a wealth of experience to the role and is passionate about delivering exceptional client service. We welcome Tom to the Guernsey team.’
In his new role, Tom will oversee client delivery and ensure operational excellence across all aspects of the Guernsey funds team.
Belasko is proud to announce its two-year sponsorship deal with the Guernsey Raiders Rugby Club.
Belasko’s sponsorship will contribute to essential operational costs including both the men and women’s travel costs for away matches in the UK. This support will ensure that the teams can continue their participation in the UK league system.
During the 2022/23 season, the Guernsey’s Raiders’ teams will take part in 36 games, half home and half away in the UK.
Andrea Harris, chair of the Guernsey Raiders club, said: ‘We are hugely grateful to Belasko for their support. It costs approximately £100,000 per annum just to enable the Raiders’ senior teams to travel to the UK for their away matches. Belasko’s contribution will help to fund travel for the current season and for 2023/24.
‘The role of the Guernsey Rugby Association in the island’s schools in recent years has increased the number of home-grown talented players taking part in Guernsey Raiders games. We hope to see more coming through the door in the future.’
Ross Youngs, Group Commercial Director at Belasko, said: ‘We hope this sponsorship period will evolve into a long and fulfilling partnership. At Belasko, we are huge supporters of our local community and our employees.
‘We are proud to support Belasko’s own Tom Teasedale and Dom Rice as part of this sponsorship, who both play for the Guernsey Raiders.’
We are thrilled to announce two senior appointments to our Guernsey team as we continue to expand our ability and experience in the location.
Leasa Callaway joined during March 2021 as an Associate Director heading up the Guernsey funds team. Leasa has over 30 years’ in industry with leading fund administration businesses and brings with her a wealth of experience having previously worked on a broad spectrum of fund structures and asset classes.
Rachel Gardiner joined during May 2021 as an Associate Director and is responsible for the compliance and regulatory functions across all business areas. Rachel has extensive regulatory and risk management experience gained through previous employment with leading fund and fiduciary businesses.
On the appointments, Greg Mckenzie, Managing Director of the Guernsey office, commented “We are delighted to have Leasa and Rachel on board. They join us in a very exciting chapter of our journey and demonstrate both our commitment to Guernsey and our appetite to strengthen and grow the Guernsey business.”
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