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Gifa chairman: 'We are keen to identify new opportunities'

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Andrew Whittaker, chairman of the Guernsey Investment Fund Association, told its annual dinner that the sector would look to make its own luck, on the back of a 'hard, action-packed year' which gave it a solid base to continue to drive forward.

'With all the changes in regulatory and tax legislation, we at Gifa are keen to identify new opportunities for Guernsey as early as possible and would thank the GFSC for being so proactive in supporting such potential initiatives,' he said.

'We would also welcome more support in educating the institutional investors in Guernsey's developments. These are the individuals who invest the funds we service and often have the power to influence the choice of jurisdiction used. They are frequently cited as being behind the politically correct movement onshore, so we need to constantly educate them on Guernsey's benefits in a changing world.'

Mr Whittaker, pictured, also highlighted work done last year in securing the island's position on macro issues including the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive and international tax developments.

AIFMD, said Mr Whittaker, had proved to be a catalyst for managers to review the way they structured their funds, some after years of using the same structure.

'Some chose to rush through similar structures to those they were already running, before the deadline, to avoid the perceived onerous changes – this played into Guernsey's hands,' he said.

'However, quarter four 2014 was a particularly difficult time, as the enticement of a Europe-wide marketing tool proved attractive to a number and has led to some large houses doing their next funds in the EU.

'While we still have legacy work from historic funds from these managers in Guernsey, we as a community will not see the fuller impact of these changes to the Guernsey economy perhaps for another three years or so, as existing funds enter run-off.'

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