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Guernsey funds business grows despite threats

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GUERNSEY – Guernsey fund managers have recorded relatively healthy growth in hedge fund and fund of funds business for 2000, despite threats to the industry posed by outside bodies such as the OECD and the general increase in competition from other offshore jurisdictions.
In a survey by consultant PricewaterhouseCoopers, almost two thirds (62%) of Guernsey fund managers feel more optimistic than a year ago - the highest percentage since 1997.

“The survey results are indicative of the growth of hedge funds and funds of funds in Guernsey, which gives the local industry a degree of protection from volatile equity markets,” says Robin Fuller, chairman of the Guernsey Fund Managers Association.

Some 83% of respondents to the survey are confident that the value of new business will increase in the next 12 months and 52% think that volumes will also increase.
None of the managers forecast a downturn.
Retail funds and hedge funds or funds of funds are expected to provide most of the growth in the year ahead.
Third party providers also see venture capital and private equity schemes as good investments.

“Other conclusions drawn from the survey include a return to popularity of guaranteed and debt funds, and the continuing increase in importance of hedge funds and venture capital. Generally speaking, the survey has highlighted a vibrant, and confident funds industry on the island,” says Michael Bane, a director at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Guernsey.

The survey reports that whilst the UK is still an important market for new business for both third party and own fund administration, Switzerland in particular but also South Africa continue to grow in importance.

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