Jersey lures China businesses in its role as an international finance centre

Updated: 2015-07-14 00:22

By Wang Mingjie(

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Jersey lures China businesses in its role as an international finance centre

Kevin O'Connell, Group Commercial Director at First Names Group. Photo provided to China Daily.

Carey Olsen is another international offshore law firm that is eyeing up the Chinese market, and it has offices in Jersey.

"We definitely think China has immense potential to become fully integrated into the global investment market and we have commenced an initiative to raise the awareness of the usefulness of Jersey as a conduit for international investment and are considering establishing a representative office as part of our overall Asian expansion plan," said Robert Milner, a partner at Carey Olsen.

Milner was impressed by the enthusiasm shown by the locals towards the increasing ability of Chinese businesses to invest outside China during his recent business trip to the country, where Carey Olsen has direct experience in advising Chinese companies on both raising and deploying capital.

He believes that doing a good job is the best form of advertising and the introductions that follow are key to the company's success.

A respected Jersey trust company that also considers Chinese market is simply too large to be overlooked is First Names Group, one of the world's largest independent players, with over 700 employees globally, 200 of which are in Jersey where the office has considerable experience of dealing with Chinese clients, both corporate and private.

"As Chinese outward investment continues apace the need for such businesses to establish corporate structures to facilitate these investments will only increase. First Names Group has also seen an increasing appetite amongst Chinese investors to use Jersey limited partnership structures when investing in non-Chinese assets with an overseas investment partner. On the private wealth side, Chinese entrepreneurs who continue to amass wealth will need structures to allow for the devolution of their assets to the next generation," says Kevin O'Connell, Group Commercial Director at First Names Group.

O'Connell adds, "Jersey is key jurisdiction for many real estate structures investing into the UK and Europe. Over the past two years we have noticed an enormous surge of interest in UK commercial real estate from Chinese investors, who view the sector as a key part of their long term diversification strategy. Apart from UK tax advantages through appropriately designed structures, Jersey offers excellent standards of client service and close proximity to London."

"We work closely with a number of professional firms with Chinese clients to understand their needs and requirements. In practical terms, we also have a number of Mandarin and Cantonese speaking individuals across our Group some of whom are based in our Hong Kong and Singapore offices," O'Connell comments.

Bedell Trust is another company that is keen on expanding its presence in China.

Victor Ho, its Head of Asia Pacific, says "The firm has been providing trust services to Chinese clients in Hong Kong dating back in earlier 1990's, but since the abolishment of Estate Duty in early 2006, the demand for trust services had significantly reduced until the wealth emerged from China in the last 5 to 10 years."

According to Ho, Bedell has been active throughout Asia in the last few years and has since assisted Chinese clients with services, including pre-immigration wealth planning, wealth preservation and succession planning, listing on the London Stock Exchange, and holding clients' investments in UK residential and commercial property.

With Mandarin and Cantonese speaking senior staff in both the trust company and law firm, Ho believes the firm's knowledge of Asian markets and the ability to speak Mandarin and Cantonese gives Bedell a competitive advantage in Jersey.

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