Guernsey: supporting the future of responsible investing

Foreign Direct Investment
| The European | 16 April 2020

Article by Zoe Hallam, Senior Counsel at Walkers

As we enter a new decade, there is a clear investment focus on integrating an even deeper commitment to positive societal impact within investments. The issue of investments having a positive impact on people and planet, as well as generating good financial returns, is well understood in the specialist global financial centre of Guernsey.

The jurisdiction has played a leading role in the responsible investing field over the years. Taking an early leadership position in the cleantech sector, including pioneering a number of solar funds, and then, in 2018, launching the Guernsey Green Fund, among other initiatives. It was at this point that Guernsey became a member of the United Nations’ Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S) Network. These achievements all reflect the island’s efforts to remain at the forefront of global responsible finance efforts.

Guernsey Finance published research at the end of last year, suggesting that private wealth transfer in the next couple of decades could be as high as $40tn, and the number of 20 to 30-year-olds who will inherit that wealth is significant.

Private capital is a significant source of funds for specialist managers and if the next generation is demanding responsible investment options, then managers can provide those solutions via products kitemarked under regimes, such as the Guernsey Green Fund.

All available evidence suggests that responsible investing is poised to continue to grow exponentially, and to grow far quicker in its second 15-year phase than its first. Institutional investors, and particularly those managing capital for pension funds or sovereign wealth funds, face more demands, and larger enforced allocations. At the same time, pressure is coming to bear on the growing amount of capital in private hands to push it further in the direction of responsible investing.

Guernsey’s role in the international picture is clear – it is a jurisdiction that combines the innovative structuring tools, quality professional expertise and financial services infrastructure to support cross-border responsible investment into the new decade and beyond.

These efforts will mean the island is primed to position itself as the jurisdiction of choice to deliver the professional services and responsible finance solutions that a new generation demands.

Guernsey Green Finance hosts its first Sustainability Week conference on the island in June.

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