Combining a world-class business infrastructure with an even better island lifestyle, Jersey has become the ultimate safe haven. Senator Lyndon Farnham explains
As internationally dynamic businesses have sought to continue operations through the most challenging period in a generation, the value of having access to a stable operating platform has become very apparent. It has always been the case that, in an environment that is complex and challenging, stability and certainty at a jurisdictional level are hugely valuable and rare commodities, yet they are commodities that Jersey is readily able to offer businesses looking to relocate or grow. Indeed, stability, certainty and confidence have long been qualities at the heart of Jersey’s proposition.
However, the disruption caused by Covid-19 has reinforced the importance of this. Whilst Locate Jersey – the government team responsible for supporting relocation – has seen a strong, consistent stream of enquiries and successful applications to relocate over recent years, the expectation is that, in light of Covid-19, they will see a rise in high quality enquiries as the year unfolds.
There is good reason for this long-term success, with Jersey’s vibrant business environment and first-class infrastructure attracting interest from a wide range of global businesses.
In recent years a whole host of enterprises have relocated to Jersey, including fund managers, private equity businesses, family offices, natural resources companies, fintech, medtech, and biosciences.
The interest is global too – from Australia, South Africa and Hong Kong, for instance, as well as a number of relocations from the places you would expect, such as the UK and Europe.
As well as established businesses looking for a new jurisdiction in which to position a European base or a new head office for the company, we also welcome successful, economically active entrepreneurs whose skills and experience can benefit the island – from getting involved in grassroots business mentoring to investment in local businesses looking to take the next step.
The clear trend in recent times has been a flight to quality – businesses want a robust jurisdiction that does things the right way. Jersey’s substance and its well-regulated status are attractive to globally dynamic businesses and individuals.
Being one of the top international financial services centres, recognised as a highly regulated, well-respected centre with a highly skilled professional workforce, has contributed significantly to Jersey’s success. From a regulatory point of view, Jersey’s clear commitment to the highest standards of regulation as reinforced by global bodies such as the IMF, OECD and EU, is rapidly becoming a key factor in relocation decisions. Businesses relocating to Jersey are reassured that they can easily and quickly access the expertise they need.
Jersey’s focus on an ambitious digital strategy is playing out well with businesses, especially those that require high quality, on-demand, high capacity and rapid connectivity. Ranked third in the World Broadband Speed League 2019 behind Taiwan and Singapore, Jersey was the first jurisdiction to make 100% pure 1GB fibre (FTTP) available to every broadband user. In this new era of remote working, we fully expect this strength to become even more appealing as part of Jersey’s relocation proposition.
Achieving a balance
We increasingly find that those considering relocating to Jersey are looking for somewhere that can offer a solid platform for international business, whilst also allowing for a relaxed, safe and balanced lifestyle. Jersey is attractive because it offers that rare combination.
Those who have relocated frequently cite Jersey’s travel links to UK and Europe, its UK time zone and its pro-business environment. But they also really value the balance of lifestyle that Jersey offers – the ability to be on the beach within minutes of leaving the office and taking their children to school easily, for example.
Work-life balance is so important, and with good reason – in some cases, those moving their business here are coming with their families, so Jersey’s appeal as a beautiful, safe and secure jurisdiction for bringing up a family is right at the top of their wish-list. Education, healthcare provision, leisure opportunities and a unique outdoor lifestyle are always at the forefront when it comes to relocation, and Jersey performs really positively in those areas. It is also a cosmopolitan island with a superb cultural landscape, including museums, heritage sites, galleries and theatres. It also has a world-class dining scene, ranging from Michelin star restaurants to beachside eateries and traditional pubs.
In fact, in HSBC’s “Expat Explorer Survey”, the Crown Dependencies were found to offer a significantly better work-life balance, natural environment and feelings of safety and security than the global averages.
The coming months are going to be challenging in terms of the global environment, but Jersey can support good quality businesses that are looking to grow internationally by providing a stable, reliable and progressive platform.