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Gibraltar remains attractive to funds industry, despite Brexit fears

Gibraltar is in a unique position for funds, despite the potential impacts of Brexit, according to a recent expert panel discussion entitled ‘Crypto Funds: The Gibraltar Solution’ moderated by a partner in Gibraltar law firm ISOLAS LLP, Jonathan Garcia.

The panel was hosted by the Gibraltar Funds and Investment Association (GFIA) at the Traveller’s Club in London on 12 of June. 
In addition to Garcia, who has recently been re-elected to the Executive Committee of the GFIA, as moderator, panellists included Jay Gomez and James Lasry, who sit with Jonathan as members of the GFIA executive; Pavel Stehno, Investor, Entrepreneur and founder of Crypkit; and Philip Young, Director of the Gibraltar Stock Exchange.
The event discussed how a significant majority of the funds established in Gibraltar operate outside of the scope of the European Union’s Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD), so should not be affected by Brexit. These funds will continue to operate and be promoted through the various National Private Placement Regimes (NPPR’s) that exist in different European territories.
Garcia says: “The fact that this event proved popular and had a strong attendance is testament to the ongoing engagement and positivity of the funds industry as a whole. It is estimated that the significant majority of Gibraltar-based funds do not avail themselves of the European passport either because they fall below the threshold under which they are obliged to comply or fall within other exemptions and, as such, are unlikely to see any changes to their operations, both in terms of the way that they are managed, and the way that they can be promoted or distributed.
“The UK and Gibraltar have agreed a bilateral arrangement that will ensure that authorised financial services firms in Gibraltar will be able to provide services and establish branches in the UK market after exit day on current terms. This preserves passporting arrangements between the two jurisdictions and ensures that existing regulatory treatments in relation to Gibraltar continue to function effectively in UK law after exit day, allowing funds to continue to have access to the UK market for investment. The funds industry can therefore rest assured that Gibraltar retains its attractive proposition.”
In addition to this, the event discussed how the UK-Gibraltar agreement ensures that Gibraltar will remain a regulatory certain gateway for financial service firms based in other jurisdictions to passport into the UK market. This will enable Gibraltar to assist organisations from other jurisdictions currently doing business with the UK.
Garcia explains: “While other foreign jurisdictions that passport financial services to the UK market continue to operate in uncertainty in light of Brexit and the increasing risk of a no-deal, Gibraltar has already achieved this regulatory certainty by virtue of this bi-lateral agreement providing a unique gateway into the UK market.”
In addition to this, the panel also discussed new educational initiatives, including New Technologies in Education (NTiE). The programme has been developed by the Gibraltarian government, in partnership with the University of Gibraltar, and some of the leading new technology companies.
Garcia adds: “The scheme’s mission, to facilitate the development and delivery of education programmes in new technologies, demonstrates the collaborative spirit at the heart of Gibraltar and the joined-up partnership that exists between Government and industry. It is clear that Gibraltar is on the right path towards addressing the skills requirements that are needed to fully realise the potential of new technologies and a sustainable business environment.
“This commitment to investing in education further minimises the impact of Brexit on Gibraltar, by making sure the territory remains ready to embrace the newest technology.”

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