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Guernsey fund administrator launches China offering

Guernsey-headquartered International Administration Group (IAG) has announced that it is to offer fund administration services in China.

IAG is forming a joint servicing platform with Exceedor in Shanghai that will allow it to offer onshore RMB denominated private equity fund administration services in China.

The formation of a Shanghai operation follows from establishment of an office in Hong Kong earlier this year.

Julian Carey (pictured), Managing Director of IAG’s Hong Kong office, says: “We already administer many of the traditional fund structures for private equity, real estate and other alternative assets. Now we have extended our services to include RMB denominated funds domiciled in China, effectively providing a one-stop shop for clients with both onshore and offshore structures investing in China. This development continues our focus on expansion into the Asian fund administration market and demonstrates our commitment towards the region. The Shanghai office will greatly complement our presence in Hong Kong and Guernsey.”

Guernsey Finance – the promotional agency for the Island’s finance industry internationally, first established a representative office in Shanghai at the end of 2007. Since then, there has been a number of delegations of politicians, regulatory officials and business representatives in either direction.

In the final quarter of last year, Chief Minister Lyndon Trott signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) with the Chinese central government tax authorities and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for exchange and cooperation with the Shanghai Financial Services Office.

Last month, Guernsey was given approval for companies incorporated in the Island to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx). Law firm Ogier already offers Guernsey legal services from Hong Kong and Collas Crill recently announced that it is opening an office in Singapore.

Peter Niven, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance, says: “IAG’s announcement that it is establishing a presence in Shanghai to offer services in China is very positive for Guernsey’s finance industry. We always said that our work in China and the Asian markets would take time to bear fruit but now we have seen a succession of developments which will mean that our firms are better placed to attract business from the region. Of course, European centres and in particular London, which has traditionally been our principal source of new business, will remain important partners but there is also a need to diversity and capitalise on the growing wealth in the ‘emerging’ economies of the Far East.”

Niven will be leading a delegation to China in August when Guernsey Finance, the Richmond Group and PwC will be attending the 2nd China Wealth Management and Private Banking Conference. It was originally scheduled to take place in Shenzhen in July but has been moved to Beijing in August when it will attract senior government and regulatory officials.

Niven will then return to China with the Chief Minister in November to maintain links with officials in Shanghai and in particular to renew the MoU signed last year. In addition, the delegation will visit Hong Kong to reiterate to local professionals that Guernsey companies can be listed on HKEx and then a team will be promoting Guernsey trust and fiduciary services at STEP Asia in Singapore.

Niven adds: “Guernsey Finance is set to be extremely busy during the second half of the year and activity in the Far East will be an important part of our programme. Developments such as IAG’s venture in Shanghai provide a real boost to our work and mean that we will be travelling to the region in the coming months with even greater confidence of being able to attract business back to Guernsey.”

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