What Enness Jersey can do for you as we leave the lockdown

5th June 2020

Jack Goguelin

What Enness Jersey can do for you as we leave the lockdown

Jack Goguelin

Lockdown commenced in Jersey on 30 March 2020, a little more than 10 weeks after we picked up the keys to our premises at IFC 5. In those weeks we'd met with numerous banks, peer-to-peer lending businesses, private lenders and other providers of finance. We had pitched our services to family offices, trust companies, fund services businesses and alternative providers of fiduciary services. Progress was being made, enquiries were coming in and deals were completed. Since then, as a business we have been looking for different ways to market our service offering. We have held webinars, published Q&A sessions and written news articles.

Directors of Jersey companies have a duty to act in the best interests of those companies. Similarly, a trustee has a fiduciary obligation to administer the trust in the best interests of its beneficiaries.

When it comes to finance, clients work in one of two ways:

  • They source terms independently and ask their service provider to proceed on the basis of those terms; or
  • They ask their service provider to source terms for them and expect that provider to find the best available terms.

In both cases, directors and trustees should be mindful of their fiduciary duties.

The way we operate has been designed to compliment the services provided by fiduciary services businesses. There are three ways in which we can assist:

  1. Where a client has sourced terms independently we are happy to be used as a measuring stick. We will assess those terms objectively, provide feedback and, if requested, come up with an alternative solution that is better suited to the client and the deal they are pursuing.
  2. Where a service provider has been asked to source terms we are happy to take that burden away from the service provider. It's not often that firms employ lending experts, and on most occasions administrators will approach the client's banker for terms. We will source the best available terms, leaving the service provider to focus on administering the client's affairs.
  3. Where a service provider has inherited business we are happy to review all the finance arrangements attached to that piece of business. We regularly see numerous products spread across various lenders. Taking a holistic view of the business, we will be able to give an opinion on the current situation and provide advice on how to lower costs and therefore improve returns.

Governance has always been a key facet of the services provided by firms working in Jersey's finance industry. In today's world, with clients becoming more sophisticated and ever changing legislation, it's more important than ever to evidence good governance in Jersey.

Service providers regularly undertake reviews of the assets they administer on behalf of their clients. Be that a quarterly report on an investment portfolio, an annual valuation for a real estate asset, rental accounts from a property manager, or management information on the performance of a subsidiary. It's rare however to hear of a service provider undertaking a review of its finance arrangements.

Utilising the services of an industry expert will help protect directors and trustees when it comes to evidencing good governance. We provide written advice that can be tabled, considered and approved at board meetings (which is helpful when demonstrating economic substance in Jersey). The advice can be circulated to clients, and will add value to the services already being provided by the trust company / fund services business.

In summary, with things getting back to normal in Jersey, we thought it is timely to remind our existing and future partners on the island that we are open for business and here to help. We do not work on a time spent basis and will only levy fees when it's apparent that we can place a deal for you or your clients. Please do reach out, even if it's just for an informal chat or a reason to get out of the house. Learn more about mortgages in Guernsey.