Guernsey Finance to open Hong Kong office

02 December 2015

Guernsey Finance is delighted to announce that it will open a representative office in Hong Kong in the first quarter of next year.

The office will be the promotional agency's second overseas outpost, in addition to its Shanghai office which opened in 2007.

Guernsey Finance China Representative, Wendy Weng, who is based in Shanghai, will use the office as a base from which to carry out further promotional activities concentrated on the wider South East Asia market and it will also be utilised by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) to provide regulatory advice to those in the region who might be considering Guernsey-specific ventures.

The central location at Three Pacific Place in Admiralty ensures Guernsey Finance is well-positioned to meet with Hong Kong-based practitioners and others from around Asia.

Dominic Wheatley, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance, said: "The Hong Kong office is an exciting development not only for Guernsey Finance, but also the Island's financial services sector which has a growing interest in the region. We believe that establishing a larger presence in Asia reflects current industry trends and is fundamental to our future strategy, particularly as Hong Kong is such an important hub not only for China, but South East Asia overall."

The expectation is that the office will be operational during the first quarter of 2016, with a formal launch event and a Guernsey-hosted masterclass scheduled to take place in Hong Kong during the first week of March.

"Full details of the events will be announced in due course, but it is important for those in the South Asia market to be aware that the office will be 'open for business' before then, most likely by the end of January," said Mr Wheatley.

Guernsey's Commerce and Employment Minister, Deputy Kevin Stewart, welcomed the announcement, highlighting the fact that Hong Kong was one of the world's top financial centres.

"We are delighted that Guernsey Finance will have a physical presence in Hong Kong which, in conjunction with the Shanghai office, will assist the Island's finance sector in the promotion of its services in the region and reflects the priorities set out in the government's finance sector strategy," said Deputy Stewart.

"Hong Kong is regarded as a key global financial location and this is a significant step in Guernsey's ability to attract new business from the region on the basis of its reputation as a well-regulated, compliant and cooperative international finance centre."

David Oxburgh, Deputy Chairman of the Guernsey International Business Association (GIBA), said: "As one of the main shareholders in Guernsey Finance, GIBA has been encouraging Guernsey Finance to widen its international reach. Following on from the recent appointment of a representative in the Middle East, the establishment of the office in Hong Kong is another important step in this direction which should assist with the further development of businesses from this important centre and the region more generally."

John Dunford, the GFSC's current Deputy Director for Authorisations, will relocate to the region at the start of next year to act as the regulator's representative in Hong Kong.

Director General of the GFSC, William Mason, said: "We recognise the potentially significant benefits of this initiative which should improve the Bailiwick's understanding of the important Asian markets and how we might work constructively with them. The Commission's involvement is in providing an experienced regulator with extensive technical knowledge and expertise to give guidance to law firms, other professionals and their clients on how the Bailiwick's high regulatory standards are applied."

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