New business supports Guernsey funds substance

08 March 2019

Jonathan Bates (Thorndon) and Paul Smith (Guernsey Investment Fund Association / GIFA)Substance in Guernsey’s funds industry will be supported by a new business established in the island and developed with the Guernsey Investment Fund Association (GIFA).

Thorndon is an independent company made up of legal and insurance professionals experienced in managing process risk for fund directors and boards. It has designed and supported the Financial Protection and Advice Service (FPAS) to help protect non-executive directors of investment funds and management companies.

"Fund boards and individual non-executive directors have enormous responsibilities in the pursuit of investors’ interests, yet little support mechanism around them should they find themselves exposed to the risks faced in their role, such as litigation and regulatory enforcement," said Thorndon director Jonathan Bates.

Thorndon will provide advice and support to NEDs and their boards in relation to indemnity arrangements, insurance and the management of risk. The service’s resilience is underpinned by Thorndon’s international and professional relationships and working experience with the London insurance market and the English Bar.

Thorndon worked alongside the GIFA NED committee over the past year to tailor its service to the specific needs of the Guernsey funds sector. It is believed that Guernsey is the first jurisdiction to adopt such an initiative.

GIFA NED Committee Chair Mike De Haaff said that after several years seeking to resolve the challenge presented by the need for adequate risk management and protection at fund board level, the GIFA Executive and NED Committee felt this was a step forward in addressing shared goals for the fund sector and Guernsey’s finance industry.

FPAS will work in collaboration with the wider legal and risk management and fund administrator community.

GIFA Chair Paul Smith said: "GIFA wishes to nurture a sustainable pool of NEDs who, as ultimate decision-makers, form a cornerstone of the island’s critically important fund administration sector. The aim of this service from Thorndon is to provide NEDs with advice and support, and it will hopefully encourage more people to consider taking on the responsibilities that being a non-executive director entails."

Dominic Wheatley, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance, said: “This initiative is further evidence of our commitment to high quality governance as part of Guernsey’s fund industry.”

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