2020 Guernsey Funds Forum part two, Sanctuary II - the highlights

02 November 2020

Monday 2 November: “Capitalism is changing for the better”

2020 Guernsey Funds ForumBusiness, and particularly those fuelled by Guernsey’s specialism of private equity financing, will not be derailed by the Covid-19 crisis, the first session of this autumn’s Funds Forum webinars heard today.  

Our panellists for the “Sanctuary II” forum – Gurpreet Manku, Deputy Director General and Director of Policy at the British Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (BVCA), and Mark O’Hare, founder and Chief Executive of Preqin, the market data analysts, agreed that the private equity model was far from broken in the current environment.  

“The model is still intact,” said Mr O’Hare, who quoted Preqin research highlighting that PE and private capital investment and deals were still holding up strongly through the pandemic. “Private capital is still very much where it was.”  

Ms Manku referenced the experience of the PE sector to support portfolio businesses through what had been, for some, a significant cash-flow crisis.  

“In some cases they have been able to accelerate work which was already planned. The webinar asks the question whether capitalism with a purpose is rhetoric or reality. It is definitely reality. 

“The private equity industry needs to talk more loudly about its impact on the economy, with our investment in SMEs, helping businesses to grow, transform, and become more sophisticated, and we can help them with reporting demands to make businesses more sustainable in the future.”  

Discussions, moderated by Miles Celic, Chief Executive of TheCityUK, also covered ESG and the extent of how financial support from governments through the pandemic may be distorting the market.  

ESG, they agreed, was “sustainability in its broadest sense”.  

Guernsey Finance Chief Executive Rupert Pleasant described the PE sector as “alive and kicking, adapting and looking for opportunities” which was part of a landscape where “capitalism is changing for the better”.  

Watch the webinar on demand HERE.

Our coverage of part two of Sanctuary II, the Guernsey Funds Forum webinar series, follows tomorrow.

Tuesday 3 November: “Business as normal in very abnormal times”

“Responsible capitalism” is a theme increasingly being seen in the investment world as investors choose steady, stable and reasonable returns on the back of investing for greater impact.  

“The landscape is defined by people wanting to make the world a better place rather than looking for financial returns,” Gillian Martin, Director at Liberum Capital, told day two of our Funds Forum webinar Sanctuary II.  

Nadav Livni, Managing Director of The Hillview Group, which launched a Private Investment Fund from Guernsey soon after the regime was introduced in 2017, agreed that investors were seeking safety rather than speculative propositions, with risk management uppermost in their mind even as they followed a “value-added” strategy.  

Debate moved on to the importance of ESG in fund management today and on to Guernsey’s role in the marketplace through the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and, imminently, Brexit.  

“All our funds are based in Guernsey, it’s a very attractive jurisdiction for us and our investors,” said Joanna Hylton, Finance Director at Cairngorm Capital Partners, another investment manager with deep roots in Guernsey, who went on to highlight strengths in regulation, a flexible product range and human capital.  

She said that Guernsey was providing “business as normal in very abnormal times”.  

Gillian Martin said that Guernsey’s strengths in London-listed funds were being magnified by a governance demand on managers to move “close to home”.  

“Listed investors are comfortable with Guernsey – for listed, closed-ended, funds, it’s the first choice of jurisdiction.”

Watch the whole webinar on demand HERE.

The 2020 Guernsey Funds Forum concludes tomorrow with renowned journalism and broadcaster Andrew Neil giving his views on the US election results.

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