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Middle East update - James Crawford, June 2021

22 June 2021

Written by James Crawford Guernsey Finance James Crawford

As the mission to highlight Guernsey’s specialist financial services industry across the globe continues, we hear from WE ARE GUERNSEY’S Director of International Business Development James Crawford, who provides an update on the recent Private Wealth Roadshow in the Middle East.

While global efforts to contain the Covid-19 pandemic continue, Guernsey Finance’s work to reach its key chosen markets carries on via virtual channels.  

Thankfully technology has enabled us to run a series of successful events where we reached out to the Middle East.  

Our online roadshow enabled a panel of experts from Guernsey’s private wealth sector to ‘meet’ key players in the Middle East and answer queries from potential clients about what we have to offer. 

While we recognise that work needs to continue to elevate the island of Guernsey and the specialist financial services our practitioners are able to offer in the region, we have been very heartened to discover that Saudi clients are using Guernsey fiduciary structures and that Guernsey foundation structures are popular with clients in the region. 

There has also been an increasing interest in Guernsey’s PIF regime together with asset protection and succession planning structures. 

Another area in which Guernsey excels – Green and Sustainable finance – is popular in the Middle East. Clients have demonstrated an interest in ESG with international firms tailoring mandates for specific requirements for Ethical Investments and tailoring client portfolios around their religions and beliefs. 

Feedback that we have received is that Guernsey is a well-respected and has a highly regarded reputation in the Middle East.  

Guernsey is seen as a centre of excellence for fiduciary work and Guernsey PCCs, foundations and purpose trusts can be used for Sharia-compliant investing.  

Guernsey is receiving a good number of enquiries from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait as a jurisdiction for the servicing of private wealth. Guernsey continues to be promoted in the region with law firms visiting Saudi Arabia and also looking to open offices there.  

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