Siobhan Riley, partner and head of Carey Olsen's trusts and private wealth group in Jersey, outlines what has made the Island an attractive jurisdiction for high net worth individuals and their families.
In a tumultuous world where everything feels uncertain, people are understandably in search of a safe harbour.
Jersey has offered a safe harbour to people and their assets for many years. King Charles II (then a young Prince of Wales) sought refuge in Jersey during the upheaval of the English Civil War in 1646 and again in 1649. Victor Hugo, famous novelist and a staunch republican, fled France (and a death warrant issued by Napoleon III) for the safety of the Channel Islands. In the 1800s wealthy residents form the United Kingdom were attracted to Jersey's climate, amenities and (unsurprisingly!) the absence of death duties.
Although over the centuries Jersey has become increasingly sophisticated as a finance centre, not a lot else has changed. To this day, the political, financial and legal stability and natural beauty of the Island of Jersey attracts high net worth residents to its shores, either to invest or to live. With the Island's links to London (it is a 45 minute flight and there are more than 10 flights a day), the Island remains popular with individuals who want to live in this region and time zone but not reside in mainland Europe.
The Island has also seen a notable increase in family offices being established here to help manage and co-ordinate the wealth of individuals, whether or not they actually move to live in Jersey. With the increasing complexity of reporting and compliance requirements, most families with significant wealth need help to co-ordinate and professionalise the management and administration of their affairs. The resources and experience of the workforce here, many of whom were born in the Island or are firmly settled here with their families, mean that there is plentiful supply of highly professional and extremely experienced individuals ready to assist.
Jersey has shown its resilience during periods of upheaval in the past and the Island remains committed to maintaining its reputation for stability in the future. As a community we work hard to preserve that reputation and we welcome like-minded others who value the safe harbour this beautiful Island offers in these uncertain times.
An original version of this article was published by The European Magazine, October 2019.