Monday, May 9, 2011
A delegation from Guernsey's finance industry is to visit Moscow during May to investigate potential opportunities to develop business synergies between the two financial centres.
Guernsey has been developing its presence in the emerging markets during the last five years. The island opened a representative office in Shanghai at the end of 2007 and sent its first official delegation to India towards the end of last year. The visit to Moscow during the week commencing May 16 will represent Guernsey’s initial coordinated activity in Russia.
Fiona Le Poidevin, Technical Director and Deputy Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance, the promotional agency for the island’s finance industry internationally, said that: “It is important that we sustain our relationships in centres such as London that have traditionally acted as our principal sources of new business but we also need to continue raising awareness of Guernsey in the emerging markets where there are increasing amounts of private and corporate wealth".
She added that: “Our work in both China and India is now underway and progressing but potentially Russia also offers significant possibilities. We know that there are existing business links between Guernsey and Russia, not least in the investment sector where several successful vehicles have been established for inward investment into the country or the surrounding region. Now the team is visiting Moscow to see if there are further opportunities for us to build on this success.”
The Guernsey delegation to Moscow will comprise Fiona Le Poidevin; Stuart Phillips, Director at PKF in Guernsey and Chairman of the Guernsey Russian and Eastern European Financial Forum (GREEFF); Gerald Hough, Managing Director of Investor Services for State Street in the Channel Islands; and Irina Blin from Accent Multilingual Services who will help with interpreting during the visit.
The itinerary includes meetings at the British Embassy and the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce, as well as with senior representatives from investment banks, investment managers and leading legal and accountancy firms.
“What we have seen over the last couple of years is that increasing numbers of local practitioners in Guernsey have expressed an interest in the potential business opportunities in Russia. This was highlighted when the Guernsey Chamber of Commerce held a ‘Doing Business in Russia’ event about 18 months ago and where one of the key speakers was Stephen Dalziel, Executive Director of the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce,” La Poidevin continued.
“It was that event which led Stuart Phillips to form GREEFF as a focal point for financial services firms and practitioners either already doing or looking to do more business with Russia or the Eastern European region. GREEFF then asked Guernsey Finance to become involved and we have facilitated a number of activities, such as joining the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce and exhibiting at a special Russian-focused conference hosted by the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association. This visit is the next step of assessing more precisely the further opportunities that might be open to us and how we then take these forward,” Le Poidevin said.