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Jersey Admits Its 200th Foundation

Friday, April 26, 2013

The number of foundation structures registered in Jersey has breached the 200-mark, less than four years after the form was first introduced.

The Jersey Financial Services Commission began accepting applications for the formation of Jersey foundations on July 17, 2009, when the Jersey Foundations Law came into force. Jersey was the first British Crown Dependency to offer such structures and has seen a steady stream of registrations since the legislation's enactment.

Jersey estimates that around a third of Jersey foundations have been formed for philanthropic or charitable purposes, with a further third being used specifically by ultra-high-net-worth families as wealth and inheritance planning structures. Foundations are also being used for commercial purposes, for holding high value or luxury assets.

Jersey Foundations are proving particularly popular in civil law jurisdictions, where the common-law concept of the trust form is less familiar. As well as a strong uptake in continental Europe, including Switzerland and the Netherlands, there have been high levels of interest from Asia, including the Far and Middle East, with a number of Foundations being used for Shariah-compliant financing arrangements.

Geoff Cook, CEO of Jersey Finance the promotional agency for the island's financial services industry, said: "It is encouraging that, almost four years since their introduction, Jersey Foundations have established themselves as mainstream vehicles within global wealth management strategies."

"Their long-term appeal is also proving hugely valuable as Jersey builds relationships with key markets in Asia, thanks both to their flexibility and control structures. The consistent growth both in terms of bare numbers but also in terms of the levels of funds being placed into Foundations reflects the success of Jersey's Foundations Law and reinforces Jersey's position as a center of excellence for private wealth management business."

Giles Corbin, Partner at law firm Mourant Ozannes and a leading practitioner on Jersey Foundations, added: "The growth in Foundations being used for philanthropic purposes demonstrates Jersey's position as a leading offshore center for this type of activity. In addition, while the majority of Jersey Foundations have been new structures, a number have been migrated from other jurisdictions, providing more evidence of Jersey's attraction as a flexible jurisdiction with high standards of regulation and governance."