At a recent interactive webinar, industry experts highlighted the importance of innovation in the competitive funds space to maintain and build market share, while navigating an increasing extra-territorial regulatory and legislative environment.
The webinar attracted 130 industry attendees, including Panelists Philip Ireland, Partner at Maples in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Tom Cochrane, Partner at Walkers in the DIFC and Jeffrey Kirk, Managing Partner of Appleby in the BVI, who shared their insights and guidance for the coming months.
The session was chaired by Simon Gray, Head of Business Development and Marketing at BVI Finance.
A changing picture
The panelists discussed innovation in funds and focused on the BVI’s funds, particularly the popularity of incubator funds in the hedge fund and digital asset/ crypto space, along with approved funds which are used for family offices. According to the experts, cost, speed, simplicity, lack of audit requirements and a single regulator were the main drivers for the uptick in the use of BVI funds.
They also noted the BVI’s new Private Investment Fund regime, with its simplified approach, has also gained increased attention in the private equity and venture capital space.
Reacting to new regulatory challenges
Participants debated the increasing nature of extra-territorial legislation, sometimes driven by tax considerations with the antecedents of FATCA, CRS and BEPS providing background for the current trend from the European Union (EU) with Economic Substance. The experts predict that with COVID-19 needing urgent economic stimulus from many governments, it is likely that this trend will continue, and the more able and savvy jurisdictions will be able to adapt to a rapidly changing environment.
The panelists commended the BVI for being put on the EU’s list of cooperative jurisdictions – the so-called “White List”.
Commenting, Gray said: “Indeed, I am heartened following our recent webinar. I have no doubt that the optimism and foresight expressed by Philip, Tom and Jeffrey will prove invaluable to many over the coming weeks and months and I hope their expert insights have boosted the confidence of the industry, both here and among our international partners, for the longer term.”
“BVI Finance is committed to supporting those in the financial services sector during this period and will ensure we continue to come together virtually to share such vital information and insights as we traverse the current climate together. I have no doubt in my mind that we in the BVI will come through this time more resilient and stronger than ever.”