Island bids to fly flag with wealthy Russians

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IT has been a busy week in the annual fund conference calendar for Paul Kneen, managing director of Abacus’ fund operations in the Isle of Man and Malta.

Mr Kneen has recently returned from attending two significant events held in respective financial centres of the UK and Russia.

In London, Mr Kneen attended the Alternative Fund Governance and Regulation seminar, of which Abacus was one of the sponsors, held at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane in Mayfair, where he discussed the results of a three month study.

The study measured the impact of regulation on alternative fund service providers and jurisdictions, with over 14,000 new regulatory measures being introduced globally in just 2011 alone.

Results of the study have shown that emergent fund managers will focus on locating business in the well known, high profile jurisdictions where corporate governance is a key factor in attracting and retaining investors.

The study also suggested that in future, fund managers will use a variety of different domiciles for different purposes, each best suited to the assets and the investors of a particular scheme.

Mr Kneen said, ‘While offshore jurisdictions may not always be as well recognised for their continued efforts to ensure the highest standards of financial integrity, the Isle of Man is often held up as the example of a pragmatic and flexible domicile well able to stand up to the scrutiny of its peers. It is an ideal jurisdiction for start-up funds seeking a well regulated, professionally administered domicile’.

In Moscow, Mr Kneen joined a delegation from the Isle of Man Funds Association to attend the Moscow International Financial Forum 2012, an event which included the Isle of Man Government’s Department of Economic Development and Isle of Man Funds Association among its sponsors.

The forum brought together global business leaders of banks, asset management companies, family offices and high net worth individuals to exchange ideas and views on the future servicing of investment flows into, and out of, the Commonwealth of Independent States (‘CIS’).

During the forum, the Isle of Man stand was well attended with delegates showing significant interest in the island’s financial services offering. Mr Kneen was also a speaker at the forum, providing the assembled delegates with an overview of high net worth and family office fund and trust structures available on the Isle of Man.

Mr Kneen said: ‘As a country with massive untapped natural resources combined with its recent moves toward a free market initiative, Russia has seen significant positive economic activity in the last few years and expects to see further wealth creation and asset expansion as a result.

‘The Isle of Man is well placed to provide an international base for inward and outward investment flows which will be necessary to ensure the future development of Russia’s economic growth.

‘With offices in the Isle of Man and Malta, Abacus has the experience and skills to provide bespoke solutions, tailored for a global client base and looks forward to developing its international business alongside the expanding markets of the CIS’.

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