The total value of Guernsey’s investment funds industry grew by £8.2bn (3.7%) in the year to the end of December, to £227.6bn, paced by the closed-ended funds sector, according to the Guernsey Financial Services Commission.
According to the GFSC, the total NAV of the closed-ended funds managed and administered in Guernsey rose by £4.8bn (3.53%) last year, to £140.6bn, including a £2.2bn (1.58%) increase in the fourth quarter.
The open-ended funds sector saw a decrease of £700m, or 1.8%, to £39bn during 2015, the data show, compared with 2014’s end-of-year total, reflecting a challenging year for many asset managers. In the fourth quarter the fall was £700,000, or 1%.
Help from non-Guernsey schemes
The overall year-end figure was boosted by non-Guernsey schemes, for which some aspect of management, administration or custody is carried out, the GFSC data show. This sector saw an NAV increase during the year to the end of December of £4.1bn (9.33%), to £48bn, including a fourth quarter rise of £1bn (2.1%).
Guernsey Finance chief executive Dominic Wheatley Finance said the results were “extremely pleasing”, and added: “These are encouraging signs, and I’m sure our funds industry will look to capitalise on this momentum as we move through 2016.”
27 new funds approved
Guernsey’s financial services regulator approved 27 new investment funds during the fourth quarter, including 21 closed-ended funds, four open-ended funds and two non-Guernsey open-ended schemes. This brought the total number of funds currently approved for domiciling or servicing in Guernsey past the 1,000 mark, to 1,012.
In a statement accompanying the latest Guernsey funds data, GFSC said it’s predicting more increases in funds under management in the coming months, as it continues to roll out a new, computerised online submissions options for the returns.
Returns are already increasing, with 173 entities providing information in December, an increase from 157 in September 2015, the GFSC said.
The increase sees funds levels climbing again but is some way off its highest peak, that was in fact at the end of Q1 in 2013 when the combined net asset value stood at £296.5bn. Guernsey Finance pointed that current levels are reflective of the global economic slowdown since that time, coupled with the impact of relocation of major player Blue Crest to Jersey in late 2014.
At that time at the end of 2014 the net asset value of all funds under management and administration in Guernsey fell by a massive £41.5bn (15.9%) during the fourth quarter to £219.4bn – due to Blue Crest’s departure.