The number of foundations registered in Jersey grew by 9% last year, with a total of 357 foundations having now been established in Jersey since the structure’s introduction in 2009.
According to figures collated by Jersey Finance, 30 foundations were registered with the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) in 2017, the largest rise since 2014. Jersey’s Foundations Law came into force in July 2009, when it became the first British crown dependency to offer such structures.
Commenting on the rise of foundations in Jersey, Zillah Howard, Partner at Bedell Cristin, and a practitioner specializing in Jersey foundations, said: “Industry indications suggest that a significant proportion of Foundations – around one third – are being used for philanthropic purposes. The features and flexibility offered by the Foundations Law which make it so attractive for philanthropic structuring, together with Jersey’s innovative Charities Law, underline how seriously the Island is taking the important and growing area of philanthropy as part of its overall wealth management framework.
“In addition, a similar number of Foundations are being used for family wealth management and dynastic planning, whilst others are being used in commercial arrangements and as holding vehicles for luxury assets. It’s also significant that Foundations are proving attractive in the Middle and Far East, often as part of Shariah-compliant financing arrangements.”
Geoff Cook, CEO of Jersey Finance, added: “When Jersey introduced its foundations law in 2009, it was seen as a trailblazing move that a number of other jurisdictions have since tried to copy, albeit with their slight differences. Interestingly, the total number of Foundation structures set up in Jersey now outstrips the combined total in the other Crown Dependencies by around 25%.”
Foundations are widely seen as attractive to investors from jurisdictions with a tradition of civil law, such as France and certain countries in the Middle East, who are often unfamiliar with trusts and their inherent concept of distinguishing between legal and beneficial ownership.