Quorum Interviews Apex’s John Bohan

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We always hope that reputable international financial services organisations thinking about re-domiciliation or a new presence will seriously consider Jersey.

Determining how soon in that process ‘Jersey’ will appear as a real option rather depends upon where the inquirer is based.  There are key decision makers in some jurisdictions actually quite close to home who still don’t fully understand what we do so well in the Island or why Jersey is a very credible services solution. This is not an easy matter to address though clearly there is ongoing effort being made by local specialists and government bodies alike to improve the situation. As a result, every now and then, we win the attention of an individual or entity and we enjoy the opportunity of integrating them into our legal and regulatory system as well as our social and physical environment.

The beauty of this process is that these relationships tend to include a healthy element of longevity. We Jersey flag-flyers are serious about attracting quality and when we do, we want it to last.

Where we are better known from the start as  a centre of excellence and where this is not  necessarily ‘news’ to the inquiring ear, it is  reassuring to learn that Jersey is still often  selected as the domicile of choice.

Of course there are other reasons why Jersey is chosen over other jurisdictions and it is useful and interesting to hear from a recent newcomer ‘what sealed it for them’.

John Bohan of the newly formed Apex Fund Services (Jersey) Limited recounts:  “In short – client demand. Our customers require a broad spectrum of alternatives to consider. If you are not present – you can’t help. Without being too simplistic: we have to maintain all the options in the toolbox to be the most effective we can. Customers have much wider needs these days and in recognising this we made a real effort from the start to cover them. So today, more often than not, we are in the position to say ‘yes’ in answer to a client inquiry. More and more we’re asked whether we can support customers from Jersey as well as our other bases and now we can say ‘yes’ in answer to that question too.”

Filling a need of this nature for an international organisation like Apex demonstrates that Jersey continues to play a very important role in fund administration and management.  We asked John what he believed the key  drivers to be and not surprisingly he very  fluently gave a string of reasons we all  use (strong legal system, robust regulatory  framework, high standards, proven track  record etc, etc) but he did then emphasise  ‘client demand’. Of course, to any growing firm this is fundamental and Jersey has clearly made real progress in very effectively connecting with those potential users.  Attracting business to the Island will never be an exact science but as to whether one is successful or not is usually evidenced by the actions of those one targets.

We would like to think that the cumulative effect of our combined efforts to fly the flag for Jersey has encouraged Apex customers (and the clients of others) to ask “Can you help us in Jersey?”

Apex were duly licenced by the Jersey Financial Services Commission for the conduct of fund services business in the autumn and have already successfully recruited locally appointing Andrew Mason as their local Managing Director. John who heads up business development for Apex internationally said, “Andrew joins us with a wealth of local and international experience in the funds world and we hope to keep him and his new team very busy from 2014 onwards”. John went on to add “We have a wide international reach and to be honest Jersey has been for some time now, the missing jewel in the crown for us. We believe our approach to service has resulted in considerable growth which is all fine but sometimes the strategic gems can get set aside in the rush. We have now changed  that and so, in making best use of our own  quality offering – combined with the Island’s  first class global reputation we look forward  to a significant phase of growth as we offer  services from Jersey, particularly in PE and  RE”.

“We have been made to feel very welcome here and to meet so many people so unwaveringly helpful from the outset has been a very positive experience for us.”

“This includes the licensing stage with the Jersey Financial Services Commission, which was handled with the utmost professionalism by Fairway Fund Services Limited, our local MoME service provider”.

Perhaps this too is where Jersey scores well?

A brief internet search will give any inquirer a clear flavour of the size, reputation and substance of the Apex organisation and Jersey can be proud to be their chosen priority in 2014. John mentioned in conclusion, “Apex competes globally for fund administration work and we are bringing some of that to Jersey. This said,  we have never seen ourselves as a onestop- shop and we encourage and maintain  a host of healthy allies across the world  from a wide variety of disciplines including  even – fund administration. We have every intention of sharing our success with other local operations and look forward to meeting many of them at our formal launch planned in February.”

Perhaps this may prove to be Apex’s defining characteristic. Let’s hope so.

From the Quorum Newsletter Issue 8, 2013:

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