Cheryl Packwood, CEO of Business Bermuda <em>*File photo</em>
Cheryl Packwood, CEO of Business Bermuda *File photo
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FRIDAY, APRIL 27: Hedge fund leaders heard that offshore centres such as Bermuda will continue to grow in importance at a conference in Paris this week.

Business Bermuda, led a business delegation to Paris to represent Bermuda’s fund industry at the annual EuroHedge Summit, April 24 – 26. Business Bermuda sponsored a panel session at the major hedge fund event which attracted over 800 international industry leaders who joined to assess the global outlook for the hedge fund industry.

Moderator Greg Wojciechowski, president and CEO of the Bermuda Stock Exchange, was joined by Peter Hughes, group managing director of Apex Fund Services and director of Emerging Asset Management Ltd, Brian Clavin, partner at KPMG, Hilmi Unver, partner at Notz Stucki and Richard Kobler, International Business Development at SMN Investment Services, to discuss “Onshore and Offshore: How Will the Hedge Fund Industry Evolve?” on the panel session.

At the session, the panellists considered the impact of the Alternative Investment Fund Manager’s Directive and the issues facing the industry over the next five years. With an audience of over 200 attendees, the panel discussed the changing role of offshore jurisdictions, such as Bermuda, in an increasing wave of global regulation and their increasingly important role in the international hedge fund industry.

Mr Clavin said: “Despite the ever increasing regulatory wave coming from the EU and US, there is still a strong future for the offshore as well as onshore alternative investment markets.”

The panel proceeded to examine the future of the offshore industry, noting that as the global emphasis shifts towards greater transparency and tighter regulation, which has prompted managers to look at redomiciliation.

Mr Hughes said: “The global fund industry needs to widen its focus from Europe and the European investor base and shift its gaze to growth markets such as China, India, Sub-Saharan Africa as well as the Islamic Financial markets across the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia, which are creating opportunities for Bermuda, as well as the traditional onshore markets.”

Mr Wojciechowski concluded: “I am grateful to the panellists who joined me this morning in Paris to explore and discuss the future of the alternative investment industry against the backdrop of current global economic and regional regulatory uncertainty.

“The panel reached the conclusion that despite this uncertainty, well-regulated and respected offshore centres, such as Bermuda, will continue to grow in importance given the anticipated economic growth in other regions of the world.”

At the event, Business Bermuda hosted a booth where conference attendees were able to meet Bermuda’s trade delegation which included Mr Wojciechowski, Mr Hughes as well as Cheryl Packwood, CEO of Business Bermuda, Kieran Loughran, director at Conyers Dill & Pearman and Belaid Jheengoor, Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Mr Jheengoor said: “I am pleased to note that investors and managers have been approaching the Bermuda booth with significant inquiries about the Bermuda insurance linked fund structures.”

Ms Packwood said: “This conference marks the end of an enormously successful trade mission for Business Bermuda to China and Europe where delegates met with government officials and business leaders. Our discussions with conference attendees have emphasised that there is a place in the future for the offshore industry, and today we heard that Bermuda, as one of the world’s leading offshore financial jurisdictions, is certainly set to increase its role within the global funds industry.”