In recent years and in the wake of the global financial crisis, international financial centres (IFCs) such as the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and the Cayman Islands (Cayman) have faced unprecedented political and regulatory pressure from governments and international organizations to open up and become more transparent in their business practices. Louise Groom, Joanna Hossack and Ian Montgomery discuss the implications for their position as domiciles for Shariah compliant SPVs.
With expansion plans charted beyond core market horizons in the Middle East and Malaysia, Islamic finance is setting its sights on finding a safe haven to dock in southern waters. Banco do Brasil, Latin America’s biggest bank by assets, is ready to welcome these explorers with the launch of Brazil’s first Shariah compliant equity fund. Alexandre Ferreira Lopes guides us through these new waters.
As a new ‘regulation light’ fund manager regime is launched in the British Virgin Islands, eligible fund managers can now count on a simpler application process. Philip Graham of Harneys provides an update.
The British Virgin Islands (BVI) is the world’s second largest offshore fund domicile with close to 3,000 registered funds and growing. The global recession affected the industry, with most funds during that time looking at their balance sheet and redemption issues. In some cases, funds were taken to court by investors for a variety of reasons directly caused by the impact of the recession on some funds. That scenario is almost behind us and what we are now seeing is a resurgence in the set up of new funds. More managers have now also seen some of the benefits offered by BVI funds and have, or are ready to make the move to a BVI fund. With the updating of BVI funds legislation in 2010 through the passage of the Securities and Investment Business Act, 2010 (SIBA), the BVI is well poised to continue on this path of growth.
Raymond Davern, Dennis Ryan and David Pytches look at the ways in which the various types of trust products in each jurisdiction may be of interest to MENA families as succession planning vehicles.
Recent industry statistics show increased interest from alternative investment managers in basing their funds in onshore-regulated jurisdictions and as a result of this trend, Ireland recently overtook both Bermuda and the BVI as a domicile for hedge funds for the first time.