The Channel Islands are still a popular place for offshore finance clients to do business, however continuing success depends on strengthening client relationships with their service providers, according to a recent report.
As part of the newly-launched Future of Offshore Initiative, Saffery Champness has offered its outlook on the industry as 2020 has made a significant impression – not only from the disruption caused by the pandemic, but changing geo-political climates and clients with international interests.
The findings come from interviews with 40 leading professionals across the private wealth industry, and found several key points for the industry to focus on to ensure its longevity.
“At a time when so much of the world is in a state of flux, this report offers welcome insight into the trajectory for the offshore industry, helping guide professionals in the development of their businesses and relationships with clients,” said Nick Batiste, Managing Director of Saffery Champness Registered Fiduciaries in Guernsey.
“The research for this report was partly conducted prior to the onset of the covid-19 pandemic, but what has become increasingly clear over the course of recent months is that the perspectives and predictions we gathered are not just still relevant, they are in fact now more pertinent.
“Even in the midst of global disruption, traditional values remain the bedrock of successful service provision. Trust, empathy, stability and accountability are, and will remain, fundamental to the provision of offshore services.”
According to the report, Channel Islands firms will need to focus on ‘more in-depth service provider relationships’ with their clients, in order to not only meet the demands of clients, but strengthen their defences against bribery, tax avoidance and money laundering concerns.
Firms will also need to retain a focus on long-term planning, after the pandemic shifted concerns towards short-term mitigation of risk. This pairs with an evolution of technology, which must adapt to meet the needs of the ‘new normal,’ and be supportive of and complementary to the services provided by firms.
Mr Batiste hopes the report will be of help to other firms that are dealing with the fallout of 2020.
“While this initiative originally began as a business strategy review for Saffery Champness, we felt strongly that the findings held real value for the wider industry, and so we are pleased to share them today with our friends and colleagues in the offshore community.”
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