It has been a challenging and unpredictable year for Guernsey’s finance industry, however promotional agency ‘We Are Guernsey’ used its annual industry update to champion the envious position the island now enjoys.
More than 200 people from across the finance industry and government came to hear the speeches from the Guernsey Finance team at yesterday morning's event at St James.
It was kicked off by the new CEO of Guernsey Finance, Rupert Pleasant, who commended his team’s quick switch to digital at the beginning of the corona virus pandemic and Guernsey’s strong response to a global threat.
“We demonstrated safety, security, stability and resilience through our response to Covid. It has been almost seamless business as usual for the past year, and we should not underplay what a great position we are in. There is now huge interest in Guernsey and we need to capitalise on this.”
Pictured: Mr Pleasant (left), led three members of the Guernsey Finance team in speeches - (top to bottom) Dr Andy Sloan, James Crawford and Barnaby Molloy.
Mr Pleasant said work continues to be done on changing Guernsey’s image in the eyes of our international peers, with the use of better business developers, as “boots on the ground”, in major financial hubs across the globe.
He gave way to Deputy Lyndon Trott, who is the Chairman of Guernsey Finance. Deputy Trott used his keynote speech to applaud Mr Pleasant for “re-energising the team”.
He advocated strongly for Guernsey’s finance industry, which accounts for 40% of the island's GDP.
“We give our economy stability, and we will drive Guernsey’s economic recovery," he said.
Pictured: Deputy Trott said Guernsey's finance industry is fundamental in supporting our community.
Economist and Guernsey Finance Deputy Chief Executive, Dr Andy Sloan gave the audience an overview of 2020 and the importance of private high net worth individuals. He highlighted that 70% of finance revenue comes from private individuals and that this is where we should be focusing our efforts.
International Business Development Director James Crawford, then spoke more specifically on business development and what products Guernsey offers to the major global finance sectors.
Finally, Marketing and Operations Director Barnaby Molloy doubled down on Guernsey’s envious position in the world. He said the jump to digital has been quick, efficient and immensely successful.
Pictured: The event saw a large turnout of more than 200 people to St James.
Historically, the Guernsey Funds Forum has seen engagement from seven jurisdictions; with the advent of digital seminars and online events, this has jumped to 37.
Mr Molloy urged the audience to go out and spread the message about how great Guernsey is as a financial jurisdiction and build upon the success of 2020.
“There are 10,000 finance workers in Guernsey, if even half of you go out there [and spread our message] we’re going to be in a very strong place.”
Mr Pleasant ended the event with a Q&A and some reminders that the finance sector cannot take it’s foot off the gas.
“There are storm clouds on the horizon and we don’t know the economic fallout of corona virus in its entirety yet," he warned.
“We’ve lost ground to louder competitors and there are still misconceptions about Guernsey as a financial centre.”
However, many States Deputies attended, and they commended the success of the event and its strong positive message.
Packed @StJamesGsy for @WEAREGUERNSEY excellent update this morning. Guernsey REALLY is open for business and attractive for sustainability, security and safety. We heard the key requirements were digital, agility and working together. I think same goes for @Govgg too. #GFIU21— Heidi Soulsby (@HeidiSoulsby) January 21, 2021
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