2 December 2015Actuarial & underwriting

Guernsey Finance Hong Kong office to open in 2016

Guernsey Finance has announced it will open a representative office in Hong Kong in the first quarter of 2016.

The office will be the promotional agency’s second overseas outpost, in addition to its Shanghai office, which opened in 2008.

Wendy Weng, Guernsey Finance China representative, who is based in Shanghai, will use the office as a base from which to carry out further promotional activities concentrated on the wider South East Asia market and it will also be used by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) to provide regulatory advice to those in the region who might be considering Guernsey-specific ventures.

The central location at Three Pacific Place in Admiralty ensures Guernsey Finance is ideal to meet with Hong Kong-based practitioners and others from around Asia, according to Guernsey Finance.

“The Hong Kong office is an exciting development not only for Guernsey Finance, but also the Island’s financial services sector which has a growing interest in the region,” said Dominic Wheatley, chief executive of Guernsey Finance.

“We believe that establishing a larger presence in Asia reflects current industry trends and is fundamental to our future strategy, particularly as Hong Kong is such an important hub not only for China, but South East Asia overall.”

Guernsey Finance expects that the office will be operational during the first quarter of 2016, with a formal launch event and a Guernsey-hosted masterclass scheduled to take place in Hong Kong during the first week of March.

“Full details of the events will be announced in due course, but it is important for those in the South Asia market to be aware that the office will be ‘open for business’ before then, most likely by the end of January,” said Wheatley.

Kevin Stewart, Guernsey’s commerce and employment minister, deputy, welcomed the announcement, highlighting the fact that Hong Kong was one of the world’s top financial centres.

“Hong Kong is regarded as a key global financial location and this is a significant step in Guernsey’s ability to attract new business from the region on the basis of its reputation as a well-regulated, compliant and cooperative international finance centre,” said Stewart.

David Oxburgh, deputy chairman of the Guernsey International Business Association (GIBA), added: “As one of the main shareholders in Guernsey Finance, GIBA has been encouraging Guernsey Finance to widen its international reach. Following on from the recent appointment of a representative in the Middle East, the establishment of the office in Hong Kong is another important step in this direction which should assist with the further development of businesses from this important centre and the region more generally.”

John Dunford, the GFSC’s current deputy director for authorisations, will relocate to the region at the start of next year to act as the regulator’s representative in Hong Kong.