This year marks Peregrine Wealth Group’s 22nd year of operating in Guernsey. Hennie Esterhuizen, Managing Director at Peregrine Wealth Group, discusses how Guernsey’s world-class service providers and business-oriented regulator combined with a flexible choice of structures acts as a bridge for South African clients to global markets.
The connection between Guernsey and South Africa is well established and the island is well known in the financial services industry in South Africa. Guernsey’s solid, world-class legal and regulatory system protects investors while our wide range of experienced service providers and professionals enable businesses to operate with confidence in an international environment.
In this article I want to look back on the 22 years that Peregrine Wealth Group has been doing business in Guernsey, the milestones we have reached and the reasons why we still think that Guernsey should be the jurisdiction of choice for South African and other small to medium companies wishing to offer global investment solutions to investors.
We launched our first fund in 2000, and we established our Guernsey office in 2010 with two staff members. We initially made use of the temporary office facilities that are available on the island, which have helped many new businesses during those first few months, until the right premises were found. Since then, our team has grown from two to 14 today and, having outgrown our original premises, we recently moved into brand-new offices in St Peter Port.
Our latest Peregrine Global funds (three low-cost ETF fund-of-funds) were launched on 1 April 2022 in a record timeframe of exactly two months from submission to the GFSC in Guernsey, receiving FSCA approval in South Africa, to the first monies flowing into the funds. The benefits of the good relationship that exists between the regulators in South Africa and Guernsey are clear to see.
To us, it was no surprise to hear the news in May that the number of Guernsey-domiciled funds is now at its highest in a decade. This clearly demonstrates the ease of doing business in Guernsey, the products available here and the stability that the island offers.
Launching three new funds in such a short time is of course only possible if one has access to world-class lawyers, fund administrators and custodians, all of which are available on the island.
A major contributor to the success of our business is the flexibility and speed with which we can react to the needs of our client base in South Africa. The time to market of our recent launch again demonstrates this. This flexibility, coupled with the investment freedom afforded by the Guernsey Class B Rules, without sacrificing investor protection, makes Guernsey extremely attractive as a jurisdiction for collective investment schemes.
After 22 years we now have 15 funds domiciled in Guernsey and asset under management of c.USD2 billion. We cover all the major asset classes and various investment strategies which means we can offer our clients a comprehensive and truly global wealth management solution. We like to think of Guernsey as our South African clients’ passport to global markets.
Taking into consideration things like the ease of establishing and doing business, convenient time zone, no language barrier, truly world-class service providers and an accessible and pragmatic regulator, there are few high-ranking financial centres other than Guernsey that come to mind for small to medium companies wishing to establish an international presence and do business globally.
The last 22 years have flown by, and with the island’s innovative approach and world-class operators we look forward to seeing what the next 22 years will bring.