Newsletter - December 2018

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DECEMBER 2018 - MID-TERM REPORT

ANNOUNCEMENTS

GFIA is proud to announce the publication of the world’s first Code of Conduct for Crypto Funds as well as the publication and entry into force of the Financial Services (Experienced Investor Funds) Regulations 2018 launched at the Funds and Asset Managers Breakfast in London in October 2018.

As a number of crypto funds are being established in Gibraltar, GFIA felt it would be helpful to launch a code of conduct to help promotors and service providers address issues that are specific to crypto funds. This, coupled with the new funds legislation which allows more flexibility in choosing Directors is likely to boost Gibraltar’s funds and asset management industries.

Because this sector is so new and there is so little guidance for crypto funds, GFIA feels that it’s Code may very well be adopted in other jurisdictions - if in modified format.

James Lasry, Chairman of GFIA said “the Code shows that the funds industry in Gibraltar is proactive and innovative and has a deep commitment to the principles of investor protection and corporate governance. I am delighted that even being from a small jurisdiction we were able to issue such a groundbreaking Code.”

Albert Isola, Minister for Financial Services and Gaming said “As we work to deliver best practice across our sector, I am pleased to welcome the work of GFIA in delivering their new Code of Conduct in this exciting and innovative area.“

Clearly a lot of thought has gone into this Code that gives guidance for this asset class which Gibraltar very much seeks to welcome.

The Gibraltar Association of Compliance Officers (GACO) and Laven Partners in London have endorsed the Code.

The above publications are now available online at:

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In October James Lasry met with Lital Dagan CEO of the Israel Hedge Funds Association to discuss ways of cooperation between the two associations. They discussed corporate governance, the use of GFIA’s Codes of Conduct as well as the introduction of their due diligence questionnaire.

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Further to GFIA’s general meeting with the GFSC in November, it has been decided that, with regards to the EIFs, the RGP Vetting Forms and the criminal record reports of the applicants from the relevant authority in the jurisdiction/s in which they have been ordinarily resident for the last 10 years and/or from any other jurisdiction where the applicant has spent a considerable amount of years resident in the past, are no longer required at the initial authorisation stage. Instead the GFSC will review each IQ/BCQ received on a case-by-case basis.

With regards to the New Occupation Pension Scheme starting in January 2019 it has been clarified by the GFSC that with regards to the new licence requirements for small schemes (above 15 members), the new Directive allows a certain amount of flexibility; according to the IOPS2, in the event a Pension Scheme has between 50 and 100 members:

  1.  No audit is required
  2.  Registration is needed
  3.  Requirements may be increased

To remain up to date with GFSC regulatory developments visit: https://www.fsc.gi/news/ or sign up with them to receive RSS feeds.

Relax and recharge your batteries as we are working on exciting events for you starting in January. 

Kindly refer to the below relevant section.

EVENTS

We appreciate the importance of exchanging ideas and the impact we have when we come together as a global community. Hence our effort in hosting and participating to events locally and globally throughout the year.

Our aim is to inspire and motivate our people, and to ultimately celebrate our achievements and share our way of working. 

Past events

09-10 October 2018    Gibraltar Day, Tel Aviv

On this occasion, GFIA was represented by Moe Cohen (Treasurer at GFIA, Chartered Accountant and founder partner of RSM Gibraltar) who spoke on the panel The Benefits of Doing Business in Gibraltar. The event was very successful with a general feeling of a dynamic demand for Gibraltar’s solutions for all crypto businesses, including EIFs, as a result of its government initiatives and support to this industry also thanks to a well-established legislation and the particularly attractive banking solutions.

22 October 2018 Gibraltar Day Lunch, London

23 October 2018 Funds and Asset Managers Breakfast, Royal Automobile Club, London

A vibrant and well received event by the Gibraltar and UK communities. Important contributions where made by Minister Albert Isola and James Lasry as described above in the announcements section.

24 October 2018 GibFin, QEII Centre, London

The primary symposium for the Gibraltar DLT Ecosystem aiming at giving the widest possible audience the chance to join the global visionaries who are forging the DLT future and to experience Gibraltar’s world leading DLT community. The event spanned for a whole day and benefitted from the participation of prominent personalities as contributions from The Hon. Fabian Picardo (Chief Minister, Government of Gibraltar), Minister Albert Isola, Dr Wulf Kall with his overview of current crypto economic models, Joey Garcia with his talk on global regulatory developments for 2019 and their impact on the DLT market and Sian Jones (Gibraltar Financial Services Commission). GFIA was represented on this occasion by James Lasry and Jay Gomez on the panel Crypto Investment Models for 2019.

20 November 2018 Quaero Capital - Investing Away From The Crowds, The Sunborn, Gibraltar

The session opened with an introduction by Amancio Pérez (Head of Sales Iberia & Latam) and explored Investment strategy, with focus on perspectives and investment ideas for 2019 by Arrash Zafari (Fund Manager for Quaero Capital New Europe and member of the European Small Cap investment team).

21 November 2018 Startup Grind, WTO, Gibraltar

Further to the success of the previous edition, this year's event featured important contributions on crypto funds and EIFs from James Lasry (Partner and Head of the Funds Team and a member of the FinTech team at Hassans International Law Firm) and on the exponential growth in the blockchain sector by Nick Cowan (CEO of Gibraltar Stock Exchange and founder at the Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange).

22 November 2018    EIF Directors Meetup

28 November 2018 Think Tank session on Security Tokens, Hassans, Gibraltar

This inaugural session focussed primarily on the possibility of tokenising funds. Topics of the discussion where:         

  • Using blockchain to raise funds: Security Tokens and Regulatory Regime (James Lasry)    
  • Issues related to the EIF Regime and Prospectuses Act (Jay Gomez, Triay & Triay, GFIA)
  • New Regulations on tokens (Sian Jones, GFSC)
  • Security tokens in other jurisdictions (Sheldon Freedman, Hassans, FinTech and Funds Team)

14 December 2018 Crypto Funds Case Study Seminar, The Sunborn, Gibraltar

Following the publication of GFIA’s Corporate Governance Code for Gibraltar Crypto Funds, the seminar included mini-case studies covering key issues faced by directors, lawyers, administrators, auditors and clients in the establishment and running of crypto funds. A particular emphasis was placed on the practical realities of working with the crypto funds and saw the relevant contributions from local professionals experienced with crypto funds as James Lasry (GFIA, Hassans), Sam Buxton (Digital Asset Management), Faith Howe (GFIA, EY), Carlos Martins (Lendingblock), Marek Mahdal (Rockchain) and Benjy Cuby (Finsbury Trust). 

Upcoming events

10 January 2019 Think Tank session - Beyond Brexit: Marketing Gibraltar’s Investment Sector Globally 
Social / Networking meetup to follow (further details to follow) Finance Centre, Gibraltar

31 January 2019 Breakfast and dinner event as a follow-up to October’s Breakfast * Gibraltar House, London

March 2019 Programme TBC * Hong Kong

04 April 2019 20th Anniversary Gala Dinner The Rock Hotel, Gibraltar

 

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