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An entrepreneurial recovery


Tony Robinson of Investec Specialist Private Bank in Guernsey looks at how entrepreneurs could be the key to strengthening the fragile economic recovery.

The Channel Islands have a strong entrepreneurial spirit that can be traced back through time, with a recent example being the horticultural industry of the 1970s and of course today’s evolving finance industry.

This entrepreneurial spirit can be found right across the globe and recent research1 undertaken by Investec Specialist Private Bank with the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation has revealed just how important these people are to the economic recovery.

A positive outlook

Many of the entrepreneurs interviewed are extremely optimistic about the prospects for their own businesses, despite rumours of a possible double-dip recession. Over 70% expect their UK businesses to enjoy double-digit revenue growth, with only 4% expecting a decline.

Furthermore 33% are of the view that it is ‘very likely’ that they will launch a new company or products in the UK before May of next year.

The majority of entrepreneurs are also expecting to increase staff numbers and, with job losses in the public sector appearing on an almost daily basis in the media, it is clear that Britain’s leading entrepreneurs will play an important role in creating new employment opportunities. Some two thirds of entrepreneurs expect to increase the number of people they employ over the next 12 months.

An opportunity for the Channel Islands

Research, from June of this year, reveals that 11% of entrepreneurs plan to drop their UK residency, with a further 13% currently considering taking this action.

A further 15% of the entrepreneurs interviewed are planning to shift their UK business operations to other countries with more favourable trading and taxation environments.

Entrepreneurs are looking for an environment that provides them with opportunity and reward as well as a flexible environment to operate in. They are also looking for stability and support, be that from the banks or the government, and it is in the best interests of the economy to provide this to them,’ said Philip Shaw, chief economist at Investec Private Bank in the UK earlier this year.

So if these companies are looking for that environment but do not feel it is offered by the UK then it is reasonable for their gaze to fall not far from their current homes and investigate what opportunities exist in the Channel Islands.

The Channel Islands have already seen some successful entrepreneurs and businessmen relocate to the islands and the potential is that as the impact of the UK Government’s 50% income tax for those earning more than £150,000 begins to take full effect, there may be an increasing number of people looking for new places to call home outside of the UK.

In this regard, the Channel Islands compete well with other offshore jurisdictions.

The Channel Islands are at the forefront of international finance centres and through the good work of the Jersey and Guernsey Financial Services Commissions, they are highly respected jurisdictions.

The Channel Islands also have a strong infrastructure of legal, accountancy, fiduciary and banking professionals which have created an enviable reputation.

Entrepreneurs already in the Channel Islands and those considering relocating to the Channel Islands want to deal with financial services organisations which take a flexible or “can do” attitude which ensures that strong businesses get the financial support they need.

A good private bank helps clients create wealth as well as manage it and Investec Specialist Private Bank has focussed a core part of its business in serving entrepreneurs.

Investec Specialist Private Bank has six areas of specialisation for the Entrepreneurial Class with solutions for wealth creation and preservation which places it at the heart of this unique business community.

These areas of specialisation include Structured Property Finance, Private Banking Services, Specialised Lending, Wealth Management, Trust and Fiduciary services, and Growth & Acquisition Finance.

Investec Specialist Private Bank caters for both the personal banking and business needs of the Entrepreneurial Class and aims to build lifetime relationships with their clients by providing everything from straight-forward deposits and lending to complex, integrated financing solutions and risk management products.

Investec’s Specialised Lending team believes that each transaction is unique. They do not have off-the-shelf products, but operate a flexible and innovative lending approach alongside an effective decision making process, ensuring a rapid response to client’s requests.

‘It’s the kind of energy clients expect in business,’ said Simon Brown from the lending team of Investec Specialist Private Bank in Guernsey.

Their Wealth Management solutions focus on creating customised global investment solutions for each and every client. This refreshing approach, underpinned by sound, expert advice, seeks to challenge conventional banking ideas in consulting bespoke portfolios.

We recognise the rare abilities of the entrepreneurs which make them a unique business community in their own right. Entrepreneurs have a dynamic mindset and an ability to make things happen. It is these characteristics which require very unique services including creative thinking and specialist knowledge to add value.


1. 48 highly successful entrepreneurs with interests in one or more businesses with turnover of at least £1 million in annual revenues from their UK business interests who are either clients of Investec Specialist Private Bank or members of Entrepreneurs’ Organisation (EO) took part in the survey during May 2010. The survey was conducted online and it was anonymous.