A sharper focus on high value residency

Jonathan Hughes, Jersey Head of Ogier's Local Legal Services Team, Partner and Co-Head of Ogier's Property Law Group, caught up with Kevin Lemasney, Director of High Value Residency at Locate Jersey, to discuss Jersey's ongoing appeal as a place for high net worth individuals to relocate to...

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Jonathan Hughes (JH): Who exactly are Locate Jersey and what is their role?

Kevin Lemasney (KL): Locate Jersey is part of the Economic Development Department within the States of Jersey. Our team is here to promote Jersey as a good place to work and live, facilitate inward investment into Jersey and support high value individuals and their families who are looking to relocate here.

My role in particular is within the high value residency strand - a term that has, under the new housing law, taken over from what used to be referred to as the ‘1(1)K’ category. Our new rules are now much clearer and available in print and online to interested clients. There is also a much greater focus on ensuring that all high value residents contribute actively in some way to Jersey’s economy.

JH: Have you seen an uptake in relocations in recent years?

KL: As far as high value residency is concerned, last year 14 such approvals were granted, with 11 high value residents actually relocating during the year. This is a real success and part of a growing positive trend.

Over the past four years, we have also seen increases in enquiries from businesses wishing to establish a presence in Jersey. In 2013, Locate Jersey handled 158 enquiries from businesses and individuals about moving to Jersey and assisted 28 businesses in achieving licence approval, creating 245 job opportunities as a result, the majority creating local employment.

JH: What is it that attracts people to Jersey?

KL: Feedback from the individuals and families we have spoken to recently confirms our belief that Jersey offers an extremely attractive work-life balance. It is Jersey’s safe, stress-free environment for both living and working that are the key reasons behind both business and family relocation decisions.

Because we are looking more acutely at high value residents actively contributing to the local economy, Jersey’s pro-business and attractive tax environment and its standing as a well-regulated International Finance Centre, with a mature network of professional services firms and an appropriate approach to safety and privacy, are key factors in the decision making process.

But families are also looking for a location that offers a life beyond work. The appeal lies in Jersey’s high quality leisure facilities, world class education and health systems, first class range of restaurants and an ability to be home, on the beach or in breath-taking countryside within minutes of leaving the office.

JH: What have you been doing to generate more of an interest in Jersey from oversees?

KL: We are ramping up our efforts to position Jersey as an attractive relocation prospect, through a whole range of initiatives, including promotional activity in key overseas markets and regularly attending events in the UK and further afield. For instance, we have recently started working closely with local estate agents to embark on a focused campaign targeting wealthy individuals and families in key UK property media. It has given us an opportunity to showcase Jersey’s impressive range of high value property.

One of the biggest challenges we face is in correcting the misconception that Jersey is a difficult place to move to and is only open to the few. When we tell people that the reality is that Jersey is actually very open and that the relocation process is incredibly simple, the response we get is always overwhelmingly positive. We are also keen to promote the fact that Jersey is now a very accessible place, with good flight routes to London and major European cities such as Geneva, Paris and Dublin.

JH: How do you see Jersey’s prospects for 2014 in terms of relocations numbers and types of high value residents choosing Jersey?

KL: We have set ourselves the target of attracting 15 high value residents to Jersey in 2014.

That’s over double the number Jersey attracted in 2010, but I’m confident we can achieve it. Partly because of the fact that our focus is now more on attracting economically active high value residents, the type of people we are seeing relocating here now is much more diverse. We now see many more entrepreneurs and internationally mobile business people with their young families showing an interest in Jersey, and we believe that the Island is a wonderful location for them explore.

JH: Of those relocating to Jersey, what types of property are they looking for?

KL: Because of the greater diversity of high value residents now moving to Jersey, the types of property they are looking at is much more wide ranging too. Families are looking at both traditional country estates and modern high-end houses that are suitable for young children, while we are aware of some entrepreneurs seeking to make their own mark by looking for a plot of land that has development potential.


For an informal chat with Ogier Property regarding legal advice please contact Jonathan Hughes at jonathan.hughes@ogier.com or T+44 1534 514336

For further information about Locate Jersey’s high value residency services, please contact Kevin Lemasney at k.lemasney@gov.je or +44 7797 783457.

The information and expressions of opinion contained in this guide are not intended to be a comprehensive study or to provide legal advice and should not be treated as a substitute for specific advice concerning individual situations.