Locate London Showcase 2019
6th November 2019
Found in: Blog -
On 10th October the Locate Guernsey team, supported by senior political figures including Economic Development President, Deputy Charles Parkinson and President of Policy and Resources (the island’s Chief Minister) Deputy Gavin St. Pier, hosted a Showcase lunch at The Leadenhall Building in the heart of London. But what was it all about and what went on?
This was Locate Guernsey’s fourth London showcase and the first led by Director, Jo Stoddart, who has been in post since November 2018. Jo who was clear that the venue, the highest dedicated events space in London, some 740 feet high in the iconic Cheesegrater building, was a factor in attracting the right mix of prospective relocators and professional advisers to high net-worth individuals.
This year’s event welcomed 21 sponsors, businesses representing a broad range of professional services available in Guernsey, spanning corporate aviation through trust administration and beyond to tax and property specialists. It was a real opportunity for ‘corporate Guernsey’ in partnership with Locate Guernsey to flex its muscles and demonstrate to an influential audience that Guernsey is a fantastic jurisdiction to locate to, being easily accessible by way of residence in the island’s uniquely valuable Open Market.
Jo Stoddart, a relocator herself who arrived in Guernsey 14 years ago, set out the objective that those potential residents in the audience, perhaps at the fact-finding stage, considering various jurisdictions, or having already decided on Guernsey as a likely destination, could meet some of the service providers represented and hear more from those who had previously gone down the same route. Jo added that Locate Guernsey wanted to ensure the off island advisers attending had all the facts about Guernsey at their fingertips to know who to speak to if they or their clients had more specific questions. With that clear message Deputy Gavin St. Pier was introduced and took to the podium.
Acknowledging that such a packed event indicated the high level of interest in Guernsey, Gavin commented that this demonstrated two things; the first being that Guernsey’s offering remains so compelling and second, that as events in the UK and across the world unfold, the time is right to consider Guernsey as a place to relocate to. Gavin, also a relocator, explained that he had been attracted by the beauty of the island with its stunning bays and cliffs and the surprise that the sea was warm enough to swim in – most of the time! Another factor was the time returned to him and his family through no longer having the daily slog of a demanding commute, added to which the sense of inclusive community which means those who do move to Guernsey are always surprised by the warm welcome they receive.
On business, the Chief Minister highlighted that Guernsey has a world-renowned business sector, with world-class professional and business support services and a technology infrastructure that rivals anywhere in the world. He added that with no capital taxes, but rather, low, straightforward and fair taxes which enable Guernsey’s government to deliver first–rate public services were all contributing factors for him when he chose Guernsey and they were reasons why he would encourage those prospects in the audience to choose Guernsey too. Deputy St Pier went on to explain the island’s robust positon in terms of transport connectivity, digital connectivity, trade with a post-Brexit world, reputation and provision of public services.
In short he emphasised that Guernsey offers stability and certainty and that is why now is the time to actively consider moving to the island. Gavin concluded by suggesting the audience should imagine the best of Britain, mixed in with a healthy splash of Normandy; a place small enough to have a true sense of community – beautiful enough to take your breath away yet mature enough to be the home of a centre for international business and stable enough to provide certainty and assurance. Put all of that that together he said, and you have Guernsey.
This year’s key note speaker was Lord Digby Jones, Guernsey home owner and part-time resident. Lord Jones explained how he and his wife had become disillusioned by life in the UK and, motivated by the threat of a change of government, had decided to establish a bolt hole elsewhere. Guernsey was soon a serious consideration as a result of some business dealings in the island. Having taken the decision to look at Guernsey seriously, he was captivated by the warm welcome being shown. Lord Jones said that the sense of community was second to none, that he felt safe and welcome to make a contribution to Guernsey in any way he chose.
The event was closed by Jo with thanks to the corporate businesses who had sponsored and supported the event; the final words were had by a number of recent relocators who provided some filmed testimonials which were played to the audience; the closing comment resounded across the captivated room; “Come across. Do it. You only live once.”