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Bfsb Summit ‘Opens Arms’ To Innovation

Creativity and innovation will determine the future viability of international financial services centres, the Paul Winder, the Bahamas Financial Services Board’s (BFSB) chairman believes.

Paul Winder made this point during the planning process for the International Business & Finance Summit (IBFS), the BFSB’s annual event, as market expectations, global competition and evolving technologies all demand innovation.

Mr. Winder said: “This includes the necessary tools, such as superior customer service and relationship management, and an innovative approach to doing business that not only adds value, but is imperative.”

IBFS 2013 is being held in Bimini from February 1-3, under the theme, ‘The Bahamas Advantage: Staying Ahead of the Game’.

One IBFS Session is entitled ‘Steadfast in Tradition…Open Arms to Innovation’.The BFSB has secured two outstanding and knowledgeable presenters for this session - Professor Michael Mainelli, co-founder of Z/Yen, the City of London’s leading commercial think-tank, and James R. Silkenat, president-elect of the American Bar Association and partner in the New York office of the law firm, Sullivan & Worcester.

Mr Silkenat will be taking office as president of the Association in August 2013 at the ABA annual meeting. Prior to becoming President-elect, Mr Silkenat had served as a member of the ABA House of Delegates since 1990 and, in his role as ABA State Delegate from New York, was chair of the New York delegation to the ABA House of Delegates from 2000 to 2009.

He is a former member of the ABA Board of Governors and its executive committee, and is a former national Chair of the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation.

Most recently, Mr Silkenat was a member of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, and the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the profession, and served as co-chair of the ABA Solo and Small Firm Leadership Coalition.

In 2007, Professor Mainelli, Z/Yen Group and Gresham College established the Long Finance initiative to research ways to implement long-term thinking across a global network of people.

He is heavily involved with client assignments at Z/Yen, and leads the Long Finance initiative, exploring the question: “When would we know our financial system is working?”.

One of the key outputs of Long Finance is research, among which is its Financial Centre Futures programme. FCF includes the Global Financial Centre Index (GFCI), first produced by the Z/Yen Group in 2007, with the aim of examining the major financial centres globally in terms of competitiveness. Since that time, the index has been published every six months.

The BFSB’s chief executive, Aliya Allen, said: “Although the IBFS session will cover ‘wider innovation and bolder strategic thinking’, Professor Mainelli will use the GFCI as a factual starting point for some of the strategies to be discussed.”

Other key highlights to be covered will include the building blocks for successful, world class IFCs – reputation, regulation, tax, professional services, new business models, new products, education and training, public-private partnerships, branding, marketing & public relations, and innovation.

BFSB director, Dr Peter Maynard, partner in Peter Maynard & Cwill moderate the ‘Steadfast in Tradition…Open Arms to Innovation’ panel.

IBFS also will feature sessions on ‘Forward looking: Strategic Plan for the Bahamas Financial Services Industry’; ‘Transparency Initiatives’; ‘Discrete Growth and Best Practices for Business Development and Access to the Ultra-Wealthy’; ‘Talent Development Strategies’; ‘Public Private partnership in Action – the Downtown Nassau Partnership Model’; ‘Bahamian Financial Services – Truly Global?’; ‘Flexible Insurance Strategies as a Tax, Asset Protection & Investment Hedge’; ‘Establishing a Captive Domicile’; ‘Succession Planning for International Families’; ‘Finding Client Solutions: The Alternative Investments Approach’; ‘International Arbitration’; and ‘Legal Hot Topics’.

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