The Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) elected its board of directors for 2018-2019 at its recent 19th annual general meeting (AGM).
K Peter Turnquest, deputy prime minister and minister of finance, used his keynote address to update the financial services industry on The Bahamas' progress in addressing the various international tax and regulatory initiatives it faces.
"As part of the extensive political advocacy undertaken to remove The Bahamas from the [European Union] blacklist, the Government of The Bahamas made a commitment to address and resolve the identified COCG (Code of Conduct Group) concerns by the December 31, 2018 deadline," Mr Turnquest said.
"The Government of The Bahamas has engaged actively and constructively with European authorities with respect to the implementation of measures to address these concerns, in line with the country's position as a fully cooperative jurisdiction.
"The ministry of finance has also engaged closely with the OECD through the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, the Inclusive Framework on BEPS and a specific voluntary group established to advance discussions on the issue of economic substance. This engagement is ongoing."
Tanya McCartney, the BFSB'S chief executive and executive director, in her report to members provided updates on key priority areas for the board as it celebrates in 20th anniversary this year.
She advised attendees that BFSB has remained true to its mandate of promoting a greater awareness of The Bahamas' strengths as an international financial centre (IFC). This, coupled with advocacy for the industry on policy matters, has dominated an agenda that focuses on three broad areas - promotion and marketing; international initiatives, policy and legislation; and stakeholder engagement.
Ms McCartney added that "admittedly, after The Bahamas' listing by the EU, the focus of BFSB'S agenda became heavily policy dominated as it is imperative that we have a positive value proposition to articulate when we market internationally".
The BFSB's marketing initiatives for 2018 include:
Hosting a webinar for the Brazilian market on September 25th
STEP Latin America, scheduled for October 3-5 in Mexico City
The London Landfall, scheduled for November 29 in partnership with global funds media
A visit to Switzerland where one-on-one meetings will be held with the Swiss banks and institutions that have a presence in The Bahamas
The New York Landfall, which will be held on January 16, 2019
BFSB's new board of directors include: Anastacia Campbell, Graham, Thompson & Company; Michelle Neville-Clarke, Lennox Paton; Myles Culmer, BDO Advisory Services; Paul Davis, Higgs & Johnson; Zelpha Davis, Higgs & Johnson; Shameka Fernander, Old Fort Financial; Nerissa Greene, Halsbury Chambers; Niekia Horton, Lombard Odier & Cie; Brian Jones, Deltec Fund Services; Yolande Julien, Glinton, Sweeting & O'Brien; John Lawrence, Windermere Corporate Management; Keva Ingraham-McPhee, SIS Solutions; Kevin Moree, McKinney Bancroft & Hughes; Antoinette Russell, Credit Suisse Trust; Fareda Sands, Acetop Global Markets; Andre Souza, Arbitral Securities; Laverne Thompson, MMG Bank & Trust; Tiffany Jones-Williams, FC Capital; Zelma Wilson, EY; Joneka Wright, The Winterbotham Trust Company.
Representatives for their respective professional industry associations are: Ivan Hooper, Association of International Banks & Trust Companies (AIBT); Cheryl Bazard, Bahamas Association of Compliance Officers (BACO); Kelli Ingraham, the Bahamas Bar Association; Emmanuel Komolafe, Bahamas Insurance Association (BIA); Gowon Bowe, Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA) and the Clearing Banks Association; Anthony Stubbs, Bahamas Investment and Securities Business Association; Christine Wallace-Whitfield, Bahamas Real Estate Association (BREA); Cherise Cox-Nottage, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators; Aneka Rolle-Bowe, CFA Society of the Bahamas; Cecil Ferguson, Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners; and Igal Wizman, Restructuring and Insolvency Specialists Association.
Ms McCartney and Latonia Symonette-Tinker, consultant to the Ministry of Financial Services, serve as permanent directors.