**David G. Thain
Arner Bank & Trust Limited**
The Bahamas Financial Services Board introduced a Business Development Award this year to recognise a specific undertaking that has promoted the viability and strength of the financial services sector. CEO & Executive Director Wendy C. Warren points out that the criteria covered, e.g., *”steps taken to promote business expansion, the creation of niche markets, or the development of new marketing efficiencies.”*
**2004 Financial Services Industry Excellence Awards Programme**
The recipients of the new Business Development Award were chosen specifically for the role both played in the introduction of SMART Funds. The 2004 Blue Ribbon Committee selected joint recipients for the award: **David G. Thain**, Arner Bank & Trust Limited, and the Policy & Review Committee of the **Securities Commission of The Bahamas.**
It was during the early stages of the drafting of the new Investment Funds Act that Mr. Thain recognised many funds did not fit into the pre-defined labels of a retail or professional fund. Having serviced high net worth clients for many years, Mr. Thain felt that this was an opportune time for The Bahamas to distinguish itself from its competitors by offering an investment fund product which would complement The Bahamas’ private banking sector.
The concept was further developed by the Bahamas Funds Association, of which Mr. Thain is a member, who together with representatives of BFSB worked with the Policy & Review Committee to fashion the unique aspects of the SMART Fund idea into a new class of Fund. With this focus, Mr. Thain’s brain child – the SMART Fund – became one of the four classes of funds recognised in the new Act.
Industry maintains that the inclusion of the SMART fund concept into the legislative regime *”would not have been possible without the supportive approach adopted by the Commission’s Review Committee and the technical input of its individual members.”*
The SMART Fund programme introduces a new concept in the supervision and administration of Investment Funds and as such the Committee had to design and adopt new regulations and supervisory procedures. As a result of these efforts the new Investment Funds Act has been welcomed by the local and international community as a valuable and innovative addition to the financial services industry.
Not limiting its role to technical input, however, the Policy & Review Committee also embraced opportunities to educate the financial community about the legislation and have attended seminars locally. This willingness to explain legislation to international practitioners, a role not traditionally associated with The Securities Commission, has played an important role in cementing the credibility of the local Investment Funds industry.
The Investment Funds Act places The Bahamas at the cutting edge of modern investment administration, and the flexibility and innovative nature of the SMART Fund programme places the jurisdiction at a competitive advantage.
The annual **Industry Excellence Awards** Programme is in its fourth year, and is sponsored by BFSB in collaboration with the Professional Industry Association Working Group to profile industry role models.