The annual Bahamas Financial Services Retreat has been confirmed for January 20-22, 2006, to be held at Our Lucaya in Grand Bahama. The occasion serves to bring together stakeholders from the government, regulators and financial services industry practitioners for focussed discussion on the key drivers of the industry and topical issues impacting its development. This interaction amongst stakeholders helps to formulate strategies for the growth of The Bahamas financial services industry, while also providing opportunities for networking.

In the past, the format for the 3-day meeting has been centered on Individual Working Groups providing input on a proactive approach for industry development, specifically looking at key drivers such as:

* Securing Opportunities, Minimising Threats
* Resources For Growth
* Regulatory Framework & Information Exchange
* Market Analysis and The Bahamas Position

Coming out of the 2004 Retreat, BFSB agreed that a fact based understanding of the global landscape for financial services was an essential foundation to the productive dialogue on strategy. This led to collaboration with the Ministry of Financial Services and Investments (MFSI) and the Association of International Banks and Trust Companies (AIBT) on the development of a Bahamas Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (UK) which formed the basis of discussions for a Plenary as well as a Breakout Session at the 2005 Retreat.

##Market Research##

As a consequence of Retreat 2005 discussions and various follow up strategy fora during this past year, BFSB is firmly of the view that empirical data should form the basis of strategy formulation, answering two principal questions (i) what is the current landscape for provision of international financial services and (ii) how is The Bahamas positioned to meet client needs.

In this context, BFSB has supported the proposal to gather data from external and internal stakeholders in a structured manner. It is gratified by the recent announcement by the Hon. Allyson Maynard-Gibson on the decision by the Bahamas Government and her Ministry to commission PwC (UK) to conduct a Bahamas Strategy and Branding Survey. BFSB is equally pleased that the Minister has announced that the results of the branding exercise will be released at the BFSB Retreat in January.

##Retreat 2006 Agenda##

Accordingly, again in 2006, the annual retreat will provide both a Plenary and Breakout Session that will focus on Strategy Development in the framework of the Survey and its results, which will be presented by Mr. Bruce Weatherill, Global Leader of the Private Bank/Wealth Management Practice of PwC (UK).

BFSB has scheduled a complementary Plenary that will deal with **Jurisdictional Image Development and Positioning**, with lead presenter James A. Meszaros, Strategist for Washington, D.C.-based Weber Shandwick.

The retreat will also address the topics **“Trade in Financial and Other Services”**, **“Jurisdiction Benchmarking”** and **“Regulatory Reform”**.

If you are interested in learning more about the Retreat, please do not hesitate to contact us at