**James A. Meszaros**, Executive Vice President in the Washington office of Weber Shandwick Worldwide, is slated to address **Bahamas Financial Services Retreat** Participants on the subject of **Jurisdictional Image Development and Positioning**, and to lead small group breakout discussions on brand development. This will complement other Plenaries and breakout sessions focusing on the Bahamas Strategy and Branding Survey.

Mr. Meszaros specialises in international public affairs, and has served as a political and communications advisor to governments in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region – as well as to multinational companies on international trade and business issues. He manages government and corporate communications projects that require coordination with Weber Shandwick offices and affiliates in Europe, Latin America, Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region.

He has managed campaigns focusing on a variety of foreign policy issues, trade and foreign investment, defense, transnational crime, human rights and environment issues in the European Union, Germany, Colombia, Egypt, Philippines, El Salvador, Indonesia, Chile, Bulgaria, Portugal, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Bolivia and the Bahamas. He has worked with multinational companies such as Monsanto, Pharmacia and Ingersoll-Rand on international business and trade issues. He is currently coordinating a public diplomacy initiative for the U.S. Department of State in 13 Muslim countries in Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and advises the German Marshall Fund of the United States on European-U.S. transatlantic relations.

During the Breakout Sessions focusing on Jurisdictional Brand Development, issues to be discussed include reputation perception and management, areas of weakness with relation to the present brand for financial services, and the importance of financial professionalism, Bahamian sovereignty, and other factors. The small group sessions also will focus on the areas of excellence in terms of the financial services brand, and explore whether the jurisdiction is doing enough to capitalise on this.

The 2006 BFS Retreat is being held at Our Lucaya Golf and Beach Resort, Grand Bahama Island, on January 20-22. The annual event brings together financial services industry stakeholders to discuss the key drivers of the sector and to formulate strategies for the growth. Other topics being addressed by the 100 participants include Tax Treaty Implications for Trade in Financial Services, Labour and Immigration, and Regulatory Reform. Coming out of the 2-day discussions, BFSB expects to be well positioned to make further input into the refining 5-year strategic plan for financial services.