The **Registry Services Working Group** of the Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) has engaged in a series of initiatives to provide industry feedback on the day-to-day operations of the Companies Department of the Registrar General’s Department.
This has included surveys on service offerings, observation and feedback reports on operational processes, participation in process reengineering exercises and sub groups, input on automated services and financial services industry orientation sessions. To complement these orientation sessions, BFSB has committed to coordinate product specific training for RGD staff, on request.
Yesterday, BFSB organised a training session on the **Bahamian Foundation** for key RGD personnel; Guest Lecturer was Nadia Taylor, a member of BFSB’s Registry Services Working Group and an Associate at law firm Higgs & Johnson. The session incorporated an introduction to Foundations, the registration process and an overview of the powers and duties of the Registrar under Part X of the Foundations Act. As a member of the Registry Services Working Group, Nadia also recently produced a Guidance Note on the Continuation (Redomiciliation) of a Foundation, for use by the RGD.
Foundations increasingly are being recognised as an important product for wealth management, as demonstrated by Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey, which jurisdictions also are introducing foundations legislation.
The Foundation is a vehicle used for holding private assets for the benefit of a persons or purposes. These assets are endowed to the Foundation to be managed in accordance with the objects or purposes specified in the Charter. The Foundations Act, 2004 created the Bahamian Foundation, touted at that time as a milestone because The Bahamas became the first premier common law jurisdiction with legal provision for foundations. Foundations represent an expansion of this jurisdiction’s capability to service a new client base and its commitment to remain relevant to new and potential clients domiciled in civil law countries. The Foundations (Amendment) Act, 2007 fleshed out the provisions of the Foundations Act, 2004. Some of the more important amendments related to the appointment of a Foundation agent, the compulsory nature of the Foundation Council, and the rights of a beneficiary. BFSB continues to review this important wealth management tool, with the view of ensuring its continued relevance to market needs.
Members of BFSB’s Registry Services Working Group are Antoinette Russell/Tanya Pinder/Shantelle Ferguson, Credit Suisse Trust; Bryan Glinton, Glinton Sweeting & O’Brien; Bryinda Carroll, Callenders & Co.; Charmaine Tucker, Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch Bank & Trust; Cordelia Fernander, UBS Trustees Bahamas; Crystal Butler/Rochelle Sealy, PricewaterhouseCoopers; Hollie Lunn/Nadia Taylor, Higgs & Johnson; Lamantha Maycock, Lennox Paton; Maria McDonald, MMG Bahamas Ltd.; Michelle Pindling-Sands, Graham, Thompson & Co.; Pamela Klonaris, Klonaris & Co.; and Yolanda Coakley, Trident Corporate Services.
The RGD has welcomed BFSB’s support and actively participated on the Working Group. RGD Representatives serving in this capacity have included: Jacinda Butler, Acting Registrar; Delareece Grant, Assistant Registrar; Eurika Charlton, Acting Assistant Registrar; Betty Rolle, Companies Supervisor; and Wellington Smith, Management Information Systems.