A fundamental caveat in business is knowing your customers; this includes having a clear understanding of their specific needs on the same level that you know your products and services. In fact, the development of products and services will be based on your knowledge of customer essentials.

The **“Know Your Customer Essentials”** session at the [International Business & Finance Summit](http://www.ibfs-bahamas.com) (IBFS) in Freeport next week will look at the sources of funds for owners of capital and review their business success and trends/transitions across targeted markets. Panelists will also discuss how choices are made with regard to the international financial services industry and, in particular, the factors involved in choosing international versus domestic products and services. Some of the questions that will be answered include:

• How do owners of capital approach estate planning and what are the popular planning structures being deployed:

• What has been and will be challenged?

• What are the cultural nuances that make or break a relationship with an external relationship manager?

Presenters will include William Heuseler, Chief Wealth Planning Officer and Head of Wealth Planning International at Itaú Private Bank International; Pedro Ramírez, Founding Partner of Turanzas, Bravo & Ambrosi; and Joseph A. Field, Senior International Partner and Senior Resident Partner – Asia at Withers Bergman LLP. They will examine customer essentials by region: Asia, Latin America, and Canada.

BFSB CEO & Executive Director Wendy C. Warren points out that the business development focus of the annual IBFS makes it imperative that industry stakeholders “know” who the customers are – across regions and sectors. *“Understanding what our customers want and how that impacts how we do business is critical”,* she says. “*Basically, this plays a huge role in our strategy development and marketing initiatives.”*

IBFS 2011 takes place at the Radisson at Our Lucaya Resort in Grand Bahama, January 21-23.