The Board of Directors of the Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) is pleased to announce that Aliya Allen will become BFSB’s new CEO and Executive Director effective January 1, 2012.

She will succeed Wendy Warren who will remain a consultant to BFSB during Ms. Allen’s transition into the role as the head of the private–public organization established in 1998 to promote the development and a greater awareness of The Bahamas’ strengths as an international financial centre.

In making the announcement BFSB Chairman Paul Winder said, “*It was essential to identify an individual with relevant experience in the financial services industry and strong interpersonal skills to fill this dynamic position. We are delighted that Aliya will be joining BFSB and feel strongly that she will provide the management skills and industry experience that are required to keep BFSB at the forefront of industry developments both internationally and domestically.”*

Mr. Winder added that Ms. Allen’s background provides her with the relationship-building skills required to nurture a collaborative and cooperative environment among various stakeholder groups including Government, regulators and financial industry firms.

*“Aliya combines an exceptionally high level of insight and knowledge of our industry with a solid “real world” grasp of the special challenges – and opportunities – facing us at this critical time”,* said Mr. Winder. *”Her practice has provided her with considerable experience and expertise in a variety of key areas within our industry, and she is widely respected for her talents as a lawyer and industry professional. We extend a warm and enthusiastic welcome to Aliya.”*

As a partner with Graham, Thompson & Co., Ms. Allen’s practice covers such diverse areas as trust and estates, investment funds, securities, companies, foundations and insurance. In recognition of her expertise in the practice of general business law, she will be recognized as a leader in her field and featured in the new edition of Chambers Global 2012. Ms. Allen was elected as a member of the Bahamas Bar Council in 2011. She holds an LLB from the University of Buckingham and is called to the English and Bahamas Bars.

Ms. Allen began her career in 2004 at the Attorney General’s Office in Civil Litigation and Chambers. She joined Graham, Thompson & Co. in 2007 as an associate and was quickly promoted to partner in the financial services practice of the firm in 2010. At the time she was the youngest partner in the firm’s 60-year history.

Ms. Allen has been actively involved in BFSB working groups including the one responsible for input into the Executive Entity and Foundations legislation. She also traveled with BFSB and has addressed audiences in Toronto and Brazil on trusts and foundations.

*“I would like to thank the Bahamas Financial Services Board for the confidence it has placed in me with this appointment*”, Ms Allen said. “*This is a critical time for our industry given the new global economic reality but The Bahamas is ideally positioned due in no small part to the monumental efforts of Wendy Warren. She has served as a shining example of the kind of professional that can change the face of this industry. I believe that in these next few years it is extremely important that we renew our efforts to raise our international visibility and that as an industry, we are ahead of the curve in anticipating changes and adapting, where appropriate, to the ever-changing landscape. I look forward to working with the Board, BFSB member firms, Government and regulators to ensure The Bahamas remains an international financial centre whose hallmark is stability, expertise and phenomenal client service.”*