As this year ends and a new one is upon us we are entering an important new phase for financial services in The Bahamas. New and revised legislation seeking to advance our legislative frontier to the forefront of client solutions is coming into force, concurrent with updates to the regulatory regime. These, we believe will enhance our ability to service clients in an unprecedented manner and reinforce *“The Bahamas Advantage”* as credible and compelling.

Amendments to the Trustee Act, Purpose Trust Act, Rule against Perpetuities Act and the new Executive Entity Bill confirm The Bahamas as a leading wealth management jurisdiction.

In addition, The Companies (Winding Up Amendment) Act 2011 reforms the existing Companies Act in the matter of liquidations. The amendments provide a current and comprehensive regime for company liquidations in The Bahamas. The International Business Companies (Winding Up Amendment) Act 2011 applies the reform in the Companies Act to international business companies, bringing that law also in line with modern international standards.

And in keeping with The Bahamas’ historic commitment to meeting international standards, bills have been passed affecting a wide range of legislation to ensure that they meet the requirement of keeping accounting records for a minimum of five years, bringing them into line with the G-20/Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD). Government has indicated that a reasonable period of time will be given before these pieces of legislation will be brought into force, in order to enable regulators to advise financial services providers and their clients as to the procedures for compliance under the amended laws.

The significance and magnitude of these developments will be the focus of a broad ranging communications programme by BFSB beginning in mid January.

It goes without saying that we could not have arrived at this new era for financial service in The Bahamas without the active involvement of so many of our member firms, the cooperative partnership that we enjoy with government and our regulatory agencies, and the tremendous input and guidance from a number of international professionals.

BFSB is grateful for all of the hard work and thoughtful contributions that have kept us on the path of positive change and innovation for the jurisdiction, and that allow us to look forward with optimism to the year ahead.

We also offer our Season’s Greetings to all member firms and our many international colleagues and contacts.