Paul Winder, Chairman of the Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) points out that early on in the planning process for the International Business & Finance Summit (IBFS), the Co-ordinating Committee for BFSB’s annual event supported the premise that the very viability of jurisdictions – as with individual institutions – depends on the ability to be innovative and creative. Market expectations, global competition, evolving technologies all demand this.

IBFS 2013 is being held in Bimini, Bahamas on February 1-3, under the theme, “The Bahamas Advantage: Staying Ahead of the Game”. In considering the “Advantage” and given the long history of The Bahamas in financial services and its strong legacy for traditional products and services (e.g. in private wealth management) the Committee felt sessions at the annual event must also sustain focus on the value of maintaining traditions. Mr. Winder says, *“This includes the necessary tools such as superior customer service and relationship management, and an innovative approach to doing business that not only adds value, but is imperative!”*

Hence, the development of a particular IBFS Session entitled *“Steadfast in Tradition…Open Arms to Innovation”.* BFSB is delighted to have been able to procure two outstanding and knowledgeable presenters for this session: Professor Michael Mainelli, Co-Founder of Z/Yen, the City of London’s leading commercial Think-Tank, and James R. Silkenat, President-Elect of the American Bar Association and Partner in the New York office of the national law firm of Sullivan & Worcester.

Mr. Silkenat will be taking office as President of the Association in August 2013 at the ABA Annual Meeting. Prior to becoming President-Elect, Mr. Silkenat had served as a member of the ABA House of Delegates since 1990 and, in his role as ABA State Delegate from New York was Chair of the New York Delegation to the ABA House of Delegates from 2000 to 2009. He is a former member of the ABA Board of Governors and its Executive Committee, and is a former national Chair of the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation. Most recently, he was a member of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession and the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession and served as Co-Chair of the ABA Solo and Small Firm Leadership Coalition.

In 2007, Professor Mainelli, Z/Yen Group and Gresham College established the Long Finance initiative to research ways in which to implement long-term thinking across a global network of people. He is heavily involved with client assignments at Z/Yen and leads the Long Finance initiative exploring the question “when would we know our financial system is working?”. One of the key outputs of Long Finance is research, among which is its Financial Centre Futures programme. FCF includes the Global Financial Centre Index (GFCI), first produced by the Z/Yen Group in 2007, with the aim of examining the major financial centres globally in terms of competitiveness. Since that time, the index has been published every six months.

BFSB’s CEO Aliya Allen says, *“Although the IBFS session will cover “wider innovation and bolder strategic thinking”, Professor Mainelli will use the GFCI as a factual starting point for some of the strategies to be discussed.”* Other key touchpoints to be covered will include the building blocks for successful, world class IFCs – reputation, regulation, tax, professional services, new business models, new products, education and training, public private partnerships, branding, marketing & public relations — and innovation’s role in ensuring success. BFSB Director Dr. Peter Maynard, Partner, Peter Maynard & Co., Counsel & Attorneys, will moderate the *“Steadfast in Tradition…Open Arms to Innovation”* Panel.

IBFS also will feature sessions on “Forward looking: Strategic Plan for the Bahamas Financial Services Industry”; “Transparency Initiatives”; “Discrete Growth and Best Practices for Business Development and Access to the Ultra-Wealthy”; “Talent Development Strategies”; “Public Private partnership in Action – the Downtown Nassau Partnership Model”; “Bahamian Financial Services – Truly Global?”; “Flexible Insurance Strategies as a Tax, Asset Protection & Investment Hedge”; “Establishing a Captive Domicile”; “Succession Planning for International Families”; “Finding Client Solutions: The Alternative Investments Approach”; “International Arbitration”; and “Legal Hot Topics”.

For more information on IBFS, visit []( or contact BFSB’s Offices.