In her annual report at BFSB’s 2013 Annual General Meeting held this evening, CEO Aliya Allen noted that with a 15 year track record behind it, the Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) is at a point in its history to firmly establish itself as an institution whose dual mandate of sector development and sector promotion is buoyed by the continuing commitment to the industry by the Government of The Bahamas, and specifically the Ministry of Financial Services.

Members were advised that although BFSB’s guaranteed subvention from the Government will decrease in 2014 – in line with other austerity measures the Government is putting in place – the organisation saw this as an opportunity rather than a challenge. Ms. Allen said, *“In some ways this represents an ideal opportunity for the creative machinery of BFSB and the Ministry of Financial Services to work together in a collaborative manner to ensure the maximization of resources where appropriate.”*

The Minister of Financial Services Ryan Pinder echoed her comments in addressing the AGM participants and [applauded BFSB]( and all participating member firms for continuing to work with the current administration – and more specifically his Ministry – in being *“a voice to the government on expressing both concerns and new opportunities in the industry that cause for the development of new products and joint promotional activities”*.

The CEO spoke to plans for building the institution of BFSB to support the ongoing work in the years ahead.

The Report to Members also included a summary of the broad range of industry, product, legislative and promotional initiatives undertaken by BFSB over the past year, including highlight such as:

* The introduction of a Competitiveness Conclave series and an annual CEO Conclave, both designed to facilitate open and frank dialogue on industry issues by senior executives of the industry;
* The first in a series of Webinars designed to promote and educate member firms and international advisors on new product initiatives with the Bahamas Executive Entity (BEE) serving as the template for others that will follow;
* The efforts of BFSB working groups drafting proposed amendments to various pieces of legislation including the International Business Companies Act, the Trustee Act, and the Banks and Trust Companies Regulation Act, the latter to allow for the BEE to act in the same manner as a private trust company, and a new product aimed at maximizing investment fund business from Brazil and other Latin American countries;
* Collaboration with the Securities Commission and the Ministry of Financial Services leading to The Bahamas ultimately signing on to the Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Consultation and Cooperation and the Exchange of Information (the MMoU) of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and preserving access to important markets such as those in Europe and emerging markets through the signing of an MoU with the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) in relation to the EU’s Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD);
* Successful efforts with the Insurance Commission of The Bahamas to establish The Bahamas as a gold standard jurisdiction for captives; and
* Marketing and promotional campaigns under The Bahamas Advantage branding.