The 5th [STEP LatAm Conference]( was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil on October 22–23. One of the largest of its kind in the hemisphere, the LatAm Conference is a gathering of the top professionals in the industries of international estate planning, trust and family governance. This year the conference hosted 350 delegates from 35 countries around the globe.

The 30-strong Bahamian delegation in attendance was led by The Hon. C.V. Hope Strachan, Minister of Financial Services; John Lawrence, Director of STEP Worldwide; Aliya Allen, CEO of the Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB); and Marie Cargill, Branch Chair of STEP Bahamas.

The Ministry of Financial Services was the “presenting sponsor” and Minister Strachan joined John Lawrence in speaking at the opening of the conference. Director Lawrence said this was a superb opportunity for The Bahamas to showcase the depth of its professionals in the financial services industry and in particular its expertise in estate planning as it applies to the Latin American market. Minister Strachan commented, “*As we move forward to build on what we have already established through our SMART funds and our recently introduced Investment Condominium (ICON) we will continue to focus our efforts on innovation and creating products and services that offer the best opportunities for the Latin American market.”*

BFSB CEO Aliya Allen presented at a breakout session on “Funds for Family Planning”. She spoke to the challenges of family funds, the general factors driving capital flows, institutional versus family fund vehicles, the benefits of funds versus other vehicle types and concluded with giving case study scenarios.

*Photo Caption: STEP Worldwide Director John Lawrence, Minister Hope Strachan, and BFS CEO Aliya Allen.*