The Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) hosted its nineteenth (19th) Annual General Meeting (AGM) in the Victoria Room of the British Colonial Hilton Hotel on Wednesday September 19th.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance K Peter Turnquest gave the keynote address at the AGM. He updated attendees on the status of our international initiatives indicating that, “As part of the extensive political advocacy undertaken to remove The Bahamas from the Blacklist, the Government of The Bahamas made a commitment to address and resolve the identified COCG concerns by the December 31st, 2018 deadline. The Government of The Bahamas has engaged actively and constructively with European authorities with respect to the implementation of measures to address these concerns, in line with the country’s position as a fully cooperative jurisdiction…. The Ministry of Finance has also engaged closely with the OECD through the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, the Inclusive Framework on BEPS and a specific voluntary group established to advance discussions on the issue of economic substance. This engagement is ongoing.” Deputy Prime Minister Turnquest also spoke to the importance of financial inclusion as well innovation especially in the area of FINTECH.

BFSB’S CEO and Executive Director in her report to members provided updates on key priority areas for the Board as it celebrates in 20th Anniversary this year. She advised attendees that BFSB has remained true to its mandate of promoting a greater awareness of The Bahamas’ strengths as an international financial centre. This, coupled with advocacy for the industry on policy matters has dominated its agenda which focuses on three broad areas – Promotion and Marketing; International Initiatives, Policy & Legislation and Stakeholder Engagement. She stated that “admittedly, after The Bahamas’ listing by the EU, the focus of BFSB’S agenda became heavily policy dominated as it is imperative that we have a positive value proposition to articulate when we market internationally.” She advised members that marketing initiatives for 2018 are consistent with the events that have hosted in the past and the organisation is looking forward to:

  1. Hosting a webinar for the Brazilian market on September 25th,
  2. STEP LATAM scheduled for October 3rd – 5th in Mexico City;
  3. The London Landfall scheduled for November 29th in partnership with Global Funds Media;
  4. A visit to Switzerland where one on one meetings will be held with the Swiss banks and institutions that have a presence in The Bahamas; and
  5. The New York Landfall which will be held on January 16th, 2019

At the AGM, members elected the BFSB Board of Directors for the 2018-2019 term. The new board of  directors elected include: Anastacia Campbell, Graham Thompson; Michelle Neville Clarke, Lennox Paton; Myles Culmer, BDO Advisory Services; Paul Davis, Higgs & Johnson; Zelpha Davis, Higgs & Johnson; Shameka Fernander, Old Fort Financial; Nerissa Greene, Halsbury Chambers; Niekia Horton, Lombard Odier & Cie; Brian Jones, Deltec Fund Services Limited; Yolande Julien, Glinton Sweeting O’Brien; John Lawrence, Windermere Corporate Management; Keva Ingraham McPhee, SIS Solutions Ltd; Kevin Moree, McKinney Bancroft & Hughes; Antoinette Russell, Credit Suisse Trust; Fareda Sands, Acetop Global Markets Limited; Andre Souza, Arbitral Securities; Laverne Thompson, MMG Bank & Trust; Tiffany Jones-Williams, FC Capital; Zelma Wilson, EY; Joneka Wright, The Winterbotham Trust Company.

Representatives of their respective Professional Industry Associations were: Ivan Hooper, Association of International Banks & Trust Companies; Cheryl Bazard, Bahamas Association of Compliance Officers; Kelli Ingraham, The Bahamas Bar Association; Emmanuel Komolafe, Bahamas Insurance Association; Gowon Bowe, Bahamas Institute of Chartered  Accountants and The Clearing Banks Association; Anthony Stubbs, Bahamas Investment and Securities Business Association; Christine Whitfield, Bahamas Real Estate Association; Cherise Cox-Nottage, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators; Aneka Rolle-Bowe, CFA Society of the Bahamas; Cecil Ferguson, Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners; and Igal Wizman, Restructuring and Insolvency Specialists Association.

Tanya McCartney, BFSB CEO & Executive Director and Latonia Symonette-Tinker, Consultant to the Ministry of Financial Services serve as Permanent Director.

BFSB Board Members 2018: Pictured Front Row (left to right): Niekia Horton, Cheryl Bazard, Aneka Rolle-Beneby, Tiffany Jones-Williams, Keva Ingraham-McPhee, Hon. K Peter Turnquest- Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Tanya McCartney, Fareda Sands, Kelli Ingraham, Paul Davis, Yolande Julien, Zelma Wilson, Latonia Symonette-Tinker, Antoinette Russell. Pictured Back Row (left to right): Michelle Neville Clarke, Kevin Moree, Miles Culmer, Brian Jones, Gowon Bowe, Zelpha Davis, Laverne Thompson