The British Virgin Islands Association of Compliance Officers and Practitioners (BVIACO) marked a pivotal moment in the financial sector with its 6th Annual Compliance Conference on September 7, 2023, at Maria’s By The Sea. Gathering over 200 financial professionals, the "Balancing Waves" conference delved into a spectrum of challenges and innovations intrinsic to today's financial compliance domain.
The range of topics presented was vast and compelling. Delegates explored subjects from the ever-evolving world of sanctions, the disruptive and promising role of artificial intelligence in compliance, crucial dimensions of IT security, and initiatives to harmonize BVI's legislation with global benchmarks. The rising wave of trends associated with virtual assets was another focal point, emphasizing the industry's changing tides. Adding a humane touch to the technical arena, the role and importance of mental health in the high-stakes realm of compliance were emphasized.
An ensemble of presenters, panelists, and moderators graced the event. Morgan Hollerman from Moody’s Analytics, Darin Munn of WorkFusion, Keiyia George of RKG Consulting Group, Dr. Virginia Rubaine from BVI Health Services Authority, and many more shared their invaluable insights. Dynamic moderators like Adenike Sicard, Legal Chairperson of BVIACO, and Liz Barahona, Senior Manager of FFP (BVI) Limited, steered enlightening discussions, enriched further by contributors including Kayla Laidlaw of Deloitte BVI, Ayana Glasgow, Simone Martin, Director of Special Projects of the FSC, and others.
A significant highlight was the announcement of Jasmine Watson as the esteemed recipient of the Harriette Skelton Compliance Scholarship, underscoring BVIACO's investment in fostering the future torchbearers of compliance.
The Hon. Lorna Smith, OBE, Minister of Financial Services, Labour, and Trade, elucidated the BVIs’ unwavering dedication to maintaining regulatory standards. Her talk revolved around BVI’s vision for strengthening its global financial reputation and the imperative of mitigating money laundering and terrorist financing risks.
Kenneth Baker, CEO of the BVI Financial Services Commission, gave attendees a glimpse of the future, discussing possible regulatory changes, including the tightening of penalties and adjustments to the AML Code and BOSSs Act.
On the second day, Darin Munn further expanded on the role of AI, offering solutions and best practices to assist Compliance Officers. Simone Martin's masterclass gave professionals a deep dive into the nuances of CDD & ECDD, emphasizing their importance in today's compliance world.
T'sa James-Hodge, Chairperson of BVIACO, shared, "Our annual conference serves as a nexus of collaboration, knowledge, and evolution. As the terrain of compliance shifts, BVIACO remains steadfast in its mission to ensure our association remains ahead of the curve, fully equipped to ride these 'Balancing Waves'."
With its substantive content and wide array of presentations, the BVIACO conference stood as a testament to the organization's commitment to enlightenment, innovation, and collaboration in the compliance sphere.