BVI Finance members represented the jurisdiction at this week’s STEP Caribbean conference, hosted in the Bahamas and attended by members of the global trust and estate profession from throughout the region.
The conference – which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year – addressed the latest trends in family inheritance and succession planning, a significant part of the BVI service offer as the first pioneers of offshore investing in the jurisdiction begin to consider their legacies. There was also significant discussion and focus on fintech, a subject of great importance to BVI Finance members.
BVI Finance members presented on subjects ranging from innovative new products to new legislation in the BVI.
Martin Litwak, Founder and Managing Partner of boutique law firm Untitled (formerly known as Litwak & Partners), hosted a breakout session on blockchain as a ‘game changer’ for the trust industry and addressed how this technological revolution will impact the financial structuring industry.
Paul Dennis QC, Senior Partner and Head of Litigation at O’Neal Webster, presented a client case study (Magnum Invest Trading Corp & Niteroi Limited v The AG of the Virgin Islands) which was the first case of its kind to successfully challenge the exercise of the attorney general’s powers under the Criminal Justice (International Cooperation) Act.
In keeping with recent education sessions held for the private sector in Hong Kong, London and the BVI, Meade Malone (Managing Director at MWM Global Holdings Group Limited) presented on the recently published draft Code which sets out the effects of the Economic Substance Act 2018.
Dr Judith Tyson also spoke on the 2019 Overseas Development Institute (ODI) report commissioned by BVI Finance. The report highlights the important role played by the BVI and other International Financial Centres (IFCs) in mobilising finance to developing countries1.
The event ended on a high note with a topical and entertaining discussion on opportunities in medical marijuana entitled: “Seeing though the “weeds” – Cannabis – a cross border perspective.” The business opportunities in this sector remain significant for the world of funds, though the extra-territorial nature of some jurisdictions mean the road forward continues to contain the odd pothole.
Also in attendance were BVI Finance Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Elise Donovan and Head of Business Development Simon Gray, who took advantage of the extensive industry networking opportunities on offer.
Commenting, Elise Donovan, Chief Executive Officer of BVI Finance, said: “We are pleased and grateful for the engagement of the BVI’s global business and financial services sector in supporting STEP. BVI Finance is all about partnerships and this conference is an excellent example of how well we work together with our members, as well as with others throughout the region.
“The events’ speakers always have significant breadth and depth of financial services expertise, and we were proud to have three BVI Finance members share their knowledge with other industry experts.
“Succession planning for offshore incorporations requires careful consideration. The BVI is home to a wealth of best-in-class industry practitioners who specialise in family inheritance and succession planning, and work at the forefront of this fast-changing industry. Wealth and succession planning therefore represents a key element of our strong international business and financial services offer.”