The Financial Services Implementation Unit (FSIU) is keeping professionals in the financial services industry up to date on developments with the BVI Forward campaign.
FSIU Director, Mr. Kedrick Malone provided an update to industry professionals attending the latest in the series of Breakfast Forums hosted by BVI Finance.
In his update, Mr. Malone spoke of coming changes that will be implemented this year across the 10 priority initiatives included in BVI Forward.
He said, “The FSIU team has been very hard at work and these efforts are beginning to bear fruit. Many changes are imminent across most of the initiatives and details will be made available soon. We are working with many stakeholders to ensure that the changes are institutionalized.”
Elaborating further, Mr. Malone said, “We have formed partnerships with stakeholders such as the Departments of Immigration and Labour on enhancing work permit and immigration processing. We have also partnered with the Ministry of Education and Culture on building capability among Virgin Islanders. We are hoping to finalise a Memorandum of Understanding between the ministry and the industry associations soon.”
The main presentation at the Breakfast Forum focused on “Opportunities for substance-based growth in financial services” and it was delivered by Managing Partner at Ogier, Mr. Ray Wearmouth, who is also a member of the Value Added Initiative Team and the Steering Committee for BVI Forward.
Mr. Wearmouth underscored the need for the BVI to remain a global leader in company incorporations while at the same time, expanding value-added services to ensure the future sustainability of the industry.
He identified a number of potential areas for adding substance to the financial services industry including attracting corporate headquarters, family offices, developing intellectual property and Greentech businesses as well as e-commerce and BVI law.
However, he also noted that enablers need to exist to facilitate the potential for growth in the identified areas.
“We need to do more from less; we need to grow the value-added services that we already have and attract new value-added services. Having greater substance gives BVI more control over its own industry. We are on the right track with the BVI Forward initiatives; BVI Forward is fit for purpose,” Mr. Wearmouth said.
Industry officials attending the Breakfast Forum also got some insight into the results of the industry survey which was conducted in December last year. The survey which will be repeated bi-annually is envisioned as a tool to be used by BVI Finance to engage the industry, inform the development of its marketing strategy and measure its performance.
BVI Forward comprises the 10 priority initiatives identified through the consultancy facilitated by McKinsey and Company to develop a strategy plan to chart the future of the financial services industry. The FSIU is the delivery unit set up to drive the implementation of the initiatives which are as follows: Revamp the International Finance Centre; Strengthen the Business Development Function; Engage the Population; Build BVIslander Capability; Pursue Tax Initiatives; Enhance Customer Service at the Financial Services Commission; Attract and Offer Value-Added Services; Reform Immigration and Labour and Invest in Infrastructure.