Thursday, May 16, 2013
Thursday, May 16, 2013
The Bahamas’ comprehensive portfolio of financial products makes it an attractive jurisdiction for clients in emerging markets, according to industry experts.
Attendees of a presentation at the British Colonial Hilton yesterday heard from a panel of financiers who said the array of wealth management tools available, such as mutual funds, has led to increased business from high-net-worth families in emerging markets such as Latin America and Asia.
“Never has The Bahamas been as well placed as it is now. Together we are able to bring the products and services to the emerging markets that they are looking for,” said Robert Jensen, managing director of Old Fort Holdings.
Fellow panelist and managing director Fundhaven Ltd Keith Kelty agreed saying: “We define The Bahamas as the destination of choice to create mutual funds.”
According to Kelty, clients are choosing The Bahamas for mutual funds in particular because these are more cost-effective than in other jurisdictions and have the security of a strong regulatory framework.
“The Bahamas offers a lot of fund products [and] all these vehicles are world class,” he continued. “We have positioned ourselves to become serious market movers in the mutual funds industry.”
“The only way is up in the mutual fund business.”
In January The Bahamas was granted Status A status signatory to the International Organization of Securities Commissions (ISOCO) Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding, signalling its compliance with global standards–a move which has greatly enhanced the country’s standing as a reputable financial provider, according to Andre Rahming, partner at law firm King & Co.
“Because of the recent enhanced rating The Bahamas has seen an uptick in the level of interest,” he said.
Rahming was optimistic about the future of the industry and highlighted that, even though the world has experienced an economic downturn, some countries such as Mexico and Brazil were relatively unaffected. “We have had a fall off because of the financial crisis,” he said. “In recent times things have started to rebound. In my experience we have had a fairly constant flow of business from those jurisdictions.”
The panel spoke as part of Bankers’ Week, a week of seminars and presentations organized by the Bahamas Institute of Financial Services (BIFS). The event runs until May 16 and also featured speeches by Minister of Financial Services Ryan Pinder and director of trade in the Ministry of Financial Services Vianna Gardiner.