HIGGS & JOHNSON hosted its annual client seminar under the theme ‘Fast- Forward: Regulation, Legislation & Application’. The seminar delivered thought-provoking sessions on topical issues with a focus on financial services, technology and digital currencies. This year’s theme addressed the importance of being proactive in this rapidly changing environment.
Partner and chair of the Private Client & Wealth Management practice group, Dr. Earl A. Cash, in his welcome remarks, spoke to the ‘advancement of technology…how it continues to change at a rapid pace, launching us into an era that will be unlike any other before it’.
Opening remarks were given by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. K. Peter Turnquest. Deputy Prime Minister Turnquest charged those in attendance to ‘embrace the call to innovate; explore and expand into new markets; embrace new technologies; and carve out new ways to add value.’
Bahamas Associate, Andre Hill, summarized the recent legislative changes affecting the legal landscape in The Bahamas with regards to the recently enacted Register of Beneficial Ownership Act, 2018. Bahamas Partner and Chair of the Financial Services and Securities practice groups, Christel Sands-Feaste alongside Cayman partner, Francine Bryce provided a comparative analysis of the economic substance requirements introduced in The Bahamas and Cayman Islands. Jeremy Stephen, Lecturer at the University of the West Indies – Cave Hill campus, identified the regulatory and economic challenges in light of the rising use of technology. Associates, Kamala Richardson and Nia Rolle, highlighted viable vehicles in wealth management – specifically the advantages of the Private Trust Company.
A panel discussion on The Bahamas’ potential accession to full World Trade Organization (WTO) membership concluded the morning session. Bahamas Partner, Michael F. L. Allen chaired this segment fielding questions to the panel of experts, Jeffrey Beckles – Chief Executive Officer of The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation; Dr. Allan Wright – Senior Country Economist of the Inter-American Development Bank; and Bahamas commercial partner, Portia J. Nicholson. Commentary by both the panelists and attendees facilitated a lively and productive discussion on the WTO including predictions for the future.
The seminar concluded with an informative and engaging presentation on Project Sand Dollar by lunch time guest speaker, Jay Joe – Chief Executive Officer of NZIA Limited, the company contracted by the Central Bank of The Bahamas to fulfill ambitions of developing a digital version of the Bahamian dollar.
Attendees praised the event as a ‘definite “value add” to your clients’ further stating that the seminar was ‘relevant, timely and engaging’; the speakers were ‘top notch’; and the presentations were ‘targeted to a diverse set of participants‘.
In an ongoing effort to promote education in The Bahamas, Higgs & Johnson sponsored the attendance of faculty and students from the University of The Bahamas Law Degree program.