Matthias Knab: Financial services are of course a very wide field, so I was wondering where from your perspective you see the most growth or potential for growth in The Bahamas?
Christel Sands-Feaste: …Unlike some of our competitors, human capital is present in The Bahamas in abundance. The professional expertise required to establish and operate businesses carrying out many forms of activity is available here.
Historically we are well known for private banking and private wealth professionals, but ActivTrades is just an example of brokerage houses establishing themselves in The Bahamas. In addition, we are seeing an increase in the number of family offices being established in The Bahamas.
We have also seen increased interest, particularly after the new Investment Funds legislation, in updating investment funds or establishing new investment funds. So for clients seeking to relocate their businesses to The Bahamas, unlike some jurisdictions where it may be difficult to secure the required human resources, there is a significant pool of qualified professionals with international experience, available here.
In addition, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, one additional advantage, from my perspective, is that Millennials in very different spheres, with very different skill sets who may not otherwise have
considered returning to The Bahamas will actually reconsider whether or not they wish to come to The Bahamas even for short periods of time and will bring increased skill sets with them.
Further, with the increased focus on technology, there are new opportunities for the transfers of skills remotely. Therefore, in addition to the working and playing in The Bahamas, professional expertise is here in abundance and with COVID and Dorian, there is an increased focus on the
need to provide world-class quality service to clients at a very high level, on their terms, whether it’s remotely or in person, and I certainly think we have a distinct advantage from the jurisdictional perspective and I feel very positive about that.
One further point I would like to add is that one of the things that are certainly going to be critical to the jurisdiction, not just from an international client services perspective but from a domestic perspective, is a holistic review of the tax system here in The Bahamas. Any future reform will result in benefits to both domestic and international businesses based in the Bahamas.
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