Bahamas 'STEPs' up with strong message

The Bahamas was well represented by both the Government and private sector at a major regional trust and estate planning conference held in Mexico City.

The country's delegation to the annual STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) Latin America conference was led by Brent Symonette, minister of financial services. Other members included Tanya McCartney, the Bahamas Financial Services Board's (BFSB) chief executive; Antoinette Russell, BFSB's chairperson; John Lawrence, director and co-founder of the STEP Latin America conference and BFSB board member; Cecil Ferguson, STEP Bahamas chair; LaTonia Tinker, Ministry of Financial Services; Ryan Pinder (conference speaker); and Aliya Allen (conference speaker).

The STEP Latin America conference is the major regional conference for trust practitioners and wealth managers. Some 380 delegates from 37 countries attended, with 12 Latin American jurisdictions represented. The Bahamas had a total of 31 delegates, making it one of the largest groups present.

Mr Symonette pledged to STEP attendees that the Government will continue to provide the platform, and enable the necessary policies, processes, legislation and administrative services, to allow the Bahamian financial services industry to thrive in offering services to high net worth families.

He added that The Bahamas had shown its commitment to complying with international regulatory standards, and will continue to work with global counterparts on preserving the sector's integrity, but will not compromise its status as a sovereign independent nation.

Mr Symonette said: "We believe The Bahamas' commitments send a loud and clear message to the international financial services community. We remain steadfast in helping you to develop solutions to wealth management planning in a world where there has never been more wealth, and the need to protect and manage that wealth continues to grow."