BDA: Trusts Forum May Become Annual Event

May 6, 2015

A “who’s who” of the global trust and private client industry made last week’s inaugural Transcontinental Trusts: Bermuda Forum such a success organisers hope to repeat the prestigious event on the Island next year, the BDA said.

With the Bermuda Business Development Agency [BDA] as lead sponsor, it was the first time in 30 years the Transcontinental Trusts franchise had selected a venue outside Europe for one of its well-regarded events—but organisers are now hoping to make it an annual occurrence, with tentative dates of May 6–8 set for 2016.

“The passion and commitment from the Bermuda trust industry as a whole made establishing the Transcontinental Trusts event in Bermuda an easy choice,” said Paul Barford, Conference Director, Head of Private Client Events for IBC Global Conferences.

“The backing of the BDA and the co-ordinated effort across the trust industry made this inaugural event a huge success,” he said. “The attendance and feedback were unanimously positive and marks this event as IBC’s most successful launch event for many a year. We look forward to further co-operation with the Bermuda trust industry in bringing the event back to Bermuda in 2016.”

The April 26–28 conference, held at the Fairmont Southampton and opened by Premier Michael Dunkley, brought together some 240 attendees, including 150 overseas delegates together with experts from local trust and law firms.

The latter included Chief Justice Ian Kawaley, Narinder Hargun and Alec Anderson, of Conyers, Dill & Pearman, Fozeia Rana-Fahy and Hil de Frias, of MJM Limited, Vanessa Schrum and Keith Robinson, of Appleby, and Michelle Wolfe and Randall Krebs, of Meritus Trust Company.

International guest speakers included the conference Co-Chairs Jon Conder and Basil Zirinis, Partners at Macfarlanes and Sullivan & Cromwell, respectively, Mykolas Rambus, CEO of Wealth-X, Justice David Hayton of the Caribbean Court of Justice, and Chief Justice Anthony Smellie of the Cayman Islands.

Sponsor representatives who spoke at the final panel discussion of the Transcontinental Trusts: Bermuda Forum included [left to right]: Sean Moran [BDA], Jon Conder [Macfarlanes], Basil Zirinis [Sullivan & Cromwell], Keith Robinson [Appleby], Martin Pollock [Butterfield], and Alec Anderson [Conyers Dill & Pearman].


“By all accounts, it was very successful,” said BDA Business Development Manager Sean Moran. “The list of attendees and speakers was a veritable ‘who’s who’ of the trust and private client world and the two-day programme was full of interesting and relevant topics that kept the audience engaged. T

“he sessions were focused on the complex legal, tax and human issues that shape how personal wealth is protected and properly passed on to future generations—and the importance of international financial centres like Bermuda in this process.”

Round-table and panel discussions dealt with trending industry issues such as balancing client privacy with the global shift towards transparency; legislative advantages of some jurisdictions over others; Latin American opportunities; and the challenges of doing trust business in regions such as the Middle East.

Bermuda was highly visible throughout the flagship industry event, from the Premier’s opening address, through the many interactive panel discussions led by local practitioners and industry experts. The event’s final discussion was entitled, “What Does the Future Hold for Bermuda?”

“I know many of the out-of-town guests are already looking forward to coming back next year,” Moran added, “and I was delighted to learn that many planned to stay on the Island for a few days after last week’s conference, to hold additional meetings and, hopefully, to see a bit more of Bermuda.”

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