Statement
25 March 2015 - 3:45pm

Your Excellency, Ministers, Members of the House of Assembly, Deputy Governor, Members of the Financial Services Industry, Ladies and Gentlemen- Good Evening.

It is my great pleasure to formally introduce you to the new BVI Finance brand and share some of the plans for the new organisation that will also bear the same name.

BVI Finance is not just a name change from what was the International Finance Centre. It is part of a programme of change my government is undertaking in the way we do business with all of our stakeholders in the financial services industry. It also signals a change in the relationship between government and the private sector and a change in how we will promote and protect the BVI as a jurisdiction of choice for global business.

There is no question that a new era of financial services is at our doorstep. We are in the midst of a global transformation of the industry and my government is committed to ensuring that BVI remains as significant a player as we have been for the past 30 years. It is for this reason that my government commissioned the McKinsey Study to identify the critical changes we need to make to maintain our position and give us a plan to make those changes.

One of the key changes recommended by the McKinsey study is to establish BVI Finance as a corporate body apart from government with both the public and private sectors managing its operation.  This is a recommendation my government has embraced and one which my Ministry is actively implementing. I firmly believe that such a body has a vital role to play in maintaining our position as an established and pioneering centre for global finance.  It will give greater force to the role of BVI Finance as the voice of the financial services industry; marketing its products and services, managing and maintaining its excellent reputation and promoting the jurisdiction's economic stability and best in class regulation.

We will only succeed on the global stage by working better and more collaboratively with the private sector.  I therefore commit to you that the evolution, and ongoing development of BVI Finance will be undertaken in partnership between the public and private sectors. We have undertaken to fully implement the scope of the McKinsey recommendation for BVI Finance and the launch of the new brand which we are doing this evening should be strong evidence of our commitment to change.

In the meantime, we need, and encourage all of you to take a more active role in marketing the jurisdiction with BVI Finance. We also need your advice and guidance on how we best optimise the resources of BVI Finance. We need your direct voice apart from government in trumpeting the messages that were shared with you as a member of Team BVI.  

The private sector has a credible voice in explaining what makes this jurisdiction a world leader in the industry and what makes BVI an internationally respected financial centre, connecting markets and facilitating investment, trade and capital flow.  It is more critical now than ever that we as a jurisdiction do this effectively in our core and emerging markets, ensuring we continue to remain at the forefront of the financial services sector.

The introduction of BVI Finance and our new brand is a strategic step change for the jurisdiction. My government has invested significantly in ensuring that we get it right. With this in mind are working closely with a world-class branding agency called Emperor, and our communications advisers, FTI Consulting, to further refine our global brand and messages.  The work you will see shortly was developed in close collaboration with the private sector and I will like to thank the members of the industry who participated for their most valuable input and support in working with the team at BVI Finance.

 As we embark on this new journey in this new era of financial services, let’s remember the road we have travelled together, the battles we have won, the successes we have celebrated, the lessons we have learnt and let it all renew our confidence, faith and commitment to achieve success for the financial services sector and for the British Virgin Islands.

I thank you.

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