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Trust event eyes Bermuda return in 2016

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

Bermuda could host a second Transcontinental Trusts forum next year after the success of last month’s event at the Fairmont Southampton, which marked the first time the Transcontinental Trusts franchise has held a forum outside Europe.

“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 two-day Bermuda forum had 240 attendees, including 150 overseas delegates and experts from local trust and law firms. The Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA) was the lead sponsor for the event.

Organisers hope the forum will become an annual event, and have set tentative dates of May 8-10 for its possible return to Bermuda next year.

“The backing of the BDA and the co-ordinated effort across the trust industry made this inaugural event a huge success,” said Mr Barford. “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.”

Premier Michael Dunkley opened the conference, which was held between April 26-28. Among overseas guest speakers were 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.

“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. The 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.

“I know many of the out-of-town guests are already looking forward to coming back next year,” said Mr Moran. “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.”