We live in a global village and the BVI is one of the smallest players in the village. We must constantly punch above our weight to be competitive. Conversations with Business BVI is a discussion series in celebration of the magazine’s 10th Anniversary. We will host a group of extraordinary individuals, thought leaders and some of the best minds from the business, economic and leadership space in the BVI and overseas. Conversations with Business BVI is intended to provide opportunities for members of the Business BVI Family and the wider community to engage in stimulating discussion on the critical issues shaping the future of the BVI in the business and economic space. We will cover topics on leadership in business, the global economy, emerging technology, tourism, the offshore sector and geopolitical global trends in Asia, Africa, the USA and Europe. Discussions will take place monthly up to January 2017 over breakfast, lunch or dinner - 2 hours max including Q&A.
The Purpose of Conversations with Business BVI is to provide opportunities for members of the Business BVI Family to engage in stimulating behind the scenes discussion on topics on leadership in business, the economy, emerging technology, tourism, the offshore sector and geopolitical global trends in Asia, Africa, the USA and Europe.
TOPIC: Delaware Takeaways
Delaware and the BVI share a lot in common starting with size. Both are small when compared to their neighbours and similarly, both are dominant corporate domiciles, one onshore and the other offshore.
Delaware is the second smallest state in the United States of America. It is also the leading corporate domicile and company law jurisdiction. Delaware has over one million active business entities each paying an annual government fee. More than one half of the Fortune 500 companies are incorporated in Delaware. Delaware is the brand name for company law in the United States.
Offshore, the British Virgin Islands (the “BVI”) is the global brand name for offshore incorporations. With over 480,000 active business companies, the BVI is the leading offshore incorporation domicile, far surpassing all of its competitors put together. However, BVI is mostly an incorporation jurisdiction, while Delaware is a preeminent business jurisdiction. Why is Delaware so successful? What are the key Delaware Takeaways that the BVI should triple down on as the jurisdiction seeks to broaden its menu of offerings to include more substance and attract more transactional work while ensuring that the centre of excellence for the practice of BVI law is in the BVI? The building blocks are already here in the BVI.
David C. McBride, Partner, Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP
Dave concentrates his practice in the areas of corporate law and corporate and commercial litigation. He has been involved in many of Delaware's significant corporate law cases, particularly in the area of mergers and acquisitions.
TOPIC: Financial Services: What it takes for the BVI to be Globally Competitive
This year has been a trying year for the BVI in the offshore space. The jurisdiction been buffeted by a number of very serious challenges ranging from; Beneficial Ownership, the so-called Panama Papers, the British decision on Brexit and bookended shortly by the election of the 45th President of the United States this week, which will be a historic decision either way.
As if the above changes were not enough for our small territory to shoulder, we are also witnessing what is a fifth column of grave concern, the rising international angst against globalization, a process that is at the core of the services that the BVI sells in the global marketplace. It is difficult to recall another period in the last 30 years, when a key pillar of our economic foundation experienced such a sustained stress test.
The key to the BVI continued success is for the jurisdiction to be relevant, innovative and hyper competitive in the international financial services space.
Colin Riegels, having recently returned from what was an extensive multi-year tour of duty in Hong Kong, Singapore and the Cayman Islands, is uniquely qualified and positioned to speak to what is required for the BVI to be competitive in the global marketplace.
Colin Riegels, Partner, Harneys
Colin Riegels is Global Head of Banking and Finance. His practice encompasses advising leading financial institutions and other clients on a wide range of credit and security issues.
TOPIC: Medical Tourism - An Area of Significant Potential for the BVI – The Atlantic Clinic
Medical Tourism is Everybody’s Business
A significant new element of a growing trade in healthcare has involved the movement of patients across borders in the pursuit of medical treatment and health; a phenomenon commonly termed medical tourism. Medical tourism occurs when consumers elect to travel across international borders with the intention of receiving some form of medical treatment. This treatment may span the full range of medical services, but most commonly includes dental care, cosmetic surgery, elective surgery, and fertility treatment. In 2006, the medical tourism industry grossed about $60 billion worldwide. McKinsey & Company estimates this total will rise to $100 billion by 2012.
As the BVI launches its medical tourism initiative, tremendous opportunities will emerge for businesses throughout the country. There are opportunities for hoteliers and villa owners, drivers, personal trainers, doctors, nurses, private care providers, investment advisors, specialty food providers and others.
Join us for the conversation on medical tourism to learn more about how you can become involved.
David Vincent MD, FACS, Founder, The Atlantic Clinic
Dr. Vincent is a board-certified, fellowship-trained neurosurgeon who specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery, spinal tumors, and spinal deformity.
Michael Fabrizio, MD FACS, Founder, The Atlantic Clinic
Dr. Fabrizio graduated from the Medical College of Virginia and completed his residency in surgery and urology at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA, followed by a fellowship in endourology at the Brady Urological Institute at Johns Hopkins University.
Christopher Burke, Executive Board, The Atlantic Clinic
The Atlantic Clinic (TAC) is most pleased to announce the addition of Mr. Christopher Burke to our executive board.
TOPIC: Deepening the BVI Footprint as a Global Corporate Domicile – A Constitutional Perspective
In May at the graduation of the New York University’s Stern School of Business, Jeffrey Immelt, the CEO of GE told graduates that they are“entering a volatile global economy, the most uncertain I have ever seen. This is a world that needs better leaders, with new skill sets. The playbook from the past won’t cut it today. My advice for you as you enter this world is to be flexible, be bold, and don’t fear criticism. Today, I want to discuss how these lessons can be used to navigate the seismic transformation underway in globalization.”
Immelt’s advice isas applicable to the BVI as it is to the graduating class at NYU. Ifthe BVI, which has built an economy based on the facilitation of global commerce, is to thrive, we must be flexible, innovative and bold. We must implement initiatives in every sphere that strengthen our brand and competitive posture globally. In this regard, constitutional advancement must also be viewed as an opportunity to move this agenda progressively forward.
Gerard Farara QCis eminently qualified to lead an informed discussion on this matter. He is one of the territory’s leading legal minds and a practicing lawyer for in excess of 37 years and is the Senior Partner and Head of Litigation at FARARA KERINS.He was also the Chairman of the 2003 Constitutional Review Commission and served as a member of the 2007 Constitutional Negotiating Team for the BVI. More recently, he served as a High Court Judge for the Commercial Division (the Commercial Court) of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court here in the BVI.
Gerard St.C. Farara Q.C.
A lawyer of over 37 years call and the second native Virgin Islander to practice law in the British Virgin Islands, is the Senior Partner and Head of Litigation of Farara Kerins. Mr. Farara, who was appointed Queens Counsel in 1996, is a formidable advocate and one of the most experienced and well-respected lawyers practising in the British Virgin Islands and the Eastern Caribbean.
TOPIC: The Outsize Role of Asia in the Global Economy - Growth Prospects for the BVI
Frances Woo, Managing Partner, Appleby, Hong Kong
Frances Woo is the Managing Partner of the Hong Kong office. Frances joined Appleby in 1994, became a Partner in 1997, was appointed as Managing Partner in 2000 and heads up the Private Client and Trusts Practice Group.
TOPIC: Beyond Panama - The Road Ahead
Panama’s influence on the growth of the BVI as a leading offshore jurisdiction will be defined by two distinct periods, the fillip the jurisdiction experienced post the 1989 US - Panama interventionand the significant reputational challenges presented by the recent release of the so called ‘Panama Papers.’
The Panama Papers has seen a seismic shift in the way theoffshore sector is being viewed globally. We at Business BVI believe that the BVI‘push back strategy’ must be grounded in and shaped by:THE VALUE OF THE BVI TO THE GLOBAL ECONOMY - as stated by the Hon. Premier in his statement in the House of Assembly in mid April.
Martin Crawford CEO, VISTRA is eminently qualified to speak to what he sees as the Strategic Road Map the BVI must adopt with laser like focus over the next 3-5 years in the financial services space post- Panama if the jurisdiction is to remain the Offshore Corporate Domicile of Choice.
Martin Crawford, Chief Executive Officer, VISTRA Group
After taking up the position as CEO of Offshore Incorporations (OIL) in 2009, Martin led the successful merger of OIL with Vistra. Since its creation in 2011, Martin has held the position of Group CEO.
TOPIC: The Next Africa
The Next Africa will change the way people think about the continent. A wave of transformation driven by business, modernization, and a new cadre of remarkably talented Africans is thrusting the continent from the world’s margins to the global mainstream. Authors Bright and Hruby detail the cross-cutting trends prompting Silicon Valley venture capital funds and firms like GE, IBM, and Proctor & Gamble to make major investments in African economies, while describing how Africans are stimulating Milan runways, Hollywood studios, and London pop charts.
Aubrey Hruby, Co-author, The Next Africa (Macmillan, July 2015)
Aubrey is a long-time advisor to investors and companies doing business in African markets. She is a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council.
Jake Bright, Co-author, The Next Africa (Macmillan, July 2015)
Jake Bright is a writer, award winning author, and Whitehead Fellow of the Foreign Policy Association with a focus on international business. He contributes as an editor and independently for publications including Fortune, The Financial Times This Is Africa, TechCrunch and U.S. News & World.