Bahamas Report 2023


Bahamas Report 2023

The Bahamas has emerged as a powerhouse in the realm of international finance, showcasing resilience in the face of regulatory challenges and a keen embrace of cutting-edge financial technologies. As the world's financial dynamics continue to evolve, the Bahamas stands resilient as a strategic hub, offering a unique blend of regulatory acumen, technological innovation, and a commitment to excellence.

Dr Tanya C McCartney from the Bahamas Financial Services Board provides an overview of the Bahamas' commitment to regulatory excellence and innovative solutions, setting the stage for exploration into the nation's multifaceted financial landscape.

Christina Rolle from the Securities Commission of The Bahamas highlights the Bahamas' leadership in regulating digital assets, exemplified by the progressive DARE Act (2020) and DARE Bill (2023), prioritizing investor protection and adaptability.

In trusts and funds, Paul Winder from Deltec Bank & Trust Ltd focuses on intergenerational estate planning, while Chris Illing from ActivTrades Corp. explores the growing importance of systemic research in investment strategies, targeting opportunities like AI, carbon capture, and FinTech in 2024. Dr. Iyandra Smith from Quantfury Trading Ltd. emphasizes the advantages of systematic trading for effective risk management.

In addition, we focus on unique opportunities within the Bahamas in the world…

Hedge Funds


Hedge Funds

Simon Firth
Arnold & Porter, London

Hedge fund managers want to domicile their funds in trusted, well-served offshore jurisdictions (or international financial centres - IFCs), which meet the requirements of their investor base. New managers are wary of deviating from leading jurisdictions, wanting to avoid queries over domicile when they have their work cut out convincing investors to part with their cash in support of their investment strategy. Larger managers can diversify according to investor profile and appetite, and across jurisdictions with different levels of regulation.

As new products and themes develop, nevertheless there are opportunities for jurisdictions to carve a niche as innovators in particular sectors such as crypto-assets, or in environmental, social and governance (ESG) themed funds.

The Cayman Islands remain the default IFC for UK-based managers, but inroads continue to be made by other jurisdictions because of the increased level of regulation there, for example in relation to anti-money laundering (AML) compliance. EU-based alternative investment fund managers (AIFMs) have the option of using the passport available under the alternative investment fund managers directive (AIFMD) when managing and promoting EU funds, almost invariably domiciled in Ireland and Luxembourg, and some in Malta.

For managers targeting US investors, Delaware remains the default contender as the domicile for feeder funds, although managers setting up their fund in, for example, Cayman and Jersey, have the option of keeping their master and feeder funds in the …

Islamic Finance

Caribbean Focus

Regulation in the Caribbean

Caribbean IFCs Complete AML Endurance Challenge

From an AML compliance perspective, 2023 may well go down as a landmark year for the Caribbean’s key International Financial Centres. With the anticipated removal later this year of the Cayman Islands from the FATF’s list of jurisdictions under increased monitoring, subject to a successful onsite inspection, Caribbean IFCs seem to be moving towards the finish line of what has felt more like a rollercoaster test of endurance over the past two decades and more. Following official confirmation last October that Bermuda had been removed from the EU’s list of non-cooperative jurisdictions, Cayman could also be successfully removed 12 months later, on the basis it was only added to the EU blacklist because of its designation for increased monitoring by the FATF.

While issues remain for the Caribbean, with the BVI and Bahamas still deemed non-cooperative by the EU, there is clearly some light at the end of the tunnel, with all four main Caribbean jurisdictions now essentially cleared by the FATF. Questions regarding economic substance persist for the Bahamas, while the BVI must address its level of compliance with the OECD’s standards of information exchange to make progress with the EU. However, the pronouncement by the FATF that Cayman has satisfied the final outstanding Recommended Action that makes it eligible for delisting is perhaps worth more in substance than in words. It demonstrates that what has been at times a painful path of dialogue and engagement with standard-setting officials to comply at all costs has been the right one. Although there have been setbacks and disappointment along the way, there are positive developments, and the leading Caribbean IFCs stand on the threshold of a new era of AML compliance and a potential level p…

Around The Jurisdictions




This feature looks at recent trends and developments in the world of arbitration, shedding light on the dynamic and evolving nature of financial dispute resolution in several offshore finance centres.

Steven Kempster discusses the evolving legal framework that supports trust-arbitrations, an approach which ensures privacy and confidentiality within family dsiputes. Arbitration lawyers from King & Wood Mallesons explore the key advantages of arbitration, including confidentiality, enforceability, customizability, and more. They also provide essential tips for drafting effective arbitration clauses. Joyce Fong explains the advantages of arbitration in international commercial disputes and why Singapore has emerged as a premier arbitral seat, located at the heart of global trade and commerce. This is followed by several articles highlighting the Caribbean's growing significance as a hub for international dsipute resolution, beginning with an overview by Sir Trevor Carmichael which showcases the Caribbean's commitment to providing a conducive environment for arbitration proceedings. The next articles explore recent trends and developments in arbitration in several international fina…

Funds & ESG


Family Offices

The shifting landscape of wealth management and the evolving dynamics of family offices across the globe are captured in this comprehensive feature. High-net-worth families and investors navigate through an ever-evolving financial landscape, using adaption, innovation and strategic foresight. Looking at family offices in Singapore, New Zealand and the Netherlands, wealth management experts discuss trends and updates to the family offices industry worldwide.

International Tax


Latin America: Political Instability, Legal Uncertainty, And Only One Way Out

Martín A. Litwak
Untitled SLC. Miami, USA

I have for some time now discussed the lack of rule of law and security and the political instability that has taken over Latin America, and the consequences it implies.

A 2021 world risk map[i] classified all Latin American countries as “lacking security”. Moreover, this reality has only become worse with time. It is a fact that the lack of security may reach all corners in the globe, but is it just coincidence that not a single Latin American country is considered favourably?

And because they are closely related, I would like to mention another concept: legal uncertainty. A country with legal certainty abides by the Constitution and all applicable legal norms, leaving the enforcement of such norms to the competent authority, and preserving the independence of the State’s various powers, without changes to the rules by the government in office.  This is obviously not the case with Latin American countries.

The reason for such legal uncertainty is the enormous political instability currently affecting Latin American countries. Amidst constant back-and-forth Argentina deals with over 160 different taxes, high unemployment and endless “dollar types”, a…


Global Legislative Update

Key legislation pertaining to the wealth management industry enacted over the last 12 months and pending legislation for the next 9 months, jurisdiction by jurisdiction.

ESG And Good Governance

Developments In The Bermuda Insurance Sector

Gavin Woods
Carey Olsen
Alexander Collis
Carey Olsen
Carey Olsen

Bermuda is a popular domicile for limited purpose insurers, being insurance companies established for purposes of self-insurance, as well special purpose insurers.

Bermuda is also a significant domicile for commercial insurers and reinsurers. The attractiveness of Bermuda to the insurance industry has resulted in a legal and regulatory regime that is bifurcated to facilitate the co-existence of these two broad categories of insurer, both of which are regulated by the Bermuda insurance regulator: the Bermuda Monetary Authority (the BMA).

The development of Bermuda's insurance regime is a result of prevailing market conditions and considerations. Recent enhancements to Bermuda's insurance regime have focused on commercial insurers (particularly in the life sector) and this trend looks to continue through and beyond 2023. 


NextGen & Family Wealth Planning

The emergence of a next generation that is set to inherit record levels of wealth and is highly focused on purpose-driven investment is presenting a new wave of challenges and opportunities for wealth managers. How equipped are IFCs to deal with this new cohort of HNWIs and respond to changing priorities in areas such as Philanthropy, ESG Investing and FinTech?

Knowing What You Don’t

Navigating ESG-Adjacent Liabilities As A Trustee

Josephine Choo
WongPartnership LLP
Samuel Navindran
WongPartnership LLP

The emergence of ESG measures, and the demand for disclosure and compliance with these measures, has burgeoned in the last decade.

In Singapore, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) released its Sustainability Report 2021/2022, in which MAS revealed that it had worked with the Singapore Exchange (SGX) to (1) require all SGX-listed entities to provide climate reporting on a ‘comply or explain’ basis for financial years starting on or after 1 January 2022; and (2) implement mandatory climate reporting, with issuers in industries identified by the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures to be progressively subject to mandatory climate reporting from the financial year 2023. MAS estimates that by 2025, mandatory climate reporting will cover approximately 78 per cent of SGX’s listed market capitalisation.[i]