Against the backdrop of the conflict in Ukraine and the introduction of widespread sanctions, the Caribbean is facing fresh challenges as the international finance industry grapples with new economic and geopolitical dynamics. As demonstrated in this edition, the region’s IFCs continue to evolve and meet pressures head on with a range of innovative solutions.
One challenge that is now firmly embedded within the global consciousness is the negative impact of climate change; and there is a strong demand for governments, companies and organisations around the world to take urgent action. This is a key theme of IFC Caribbean 2022. To kick off this edition, Kedrick Malone and Mark Pragnell argue that “the economic and environmental sustainability of the Caribbean depends on getting right the balance between climate change, tourism and financial services”. In their analysis, they contend that climate change provides new opportunities for international finance, with Caribbean IFCs having a distinctive advantage to position themselves as centres for green finance and ESG activity, citing the BVI’s Climate Change Trust Fund as an example.
In addition, as blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies continue to gain increased acceptance as a transformative technology and asset class, IFC Caribbean 2022 throws a spotlight on how the region is rapidly embracing the opportunities that the FinTech industry brings in both the private and corporate wealth spheres. Analysis by key practitioners from Conyers highlights the bespoke structuring solutions available in Cayman, BVI and Bermuda.
As well as detailed examination of these areas, we showcase the expertise of the region's centres jurisdiction by jurisdiction. The strength of the Cayman Islands trust industry in examined in detail by Bernadette Carey and Sarah-Jane Hall from Carey Olsen. Elsewhere, we discuss the success of the BVI’s investment funds offering; developments in Barbados’ regulatory regime; a new age of digital finance in Bermuda; and why the Bahamas is an ideal location for family offices.
So long as Caribbean IFCs remain engaged with emerging industries and market developments, they will continue to flourish on the international financial stage despite ongoing economic, political and environmental turbulence. As IFC Caribbean 2022 demonstrates, the region successfully continues to offer innovative and bespoke wealth management solutions and products to stay ahead of the curve.
Assistant Commissioning Editor