October 31, 2007
Premier of Nevis and Minister of Finance the Hon. Joseph Parry, told practitioners in the financial services sector on the island that they should evaluate the industry and endeavor to develop the necessary expertise to do a good job.
The Premier made the statement while he delivered an address on October 30, 2007, at the Red Cross Conference Centre in Charlestown, at a closing ceremony of a two-day Mutual Funds Administration Seminar. It was organised by the Nevis Financial Services Regulation and Supervision Department and financed by the Nevis Island Administration (NIA).
“You have to give advice, serious advice and that advice can lead to a loss of millions of dollars or it can lead to a gain of millions of dollars…For us Nevisians and as a government, it is important that we add value to the product. We cannot be satisfied with just registering companies, LLCs and IBCs but we must be bigger players in the market, whereby we are able to have mutual funds, insurance and whatever we have. We must be experts in dealing with these matters. So it is very important that we train ourselves and that we are ready for the big time. “We (NIA) would like to impress upon you, the practitioners, that we are serious. We would like you to be serious because there are people out there who are looking for weaknesses. If we make mistakes it will be published all over the world and it can do serious damage to a small jurisdiction like Nevis,” the Premier said.
Mr. Parry disclosed that he had had an interest in the mutual fund administration, since he had been exposed to the product when he served as chairman of the mutual fund at the Bank of Nevis International. He said he understood the need to have the experience and also stressed the importance of marketing the product.
“With the offshore services we have to market openly and strategically. As we market we need to have the kind of products that will attract people here, the kind of products that will make people believe that it’s worthwhile to establish on Nevis. I know that the practitioners here may not be happy to hear this but it is a useful to attract some big players as well.
“The Four Seasons made a big difference in the tourism industry on Nevis. One or two big names can make a difference on the island of Nevis and if we have this good reputation of proper regulation, we may be able to attract one or two such players. This is what I am trying to do and I expect and anticipate this is what the marketing division and all of us are trying to do,” he said.
He said the NIA had struggled with the Mutual Fund Act for some time but would shortly make minor amendments to the legislation.
The seminar provided the training opportunity to regulatory personnel and service providers in preparation for the implementation of the mutual fund product. Practitioners were exposed to a range of considerations as they examined how mutual funds were set up and administered, pricing and valuation, dealing methods, fund distribution, reporting and anti-money laundering considerations.
Head of the Regulation and Supervision Department of the Nevis Financial Services, Miss Patricia Reidwaugh, acknowledged that while it was not possible to cover all aspects and create experts on fund administration within the two days, the course had laid a solid foundation for continued and intensive training.
While she registered her disappointment that more industry practitioners did not take advantage of the training opportunity, she opined that those who did would have benefited significantly and had placed themselves in a position of competitive advantage.
All of the 16 participants received their certificates from Premier Parry while course facilitator Mr. Chris Warner of Investment Education PLC presented the winning group for the test quizzes held during the seminar with a team prize.