12 December 2017Bermuda analysis

BDA delegation targets growth from LatAm region

The growth of captives business from Latin America was one of the targets of a delegation from Bermuda, which has just completed a business development trip to Miami, regarded as a growing hub for business stemming from conduit for Latin and South America.

The delegation to Miami included representatives from the Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA) and the Ministry of Economic Development. They conducted several days of talks and presentations in the US city in which they detailed the depth and breadth of industry sectors on the island, as well as recent legislative products and sectors, such as such as the 2016 launch of Limited Liability Company (LLC) structures, and developing initiatives in the areas of fintech and cryptocurrency.

Among participants with Webber were Lydia Dickens, a BDA board member and senior manager of the Business Development Unit (BDU) of the Ministry of Economic Development; Michelle Wolfe, managing director of Bermuda-based Meritus Trust Company, and Lynesha Lightbourne, BDA Business Development Coordinator.

"We're seeing a lot more work coming from Latin America, and Miami is clearly a conduit for Latin and South America in the way capital is deployed and how international transactions are structured," said BDA CEO Ross Webber. "Law firms are gatekeepers on jurisdictional decision-making, so getting on the radar of influential firms is important, and their input helps us shape a more effective business-development playlist."

Dickens added: “If promoting our brand and products is our goal, then this is a great road to get that job done. Clients depend on law firms' advice on products and services. Firms can also inform us about what their clients are looking for, which helps make Bermuda more competitive. We need to respond to market demands and conditions through innovation, and it's an ever-changing landscape."

Miami, whose tax base increased an estimated 37 percent over the past three years, according to Mayor Suarez, is the acknowledged US hub for introductions to high-net-worth Latin American families and individuals from the Caribbean and Central and South America.

"Bermuda is well placed to capitalise on our trust legislation and infrastructure that can assist these families and their future generations," said Wolfe, whose company serves significant LatAm clientele. "It is critical we continue to foster relationships with introducers and advisors who are courted by our Caribbean counterparts on a regular basis. We were made to feel extremely welcome and encouraged with the potential for future business opportunities."