The ICSA Jersey conference has become an established event in the local calendar and this year’s event showed why, with a large audience gathering to hear from well-respected, high profile speakers dealing with key topics of great relevance to the local business community.
Jersey’s Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst led the way with a keynote address which focused on the importance of the offshore finance industry to Jersey and why it is vital to maintain and indeed enhance the island’s reputation as a well regulated offshore finance centre. Senator Gorst observed that good corporate governance is key to enabling Jersey to deal with the many challenges which it continues to face and recognised that ICSA plays a vital role in equipping local company secretaries with relevant knowledge and skills which help them to keep the organisations for which they work in good order.
Continuing the theme of challenges faced by the island Emma Martins, the Channel Islands Data Protection & Information Commissioner, provided an overview of the requirements of the EU-proposed new data protection regime which would extend the scope of the EU data protection law to all foreign companies processing data of EU residents. Emma considered how the new regulation might interact with Jersey’s existing data protection regime and the impact that this could have on local businesses.
A lighter topic followed with Chris Chilton of Orchard PR exploring the use of social media to engage with customers and society. While promoting the benefits of this low cost media Chris also explained the potential dangers with some very amusing and thought-provoking real-life examples leaving the audience with a clear understanding of the value of a good social media strategy.
The coffee break gave attendees the opportunity to meet the many exhibitors and sponsors at the conference and explore the products and services which are available to help businesses to meet existing demands as well of some of the new ones that were becoming apparent as the morning progressed.
Dr Jeremy Cross, a leadership psychologist and director at Bailiwick Consulting Ltd, was next on the podium looking at how modern leadership styles are changing the face of business. Jeremy’s very entertaining presentation looked at the visionary leaders of previous times typified by his boyhood hero, the maverick Captain James T Kirk in contrast to the more democratic leaders of today who focus on people’s knowledge and skills to create a group commitment to an organisation’s goals. The example of such a leader? None other than Captain Jean Luc Picard.
Following Jeremy onto the stage was Colin Powell, Adviser on International Affairs to the Government of Jersey, who provided a very interesting and informative presentation on financial information reporting, no mean feat! Colin explained AEOI, FATCA, CRS and CAA and the impact they will have on Offshore Finance Centres, yet more challenges for the industry.
The final session saw Lorraine Young, ICSA UKRIAT President, chairing a panel consisting of Tania Angell FCIS, immediate ex-chair of the ICSA Jersey branch, Mehul Kotedia, Director of KYCme, Janice Drum, Head of Compliance at Sanne Trust and last but by no means least John Harris Director General JFSC. The panel considered the implementation of an effective culture of compliance which provided a fascinating insight into the different ways that companies apply the same rules. At the end of the session the emerging common sentiment was that an effective corporate culture starts at the top.
An excellent conference was followed by lunch which enabled attendees to mingle and discuss the topics covered and consider future challenges facing local businesses. Attendees indicated their appreciation of an event which enables them to keep up to date with issues affecting local businesses which is why the ICSA Jersey council holds monthly evening workshops throughout the year and a series of four lunchtime seminars twice a year. The next series commences in May and is available to everyone, for details and to book these and the evening workshops please visit www.icsajersey.org.je
Since becoming an Associate of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators in 1997 Robert Le Corre has successfully combined the knowledge gained in qualifying with his experience in Information Technology to service the business needs of the offshore finance industry. Until December 2014 he was a shareholder and CEO of Unity Software Limited, a successful software development company which provided solutions to companies in 15 global offshore jurisdictions. He has also been tutoring for over ten years and currently teaches three of the Offshore Finance Certificate modules at Highlands College.