We have seen that, rather than slowing down change, the impact of the pandemic has been to accelerate it across many features of the industry, whether you are looking at sustainable finance, digitalisation and the way we transact business or the requirement for new skills.

For example, in one of our panel sessions, the move to digital was described as like a moving truck without brakes. You can try to overtake it or at best jump aboard as it comes alongside, but if you try to stop it, you will be overrun. Meanwhile, that sense of change was captured in comments from another of our participants who, as a Jersey lawyer, took part online in a litigation case in a Bermudan Court, with a judge based in the Cayman and barristers in London representing clients from all over the world.

Speed of change was a theme that was characteristic of many of the sessions held during ‘Global Jersey – International Perspectives’, a day-long series of discussions involving nearly 30 contributors, specialists in their respective fields from around the world. It was a day for thought-provoking discussion which was not always focussed on the role of IFCs but on the wider picture for global finance and where it is heading.

Whether it was discussing the rise of challenger banks and the digital transformation underway in the banking sector in the GCC and other markets, the impact of the next generation of thinking on investment strategies and resolving other conflicts in the private wealth sector, the influences on the choice of domicile in the alternative funds sector, or the drive to make environmental, social and governance a priority in all these sectors; the best ways of minimising political risk and the role of women in wealth management, these matters were at the top of the agenda amongst our assembled group of experts. You can watch any of the sessions by visiting Webinars on Demand.

By the end, I was heartened by the fact that Jersey had responded to these challenges as they were outlined during the day. We have a new sustainability strategy and we have set new goals to reach by 2030. Jersey service providers have adapted to the new ‘virtual’ world to meet their clients’ needs, and we are benefiting from some long-term strategic thinking which included our government investing in the digital infrastructure that places us second in the world for broadband speed. Our regulator is set to launch a fully online registry, which supports our commitment to transparency and is a further marker in Jersey’s journey to be a digital-first location.

And to support many of these objectives, we have a Digital Academy hosted by Digital Jersey providing the technology and skills necessary for the workforce in the years ahead.

Sixty years is a milestone we are proud to celebrate. Since its infancy, the finance industry has evolved and developed to enable Jersey to become a quality jurisdiction of choice. But there’s no resting on laurels as this conference made clear. While we must offer stability, high standards and probity, we have to continue to innovate and invest in the future and respond quickly to the speed of change to remain in pole position amongst IFCs, globally.