Senior finance industry practitioners will join Government representatives, regulators and guest presenters with regional expertise at a conference in Jersey later this month to assess and discuss the potential for securing new business in the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) economies.

Hosted and organised by Jersey Finance Limited in association with the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC), the one day event is entitled ‘Discovering new markets BRIC by BRIC’ and takes place at the Hotel de France on Wednesday 19th September.

There will be a keynote address from the States of Jersey’s Chief Minister Senator Ian Gorst who will provide an overview on Jersey’s developing relationship with the BRIC nations. This will be followed by a series of presentations from expert speakers who have been invited to Jersey to provide specific insights into doing business in these major economic centres of wealth creation. They are:

Professor Roy Rohatgi, director of the leading conference on international taxation held in Mumbai each year, a professor lecturing on international taxation at universities in Austria and the United States and a globally recognised expert on international taxation.

Colin Johnson, accountant at Grant Thornton, who leads CityUK’s Brazil Group, has lived and worked in Latin America for several years and has wide experience of doing business there. He is a member of the Financial Services committee of the Brazil Chamber of Commerce and acts as a financial champion for UK Trade & Investment.

Olga Boltenko, Zurich based Partner at Withers, who focuses on Russian, UK and international tax matters for wealthy entrepreneurs from Russia and the CIS nations. She is a qualified Russian lawyer and a solicitor of England and Wales and a former Russian tax inspector.

Hugh Li Davies, Senior Partner, Orient Asian Partners, he was the Ambassador leading the British team in the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group during the handover of Hong Kong in 1997 in a career in the British Diplomatic Service spanning 33 years, mostly spent in the Asian region. He is chairman of the China Association and a board member of the China-Britain Business Council.

Stuart Lawson, Executive Director and Senior Advisor, Ernst & Young, Russia and CIS, who spent 25 years in banking including two years between 2008 and 2010 as chief executive officer of HSBC Russia. For four years in a row from 2006 he was named ‘Russia’s Best Banker’ and since 2008 he has been a member of the supervisory board of the Russian Regional Bankers Association.

A panel session will follow the presentations on each of the regions in which speakers will be joined by specialist local practitioners with knowledge of the location. These panels and the conference as a whole will be moderated by leading financial journalist Anthony Hilton, City Editor, Evening Standard in London.

Geoff Cook, chief executive of Jersey Finance, will provide an assessment of why these regions are of increasing importance to Jersey and John Harris, Director General of the JFSC, will look at the regulatory risks associated with different markets.

Senator Ian Gorst, Chief Minister, commented: ‘Jersey has a world class reputation for financial services which has been built and sustained during several decades and the question for Government is how we support our industry in its efforts to diversify into new regions of the world, so that we bring lasting benefits to the economy and ultimately to residents of the Island. The conference provides an important forum for us to exchange views on how Jersey is channelling its efforts in order to promote itself in these regions and to hear more about the opportunities for the Industry.’

Geoff Cook added:

‘The Finance Industry appreciate that there are many opportunities in these fast growing regions of the world and as far as Jersey is concerned, we already have a presence and seen business levels rising in markets such as India and China. One of the challenges is how we approach Brazil and Russia to replicate that success while continuing to build on the business attracted from the Far East and India. This conference will examine the realities of finding and doing business in these important markets, discuss the products relevant to the intermediaries and their clients and will aim to help local firms evaluate both the opportunities and the risks.’

John Harris, said:

‘The conference today provides us with an ideal platform to explain the regulatory approach we are taking in each of these regions in more detail and to outline also where we identify risks and how the Commission intends to respond so that we ensure we maintain our high standards of supervision and oversight while Jersey looks to build business in these markets.’

Further details about registering as a delegate at the conference can be obtained from Claire Wilby at Jersey Finance on 01534 836000 or claire.wilby@jerseyfinance.je