Almost 450 industry professionals came to 8 Northumberland Avenue in London last week to watch our expert speakers take to the stage for the second of our flagship conferences, entitled ‘A New Harmony’. 

As always, the topics up for debate were thought provoking. In particular, Cambridge University Professor of International Relations, Jason Sharman, provided food for thought with his stance on ever increasing regulation despite a lack of substantive assessment to support the effectiveness of what is already in place. Specifically public beneficial ownership registers, in a number of cases, were denounced as largely ‘window dressing’, echoing our thoughts on models that rely solely on self-reporting. He further added that the ‘industry of numbers’ often resulted in misleading estimates of illicit activity. 

Richard Hay, partner at Stikeman Elliot, delivered an engaging keynote suggesting that growth in global wealth combined with London’s continued dominance as a financial centre and Jersey’s successful experience in implementing anti-money laundering and financial crime initiatives could turn Brexit into a sizeable opportunity for Jersey to provide access to highly valuable global capital as the UK’s negotiations progressed. 

The perennial debate over public registers raged on during the first panel session with not only their effectiveness called into question but also the degree to which they infringe an individual’s right to privacy. The second panel session addressed innovation within wealth management, and delivering stability and certainty for investors in particular with relation to Jersey’s latest amendments to its trust legislation and implementation of its Charities Law. 

With turns from broadcaster Nick Robinson on Brexit and behavioural economist Tim Harford on failing in order to succeed, it was a fascinating day that no doubt generated a number of talking points at the networking reception. 

Significant time and energy are put into all our conferences and it is wonderful to see the final event come-off so successfully. With a general election looming and the countdown to Brexit well under-way, it will be interesting to see how 2018’s conference unfolds.