here is that when people are looking to use
Bermuda, or invest in Bermuda as a jurisdiction, we can help them to take advantage of
what Bermuda as a jurisdiction has to offer.
This helps Bermuda leverage its already sterling reputation.
My final observation is tied to the fundamental benefits derived from an increased
population and therefore the number of those
contributing towards Bermuda’s GDP. Whilst
many jurisdictions have failed at economic
citizenship, I believe we should examine
where some areas have failed and others have
succeeded and build on those lessons. I am not
trying to promote economic citizenship, but
I am trying to promote foreign investment by
individuals who either wish to use Bermuda as
a home or as a centre of commerce. In either
case, Bermuda has done a good job recently of
moving forward with several legislative initiatives addressing this issue.
Does the recent announcement that
Bermuda will host the 2017 America’s
Cup make you more optimistic about our
The America’s Cup is the catalyst that we
really, really needed. I commend the Minister of Economic Development and his team
for what they have achieved. It is now time
for Bermudians to come together, set aside
politics, set aside any differences and make
sure that we execute for the world to see. The
America’s Cup is not just an investment in
June 2017, but an opportunity to drive inward
investment in the months and years following it. It’s a great opportunity to promote
Bermuda as a tourist destination, a centre for
commerce and wealth storage.
What about the recent announcements
about new hotel developments? Do they
make you more optimistic—or will you
wait until the shovels are in the ground?
It’s no secret that the America’s Cup is
the impetus that Bermuda needed for these
developments to move forward. Having met
with some of the hotel developers, they are
certainly committed. Understandably, putting
together financial models is difficult in today’s
world and so I believe that the financing of
some of the properties will certainly have to be
creative. The government setting aside some
contingent guarantees will definitely increase
the probability of investment and success.
I think that we need to be willing to make
some concessions that we would otherwise not
have made in the past—almost as a catalyst.
As an example, outside of tax concessions,
there needs to be consideration with regards
to leases that are granted. Working in conjunction with government, if we have to do this
at a rapid pace, then we need to be a little bit
more flexible with regards to getting some
assistance from external contractors. Believe
me, I am not advocating for not employing
Bermudians. Employ and train Bermudians,
first and foremost. But we need to be flexible
enough to allow for external contractors to be
successful. As such, our immigration policies
might need to be a little more flexible, and
early indications from the ministry show they
are certainly supportive of the same.
I think a “give some to get some” policy is
an operating model.
What role can Clarien play in Bermuda’s
Domestically, there are individuals who
continue to struggle with meeting some of
the obligations that they have at present. We
will continue to work with them with creative
ideas that provide them the type of relief they
need to enjoy the economic growth and expansion that’s predicted. We will also continue
to be as flexible as we possibly can with regard
to our credit policies to support that.
From a competitiveness perspective, we will
continue to invest in our products and services
and our people in order to raise the bar across
the board. We want our customers and clients
to be receiving “best of class” advice and
services here on-island, so as not to have to
look overseas at other “offshore” jurisdictions
We will continue to invest in the community directly through lending opportunities. We
do have an appetite and capacity to lend—we
have a fairly aggressive budget with regard to
how and where we would like to lend. All of
this obviously ties directly into our long-term
We also give significantly to the community
through our corporate and charitable giving.
Despite any pressures on earnings or anything
else, we have not retracted at all with regard to
our onward investment into the community—
and we will continue to do that. We are, by
roots, a community bank.
From an international perspective, there
is certainly work to be done to increase
awareness of Bermuda beyond the “Bermuda
Triangle”—believe it or not! We have been
working hard in support of the Bermuda
Stock Exchange, the BTA, the Society of Trust
and Estate Professionals and other organisations in Bermuda to increase the promotion
of Bermuda as an international offshore
jurisdiction. The more business that comes to
our shore, the better off our economy will be.
We invested heavily in this in 2014 with great
success, and we will continue to invest to raise
Bermuda’s profile and that of our own in 2015
The America’s Cup is
the catalyst that we
really, really needed.
It is now time for Ber-
mudians to come
together, set aside
politics, set aside any
differences and make
sure we execute for
the world to see.