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EXCLUSIVE: TCI Financial Services Sector has a NEW Management & Marketing entity; introduction is made by Finance & Investment Minister 

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By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer  

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, March 20, 2023 – It has been designed and assembled out of the spotlight and scrutiny of the public, but it’s mission proposes an appealing result:  the potential for millions in profit for the Turks and Caicos Islands through a new entity with the power to ‘Shape the future’ of the country’s financial services sector.  

That is how it was explained to Magnetic Media in an exclusive where another new engine is created; this one materializing in order to transform the TCIs No. 2 industry.  

The news of the previously unmentioned statutory body, ‘TCI Finance Ltd’ which is already in operation came directly from E Jay Saunders, Deputy Premier and Finance Minister.  

The board of TCI Finance Limited cuts a powerful and experienced figure, made up of top consultants in the financial field. Impressive, but birthed is another concept with woefully little public consultation or acquaintance and likely to face push back despite its touted advantages.  

As an explanation for the low-key entry onto the financial scene of TCI Finance Limited, DP Saunders said results from a 2018 KPMG study birthed the agency; the study was commissioned, and the public consultations run under the Sharlene Robinson-led Government Administration. Those consultations, however, drew largely from the professionals populating the banking industry and not the layperson.  It is likely that not many people, if any, will recall these deliberations making this report the first traceable introduction to the public of TCI Finance Ltd.   

The PNP administration, under the Minister of Finance whose remit it is to market the financial services sector, has dusted off the documents and breathed life into the entity, which has been operational, Saunders says, since February 2022.  

We were virtually introduced and spoke to members of that board to get a handle on exactly what TCI Finance Ltd stands for, what it plans to do, and who will keep it in check and on track.  

“TCI Finance Limited (‘TCIF’) was incorporated in early 2022 to promote and market the Turks and Caicos Islands as a welcoming, supportive, and well-regulated jurisdiction for international financial services,” said David Stewart, a 30-year-old lawyer and Co-Chair of TCI Finance.  

Its mission is built around the findings of a 2018 KPMG report on the Turks and Caicos which opened insight into a floundering financial sector and heralded a most certain flatlining of the industry without life-giving investment and serious promotion. Armed with the 49 recommendations in that report, TCIF’s main purpose at its barest, is to sell TCI as the best place to do financial business, chomping into the market that Cayman and the British Virgin Islands dominate so well.  

And successfully run, it stands to make the country tens of millions.  

It’s a big job, and that ‘welcoming and well-regulated reputation’ will need work to be cultivated as the country remains on the EU tax Blacklist. It’s something that advisor David Lewis is confident his company, Kroll, has under control.  

“Kroll is working closely with the Government and with the Financial Services sector to help TCI meet global standards and the expectations of international bodies and partners, including the OECD and the EU, and to support TCI’s broader objectives for its businesses and citizens,” he told us the following glowing commendations from Deputy Premier Saunders.  

As for the matter of where the money will come from; TCIF is a non-profit partially owned by the Government and the Finance Industry Association (FIA), explained Stewart, who chairs the FIA.  

FIA members include the Bar Association, the Accountancy Association, Bankers, Insurers, Money Transmitters and others involved in TCI financial services. They will provide 25 percent of TCIF financing; the rest will come from taxpayer dollars through the TCIG and to whom the TCIF will have to answer. Saunders told us the budget for TCIF was $1 million. 

Acknowledging the mammoth undertaking for this new entity to rebrand and to sell the Turks and Caicos to finance heavyweights worldwide, Stewart said the work had already begun. So far, the agency has:   

  • commissioned an international consultancy to help identify likely areas for growth  
  • recruited a high profile and senior banker from Europe to head TCIF    

Most importantly they say they will be creating opportunities for wealth building for islanders as well as give them access to the ‘very best international wealth management professionals.’ 

Stewart said the key to success was a strong public launch on which they were already working. The result should be visible on both local and international levels.  

“Our measures of success will be in investors won, and good quality and well-paid professional jobs for residents of TCI created, alongside the creation of a strong, reputable, and attractive brand aligned with and connected to our superb reputation as a luxurious, beautiful place to work, live and play,” he maintained.  

Should this ‘cauldron of innovation, collaboration, and implementation’ prove successful, not only could it increase the country’s revenue to never before seen heights, it could create a new largely untapped sector of growth in which TC Islanders could not only be employed but build generational wealth. 

Saunders says he wants to more than double the financial services revenue from $10.5 million in the 2020/21 financial year to $25 million in the next 6 years.   

Standing along with Stewart to execute this overhaul, is the rest of the board namely: 

  • Chair – E Jay Saunders (in his capacity as Minister of Finance)  
  • Vice-Chair – David Stewart (in his capacity as President of the FIA)  
  • Angela Musgrove (in her capacity as CEO of Invest TCI) 
  •  Athenee Harvey-Basden (in her capacity as PS, Ministry of Finance) 
  • Niguel Streete (in his capacity as CEO, Turks and Caicos Financial Services Commission) 
  • Drexwell Seymour, Certified Public Accountant  
  • Mr Marcus Samuel (in his capacity as Chair of the Bankers association) 
  • Sally-Ann Astwood (appointed by the Hon. Leader of the Opposition) 
  • Ryan Blain (on behalf of the accountancy association) 
  •  Rochelle Musgrove  
  •  Ervine Quelch (corporate development, former NIB board member) 

With the wheels already turning, it will bring new intrigue and possibly raise many questions once there is that formal launch and introduction of the entity.  

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International Community must address conflict between Israel and Iran

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Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer

With tensions between Israel and Iran at an all-time high, a United Nations affiliated group is urging for calm and dialogue as their violent actions can cause tragic devastation on innocent civilians.

According to Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), an organisation that is dedicated to promoting peace through civilian-led initiatives, “it is a clear indication that the greatest victims of war are innocent civilians. 

How could those lost lives ever be brought back? What could compensate for the outcry of children and the anguish of the youth in devastated dwellings?,” the group noted in a media statement, adding that  the international community should  take “decisive measures” to address the conflict.

It is also advocating for the establishment of “comprehensive international laws” to safeguard peace for future generations. “HWPL remains steadfast in its commitment to fostering dialogue and reconciliation, offering hope for a peaceful resolution to the conflict between Israel and Iran,” the group said.

HWPL is a non-profit organisation, with a mission to promoting peace through education, and advocacy. It has a global network spanning over 170 countries. The organisation works to build bridges of understanding and cooperation, striving towards a world free from conflict and violence.

According to reports in various international media outlets, Iran and its militant partners on April 13 initiated a large-scale attack against Israel through launching several hundred ballistic missiles and drones. The international society expressed concerns over the possibility of war between the two states, since Tehran’s direct attack on Israel was unprecedented.

Experts have pointed out that the attack on Israel was Iran’s response to an airstrike on the Iranian embassy in Syria on April 1, which killed seven military advisers including three senior commanders.

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CTO’s Sustainable Tourism Conference Presents Dynamic Study Tours to Promote Sustainable Practices

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The Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Conference (STC 2024), slated for April 22-24, 2024 in Grenada, will feature a series of exclusive study tours aligned with the conference theme, The 5 Ps – People, Planet, Prosperity, Purpose and Partnership. These tours have been thoughtfully curated to offer participants an enriching and unique opportunity to delve into innovative sustainability practices and glean insights intended to catalyze transformative action for a more resilient and sustainable Caribbean.

STC 2024 is jointly hosted by the Caribbean Tourism Organization in collaboration with the Government of Grenada, through the Grenada Tourism Authority, and will welcome a wide range of participants, including government officials, tourism professionals, environmentalists, members of the media and researchers.

This valuable addition to the conference will allow participants to visit various sites and interact with local communities, gaining firsthand knowledge of best practices in sustainable tourism management, conservation efforts, and community engagement. 

Study Tour Options:

  • The Underwater Sculpture Park/Grand Anse Artificial Reef Tour: Led by Aquanauts Grenada, guests dive into the intricate ecosystem of the Underwater Sculpture Park and Grand Anse Artificial Reef and learn about sustainable practices aimed at protecting and preserving these vital marine habitats.
  • Grand Etang Nature Tour: Dr. Guido Marcelle, an esteemed botanist, guides participants through the lush rainforests surrounding Grand Etang Lake to explore Grenada’s rich biodiversity and gain valuable insights into rainforest conservation efforts.
  • The Rasta Roots Expedition: Immersive Journey into Rastafari Culture and Lands: Led by Ras Ginga, an elder of the Nyahbinghi Tribe, guests experience the Rastafari culture firsthand, learning about organic living practices and farming practices of Grenada’s Rastafari community, complete with a taste of local culinary delights.
  • Mt. Parnassus Plantation and Cocoa Pod Botanicals: Experts Michael Jessamy and Tricia Simon guide participants through the cocoa and spice plantation, uncovering innovative applications of these crops in cosmetics and health products.

The conference’s diverse program, comprising presentations, panel discussions, workshops, study tours and networking opportunities, aims to foster collaboration and facilitate knowledge sharing to advance sustainable tourism in the Caribbean region.

Event sponsors and partners include interCaribbean Airways; Royal Caribbean International; Silversands Grenada; Six Senses La Sagesse, Grenada’s newest resort; and LINK Strategic Partners, an international strategic communications and community engagement consulting firm with offices across the U.S. and in Manchester, England.

 Visit caribbeanstc.com for further information about the conference and registration details. To learn more about the Grenada Tourism Authority, visit puregrenada.com.

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RTCIPF Observes World Down Syndrome Day

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On March 21st, 2024, the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force joined the international, regional and local communities in observing World Down Syndrome Day. 

Officers showed their support by wearing brightly coloured and mismatched socks to raise awareness. 

The head of the Safeguarding and Public Protection Unit, Assistant Superintendent of Police Grantley Williams, Training Manager Mrs Odessa Forbes and Media Relations Officer Denyse Renne visited the SNAP Centre and interacted with the students.

In a message to the TCI community, the RTCIPF noted that stereotypes perpetuate stigma and hinder inclusion, preventing individuals from reaching their full potential. 

Instead, the RTCIPF calls for individuals to foster an environment of acceptance and support where everyone is valued for who they are. 

By breaking down barriers and challenging misconceptions, we can create a more inclusive society where individuals with Down Syndrome are empowered to live fulfilling lives and contribute meaningfully to their communities and, by extension, the TCI. 

As law enforcement officers, we must protect and serve all members of society, regardless of their abilities. 

Let’s work together to ensure that individuals with Down Syndrome are treated with dignity and respect and that their rights are upheld.

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