I had the pleasure of attending STEP Jersey’s AGM and 25th anniversary celebration this week. STEP Jersey is one of our largest branches, with over 1200 members, and is also one of our most active. Not only does it host many well-attended events, but it works closely with government, regulators and others to ensure the jurisdiction maintains its position as a respected international financial centre.
Indeed it is fair to say that STEP Jersey plays an integral and important role in the economic life of the island, with the trust industry one of the largest local employers.
Much of the discussion focused on how to ensure that STEP, both locally and internationally, could maintain the success of its first quarter century well into the next. In conversations over a most enjoyable traditional cream tea (with the welcome, but less traditional, addition of a glass of Prosecco) I was struck by the confident tone of many senior professionals who were present.
They fully acknowledge the challenges that increased transparency and a consequent explosion in compliance costs will bring. Rather as with Brexit in the UK, however, the mood was generally ‘what is done is done – so let’s get on with it.’
I am delighted to see that STEP Jersey is setting up a policy-focused committee to ensure there are effective links with local regulators and others to work through the rapid changes now underway.
The team at STEP Worldwide will continue to give STEP Jersey (and other branches working on these issues) all the support we can in helping develop a coherent and well-informed strategic approach to the trust industry in the new age of transparency.