The challenges of running a highly regulated financial services business do not get any easier. In recent years we’ve had to deal with far-reaching tax changes like FATCA and Common Reporting Standards (CRS), ever evolving controls around anti-money laundering and preventing terrorist financing and then this year GDPR regulations and an increasing awareness of the risks associated with cybercrime.
Add to this the political uncertainty caused by Brexit, a divided UK government, an unpredictable US administration and escalating tension between the US and China with the threat of trade wars and softening global markets. All this creates quite a complex context to navigate.
Whilst there is little we can do to control these external challenges, we spend a great deal of time anticipating how these various influences will combine to create the market in which we operate. For anyone in business, this is one of the most important aspects of the job; understanding not just how the market is today, but how it’s likely to be in the months and years ahead.
At a jurisdictional level, the Isle of Man has done well to chart its own course through the turbulence of the past decade or so. In the early 2000s, the government put in place its Freedom to Flourish initiative. This was in effect a brand positioning for the island, built on four key values of:
- Independent thinking
- Resourcefulness, and
- Community loyalty (helping others to flourish)
Since the inception of this initiative, the island has done remarkably well in diversifying its economy, achieving growth in almost every quarter for the past 30 years and continuing to tackle the many challenges that it has faced. All the while, the Island and its people have demonstrated and excelled in these key values.
It is most unlike the people of the Isle of Man to let themselves get too carried away in self-congratulatory indulgence. They are, overall, a very humble and level headed people. Despite this, the Isle of Man Newspapers Awards for Excellence once again highlighted so much that is good about the Island, its people and the many companies large and small that call the island home.
The annual awards have become one of the social highlights of the year for the last 13 years. The awards successfully display a variety of music, dance, comedy, joy for the winners and pride for those that were short-listed. They bring together people from the private, public and third sectors, young and old, to celebrate those organisations and individuals that are excelling in whatever they do. Masterminded by Trudi Williamson MBE and Richard Butt of IOM Newspapers, they manage to put on a show that gets better every year.
It was a very proud moment for Capital International Group to win the prestigious Freedom to Flourish award. This is the last award of the evening and is presented by the Chief Minister and I was honoured to collect the trophy on behalf of the Group. Whilst not every one of my colleagues was there to watch the ceremony, we appeared to get one of the loudest cheers of the evening when the winner was announced. The Group has demonstrated all of the Freedom to Flourish values for many years and it was a wonderful tribute to be recognised for our achievements.
We are not the kind of people to beat our chests at Capital, but I do want to take a moment to thank our loyal clients for the trust they’ve placed in us over the years, our intermediaries that refer more and more business to us every year, the shareholders for the belief and support that they offer to the management team and most of all I want to thank all of my colleagues in the Isle of Man and in our office in Cape Town, South Africa. I ask an awful lot of them all. I push them to continuously improve and to give of their best and they always do so, with a sense of humour and pride in their work.
Being true to the Freedom to Flourish principles, we expect 2019 to be a very exciting year for the Group, but for now we are focused on finishing 2018 strongly for our clients.
Disclaimer: The views thoughts and opinions expressed within this article are those of the author, and not those of any company within the Capital International Group (CIG) and as such are neither given nor endorsed by CIG. Information in this article does not constitute investment advice or an offer or an invitation by or on behalf of any company within the Capital International Group of companies to buy or sell any product or security.