Key partners in economic growth

Tuesday, 01 February 2011
The 2011 STEP Caribbean Conference is stepping out of the ‘economic doom and gloom’ box and onto the world stage.

The theme for the 2011 conference is a true reflection of both where the region is going and the business temperature across the sector.

Like the rest of the global economy, the Caribbean region saw its share of business challenges during the past few years, but with the economy stabilising (for the most part) and optimism for the future on the rise, the STEP Caribbean Conference steering committee decided to look towards the positive and examine the influence that the region and international finance centres (IFCs) in general have on global economic growth.

A number of macro trends factored into the decision to move forward with this theme:

  • the increasing interdependency of economies on each other and the ‘domino effect’ that was evident when key economies faltered during the past few years;
  • the need for government bail-outs to ensure stability across wide regions and not just specific countries;
  • the increasingly mobility of high-net-worth individual and the effect that technology is having on this individual’s ability to be a global citizen; and
  • the blurring of boundaries between onshore and offshore.

The initial planning session for the 2011 conference was held in August a mere three months after the sell-out Barbados conference. The steering committee had undertaken a brand strategy process prior to the 2010 conference in order to ensure that the conference was continuing to stay relevant to its core audience while continuing to attract new delegates.

By strengthening its ties to the STEP Caribbean regional committee activities and committing to provide a more formal view of STEP Worldwide activities to regional members, the 2010 conference added a new dimension to its programme. Comments from delegates were extremely supportive of this new information flow and plans are underway to expand this component of the conference.

Over the years, the STEP Caribbean Conference has grown as the region has grown. Supported by a robust steering committee consisting of 13 jurisdictions, the mandate of the conference has always been to bring the world to the region and the region to the world.

Continuing to bring fresh new speakers and programme topics to the forefront has always been imperative and with planning well underway for 2011, the programme is shaping up to be a dynamic one. Striking a balance between technical topics and more macro issues is always a challenge and one that the steering committee grapples with each and every year.

This year, the conference is reflecting some of the work done by the IFC Forum and has invited them to participate in a macro session that explores the economic impact of IFCs. Robert Mathavious will further explore this topic and discuss the need for Caribbean jurisdictions to work together or face the consequences.

On the technical side, Wednesday morning will consist of ‘Ask the Experts’ sessions designed to provide a deeper dive into technical topics with an opportunity for discussion and comment.

As always a full slate of hospitality events are planned to give delegates an opportunity for networking and relaxation and the Sunday welcome dinner will showcase a well-known speaker who is sure to entertain and educate – much like David Chilton, last year’s headliner.

Set to run 16–18 May 2011 at the Fairmont Southampton, Bermuda, the 2011 conference promises to be a thought provoking and thorough overview of topics affecting the Caribbean region as well as the global trust industry.

For more information on the program or to register, visit

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Kerry Harris

Kerry Harris is President of the Canadian division of PR agency Weber Shandwick Worldwide.

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