Isle of Man transforms financial services

In an attempt to improve the Isle of Man’s commercial competitiveness, the Crown Dependency has established a new body, The Isle of Man Financial Partnership.

The Isle of Man Financial Partnership will replace Isle of Man Finance, formerly staffed by the civil service. The body will adopt a public/private structure, working closely with both the island’s chamber of commerce and its government.

The partnership will be led by Mike Hennessy, current chief executive of the chamber of commerce. Government will be represented on the board by chairman Juan Watterson and the director of the Business Development Agency, Tim Craine.

According to Colin Kniveton, chief executive of the department of economic development, this new model will allow resources and funding to be shared between the Isle of Man’s public and private sectors, improving efficiency and cost effectiveness.

The new organisation will be able to draw on the resources and marketing support from government and the expertise and skills of the private sector. As some employees have recently left the island’s civil service to work in the private sector, no redundancies will be made.

Kniveton believes that although the island has strong relationships with the private sector, these relationships have not yet flourished. He is hopeful the new partnership will allow them to do so.

Kniveton points to the island’s innovative practises in other areas, from its film industry (the island has produced over 90 feature films and TV dramas since 1995) to its space programme (the island is home to two research space stations).

The body’s core focus will be on creating sales opportunities for the Isle of Man finance sector, both supporting those on the Island and assisting in their promotion overseas, generating inward investment into the Island in the Finance Sector.

The Isle of Man currently specialises in life insurance, captive insurance, international pensions, banking, trust companies, fiduciary services and fund management.

Michael Charlton, the newly appointed head of international sales, is already in China promoting the Isle of Man’s financial sector. Part of Charlton’s role will be to coordinate a programme of international visits focusing on the private individual and corporate financial solutions available from the Isle of Man in key business centres throughout Middle East, China and UK.

It is hoped the partnership will bring the Isle of Man on a par with leading business centres around the world. A new strategic body consisting of industry representatives will be instigated to help provide the required business focus.

Watterson admitted that “the next five years are going to be challenging times for the Isle of Man Government” but said he was confident the new body would help support consistent growth in the Island’s financial services sector.

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