Spotlight on the BVI - November 2020
Developing strong and stable local teams who can offer our clients the benefits of their experience and continuity of relationship and service has been a key pillar of our business for more than 40 years. Nick Bishop, Regional Managing Director for our Caribbean Region and head of our long-standing BVI office, outlines what he thinks makes our BVI office different.
Regional Managing Director, BVI
T: +1 284 494 2434
Thinking about giving your business to a faceless team in a high-rise? Think again.
When I’m talking to new clients abroad, I like to show them a photo of our office. It’s not a shiny high-rise. It’s a triplet of buildings on a typical street in the British Virgin Islands. You could walk past it, and not even know that we’re part of a global company. And that, I think, is why we can give such great service to our clients. We’re a local company with a global outlook.
Of course, our people are experts. We’re highly qualified and able to draw on Trident Trust’s vast pool of global knowledge and experience. Come inside our office – we’re always happy to welcome visitors – and you’ll see that on the inside, it’s modern and equipped with the very latest technology. But we’re also local people. We live and work right here. And that means we know how things work in the British Virgin Islands.
We’re not a faceless call centre. Many of our staff have been with us for a long time: three of our colleagues in the office have more than 30 years’ service, and we’ll soon have four. They have grown with the business, understanding where it is and where it’s going.
Because of that, we also have numerous clients who have trusted us for many years. They like the fact that they can have a long-term relationship with a named member of staff. Our clients know that they’re not responding to an email address, but to a real person.
But along with that personal touch, we’re also professionals. Our team includes qualified lawyers, accountants and corporate service personnel. They’re all engaged in continuous personal development, ensuring their knowledge is up to date in this complex and rapidly changing sector. So, our clients know they are getting the best possible support.
For example, we’ve recently trained two sets of staff in ethics and governance. Twelve senior staff members have become Chartered Directors after completing a rigorous six-week programme of corporate governance. Ethics, good governance and integrity are a hallmark of our business: clients know they’re in safe hands. That’s why we also carry out systematic additional training on topics such as AML compliance, anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing compliance.
And every week, we hold Café Conversations in Café Trident, our lunchroom and shared team space. Everyone gets together with an internal or external trainer to discuss issues such as developing their skills as a corporate administrator, or evolving regulatory frameworks. This knowledge sharing means we don’t work in silos. Every client gets the benefit of our shared experience.
Our clients use us because we really know the British Virgin Islands, and we use that knowledge to make doing business here easier. We have deep links and great relationships with decision-making bodies and key stakeholders. Our legal director Shelly Bend is a former member of the BVI Bar Association’s Executive Council, and we’re a fixture at the local branch of STEP (the Society of Trust and Estates Practitioners). I’m a director of BVI Finance, a local body set up to promote the BVI as a financial centre, and we have also been represented on the council of the Association of Registered Agents and the BVI Association of Compliance Officers.
We understand what’s going on in the legal and governance landscape, and we can use that specialised local knowledge to give our clients the best possible service. We’re always happy to intervene on behalf of our clients when it’s appropriate.
That personal touch is also about doing business in the way that suits our clients – not the other way around. In our BVI office, we can discuss your business in English, German, Spanish, Portuguese and French and we have colleagues around the world who can help in other languages. We’re at our desks by 7am and we stay until we’ve got the job done. So, we’re there when a decision needs to be made quickly and you need help right now.
And just like that high-rise, our office is a great place to visit. So, if you’re in the beautiful British Virgin Islands – for the sailing, perhaps – then give us a call. We’d love to show you around, talk to you face-to-face, and find out how we can give you the best possible advice and guidance.