Bermuda LatAm growth via ‘conduit’ for the region Miami


A delegation from Bermuda, which included representatives from the Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA) and the Ministry of Economic Development, have offered an upbeat message on the potential of Bermuda gaining more business from Latin America following several days of meetings and business development in Miami.

The meetings were part of a three-day visit to Miami, a growing hub for business stemming from conduit for Latin and South America, led by the BDA. They included a full slate of discussions with civic and business leaders to explore mutual synergies and business interests between Bermuda and the region.

Among participants with Webber were Lydia Dickens, a BDA board member and senior manager of the Business Development Unit (BDU) of the Ministry of Economic Development; Michelle Wolfe, managing director of Bermuda-based Meritus Trust Company, and Lynesha Lightbourne, BDA Business Development Coordinator.

Meetings featured firm partners with specialities in a broad range of relevant industry practices ranging from insurance to private equity and family offices. Meetings were held with the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber. Further meetings targeting the superyacht and high-net-worth services industries were held at the Miami offices of law firms Greenberg Traurig, Holland & Knight, and Hamilton, Miller & Birthisel.

"We're seeing a lot more work coming from Latin America, and Miami is clearly a conduit for Latin and South America in the way capital is deployed and how international transactions are structured," said BDA CEO Ross Webber. "Law firms are gatekeepers on jurisdictional decision-making, so getting on the radar of influential firms is important, and their input helps us shape a more effective business-development playlist."

The BDA was able to detail the depth and breadth of industry sectors on the island, Bermuda's top regulatory reputation and cooperative environment, as well as recent legislative products and sectors, such as such as the 2016 launch of Limited Liability Company (LLC) structures, and developing initiatives in the areas of fintech and cryptocurrency.

"If promoting our brand and products is our goal, then this is a great road to get that job done," noted Dickens, who drives policy development and legislative reform at the BDU. "Clients depend on law firms' advice on products and services. Firms can also inform us about what their clients are looking for, which helps make Bermuda more competitive. We need to respond to market demands and conditions through innovation, and it's an ever-changing landscape."

Miami, whose tax base increased an estimated 37 percent over the past three years, according to Mayor Suarez, is the acknowledged US hub for introductions to high-net-worth Latin American families and individuals from the Caribbean and Central and South America.

"Bermuda is well placed to capitalise on our trust legislation and infrastructure that can assist these families and their future generations," said Wolfe, whose company serves significant LatAm clientele. "It is critical we continue to foster relationships with introducers and advisors who are courted by our Caribbean counterparts on a regular basis. We were made to feel extremely welcome and encouraged with the potential for future business opportunities."

Bermuda Business Development Agency, Ross Webber, Latin America, Bermuda, Miami

Bermuda Re