Tuesday, September 22, 2015

New Members Appointed to BVI International Arbitration Centre Board

The BVI FSC released information about the appointments of five inaugural members for the BVI International Arbitration Centre Board. The BVI International Arbitration Centre was established with the purpose to provide full-service support and facilities for arbitration and mediation proceedings. The first board members were appointed by the Cabinet of the British Virgin Islands on September 7; the newly appointed members are Mr. John Beechey, who became the Chairman of the Board, Mr. Mark Forte, Mr. Cherno Jallow, QC, Mr. Murray Smith and Ms. Felice Swapp.

Mr. John Beechey is an independent arbitrator, who was President of the ICC International Court of Arbitration from 2009 until June, 2015. Mr. Mark Forte is a Partner and Head of Litigation & Restructuring in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) office of Conyers Dill & Pearman. Mr. Cherno Jallow is the Director of Policy, Research and Statistics at the BVI Financial Services Commission. Mr. Murray Smith is a chartered arbitrator having extensive experience in commercial arbitration. Ms. Felice Swapp is the Chief Operating Officer of Harney’s.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Final Report Issued by Observer Mission on BVI 2015 General Election

Final report was issued on the 2015 general election held in the BVI in June, including an overview of the election observer mission, advance polling day, elections day, counting of votes, complaints and appeals, and participation of women and young people in the elections. The report, published by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association British Islands and Mediterranean Region, also observes the legal framework of the British Virgin Islands, election administration in the territory, candidate and voter registration, the campaign and the media, and ends with the list of eight recommendations.

The election observer mission recommended the introduction of fixed-term parliaments, and the code of conduct to be signed by candidates. It also offered to create a permanent independent Elections Commission which would provide democratic oversight of the Office of the Supervisor of Elections. Some recommendations related to the BVI legal framework, offering to consolidate various legal acts into a single piece of legislation, and to amend it to include the establishment, registration and regulation of political parties. The mission also provided recommendations on the introduction of finance regulations, on party and candidate advertising, voting process, the closing of the polls and the counting of votes.

Head of the mission stated that the BVI 2015 general election was genuine, vibrant and competitive, “providing the voters an opportunity to cast their votes in secret and express their will in a transparent, peaceful and orderly manner.”

Thursday, September 03, 2015

BVI FSC and Gibraltar FSC signed Memorandum of Understanding

The British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission confirmed in the Press Release the signing of Memorandum of Understanding with the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission. The signed document, concerning the supervision of Managers of Alternative Investment Funds, allows for the exchange of information between the two jurisdictions, on matters related to the supervision and oversight of AIFMs, their delegates and depositaries. So, under the MoU, BVI- and Gibraltar regulated funds can operate in both jurisdictions.

The Memorandum was signed on 13 July by Robert Mathavious, the Managing Director/CEO of the BVI FSC, and Samantha Barrass, CEO of the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission. It is stated in the document how information will be exchanged between the financial regulators, the ways how it will be used, as well as confidentiality, share of information, and the procedures of executing requests for assistance.

Currently, the BVI FSC has signed 27 MoUs related to the supervision of Managers of Alternative Investment Funds.