Bajan market ready for Latin American investors

A leading wealth manager says Barbados has the right climate to attract investors out of the Latin American market, as billionaires there continue to seek international investment options.

Jerome Dwight, managing director and market head for the Caribbean and Latin America with RBC Wealth Management, has however warned that there are some areas on the island in need of improvement.

Making a presentation on the final day of the International Business Week 2014 conference at the Hilton today, Dwight pointed out that there was a growing number of billionaries in Latin American countries, especially Brazil, adding that given its close proximity, its maturity when it comes to investment options, and its real estate offerings, Barbados was an ideal location for these investors.

President and Chief Executive Officer of JLT Barbados Ricardo Knight moderating one of the sessions.
President and Chief Executive Officer of JLT Barbados Ricardo Knight moderating one of the sessions.

Speaking on the topic Barbados’ Emerging Ties and Opportunities with Latin America, Dwight said the island currently had some good systems in place in terms of taxation and legislation among others.

However, he said a more holistic approach should be employed to ensure that various aspects of the business environment, including financial sector development options, human capital and infrastructure are constantly improved.

“I think we need to pay attention to all these factors . . . . We need to have a macro-economic environment that is stable with a strong credit rating, reputation of the Central Bank and monetary investment policy [and] policies that do not create confusion in the marketplace,” said Dwight, adding that “capital mobility is a big factor as well”.

He said Barbados should strive to “create an environment where wealthy people can work and live and bring their families”.

“Latin Americans want to build trust and . . . there is really an opinion at this point that we need to build trust with that market segment and show them what Barbados has to offer,” added Dwight.

The wealth management official later told Barbados TODAY that there was no need for alarm about anti-money laundering and other types of corruption.

“We need to protect our reputation as a safe and well regulated environment. So regardless of the country that wealth comes from we should be very cautious. I don’t think it is just a Latin America issue. It is global. As service providers on the island we all have a part to play in maintaining the reputation. So that is certainly an issue that any service provider, whether you are a bank, accounting or law firm, must be conscious of,” he added.

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