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Jersey Finance Leads Vital Discussions on Family Office Governance, Succession Planning, and ESG Alignment

Jersey Finance, an award-winning international financial centre, held an event with family office experts from Bahrain and the wider Gulf region, exploring the vital realms of succession and governance within family offices.

The roundtable style event, in partnership with Trowers & Hamlins, focused on the impact on single-family and multi-family offices in Bahrain and the region. It highlighted the fragmentation of ownership among larger families and the new regulations introduced by the Central Bank of Bahrain for multi-family offices.

Key speakers at the event included Faizal Bhana, Director – Middle East, Africa and India, from Jersey Finance, Brian Howard, Resident Managing Partner, Bahrain, Trowers & Hamlins, and Richard Jordan, Partner, Trowers & Hamlins.

The attendees were honoured to hear from Manal Ashoor from the Central Bank of Bahrain(CBB) who provided an in-depth talk on the Family Office Service License regulation issued in September 2023 by the CBB.

The current issues and developments in international family offices were debated in a panel discussion, moderated by and Richard Jordan, Partner from Trowers & Hamlins, with a range of family office experts from IQ-EQ, Ogier, PwC Middle East, Praxis, and RP Group.

The discussion delved into the challenges families encounter when tackling internal business issues and the obstacles hindering them from taking required action. Emphasis was placed on the significance of family governance, business succession, and involving the second and third generations in these discussions.

Additionally, the event addressed topics such as family business legacy, philanthropy, and the role of third-party advisors.

Furthermore, the conversation encompassed ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) considerations, market asset allocation, and investment strategies. Particularly noteworthy was the exploration of differing views between generations and the imperative need for alignment in this regard.

During the event, Faizal Bhana, Director – Middle East, Africa, and India, Jersey Finance, highlighted the strategic importance of family enterprises in Bahrain’s economic prosperity.

He said: “Family businesses play a pivotal role in contributing to the country’s GDP and job creation. However, one of the challenges they encounter is their reluctance to address management and governance issues.”

فيصل بهانا، مدير إدارة الشرق الأوسط وأفريقيا والهند في جيرسي فاينانس، وبريان هوارد، الشريك في شركة “تراورز وهاملينز” في البحرين

Bhana highlighted that the purpose of the event was to explore the barriers preventing families from taking the essential steps to address these challenges.

Richard Jordan, Partner at Trowers & Hamlins, contributed to the discussion by emphasising the role of family governance frameworks and protocols in facilitating the process. He added that the frameworks and protocols can address various aspects, including succession planning, family business legacy issues, and philanthropy.

The event offered significant insights and potential solutions to the challenges while also concentrating on identifying and resolving the current issues. It served as a forum for experts and professionals to deliberate on the importance of family governance, succession planning, and managing governance matters within family enterprises. Furthermore, it outlined strategies to navigate the intricate legal, governance, and structural aspects, ensuring sustained success in family offices over the long term.

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