On Friday 24th January, the Alliance of Isle of Man Compliance Professionals played host to hundreds of delegates for the 2014 AICP Manx State of the Nation Conference; a signature event for the Island’s compliance and risk professionals, executives, and directors alike to discuss the latest standards in corporate governance in an open and collaborative forum. James Shimmin, Compliance Officer, MLRO at Boston Group and AICP Financial Director discusses.

Despite heavy rain and a gentle Isle of Man breeze (gusts of 40-50 mph), over 200 delegates and speakers and I were confident that this year’s AICP Manx State of the Nation was once again sure to shine. Now in its ninth year, the AICP MSON aims to provide something new and different for all compliance and risk professionals, as well as a one-stop-shop for local executives to keep up to date with the latest developments in this dynamic industry, and this year was no exception.

With speakers coming from the law courts and financial centre of London, as well as key figures from amongst the Island’s regulatory and legislative community, together they provided invaluable insight into such pertinent topics as the Isle of Man Bribery Act, FATCA, Isle of Man Disclosure, and their likely repercussions globally.

Once again the AICP was honoured to have the Island’s Chief Minister Allan Bell provide the opening address, which all delegates agreed mixed the reality of the current financial and regulatory challenges the Island faces with clear optimism for the future. The AICP has been chosen for a number of years by the Island’s government to act as a platform for their first key note public address of the year, and it has consistently provided an opportunity to communicate the key political issues that face the Island and its financial community in the coming 12 months.

However, it is not often that a compliance conference plays host to a “film premiere”, which is why when Willis, one of this year’s major sponsors, provided a first viewing of their new corporate governance training film A Price Worth Paying, it was more than well received. From the warm reaction of the audience and range of discussion it prompted, it was clear that the film made many consider their own potential corporate governance deficiencies – definitely food for thought.

After the buzz of the film premiere and networking over lunch, the afternoon was spent in active debate at a series of breakout sessions where, inspired by a day’s presentations ranging from international bribery and corruption, risk management, money laundering, legislation and regulation, delegates were keen to offer their contribution in the new light of a successful conference.

The AICP would like to thank all sponsors, speakers and, of course, everyone in attendance for their contribution to the 2014 MSON. It is by attracting the long term support of key market players both on and off island, combined with the hard work of the volunteer management team, that the AICP continues to produce a conference which stands out from the crowd, ensures that it is excellent value for money and, as Chief Minister Bell declared, helps the Island “be the best to win the business.”