The Department of Economic Development (DED) has today announced a radical shake-up of Financial Services which will mean a more collaborative approach with industry and the creation of a new Public Private Sector promotional model allowing the sharing of resource and funding between all parties.

Working closely together the Chamber of Commerce and Government intends to create a new hybrid body to lead the development of the financial services sectors on the Island. The Government and private sector alliance will ensure that the sector can more effectively use the combined talents and resources of both industry and the civil service.

The new organisation called 'The Isle of Man Finance Partnership' will be led by Mike Hennessy, current CEO of the Chamber of Commerce. Government will initially be represented on the Board by Chairman Juan Watterson and Tim Craine, Director of the Business Development Agency.

It will be funded by Government but the unique structuring will free the organisation to pursue marketing and other commercial opportunities. The new organisation will be able to draw on the resources and marketing support from Government and the expertise and skills of the private sector. It will replace the previous Civil Service staffed Isle of Man Finance.

The core focus will be on creating sales opportunities for Isle of Man finance sector, whether supporting those on the Island or assisting them promoting overseas. It will have a key role in generating inward investment into the Island in the Finance Sector.

Following on from the appointment of Michael Charlton (Head of International Sales), working closely with industry, the new organisation will be looking to coordinate a programme of international visits focusing on both the private individual and corporate financial solutions which the Isle of Man is renowned for, in key business centres throughout Middle East, China and UK. It is intended that the programmes extended over the next two years will ensure that the reputation, commitment and the expertise of the Isle of Man is properly showcased in these k ey market areas.

The new body will have the ability to use a combination of internal staff, and use of highly expert contract resource to provide the optimum mix of skills and Government support. It will allow the individual finance sectors to mix and match the best solution to fit their industry and circumstances.

With this creation of an integrated Public Private Initiative, it will take the Isle of Man to new levels of public private cooperation and bring it in line with the best practice deployed in many of the leading business centres throughout the world. A new strategic body consisting of industry representatives will be instigated to help provide the required business focus.

Commenting on the appointment of the Chamber of Commerce, Mike Hennessy CEO, said:

'I am absolutely delighted that 'Chamber' will be spearheading this proposition on behalf of the Private Sector. The expertise on the Island is second to none and it will be our full intention to leverage every opportunity by utilising such a vast resource. Much has changed at Chamber in recent times and the timing of this partnership is perfect in many ways.'

Commenting, Minister for Economic Development, Allan Bell said:

'I am committed to a close working relationship between public and private sector. I really want to focus on tangible results and I am delighted that we will build on the current close working relationship and create a new era in Public Private Sector partnership. Success will be measured on results and we have the right structure in place to deliver them now.'

Commenting, Colin Kniveton, Chief Executive of Department of Economic Development, said:

'As I have always said, to be successful we need to support our businesses both in the products they sell and where they sell them. This change combined with other developments put in place during the past 12 months means we are putting together a structure which puts business at the heart of the Island's future. We have a fantastic story to tell and that needs to be supported with the right resources and in the right international market places working hand in hand with the private sector'

Commenting, Juan Watterson, Political Member for Financial Services, Department of Economic Development, said:

'I am delighted to be leading this project on behalf of the Department with the Chamber of Commerce. The next five years are going to be challenging times for the Isle of Man Government. We need to be committed to growing the economy to help bolster public funds. I am confident that this new dynamic model will provide the impetus for continued and consistent growth in the Financial Services Sector.'

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