'Panama Papers' seen topic du jour at Jersey Finance event

'Panama Papers' seen topic du jour at Jersey Finance event

The expected long-term fall-out from the recent leak of some 11.5 million confidential documents from a Panamanian law firm is expected to be a key topic of discussion at a London conference next week, organised by Jersey Finance.

One of the keynote speakers at the annual Private Wealth Conference is Prof Jason Sharman, one of the three co-authors of Global Shell Games: Experiments In Transnational Relations, Crime, And Terrorism, a 2014 book that, according to its Amazon.com summary,   “attempts to unveil the sordid world of anonymous shell corporations”.

“Posing as twenty-one different international consultants, the authors approached nearly 4,000 services in over 180 countries to discover just how easy it is to form an untraceable company,” the Amazon.com description continues.

As part of his presentation next week, Prof Sharman, pictured, who is scheduled to take up the Sir Patrick Sheehy Chair in International Relations at Cambridge University next January, will discuss the findings of his latest research. This “focuses on the roles of central registries and licenced intermediaries in combatting serious financial crimes”, according to Jersey Finance.

As reported,  Jersey and its fellow Crown Dependencies – Guernsey and the Isle of Man – as well as the 14 British Overseas Territories have been put on notice by the UK Government that it will be expecting them to disclose the beneficial owners of all companies registered on their shores.

A remaining question is whether these jurisdictions will agree to permit such beneficial ownership registries being made public, which few are keen to do. Jersey, for example, has had such a registry since 1989, but currently only shares the information it contains with law enforcement agencies and other official organisations.

Also scheduled to participate in next week’s conference is Stephanie Flanders, former BBC economics editor and current chief UK and Europe asset management market strategist at JP Morgan, who will moderate two discussion panel sessions.

The half-day Jersey Finance conference, entitled “Guiding Lights”, will take place at 8 Northumberland Avenue on Wednesday, 27 April.