The Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance has outlined how the agency worked to overcome the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and, with anticipated increased funding from the States of Guernsey, will be seeking to develop further during 2021.
Rupert Pleasant was speaking at his first Industry Update event in Guernsey as Chief Executive, having taken up the role in May last year.
He explained to an audience of more than 200, allowed to gather together in a venue in Guernsey due to the island's largely Covid-free status, that the island's financial services industry had done well during the past year and was well positioned for further growth.
"We demonstrated safety, security, stability and resilience through our response to Covid. It has been almost seamless business as usual for the past year, and we should not underplay what a great position we are in. There is now huge interest in Guernsey and we need to capitalise on this.
"Our messaging is good and on target. Green and sustainability as a golden thread through our strategy is starting to gain recognition. We are a force for global good."
Mr Pleasant said that, in the absence of business travel, since taking up his post he had conducted an audit of the agency's strategy and activity both in Guernsey and overseas.
"In conjunction with the overall strategy, do we have representatives on the ground in the right places? If we are in the right places, do we then have the right people on the ground? There have been a number of changes to strategic locations, and we are hoping to continue this momentum in 2021 and beyond," he said.
This includes greater support for off-island initiatives through the development of Guernsey-based steering groups.
Guernsey Finance has been put forward for enhanced funding by senior States members as part of the island's attempt to "revive and thrive" following Covid-19. That budget process is ongoing, but Mr Pleasant outlined his plans to use an enhanced budget to develop the agency and, by extension, opportunities for the finance sector in Guernsey.
"We are passionate about what we do at Guernsey Finance, and we believe that there is a very bright future for the industry as a whole going forwards," he said.
"I do believe it's time for more aggressive messaging – we have a great message to get out there, but a limited window to exploit it."
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