The annual KPMG Islands Group (KIG) Conference was hosted in the Channel Islands for the first time in its history.

The 85 strong delegation, including 12 from Guernsey, met in Jersey to debate cross jurisdictional issues, including tax systems, transparency, disruptive forces affecting the islands, KPMG and its clients, and the future for global markets generally.

The symposium took place from 17th to 20th May at The Radisson Hotel and brought together KPMG country leaders, partners and directors from across the KPMG Islands Group. Presentations were made by representatives who travelled from as far afield as Bermuda and The Bahamas, as well as global heads from around the KPMG network.

The conference enjoyed informative presentations from senior global leaders from the KPMG network such as Tony Thompson (EMA CEO), Alwin Magimay (UK Head of Digital), Jane McCormick (EMA Head of Tax), David Conder (Global People, Performance & Change), Leif Zierz (Global Head of Deal Advisory) and Isabelle Allen (Global Head of Markets).

The agenda also featured a number of external speakers such as Guernsey’s Treasury and Resources Minister Gavin St Pier, Jersey’s Chief Minister Ian Gorst, and Senator Philip Ozouf (Assistant Chief Minister with responsibility for Financial Services, Digital, Innovation and Competition).

Senator Ian Gorst’s speech opened the conference and kick started the debate on how island economies deal with the fiscal challenges they face.

A thought-provoking debate on the challenges of the digital world was led by KPMG’s UK Head of Digital Alwin Magimay, and Paul Masterton, Chairman of Digital Jersey Limited who were joined on

a panel by Jason Laity, Partner, KPMG in the Channel Islands. Paul and Alwin delivered thought leadership on the topic, and a wide ranging debate was held over whether the Channel Islands should be focusing on FinTech, eGaming or eHealth. High growth opportunities and the ambition for the Islands to become leading FinTech and eHealth centres were identified.

One of the most prominent tax leaders in the UK, KPMG’s Jane McCormick, presented on the second day of the conference. She was particularly vocal on the topics of tax morality and tax transparency, and the need to engage with those who do not look upon jurisdictions such as the Channel Islands favourably. The debate with Deputy Gavin St Pier and Senator Ozouf highlighted the benefits of such engagement and collaboration around common challenges.

Mark Thompson, Chairman, KPMG in the Channel Islands, says:
‘I was delighted to be able to host the conference in the Channel islands and give our guests a flavour of what our islands have to offer. The feedback from our fellow partners, who all come from similar islands, was extremely positive, not just of the Jersey hospitality, but they were also impressed with the quality of our politicians who addressed them.’

KPMG KIG Conference resized