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'MANX STATE OF THE NATION’ - Annual Compliance Conference Highlights Collaboration

20 February 2024

PwC Isle of Man were delighted to be the lead sponsor for the 10th successive year of the Manx State of the Nation Compliance Conference hosted by the Alliance of Isle of Man Compliance Professionals (AICP). Held once again at the Comis Hotel on Friday 2 February 2024, attendance reached the venue’s capacity of 235. 


The annual conference brought together a variety of local and international speakers and contributors who shared their thoughts on a range of important topics and trending insights with the local compliance, risk, and governance community. 


The Island’s Chief Minister, Alfred Cannan MHK, delivered the opening keynote address with commentary on the Island Plan and Economic Strategy, including the target of increasing the population to 100,000 by 2027. He updated delegates on the current status of the Beneficial Ownership register, outlining the island’s close coordination with the Channel Islands on this matter.


A varied programme followed with guest speakers from across the private and public sectors including PwC Isle of Man, HSBC, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), the Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC), Human Risk Ltd, and DQ Advocates.


The Isle of Man Financial Services Authority (FSA) were first to the stage led by Bettina Roth, its Chief Executive. Key developments and updates in the local and international regulatory landscape were discussed alongside the recent introduction of the data collecting STRIX system. Ms. Roth stressed the FSA’s commitment to collaboration with the private sector and the compliance community. She reiterated that this would be vital as the Isle of Man prepares in good time for a MONEYVAL Assessment in late 2026. The coming year is to see joint deliveries with the AICP where the feedback and concerns of the compliance sector had been noted and would be addressed.  


The theme of collaboration continued with Colin Manley, Actuarial Director at PwC Isle of Man, discussing governance issues such as the duties and responsibilities of directors and compliance professionals. 


In an illuminating session, Erik Barnett, Europe Head of Financial Crime at HSBC, explored how HSBC had developed the use of AI intelligence to lead their financial crime risk management. 


Closing off the morning session, senior representatives from the FIU and GSC shared updates and insights into the changes and work of each respective agency, keeping attendees in-the-know on the latest developments.


The afternoon session was kicked off by Munich based speaker Christian Hunt, founder of Human Risk Ltd and author of ‘Humanizing Rules’. Christian entertained with a thought provoking presentation as he delved into how behavioural science can be applied to ethics and compliance functions, and how important perspective is in achieving common goals.


Sinead O’Connor, Head of Regulatory and Compliance Services at DQ Advocates, completed the solo speaker lineup by digging deeper into the recent ICAEW thematic report on the Money Laundering Reporting Officer role. 


The final event of the day was a panel session which examined strategy around the island’s upcoming MONEYVAL assessment. Facilitated by Colin Manley, the panelists included six guest speakers - Ashley Whyte (FSA), Erik Barnett (HSBC), Kathryn Simms (AML/CFT Policy, Cabinet Office), Nicola Libreri (GSC), Sinead O’Connor (DQ Advocates), and Terry Stephen (FIU). Kathryn Simms, who has been urging interaction between all public and private stakeholders, will lead and coordinate the Isle of Man’s preparation.


Gerry Ganly, AICP Chair, shared: “This year’s conference was a huge success with positive feedback from our attendees on the subject matter raised and the diverse range of guest speakers. We were delighted to welcome two off-island speakers this year, Erik Barnett and Christian Hunt, who each brought a depth of experiences, knowledge and unique insights to the conference. We are extremely appreciative of the input made by all our speakers, who made the conference what it was, and as ever, are grateful for delegate feedback and look forward to making the event even more impactful next year.  


“2024 marked 10 years of working with PwC Isle of Man as our lead sponsor and we would like to thank them for their ongoing support of Manx State of the Nation. They, and our other sponsors in DQ Advocates, FIM Capital, and Impact Professional Services, provide a vital foundation for us. We also cannot forget our key suppliers - Kevin Ellis of Avid Events and Justin McMullin and his team at ELS. See you in 2025.” 


Ferran Munoz-Lopez, Partner at PwC Isle of Man, commented: “It has been a pleasure to support the AICP and Manx State of the Nation for the last 10 years, and we look forward to working with them as lead sponsor in 2025. Their annual conference brings together compliance professionals from across the island’s industries and is imperative in keeping people up-to-date on the ever-changing regulatory, compliance, risk and governance environments. The Isle of Man maintains high standards when it comes to regulation and we are delighted to be involved in helping to keep compliance standards at the forefront of the professional community.”


Manx State of the Nation 2025 is provisionally set for Friday 7 February 2025.