If there’s anything that the recent ‘Panama Papers’ incident being covered in the mainstream media since this Sunday can teach us, it’s the importance of KYC – KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER!
At BrightPath, we take precaution in ensuring to ask the right questions before accepting a new client as part of our investor portfolio. The due diligence we practice is not limited to nominees or appointees, but more importantly, to whom are the beneficial owners of the business and how they acquired their wealth.
Despite being a privately held corporate entity, promoting healthy investments and profitable business opportunities in the island of St Maarten, independently of Government, we consider it our fiduciary obligation to protect the integrity of our business’ reputation and that of our portfolio, but more so, that of the island.
As in the case of the ‘Panama Papers’ fall-out, the reputational damage that the leak of internal information has resulted in, is not limited to the Mossack Fonseca law firm alone, but instead, inherently carries a reputational risk to the jurisdictions in which the law firm operates, as well as the offshore services and banking industries themselves.
As many of the prospects who are interested in doing business in St. Maarten that contact us have the experience first-hand, we do not accept business start-up requests over the telephone. We value and appreciate the long-term commitments involved in setting up successful and sustainable businesses abroad, and as such, invite our clients to visit us in person. We go to great lengths to facilitate these visits, including rebating the entire cost of the investors’ trip towards our services.
A client’s character, credibility, past experiences, and source of wealth are as important to us as is the origin of the client. While most of our investors are from European or Latin American territories, we make an emphasis to not accept requests from Politically Exposed Persons (PEP’s) or sanctioned territories such as North Korea. There are no exceptions to this, as we hold them as an industry standard for best-practices.
With this in mind, is that we passionately promote integrity and above-all, good counsel in the interest of St Maarten and that of our clients – existing and prospective.
We integrate into our business incorporation services general consulting to ensure that prior to any formal business engagements between ourselves and a prospect, so that from inception stages in the relationship, the process of KYC is underway.
At BrightPath, we look forward to the continued expansion of businesses brought on-board by us to St Maarten and continue to commit to promoting integrity and sound judgement in representation not only of our firm, but more importantly, for those who have invested their trust in us.