Press Release

Ministry of Finance Statutory Boards & Associated Bodies
Release Date:
Monday, 22 December 2014 - 2:00pm

British Virgin Islands, 22 December, 2014 – Six students from secondary schools and the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) received prizes as winners in the 30th Anniversary International Business Companies Act essay competition last Friday December 19.

The competition was part of activities to mark the 30th anniversary of the passing of the International Business Companies Act (IBC) 1984, a significant and influential piece of legislation which laid the foundation of the BVI Financial Services Industry.

In celebration of the anniversary, the Government of the Virgin Islands, BVI Finance Industry and BVI Financial Services Commission, through BVI Finance (BVI International Finance Centre), hosted a series of commemorative events in September, under the theme “The IBC Act 1984…Ahead of Its Time”.

Among the events held were two essay competitions, one for secondary students and the other for tertiary students at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College. The secondary students were required to compete with essays between 800 and 1,000 words under the topic:

The success of the financial services industry has changed the BVI over the past thirty years.  Describe your vision of what you think the BVI will look like in another twenty years, and explain what you think you can do to help make your vision of the BVI a reality.

Tertiary students at the HLSCC were required to compete with essays between 1,000 and 1,500 words under the topic:

Financial Services and Tourism:  how can the BVI continue to develop the two main pillars of income for the BVI?  In addition to financial services and tourism, what other sector do you think the BVI should develop as a third pillar for the future and what would your plans be to achieve this?

The essay competition winners were awarded at a ceremony at the Premier’s Office. In his remarks at the at the prize giving ceremony, Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. D. Orlando Smith OBE congratulated the awardees and commended the initiative. “In reminding our people about tourism and being ambassadors for the Territory, I also have to stress on the importance of young people and education as a vehicle for creating a sustainable future for the BVI,” Premier Smith said.

The winners of the 30th Anniversary IBC Act essay competition are as follows:

In the secondary division:

First Place – Nia Douglas, Cedar International School

Second Place – Lawrence Wheatley, Claudia Creque Educational Centre

Third Place – Yasmin Ruffell-Smith, Cedar International School

The winners in the tertiary division, namely the HLSCC are:

First Place – Monique Williams

Second Place – Nyheria Hussey

Third Place – Alana Blyden

Finalists were awarded $500 for first place, $150 for second place and $100 for third place. The schools of the winners, Cedar International School and HLSCC, were awarded $1,000 each. Each winner also received a copy of the book “Offshore Financial Services: A BVI Text” by Paul Byles.

The essay competition provided an opportunity for the financial services industry to support local schools and students in the efforts to become knowledgeable about the industry, and to highlight positive community involvement by members of the financial services profession.

The sponsors of the essay competition included The BVI Financial Services Commission (FSC), Abbleby (BVI), Harneys, Association or Registered Agents BVI (ARA), NewHaven BVI, Intershore, Rawlinson & Hunter and Maples.

BVI Finance (the BVI International Finance Centre) is solely responsible for marketing and promoting the BVI financial services industry, which is carried out by a professional pool of individuals both locally and internationally. More information can be found at, contacting or following BVI Finance on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.