The people of Gibraltar voted some 96% in favour to remain within the EU during the recent EU Referendum. An impressive 72% turnout of the electorate voted with an almost unanimous decision that demonstrated the importance of the EU for this jurisdiction.
Gibraltar has benefited, like many parts of the UK, with EU support over the years.
I have personally worked in Gibraltar for the last 27 years and have seen the jurisdiction work tirelessly to position itself amongst some of the stronger locations, not just around the EU, but the world.
Gibraltar has managed to increase its attractiveness, from an international finance centre, to the ‘go to’ jurisdiction for sectors that include gaming, insurance and funds, to name a few.
The recent Brexit decision will have sent shivers down the spines of most in Gibraltar, but if there is one thing I have always witnessed from the Gibraltarians and Gibraltar, it is their determination to succeed when under pressure.
The future remains bright for Blacktower with or without a Brexit
As many of you will know, Blacktower has been in business for over 30 years. From its origins in the UK, it decided to expand and move into the European market back in 2003.
The jurisdiction selected for this expansion was Gibraltar.
Gibraltar, a solid base for growth
Gibraltar ‘ticks’ many of the boxes required to be able to provide us with a platform to grow.
The ability to work closely with, and have a voice with, the likes of the Government of Gibraltar, the Finance Centre and the Financial Services Commission is not something to be taken for granted and is rare to achieve in most jurisdictions.
With the introduction of EU legislation in regards to ‘freedom of services’, we were able to take benefit from the jurisdiction’s ability to ‘passport’ financial services into Europe.
The future post Brexit
Ever since the UK ex-Prime Minister, Mr David Cameron, decided to provide the UK people with a voice over their future within the EU, we have been alive to the risks that such a decision could have on our business. Not only ours but on all firms in both the UK and Gibraltar with ‘trade lines’ into the EU and benefiting from ‘freedom of services’. It is our responsibility as a board of directors to safeguard the continuity of our business and have been considering alternatives ever since that decision was made. Measures are well advanced and will be acted on at the appropriate time, if so required.
Our position does not change
Gibraltar provided us with the opportunity to build a strong and robust business and we have no intention of leaving the jurisdiction, quite the contrary.
Blacktower will be moving into larger premises and taking on additional staff within the Gibraltar office – this is a demonstration of our continued support for Gibraltar.
So for now it is business as usual. Now more than ever, expatriates will be seeking information, advice and support in how to best deal with their finances following the decision to Brexit.
We are strong supporters of Gibraltar PLC. We are very much committed to Gibraltar as a base for our business endeavours and will be looking to work with, and support the Government of Gibraltar, Finance Centre and Financial Services Commission with a view to finding a solution to the recent decision of the UK people to leave the EU.
We are still currently within the EU. Now is a time of reflection, calm, professionalism and, more importantly, support to those in power in Gibraltar and the people of Gibraltar as a whole.
By Robert Mancera
Robert Mancera is Director and GM at Blacktower Financial Management (International) Ltd with offices in Quinta do Lago and Cascais. 289 355 685
Blacktower Financial Management (International) Ltd is licensed by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission Licence 00805B. Blacktower Financial Management Ltd is authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority.