A reflection from our CEO on a new decade

January 9, 2020

“I am showing my age when I say that, when I was a kid, the year 2000 was so far into the future that all the TV sci-fi programmes we watched in black and white were set around that long distant date. Then, eventually, Y2K came, no planes fell out of the sky, the world trundled on and here we are already in 2020. Time flies even if real Thunderbirds still haven’t.

What does this year hold for us? At the very least, we now know for certain that Brexit will happen on the 31st January 2020.

Since the referendum in June 2016 I’ve often asked myself and my team at Abacus to assess what the impact of Brexit will be on our clients and on our business.

Well, we shall see. It may well be premature or just plain wrong to say that the financial services sector in Gibraltar will be unaffected by such a seismic event but I am going to go out on a limb and say that at Abacus we don’t see Brexit as a threat.

It might be a cliché or overstating it to say that we see it, instead, as an opportunity but we genuinely do: much of our business is UK-focused already and our service range and offering look to be relatively immune to the withdrawal from the EU, even on dramatic “hard Brexit” terms if it comes to that by the end of the year. Our clients will still need companies, trusts, accounting, pensions and funds on the 1st February. We can only hope to continue to do these things to the best of our ability and to their satisfaction.

Geographical expansion of Abacus

2019 saw the opening of our London office and in 2020 we aim to open an office in Switzerland, following on from our successful launch into Hong Kong in 2018. As CEO, it feels less like we’re building an empire and more like a steady exploration of the boundaries of possibility open to us, more Marco Polo than Genghis Khan.

Let us know if you have any interest in any of these countries or their spheres of influence and we’ll gratefully explore opportunities with you.

Also in 2019 we held some very successful and noteworthy events. At a social level, we held another excellent golf day in Portugal attended by numerous happy clients and, at a business level, we held our very own blockchain and DLT conference in Hong Kong which was also very well attended by over 120 intermediaries and financial services professionals.

Our fund administration business is our fastest growing sector of our firm. We expect our Funds division to continue to grow and flourish in 2020 with a combination of both traditional funds and crypto funds. We now have the ability to provide fund administration services for Gibraltar and Cayman funds.

Our Wealth Management arm and our Pensions business continue to thrive as our professional network grows.

Happy New Year

Above all, we are humbled by the continuing loyalty of our clients across all our services who we do not take for granted for one minute. There’s nothing more gratifying to me than the endorsement by our existing clients to their business associates, and friends and family when we exceed expectations.

I wish anyone reading this but our clients in particular a happy and prosperous 2020 which I very much hope and pray will lead to continuing success for us all.”

Written by Chris Pitaluga, CEO

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