Speaking at AIBT’s 2015 Nassau Conference held in Nassau, The Bahamas Horacio Woycnik, partner at Harney Westwood Reigels in Uruguay, congratulated The Bahamas on its foresight and engagement with Brazilian advisors in ICON’s development. ICON (the Bahamas Investment Condominium) is The Bahamas’ latest structure for the organization of investment funds, a contractual agreement between participants that is registered and approved for operating as a licensed investment fund.
ICONs on the register now stand at 15 with a number of different service providers acting as governing and general administrator. Says Aliya Allen, CEO of BFSB, “*We are satisfied at the measured growth in registrations as advisors become more aware of the advantages of utilizing an alternative structure like ICON. One distinct advantage is that in an increasingly substance based world where regulatory oversight is key to investor confidence, the ICON provides regulated governance within an institution — with a balance sheet — not an individual.”*
The ICON nonetheless is a very flexible arrangement, allowing participation interests (equity interests) to be structured in series, classes and in different currencies. In addition, participants in the fund may have limited or unlimited liability. US Tax advice also indicates this flexibility with the ICON being able to make a check the box election, even outside of its default classification.
Amendments to the ICON Act are on tap this year in The Bahamas, to allow it to be organized and registered as a segregated portfolio ICON. Notes CEO Allen, *“Cross-class liability and contamination always is an investor concern and in the context of a family fund it can be even more so if investment philosophy and strategy are tailored to fit the needs of a particular family branch.”*
BFSB, the Ministry of Financial Services and industry partners will be in Brazil in October to talk about the ICON and other development initiatives. *“It is important that they understand the very unique value proposition that The Bahamas delivers. It is one founded on confidence and safety in the regulatory, political and business environment. It is amplified by a sophisticated legislative framework and supported by our independence, the strength of our common law system and judicial respect for precedent and the law making powers of parliament”* says Allen.
BFSB has issued two new guides on [investment funds](http://www.bfsb-bahamas.com/guides/files/investment-funds.pdf) and the [wealth management toolkit](http://www.bfsb-bahamas.com/guides/files/wealth-management.pdf).