BGN goes Latin American

Date Published: 15th November 2010

How to capture the spirit of the BGN World Meeting in the beautiful and beguiling city of Buenos Aires in November 2010? The answer comes in two simple words – quality and fellowship.

The Americas were joined by Asia, Europe and the Offshore world to produce a technical programme of unparalleled breadth and depth and a social programme which has formed professional friendships to last a working lifetime and beyond.

Watching such a range of top insolvency and restructuring professionals actively debating the complexities of international debt settlement arrangements as explained by Ofer Shapira from Israel, or absorbing the possibilities and benefits of virtual data rooms as presented by Tinamarie Feil from BMC in the USA was a joy.

Martin Prager and Juan Ferre from Pluta in Germany and Spain treated us to a cynical and worrying view of the parlous state of the banking systems in their respective countries, before Kristin Winford from BTG Mesirow Financial Consulting in the US gave a thoughtful explanation of the opportunities for BGN members and associates in the fraud investigation market, emanating from the requirements of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in the USA and the even more draconian provisions of the UK’s recently introduced Bribery Act.

Delegates also wrestled with a tough quiz on offshore markets and issues set them by Mike Saville and Alan Roberts from BTG in Cayman and Guernsey and listened to thought provoking reviews of current conditions and legal systems across South America presented by Javier Lorente (Argentina), Otto Lobo (Brazil) and Peter Gault (Uruguay and South America generally).

Alain Le Berre from BTG Mesirow Financial Consulting in London took us through techniques and drivers of both financial and operation restructuring across Europe. We learnt about the commercial strength of Malta from Joseph Gauci of KSi Malta, the development of a modern bankruptcy regime in China from Lauren Lau of KLC Kennic Lui in Hong Kong and a fascinating insight into the wonderful world of international tax from Andrew Shaw of BTG Tax.

Bravely slogging through the late afternoon graveyard slot was Sajeve Deora of Integrated Capital Services, who set out the many legal and political factors behind India’s poor performance in re-cycling non-performing assets, before BGN Chairman, Nick Hood highlighted marketing and communications issues as the focus points for the network for the year to come.

The Presentation slides can be downloaded here.

Away from the rigours of the conference technical programme, a very good social time was had by all. A highly enjoyable Welcome Dinner at the historic Circulo Italiano kicked off the networking well, before we were all amazed the following night by a spectacular evening of fine dining and amazing dancing at the Tango Portena. Sadly, none of our members had the opportunity to show off their twinkle-toed talent.

But the highlight was a truly wonderful day at the Estancia La Josefina, where our host Aldo and his family opened their magnificent home and 6,000 acre farm to our motley bunch of international professionals. Horses were ridden by an intrepid few, pony and trap rides taken and a huge amount of the finest Argentinian beef and Malbec consumed, before we were sent on our way fortified by Champagne and a variety of traditional cakes and marvelling at the generosity of our hosts and the splendour of their ranch.

All in all, it was a magnificent meeting, thoroughly enjoyed by all. Existing friendships were strengthened, new ones forged and many ideas for future co-operation between BGN members explored. We have tried our best to capture the magic of the event through the photos you can find on Nick Hood's Blog (Click Here).

Congratulations go first and foremost to our Argentinian organizer and co-ordinator, Javier Lorente, supported and assisted with huge patience by his wife Alejandra. They laboured mightily to produce a great triumph and make this a truly memorable two days for BGN and the members who attended the meeting.

Secondly, the network owes a huge debt of gratitude to Jo Hancock, who picked up the responsibility for putting the meeting together when she joined BGN in July and delivered a superbly efficient conference package in only a few weeks, without fuss or complaint, ably backed up by Zoe Parker.

Arrangements are already being put in place for the next BGN World Meeting in Hong Kong around this time in 2011. Our prospective hosts, Kennic Lui, Lauren Lau and the team at KLC Kennic Lui know that the bar has been set very high by Javier, but we’re sure that they will rise to the challenge.

L- R, Joseph Gauci, Amy Waterhouse, Martin Prager, Alan Roberts, Lauren Lau, Karin Prager, Nick Hood, Ofer Shapira, Mike Saville, Tania Revesado, Juan Ferre, Alain Le Berre, Sajeve Deora, Javier Lorente

About the author

Julie Palmer

Regional Managing Partner

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Julie is a law graduate who qualified with Price Waterhouse in 1994. Julie joined Smith & Williamson in 1997 and became a partner in 2001. With Mike Stevenson, Julie set up Middleton Partners offices in Salisbury and Southampton, both of which are now part of Begbies Traynor.

Julie is a member of the Insolvency Practitioners Association and is a Fellow of The Association of Business Recovery Professionals. Julie deals with all aspects of Corporate Recovery and turnaround work and takes all form of personal insolvency appointments.

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