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IFS celebrates Island success

Despite challenging economic times, there was much to celebrate when the Institute of Financial Services (IFS) Isle of Man Centre held its 29th annual dinner at the Hilton Hotel in Douglas.

The occasion provided centre president Nigel Gautrey the opportunity to explain, in his address, that although the impact of the credit crisis was being felt globally, the Island’s ‘own local story’ was ‘generally a happier one.’

The Island’s banking sector had experienced a record year in 2008 and remained, said Mr Gautrey, ‘one of the biggest contributors to the Manx economy in terms of taxes, employment and expenditure.’

He continued: ‘Despite the threats from our less well-managed neighbours we are, by comparison, a well-capitalised, well-regulated and well-regarded financial services community. And in that there is still much for us to celebrate, despite these challenging economic times.’

Mr Gautrey captured the banking industry Zeitgeist when he told the 200-strong audience: ‘Our customers are now more concerned about the return of their money than the return on their money.’

He went on to highlight the close ties the centre enjoyed with the Isle of Man Bankers’ Association, a collaboration that had brought about a series of thought-provoking and topical presentations, together with a schedule of well-attended social events.

Guest speaker at the dinner was ex-Cambridge Union president, criminal barrister and former Isle of Man table tennis champion Graham Davies, referred to by Mr Gautrey as ‘one of the top five professional speakers that Onchan has ever produced’ whose speaking career had taken him to locations as diverse as Windsor Castle and Ramsey Golf Club.

A collection in aid of the president’s chosen charity, the Manx Blind Welfare Society, was taken during the event, raising £2,130. Mr Gautrey, a director of Duncan Lawrie (IoM) Limited, together with three colleagues from Duncan Lawrie in London, will be attempting the Three Peaks Challenge in June to raise money for the MBWS and the Royal National Institute for the Blind. (All three of Mr Gautrey’s London colleagues have family members who are blind or have severe visual impairment).

Mr Gautrey will step down as IFS Isle of Man Centre president this summer, to be succeeded by Ian Hamilton of Anglo Irish Bank I.O.M.

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