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Volume 7 Nº 4 Winter 2010

IN THIS ISSUE: Business profile: Tony Welsh We talk to the Mayor of La Linea PAYE - to pay or not to pay? MH Bland - 200 years of history The Quarterly Magazine of the Chamber of Commerce


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Foreword

Chamber Comment  

In final days of 2009 we all witnessed a gorgeous Gibraltarian crowned Miss World, a massive achievement for a country with a population of just 30,000! Congratulations Kaiane Aldorino, you have done us all very, very proud. The International recognition of this highly deserved win is virtually priceless. Today many of us use “Google Alerts” to keep abreast of information about places, companies and “things” that happen around the World. On Saturday the 12th of December anyone with “Gibraltar” as a “Google Alert” would have seen their in-boxes filling as the online news media reported this brilliant achievement – very well done Kaiane, you have massively raised the international awareness of Gibraltar, and the column inches of press comment your win created, were phenomenal. A milestone was achieved last December when the Spanish Ferry company Transcoma launched a new ferry service between the ports of Gibraltar and Algecirias. The new vessel “Punta Europa II” can carry up to 150 passengers, and offers three sailing per weekday and two on a Saturday. After a gap of 40 years the Chamber welcomes this new service as an additional form of travel into Gibraltar for frontier workers and tourist alike. As Twenty Ten progresses we have seen some very positive press in the UK about Gibraltar being a less taxing place to live and work. We are all aware that our current two-tier corporate tax system becomes redundant at the end of the year, and we all been told that our new “one tax fits all” will be 10%. But at the time of writing the new legislation has still Congratulations yet to be gazetted. The Chamber urges GOG to push forward with the Kaiane Aldorino, new legislation with utmost speed, so the finance sector can understand you have done fully the details of this crucial piece of legislation. us all very, In this issue we have a frank interview very with the new mayor of La Linea, Alejandro Sánchez. The Chamber looks forward to a new found dialogue with our closest and important of neighbours.

proud.

Over the past few months The Chamber has become increasingly worried about the ability of Gibraltar to sustain the growth we have witnessed over the past few years. As we have said earlier we have seen some very positive international press, and with our low tax jurisdiction status, Gibraltar will have a great offering, with huge opportunities, but we appear to have a crisis in the availability of office space. The reality is that there is no point in being an “attractive”jurisdiction, if we cant´ accommodate new entrants. What is even more worrying is that there is very little in the pipeline. This issue needs to be addressed, urgently

Kaiane Aldorino winning Miss Word 2009 in South Africa

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Contents

In this issue FOREWORD page 3

Chamber Comment

INTERVIEWS page 7

The Interview: Tony Welsh

page 10

Interview with the Mayor of La Linea

PUBLISHER Copywrite Publishing

NEWS FEATURES

MANAGING EDITOR

page 13

PAYE – to pay or not to pay?

page 15

Port News

page 17

Airline Update

ADVERTISING

page 17

Tourism News

sales@b2bgibraltar.com

page 19

Bunker boost to the economy

page 20

Post Office News

page 22

MH Bland 200 years of history

Jeremy Nicholls editor@b2bgibraltar.com

PRODUCTION David Slater production@b2bgibraltar.com

DESIGN

CHAMBER NEWS page 24

Chamber Annual Dinner

page 25

The end of the cheque is nigh!

page 29

First Aid: It could save someone’s life

page 31

New training courses from the Chamber

page 31

S & T Training Solutions – a year and a half on

Copywrite Advertising design@b2bgibraltar.com

b2bgibraltar.com 9, Cooperage Lane PO Box 935, Gibraltar Tel: 200 41700, Fax: 200 77649

BUSINESS BRIEFS page 32

Gibtelecom’s new state of the art headquarters

page 32

Verralls Barristers & Solicitors move offices

page 33

The ‘Sir Joshua Hassan Lectures’ launched

page 35

RBS rebranded NatWest

page 36

Interoute and Gibtelecom bring next generation of telecommunications to Gibraltar

Gibraltar Chamber of Commerce PO Box 29, Watergate House Casemates, Gibraltar Edward Macquisten Chief Executive Tel: 200 78376

page 36

Fax: 200 78403 info@gibraltarchamberofcommerce.com

Fund Industry Award for Hassans International Law Firm

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE page 37

MN Associates Limited launched

page 37

Senior NatWest Appointment to bolster service

page 38

Barclays imports new talent

Front Cover Photo by Figgy Photography.

B2B is published by Copywrite Publishing for the Gibraltar Chamber of Commerce. Four times per annum. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the Gibraltar Chamber of Commerce or the publishers.

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Interviews

The Interview: Tony Welsh  

In the early 1980s, prior to the border opening for pedestrians, something huge happened in Gibraltar. It caused havoc on the roads and represented a major logistics exercise. But it was worth it: Gibraltar got its first escalator!

London and, having completed it, joined Marks and Spencer as a management trainee.

Tony Welsh, managing director at the local branch of Marks & Spencer, a franchise run by his family in Gibraltar for over four decades, smiles when he recalls that day.

Tony also worked at M&S head office, learning invaluable lessons about the company’s internal systems that would serve him well in the years to come.

“My first store was in Fulham, where I suddenly met half of La Linea,” he says. “A lot of people had moved there looking for work after the frontier closed.”

The opening of the border led to a surge in demand for M&S products. During the closed frontier years, the branch had “more or less ticked over” on the custom of local shoppers and the British garrison. The difficulties of resupplying products by sea also added to the complications of this difficult period. “When the frontier opened, it was boom time, like a roller coaster,” Tony says. “We more than doubled our turnover in the first year and that growth went on for three or four years.” “Gibraltar was a Mecca for shopping because there was nothing like it in the area in terms of variety.” “It was crazy.” This was a trend that continued after the opening of the border. In response, M&S continued to grow, moving into new parts of Gibraltar Heights whenever possible and even expanding into other premises nearby on Main Street. Fast forward to 2010 and the years of consistent growth have begun to ease off. The trend of double-digit growth has levelled out and the business, while still growing year on year, is doing so in single digits.

“It caused mayhem on the roads as we brought it in,” he said. “It was like a military operation to get the thing through the city gates and into the store.” It was an immediate success, not least for children at the time for whom riding the M&S escalator was a good way to while away an otherwise laborious slog chasing mum round the store. There was, of course, good business sense behind the investment. The M&S branch was opened by Tony’s father in the late 1960s, just ahead of the border closure. It had proved a successful venture, but with a limited local market. Nearly 20 years later, with the border about to open, it was time to expand and get ready for increased demand. For Tony Welsh, it was a natural progression. “I was working at this store from the age of 13 for pocket money, so it’s always been in the blood,” he says. “I served my apprenticeship here.” At the age of eighteen, he had moved to the UK to undertake a business studies course in

He confesses that he had no intention of coming back to Gibraltar at that time, finding the Rock somewhat claustrophobic with the border shut. But while working as a merchandiser in head office, he met his future wife, Penny,a buyer for M&S. This was at the time when Spain was poised to enter the EU and Tony, aware that the change in political mood in Spain would lead to the frontier reopening, saw an opportunity and returned home. “For years I’d been telling my father how to run his business, telling him how to do this or that,” he says. “And he would say, ‘if you want to do it, come back and do it’.” “So, Penny and I got married and came back, except the frontier didn’t open until a couple of years later.” This proved to be a mixed bag of fortunes. While the setback was frustrating, it also gave the Welsh’s time to prepare things in anticipation of an increase in business. They expanded into the first floor of Gibraltar Heights and more than doubled the size of the store. They also installed the escalator.

“Spain has changed dramatically,” Tony says. “Shopping is much more professional over there now, there is choice, and many Spanish brands are market leaders.” Tony remains bullish about Gibraltar, highlighting the number of major brand names with stores on the Rock, a market that does not fit the normal brand profile in terms of population and size, as evidence of an exceptional retail sector. But as the business climate changes across the border in Spain, so too do the fortunes of commerce on the Rock, where shops rely on cross-border shoppers for growth. Currency movements can also have a dramatic effect on those who source in Euros and Gibraltarian shoppers buying in Spain. That puts an emphasis on change and innovation in order to attract new clientele. With M&S, for example, the Welsh’s stepped up to the challenge by opening a food store. “Gibraltar does remarkably well, but unless you introduce new lines of business and move away from a static market with the same products, it’s very difficult to sell much more,” he says.

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Interviews

The Interview: Tony Welsh – continued Tony knows his store back to front and likes to keep in close touch with its day to day running. For such an experienced manager, he admits he finds the paperwork a chore. He prefers the hands-on moments. “I like getting in there, I like getting my hands dirty sometimes just to remind myself of how it’s done,” he says. “You have a good time doing that and the team appreciate it because you’re not just sitting in your ivory tower, albeit they haven’t seen much of me this last year .” More than a team, the M&S staff is like a family. Husbands and wives have worked there. Husbands have met their future wives there. Mothers, daughters, cousins have all worked on the same floor. As for the store’s longest-serving employee, Anita Copello, she has worked there for 41 years, right from the start. “She’s resigned twice, retired twice and she’s still here,” Tony says. “About 15% of our people have been with us for over 20 years.”

franchise businesses, he is also involved in Sapphire Networks, a local telecommunications business of which he remains a shareholder and director.

A classic pitfall, he says, is under funding. Even if the product is good, it will take months before the turnover builds up to break even and get into the black.

But always in search of new opportunities, Tony recently fulfilled a long-time dream of opening an M&S store in Spain. It took many years of talking to M&S but last November, the doors of the new store in La Cañada, Marbella, finally opened for business. The target market is not just expats, a natural focus, but also Spanish shoppers. It is still very early days, the signs are positive despite the difficult trading climate.

It is also worth taking advice from people with specialist knowledge. Tony says he would never enter a serious business venture without first speaking to some trusted advisers in business. “It’s very easy to convince yourself that you have a great idea. You need someone to tell you if you’re being stupid,” he says.

“It’s been a very good response, but it’s also very evident that the recession in Spain is really biting,” Tony said. “It is very, very tough, but if I can’t make it work in La Cañada, I don’t think it’s going to work anywhere.” For someone who has been intimately involved in setting up so many major business ventures, Tony believes he is conservative in his approach. He describes himself as “a bit of a plodder” when it comes to business.

OTHER VENTURES “I stick to what I know,” he says. “I’ve tried For this local businessman, growth was not thinking out of the box on a couple of only about M&S. When he came back from occasions and delved into property and stuff, the UK, Tony brought with him a notebook but I don’t know enough about it so I’ve with a list of companies that he would talk to reined myself in and stuck to what I know.” with a view to opening up a branch in Gibraltar. The first “Retailing is something I franchise had a know quite well.” decidedly personalised feel to it. Having So what is the secret to I like getting shopped for his children choosing a franchise? in there, I like in the Early Learning On the face of it, it Centre in the UK, he sounds simple. getting my hands decided open up an outlet here in Gibraltar, “You look for the success dirty sometimes a move that has proved stories, but you also look over the years to have at new, up and coming just to remind been a good idea. brands,” Tony says. “I’m not going to give my myself of how “It’s never going to set the secrets away but there world alight, but it’s a nice are two or three brands it’s done little business,” Tony says. that, if the right opportunity came along, “To me it’s my I might consider.” stress buster.” For newcomers, he has some words of advice. “I just go in there and watched kids messing around.” “You’ve really got to do your research on the business case,” Tony said. “You have Next was also on the list. Tony opened up a to bounce your ideas around other people franchise of the popular UK clothing store on because you need to find out what the a site in Main Street that had first housed the pitfalls are. What works in London may M&S food store. On the side of his core not be viable in a population of 28,000.”

It also helps, of course, if you have business in your blood. The Welsh’s are a husband and wife team who work fulltime at their businesses and whose children are following in their footsteps. Tony himself is treading a well worn path. His father went to Nigeria in the 1930s as a young man and worked there for 15 years as a trader, selling British products from the UK in the Nigerian market. “He was in his 20s and he saw an opportunity,” Tony says. After Nigeria and World War II, Tony’s father moved to Morocco and lived in Tangier, where he used his contacts from Nigeria to become a manufacturer’s representative selling goods on commission. Tony was born in Tangier and lived there until he was six when, with a tide of nationalism building up in Morocco, the family moved to Gibraltar. “As far as I was concerned, we’d gone on a holiday,” Tony says. “Except we never went back.”

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Interviews

Interview with the Mayor of La Linea “Gibraltar is very important for us.” “Gibraltar and the Campo are a great economic force, two territories that complement each other.” “Gibraltar has needs that can be covered by the Campo, and vice versa.” Economic cooperation will be at the top of the agenda for a meeting that Mr Sánchez is set to have late February with Chief Minister Peter Caruana. This will be their first formal meeting since the Popular Party mayor took over after his controversial predecessor, Juan Carlos Juárez, was forced to step down. “I intend to discuss in depth the economic and commercial relations between the two cities,” Mr Sánchez said. “There are many economic aspects, from business projects to investment, which could be extraordinarily beneficial to both communities.” Mr Sánchez, who has close contact with many people on the Rock, said he was aware of numerous opportunities in the Gibraltar job market that could be filled by Spanish workers.

Mayor of La Linea: Alejandro Sánchez Garcia

 

As he plots a recovery strategy for his cash-strapped city, Alejandro Sánchez, the mayor of La Linea, has his sights set firmly on the Rock.

Among other conclusions, the report found that Spanish frontier workers, of which there were 2,749 in October 2007, earned £43m in 2007 and repatriated it to the Campo economy.

Mr Sanchez has an unenviable task ahead of him. La Linea has debts of over E120m and around 10,000 of its citizens are currently out of work.

In addition to Spanish workers, a further 2,689 workers of other nationalities crossed the border to earn their living in Gibraltar while resident in Spain.

When the Spanish property sector collapsed with the global economic downturn, so too did a crucial area of economic activity for La Linea. Its primary source of income and employment was gone. Now, Mr Sánchez is at the head of a team that is trying to pick up the pieces. The mayor has strong links to the Rock, having studied here in the past and made many friends and contacts. Like other mayors in the Campo de Gibraltar, he has also read the report commissioned by the Gibraltar Chamber of Commerce into Gibraltar’s contribution to the Campo economy.

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All in all, the study found that Gibraltar’s economy contributed some 12.2% of the total gross domestic product of the Campo area. Those factors have combined into an inescapable conclusion, one that Mr Sánchez views with optimism.

The mayor, working with other municipal officials, employers and union representative, is negotiating a retraining program for La Linea’s unemployed. They call it “recycling”.

There are many economic aspects, from business projects to investment, which could be extraordinarily beneficial to both

The team has established urgent training courses which initially will include the preparation of those who already have a basic grounding in certain important areas.

One focus will be on breaking down language barriers, giving unemployed persons the communication skills that will enable them to seek work in sectors such as tourism and leisure.

communities.

“In my mind, there is no border when it comes to economic activity,” he said.

The two main areas being considered are the industrial sector in the Campo area and the Rock’s tourism and leisure sectors.


Interviews

La Linea wants its citizens to learn basic English skills that will strengthen what they have to offer employers and thus help open up new job opportunities. “We have to push ahead with training courses for the unemployed,” Mr Sánchez said. “We don’t have that at the moment and it is vital in order to emerge from this employment crisis.” Another key point of focus is the construction of Gibraltar’s new airport. Mr Sánchez has moved to fast-track the administrative steps required to enable construction work of what he calls “the north terminal” on the Spanish side of the border next to Gibraltar’s new terminal. That phrase has rankled with opposition parties on the Rock, who say the airport is Gibraltar’s, not Spain’s, and who are concerned about the wider political implications.

But Mr Sánchez, publicly at least, is focusing on his city’s immediate economic problems and is in search of new business opportunities. He is talking about freight, commercial areas and “green and sustainable” architecture. To that end, he has held several meetings with companies active in this sector and plans to train – retrain, even - people who have worked in the construction industry, with a view to equipping them with the skills to work on this project. “The fact that people in La Linea will have that north terminal will bring enormous and unprecedented beneficial effects for our city,” Mr Sánchez said. “That is why we are determined to lay the first stone during the course of the coming year.”

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News Features

PAYE – to pay or not to pay?

 

When British builder Haymills collapsed last year, an uncomfortable question about PAYE emerged as the dust began to settle. In response to questions in Parliament, Chief Minister Peter Caruana revealed that a company part-owned by Haymills owed the public purse hundreds of thousands of pounds in unpaid taxes. Mr Caruana did not provide the exact amount owed by Labour Hire (Gibraltar), but he described it as “a very, very substantial sum of money.” “It’s not a million miles from a seven-figure sum,” the Chief Minister told Parliament at the time. Labour Hire (Gibraltar) was half-owned by Haymills (Gibraltar), which went into liquidation along with several subsidiaries after its UK parent folded as a result of the economic crisis. The remaining stake in Labour Hire (Gibraltar) was owned by Berrylea, another construction company that carried out extensive work for Haymills but ceased trading in 2008 leaving a trail unpaid debts with local suppliers. Mr Caruana told Parliament that another company also owed arrears of PAYE and social insurance.

to run up tax debts while smaller businesses were chased aggressively.

owned subsidiary could not be deducted from payments to Haymills for work done under contract to the Government.

“The Government seems to be more lenient with large companies that owe As for the claims of discrimination, large amounts than with smaller those too were off the mark according businesses who owe considerably less,” to the Government. said the GSLP/Liberals in a statement at the time. “Indeed, “The tax office has while many small one policy and practice businessmen are called for all tax defaulters,” The tax office up by the tax office and a spokesman said reminded to pay their at the time. has one policy taxes on the 15th of every month, as “The allegation that and practice for stipulated in the law, there is preferential the big fish who owe treatment for big all tax defaulters hundreds of thousands companies compared of pounds in taxes seem to small companies is to be immune from this unfounded and untrue.” treatment and get away with it.” And as Gibraltar moves into a new tax “There can be no other explanation as to why regime this year, Mr Caruana warned that such a huge sum of money is owed in taxes.” officials would adopt a tougher approach to those who default on tax payments. The PDP expressed similar sentiments and asked why the debts run up by Labour Hire Speaking at the Chamber’s annual dinner (Gibraltar) had not been picked up sooner. in November, he said the new 10% tax rate would represent a very significant reduction “The Government should be monitoring in tax for most businesses. such matters much more closely and not allowing companies to build up hundreds “It is inevitable that its introduction will be of thousands in tax or social insurance accompanied by a new, more aggressive debts,” said PDP executive member approach to collection, compliance and Gigi Sene. enforcement,” he said.

PCG Group, which worked under contract to the Ministry of Defence, went into liquidation owing “substantial six-figure sums”, the Chief Minister said.

The Government roundly rejected the criticism and said Haymills, which had been widely regarded as a reputable British company, had succumbed to dire market forces.

The revelations drew a sharp response from Gibraltar’s opposition parties, who said large companies were being allowed

It said Haymills itself had been up to speed with PAYE and social insurance contributions. Debts owed by a part-

“Now, therefore, seems a good time for those of whom it is not already the case to put their house in order in respect of corporation tax, PAYE, Social Insurance contributions and correct registration and contractual classification of employees.” “This also is a vital element of the much wanted ‘level playing field”.

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News Features

Port News

Gibraltar not only held market

 

Gibraltar Port has an incredible heritage having been established over 200 years ago. Key to Gibraltar’s success is its location. The east-west shipping motorway passes the “front door” and the north-south shipping route is less than 20 miles away. Location is the key to its success. It is incredible to think though that set against the economic background of 2009, Gibraltar not only held market share but forged ahead in passenger numbers, cruise ship calls, vessels requiring marine services and bunker volumes. Overall the port saw an increase in trade in the order of 10% But looking back over the last 12 months a business is not just built on volume, a number of major projects have reached key milestones at the port. The most significant of these was in July when the workforce signed a new agreement, which took the port into the private sector. Key to

a sustainable business model is developing your personnel. The agreement has given a new sense of direction to the staff that are keen to build on the current situation. Although the port will continue to be owned by the people of Gibraltar, authority status will in time allow faster decision-making; and thus the ability to respond faster to market conditions.

share but forged ahead in passenger numbers, cruise ship calls, vessels

2010, enhanced safety in the management of navigation, greater ability to monitor the environment. As well a new a web-based information system that will detail arrivals, departures and scheduling will be built. In time, this technology will deliver other benefits to the shipping community.

requiring marine

Although the economic climate is cool and services and trading patterns are changing, Gibraltar bunker volumes. remains well positioned to benefit from the economic resurgence. A key target for 2010 will be to ensure shipping operates as efficiently and safely as possible. The port is financially autonomous and not is a financial multiplier to Gibraltar’s economy Building upon the excellent reputation that but will also be a significant contributor to Gibraltar has as a maritime service centre, Government finances. during the next 12 months the port will look to deliver Safety, efficiency, profitability and of Another key milestone in 2009 was the start course value for money. This will require all of the implementation of a new vessel traffic stakeholders to pull together, working as a management system (VTS). The system will team equipping and enabling everyone to provide a platform that will deliver, during deliver their best.

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Chamber News

Airline Update  

The three months from January to March are traditionally those with the lowest demand for flights to Gibraltar and the Costa Del Sol. Airline schedules to Gibraltar in the first quarter of 2010 provide ample evidence that the airlines are fully aware of this! As always, timings are subject to change but these are the highlights. British Airways (BA/BAW) Following the move of its London operation from Gatwick to Heathrow’s Terminal 3 at the end of September 2009, British Airways’ schedule continues with a single daily flight. Timed to leave London at 3.30pm, the service arrives in Gibraltar at 7.20pm before heading home at 8.10pm to arrive in the UK at 9.55pm. Passengers wishing to fly to other destinations through Heathrow must stay overnight in London as this flight arrives too late to allow connections. With the start of the summer schedule, this problem is eased as the service has been retimed. From 28 March, the daily flight leaves Heathrow at 8.00am arriving in Gibraltar at 11.55am. The return flight leaves ‘The Rock’ at 12.45pm and arrives in London at 2.35pm. easyJet (U2/EZY) The low-cost carrier’s winter operation to Gibraltar offers a single daily flight from London Gatwick, leaving London

on weekdays at 10am, with arrival at 1.50pm. Departing Gibraltar at 2.25pm the flight arrives back in the UK at 4.20pm. Weekend flights operate at slightly different times but are still scheduled into Gibraltar around lunchtime. The airline has confirmed that it will not increase its schedule for the peak season and will continue to offer just one daily flight to Gatwick. This operation represents a considerable reduction in the number of seats available. For the summer of 2008 for example, easyJet offered up to 17 weekly flights on the route in competition with British Airways Monarch Airlines (ZB/MON) The airline’s schedule to London Luton is at its lowest frequency for much of January through to the middle of February with just three weekly flights on the route. Timings of its Luton flights are now standardised with departure from the UK at 7.20am and arrival in Gibraltar at 11.10am. Flights depart back at 11.55pm with arrival in London at 1.40pm. As Easter approaches, the frequency will increase with summer schedules offering a daily flight on the route. Similarly, the airline’s Manchester route, reduced by a third during much of January and February, will return to three weekly flights in March.

comprehensive rationalisation of its Gibraltar schedule, the Ándalus operation on the route to Madrid now offers six weekly departures. On weekdays, the flight leaves Gibraltar at 8.20am arriving in Madrid at 9.35am. Departing the Spanish capital at 8.25pm the aircraft arrives back on ‘The Rock’ at 9.50pm. This schedule clearly allows a pretty full day in Madrid although Madrileños will need to overnight. In addition, there is a departure on Sunday evenings leaving Gibraltar at 6.30pm. With the start of the summer schedule (at the end of March), the airline has announced that it will reinstate the Barcelona service which will operate six days a week. In addition, the Madrid route will see an increase to twelve weekly flights.

Ándalus Líneas Aéreas (EA/ANU) After what can best be described as a

Brian T Richards is a freelance air travel consultant and aviation photographer offering an advice and research service covering all aspects of the airline business. www.briantrichards.com/atc.htm atc@briantrichards.com

• MH Bland Group of Companies • The O’Callaghan Eliott Hotel • Parodytur/Parody Holidays • Transcoma Lines

The judges for this years award were HW the Mayor, Mrs. Olga Zammitt, Dr Clive Finlayson, Director of the Gibraltar Museum and Mr. Richard Garcia, Chief Secretary.

The Hon Ernest Britto, Minister for Environment & Tourism will paid a one-day visit to the Gibraltar stand during the event and also presented the journalism travel award for 2009.

Cox and King the luxury travel company features Gibraltar for the first time in their 2010 European journeys programme. The company, which celebrated its 250th anniversary last year, specialises in tailor made tours and city breaks around the world. Their new Gibraltar programmme offers The Rock and Eliott hotels.

Tourism News  

The Gibraltar Tourist Board exhibited at the 30h edition of FITUR (Feria Internacional de Turismo) in Madrid from 20th to 24th January. The exhibition is targeted at tourism industry professionals for the first three days, and then to the general public for the final two days, at the weekend, and is always very well supported. A team from the Gibraltar Tourist Board will manage the Gibraltar stand providing a platform for the representatives of Gibraltar’s travel and tourism industry to meet their clients or prospective clients. Co-exhibiting with the Gibraltar Tourist Board this year are: • Andalus Lineas Aereas • Bland Group of Companies • Emile Youth Hostel • Gib Sun Club • Gibraltar Taxi Association

The recipient of this year’s award is, for the second year running, Pepa Garcia for her article entitled “Gibraltar Capturando sonrisas”. The article appeared in the October/November issue of Viajeros magazine. Ten entries were received for the award which was open to all those journalists who published or broadcast a piece on Gibraltar during 2009 in the travel and tourism press in Spain, on radio, television and on the Internet. The award carries a prize of €1000.00 and a trophy.

Ocean Village is to expand the number of berths they can offer from 225 to 323. Scheduled for completion in early 2010, the expansion will include premium berths for yacht of up to 90 meters. The 8th Gibraltar Gibtelecom Chess festival takes place at the Caleta Hotel at the end of January and early February.

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News Features

Bunker boost to the economy  

Gibraltar’s bunker market, the mainstay of maritime business here, sidestepped the impact of the economic crisis to register double-digit growth last year. Suppliers based on the Rock bucked the trend in many other European ports, which have seen sales decline on weaker global trade. Gibraltar’s strategic geographic location and diversity of suppliers helped push volumes to nearly 4.7m tonnes in 2009, a 12% increase on 2008. Algeciras and Ceuta also reported growth, albeit on a more modest scale, and between them the ports of the Strait of Gibraltar delivered some 7.7m tonnes last year. Although the figures had yet to be finalised as this edition went to press, suppliers in Algeciras expected to close the year with volumes of around 2.5m tonnes, compared to 2.4m tonnes in 2008. The increase in sales in Ceuta was similar to Gibraltar’s at 11%, though overall volumes were small at 534,347 tonnes. The increase in volumes comes at a time when some major bunkering hubs in northern Europe have witnessed a sharp drop in sales. Reports in the international maritime specialist press suggest bunker sales in Rotterdam and Antwerp, two leading ports for this business, may have fallen by as much as 15% year-on-year in 2009. The growth in volumes in the Strait of Gibraltar market is good news for the maritime sector because bunkering activity generates a wide range of activities in other areas of business such as reprovisioning and repairs. The proximity of the Cepsa refineries ensures reliability in supply for Spanish operators, while the large number of suppliers in Gibraltar helps on price and gives owners a greater choice range. The growth in business has prompted suppliers to invest in modern vessels, with older single-hull bunker tankers replaced by modern double-hull tonnage. Authorities on both sides of the bay have also invested in equipment and training to combat oil pollution and are working on joint protocols to tighten navigational safety, combat spills and respond to shipping accidents.

As the sector grows, so too does competition. Algeciras, which has busy container and ferry berths, has always had a captive market for bunkering at berth, but the trend is for growth in the supply of fuel to passing vessels. Part of that is driven by overspill from Gibraltar which, while dominating the regional market, has suffered some congestion over the past year.

The

everything is now set to open the area up to physical suppliers.

Once the port’s new Vessel Tracking System is in place in the coming months, officials expect to give operators the green light to proceed within strict criteria hinging on appropriate weather increase in conditions.

volumes comes at a time when some major bunkering

Over in Algeciras, new entrant Alpetrol Terminal last March awarded a E110m contract to Técnicas Reunidas for engineering and construction work at its new liquid bulk terminal on the Isla Verde Expansion.

The Gibraltar Port Authority has put in hubs in northern new administrative systems to minimise Europe have waiting times and is also pushing ahead with witnessed a sharp plans to open up the drop in sales Rock’s east side anchorage area to The terminal will handle bunkering operations, the storage and which are currently banned there. distribution of fuel products and will play a key role in developing the port’s bunker The port authority has carried out a sector in the future. number of tests to check the impact on refuelling operations of currents and Morocco, likewise, also has its eye on this conditions in the area. It has also done lucrative market and last year awarded extensive modelling to analyse the Aegean Marine Petroleum, a major player possible impact of a spill in the area. in the Gibraltar market, a contract to deliver fuel in the new Tangier One vessel was supplied with fuel in a Mediterranean port complex. Aegean successful trial operation last summer, and began operations there last August.

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News Features

Post Office News  

Having opened the New Parcel Post Office the Royal Gibraltar Post Office commits to greater postal efficiencies for the community. Easy access and environmentally friendly premises.

countries. The RGPO feels that independent checks and benchmarking with other countries is always good as it inevitably leads to better quality of service, customer satisfaction and increased confidence in the global postal infrastructure and industry.

This first stage of the IPS implementation has already served to ensure that the RGPO’s outbound Christmas mail bags are not left stranded at airports, as was experienced three years back, and again keeps both the inbound and outbound quality of service in check.

The new Parcel Post Office is located in a high-density populated area within walking distance of large estates. With its easy access drive-in and drive-out courtyard it has proved to be a great success with RGPO customers from all over Gibraltar. The RGPO is also very grateful to its customers for their feedback upon which it is acting. The new Mail Operations Centre (the Sorting Office) is currently being finished within the same building block. This combination will avoid having to place vehicles on the road driving parcels from one building to another within Gibraltar. The improved insulation provided by the new building will also lower heating energy consumption and costs, thus lowering the carbon footprint of the organisation and freeing the roads from more traffic.

Global mail bag tracking

The CEO Mr Chris Riddell expects that these technological advancements, together with improvements in the delivery of mail, will result in added revenue from foreign postal administrations in respect of the mail they send to Gibraltar.

The RGPO will now be expanding its International Postal System (IPS) international internet link with the UPU. This system will allow the tracking of all inbound and outbound bar-coded mail bags. The mail bag labels will further be electronically linked via a database to corresponding parcel inventories identifying bag contents, thus allowing for easier tracing of all bags and parcels by the RGPO. According to Mr John Robba, Resources Director at the RGPO, IPS was created by the Postal Technological

Faster & more secure B2B & C2B PO Box mail service B2B – As the jewel in the crown for local businesses, business customers are advised that they can adopt a much faster local mail service to their businesses via the use of a PO

Better use of real estate. The combination of the two operations employs a much better use of the limited land space in Gibraltar. It allows for one set of amenities to be shared by both and in doing so has permitted the Government to greatly enhance these amenities. This better use of real estate has freed the muchneeded, previously occupied prime locations within the Port Controlled Area and the Grand Battery itself. The relocation of the Sorting Office out of the Port Controlled Area will also provide the RGPO business customers with easier access to the Sorting Office without having to go through security checks at the Port Control Point.

Quality of service independently checked by radio frequency tags. The Quality of Service at the new postal facility will now be independently checked by the Universal Postal Union (UPU). Radio Frequency Identification Tags will be randomly inserted into both inbound and outbound letters. Theses Tags will transmit to the UPU the date of receipt and despatch by the new Sorting Office and how long it takes for the respective customers to receive letters, both abroad and in Gibraltar. The UPU will be contacting people in Gibraltar, on a very confidential basis, to assist them with these Quality of Service checking tasks. The RGPO very much welcomes these Quality of Service checks, which are now operational through most developed

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Centre (PTC), the technical arm of the Universal Postal Union (UPU). The system is a web-based application which interfaces into the PTC’s main mail logistics product. It covers the handling of Express Mail Services, letters and parcels, generating, receiving and storing all the electronic data interchanged between user postal administrations. It consequently provides postal administrations with operational and status information on imported and exported mail, including gated-tracking information at a consignment, despatch, mail bag and item level.

Box. Businesses which possess a PO Box will be able to drop off any mail addressed to any other local PO Box at a new, purpose-to-task pillar-box to be installed within the PO Box Unit at Irish Town. This can be undertaken at the time of collecting their inbound mail from their own PO Box, thus economising on time and effort. Alternatively, they can hand in such mail at the Irish Town PO Box Unit counter, as indeed some customers are already doing. The incoming mail will be delivered to the PO Box of destination as soon as sorted at Irish


News Features

Town and in less than two hours (if posted within two hours of close of business) thereby achieving an ultra-efficient, environmentallyfriendly and fast B2B mail service.

no need for any other information; indeed, any extra information can make the address confusing as to the service required.

C2B – In addition, any Customer wishing to post mail to local businesses or any other PO Box user may also post their mail at the PO Box-mail designated pillar-box. This mail will also be delivered to the addressee with the same efficiency as per B2B above.

The Business Community is encouraged to take up a PO Box and follow the simple ‘deliver & pick up’ methodology for all their PO Box Mail, thus benefiting from this B2B and C2B fast and secure service.

In contrast, if PO Box addressed mail is posted in any given street pillar box this mail is only collected the next day at 7am (Sunday to Friday), sorted from all other mail at the Sorting Office, then delivered to the PO Box Unit and thereafter inserted into the PO Boxes by midday. The direct Irish Town option is thus safer and much more efficient, as the mail never leaves the site.

This service is also proof against any disruption in the mail service.

Businesses are reminded that mail destined to local PO Boxes should simply have the name of the person, the name of the organisation, the PO Box Number and finally GIBRALTAR or E/V as the address. There is

The Minister with responsibility for Postal Services, the Hon JJ Holliday, told B2B that ”The Government continues strongly committed to ensuring a second-to-none Postal Service, the pursuance of its environmentally-friendly policy and the efficient use of the limited land mass in Gibraltar. All these policies have been reflected in the choice of site and design of the new Postal Building”

Handle with care Confidential payroll services The payroll is often a sensitive and complex area in most companies. Our payroll service ensures confidentiality. We will prepare the payroll, provide payslips, maintain and submit insurance and tax returns and deal with the relevant Government departments.

For more information, call Joseph P Montovio or Stephen J Reyes on: Tel: +350 200 41200, Nightline: +350 200 48282, Fax: +350 200 41201 info@deloitte.gi

www.deloitte.gi Merchant House, 22/24 John Mackintosh Square, P.O. Box 758, Gibraltar © 2008 Deloitte Limited. Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu

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News Features

MH Bland 200 years of history

Marcus Horatio Bland

 

Aerial view of cable car 1963

In 1810, a young man recentlyarrived from Liverpool took the first steps into a commercial venture that would span 200 years and evolve into one of Gibraltar’s household business names.

sons Horatio and John who, as a result of the subsequent deaths of Middleton and Mackintosh in the early 1860’s, gained control of the company. In September 1865 the goodwill and trade of Middleton Mackintosh & Bland was taken over by MH Bland & Co.

The story of MH Bland, a family company that has now diversified from its core shipping interests to include the tourism sector, is one of dogged determination.

The company developed as a ship agent, ship owner and coal merchant and played an important role in the development of the port of Tangier, on the Moroccan coast.

Marcus Henry Bland, the company’s founder, started with modest means, setting up a shipping agency in his home in Irish Town, which was then the business heart of Gibraltar and a hive of trade and commerce.

Even in those early days, the company’s vision was regional, seeking to build on the Strait of Gibraltar’s unique role as a crossroads for maritime trade.

But the company’s rapid expansion was not The company grew despite without its challenges. stiff competition and passed In December 1882 Horatio to his son Marcus Hill who, died of heart disease and Hon George Gaggero OBE JP in December 1840, went control of the company into partnership with passed to his brother Charles Middleton and John John. Then ill health Mackintosh to establish the firm of forced John to step down and, in 1887, Middleton Mackintosh & Bland. he left the running of the business to Joseph Gaggero, who had joined the It was a time of great change and the staff as a clerk in the 1860’s. partners sought growth in the opportunities arising from new technology. Joseph’s grandfather had arrived from Genoa early in the 19th century and The development of steam engines, coupled had been born in the same building to the rising trade volumes as a result of where Middleton Mackintosh & Bland Gibraltar’s strategic location, allowed them had offices. It was a coincidence that to tap new areas of activity and expand. had set his future career in motion. The death of its founders some years later dealt the company a blow, but one that would revitalise the venture rather than cripple it. Marcus Hill died in Liverpool in July 1856 and passed on his interest in the company to his

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John Bland died without heirs in June 1891 and later that year arrangements were put in place to permit Joseph and his brother Emmanuel to purchase the company for the sum of £28,474.

A limited company was formed in London as there was no local company register at the time and on 23rd December, 1891, during the first board meeting of MH Bland & Co Ltd, Joseph Gaggero was appointed Managing Director and his brother Emanuel as Director. Over the next 18 years, the two brothers took the company into new territory. They increased the size of the company’s fleet of ships from four to 12 vessels, and sought new trade flows between North Africa, Spain and the United Kingdom. In November 1911, Joseph died and due to Emanuel’s poor health, the management of the company passed to his youngest brother Avelino, who had previously moved to London to become a prominent merchant there. Then came 1914 and World War I. It was a traumatic year for both company and family. Trade flourished as a result of France and Spain taking over Moroccan affairs, but war clouds loomed and Avelino’s death on 2nd August 1914 could not have come at a worse moment. A hurried meeting of the board took place and it was decided to appoint 17 year old George, Joseph’s son, to the position of Managing Director. It was a daunting responsibility for one so young. War broke out on 4th August 1914, two days after George’s appointment. Together, George and his brother Charles, who had joined the company a short while afterwards, steered the company through the Great War, the great depression of the 1930’s and the tumultuous years of World War II. By now the company was active in numerous business sectors ranging from salvage and


News Features

Building on the tradition of seeking regional opportunities, port agency offices have been opened in Algeciras and Ceuta, thus bringing to fruition the “Three ports, one team” concept and taking advantage of the growth of the bunkering business in the region.

Basha post rebuilding

ship repair to the timber trade, an ice making factory and aviation, in addition to its existing shipping interests. The company played a prominent role in the development of the Rock and, in 1941, George received a knighthood for his services to Gibraltar. By 1946, George and Charles had decided to divide the business in what was to be the first re-organisation of family interests.

Gibel Derif III

George retained the shipping and aviation interests and would seek new opportunities in shipping, tourism and aviation in the region and beyond. Following the family tradition, Sir George’s sons, Joseph and John, subsequently joined the business in due course. In 1962, the company invested in an innovative project that would create, in the decades to come, one of Gibraltar’s main landmark tourist attractions. The building of a Cable Car to the top of the Rock represented a major commitment to the development of Gibraltar’s fledgling tourist industry.

invaluable maritime link with Morocco. Sir George retired from what had by then been rebranded Bland Ltd in 1970 and passed away on 4th September 1978. After having brought the company through the closed frontier years, in 1986 Joseph and John decided to divide the business in what became the second re-organisation of family interests. Joseph retained the family’s interest in aviation, its travel agencies and its hotel under the name Bland Ltd, while John retained shipping interests and the Cable Car under the original name MH Bland & Co Ltd. Under the guidance of John and subsequently his sons Johnnie and George, who took over the running of the business when John retired in 1997, MH Bland has forged ahead. The company has refocused its energy into its core sectors of tourism and maritime activities and through an ambitious programme of investment, Johnnie and George have successfully steered what has become the MH Bland Group into the 21st century.

It opened for business four years later but by 1969, the closure of the frontier threatened its survival. Yet throughout and in spite of the prevailing trading conditions, the company continued to evolve. Symbolic of the Gibraltarian spirit at the time, the ferry, Mons Calpe, built to specification in 1954, resolutely provided an

In a bid to rationalise port services, various operators and assets were purchased in 1990. Now, under a single banner of MH Bland Marine Services Ltd and in harness with the port agency network, MH Bland offers an integrated range of services to an extensive local and international client base. Tugs, barges, supply vessels and other specialised equipment have all been purchased or built to suit local requirements. Since the re-opening of the frontier in 1986, the potential of the Cable Car has been unleashed and the facility has undergone a series of refurbishments and upgrades becoming along the way Gibraltar’s premier tourist attraction. In order to accommodate the needs of a burgeoning international cruise industry intent on revolutionising their shore excursions programmes, a local coach company, Calypso Tours Ltd was purchased in 1992 and in the subsequent years has modernised as well as tripled its capacity to satisfy demand. MH Bland Travel Services bridges the two sectors of shipping and tourism by specialising in the sales of cruise holidays while offering the services of a fully fledged travel agency to the leisure and business traveller. More recently in 2007, Eco Tourism Ltd, operating under the trade name of Dolphin World, has been brought into the Group, offering excursions into the Bay to experience the delights of seeing dolphins in their natural environment. As they look towards celebrating their 200th anniversary over the course of 2010, the current fourth generation and their dynamic young team look with pride at the achievements of the past and with excitement to the future.

S.S. Uganda post Gib refit on her way to the Falklands

Mons Calpe in Tangier

23


Chamber News

Chamber Annual Dinner  

On the 11th of November last year the Chamber held its annual dinner at the Rock Hotel. The Chief Minister delivered an upbeat speech on the out look for Gibraltar PLC in 2010. This black tie event was sold out, with more than 160 people in attendance.

Chamber President, Nicholas Russo addresses the diners.

The Chief Minister speaks to the Members and their guests.

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Top Table diners enjoy a fine meal and lively conversation.


Chamber News

The end of the cheque is nigh!

PWC’s Charles Bottaro

 

No its not the title of a new Hollywood blockbuster movie but the date set by the UK Payment Council that is likely to see the end of the cheque as a means of payment. Although probably not a big issue for most of us who now use electronic banking, credit and debit cards to process day to day payments for both corporate and personal use, the fact is that cheques are still being used by individuals and corporates alike, and indeed by Government itself. The decision has been taken by the UK Payments Council which is the organisation that sets strategy for UK payments to ensure that the UK payments system meets the needs of users, payment service providers and the wider economy. Statistics show that the cheque as a means for payment has been in decline since 1990 and its use has fallen by 40% in the last five years. The council were faced with the option of allowing the cheque to follow a natural decline or manage the decline, with the council opting for the latter, and setting 31 October 2018 as the target date for the closure of the cheque clearing system. Over the next nine years, the Payments Council will seek to promote and explain existing alternatives and assess what kind of innovation is required to meet the demands of the community. Although the target date of October 2018 has been set, the Council will be undertaking a full review in 2016 to assess whether there has been sufficient change since 2010 to allow for the cheque clearing system to be closed in 2018. Before diving into the pros and cons that this decision will inevitably mean for all of us, I will recap on the history behind this well known method of payment, now that its days are numbered. According to the British Banking History Society the first English cheque (or rather a drawn note) was issued on 16 February 1659 and was drawn by Messrs Clayton and Morris, scriverners, bankers and estate agents in Cornhill. It is also important to note that other forms of payments were also used throughout the 15th century, and possibly earlier, such as Bills of Exchange referred to as A Treatise of Tripartite Exchange. In fact, reference is made to some Italian bankers based in England making loans to King Edward I and King Edward II respectively. Interestingly enough, I was also able to establish that the first (kind of) bank dates back to Egibi and Son in Babylon, founded in the reign of Sennacherib about 700BC, and with that I thought that I would end my research. As new generations set the pace in modern ways of dealing with everyday life, there are many of an older generation that are dependant on the use of cheques, and line up every month to receive their pension cheque, and then use this same method to pay for their monthly bills. Furthermore, although most families own

a computer, either in the form of a laptop or desktop, not everyone has an internet account to be able to access electronic banking. Important drivers behind the council’s decision to terminate the cheque are linked with cost and fraud reduction. It is estimated that the cost of processing a cheque through the UK clearing banking system is £1 per cheque and although not many businesses accept payment by cheque unless you have a cheque guarantee card (or at a local level, if they know you fairly well), there are still many cases of fraudulent cheques being used to pay for goods and services. Dishonoured cheques are also another issue that springs to mind, and I am sure that many readers will have experienced this themselves, together with the cost charged by the bank for processing the dishonoured cheque. One could argue that globalisation and free market movement have also pushed towards making the cheque obsolete, in particular as the cheque clearing system is not known to be very efficient when it comes to clearing foreign cheques. Other factors that have caused the cheque to lose ground against other modern forms of payment such as electronic payments, include security and efficiency, areas where the cheque is clearly unable to compete. The news is also likely to be welcomed by environmental groups, who will see this as a step to reducing the number of paper driven day to day necessities that are produced in this day and age.

So how will this affect you? At a personal level, most of us probably use credit and debit cards to purchase daily goods and services for domestic use, however, not all businesses accept payment by cards and occasionally one has to draw their cheque book to make certain payments in the absence of any available cash on hand. Although local well known businesses such as utility companies allow you to pay by direct debit facility, there are others that do not accept electronic payment, and only recently I received an invoice which clearly stated that payment could only be made by cheque or cash. There appears to be some sort of allegiance attached to cheques with many of us preferring to pay for other expenses such as membership to a local club by cheque, rather than by transfer in the hope that it will be much easier for the club treasurer to allocate the payment to your account in comparison to the making of an electronic payment.

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Chamber News

The end of the cheque is nigh – continued Although most employees now receive their salaries by bank transfer there are some who still receive their payment by cheque or in cash, (in particular casual labour and those who are paid weekly). Unless some other modern form of payment is introduced in the next few years (such as payment by your mobile phone) it would appear that credit/ debit card and electronic payments will be gaining ground with more and more businesses trying to steer away from cheque payments in the run up to 2018.

theft of takings, and occasionally fraudulent notes do make news headlines. There are also other costs involved when depositing large quantities of cash in business accounts, with banks trying to steer away from the administration attached to this.

What is clear is that the popular tradition of enclosing cheques in Christmas or Birthday cards has its days numbered and as from 2018 may be replaced by e-vouchers.

Other businesses such as service providers will probably turn to electronic payments as means of replacing cheque payments and it will be important for businesses to ensure that their clients adequately provide appropriate details to ensure that payments are promptly identified. It would appear that electronic banking will continue gaining strength with most banks already offering a wide range of electronic banking services.

And how will this affect your business?

So what should my business do?

The answer will very much depend on the nature of your business and how your clients effect payments for the goods or services provided. In the case of retail establishments, clients will continue to pay by credit/debit cards or cash however businesses will need to consider what this change might represent. For instance, whilst credit card facilities invite customers to purchase in larger quantities, and more regularly on the basis that they are being provided with further credit, often with flexible payment terms, there are charges associated with receiving credit card payments which will need to be factored in by your business. On the other hand cash is often considered as a less costly method of payment, however there is always the risk of loss or

Change is often considered negatively by some, however one needs to be positive about change as there are often opportunities that come with it. So whatever the nature of your business, this might well be a good opportunity to reconsider your debt collection options and use this as an opportunity of improving your business performance by mitigating against bad and late payers. Most importantly, its success will depend on how the process of change is managed and how businesses communicate and market these changes to their clients and other stakeholders. charles.a.bottaro@gi.pwc.com

Buying or selling a Property? Talk to the professionals‌ With many new developments now available in Gibraltar, and as buying a home is probably the biggest investment you will ever make - it is imperative that you receive impartial legal advice when buying or selling. The Triay & Triay Property Department offers you: Competitive rates for all property purchases and sales. Effective action to ensure your transaction goes smoothly. A timely flow of information so that you are kept fully updated. A full service: includes advice and preparation of all documents. Triay & Triay value your need for both independent and unbiased advice and we will not act for both buyer and developer in any transaction.

Contact the experts in our property department whether you are buying or selling: AB Serfaty Q.C., Julian Triay or Joyleen Gomez, to arrange an appointment or call in to: 28 Irish Town, Gibraltar,

Tel + 350 200 72020 Fax + 350 200 72270 Email lawyers@triay.com

www.triay.com

27


Chamber News

First Aid: It could save someone’s life

 

In Gibraltar there are many employees and employers who are unsure or even unaware of the existence of any regulations regarding First Aid at work (FAW).

The regulations for FAW here in Gibraltar broadly follow the HSE (Health & Safety Executive) regulations in the UK. Standards and levels of training are similar to those in the UK and these fall in line with the European Resuscitation Council guidelines (ERC), which is the governing body that stipulates what techniques and procedures should be trained in First Aid throughout Europe. Note; the HSE First Aid Regulations recently changed in Oct 2009 and all the information in this article corresponds to those changes.

consider what training and cover they need. delivering First Aid in a practical and For example, the risk assessment will confident manner without any drama. highlight the need to provide adequate first aid cover to their employees and importantly There are two first aid courses that the HSE to any visitors to their premises. This cover recommends in particular: Emergency First needs to be provided by a nominated Aid Course (EFAW) which is conducted over person within their company or organisation a day’s training and the First Aid at Work who has been trained to course (FAW) which can deliver First Aid. They now be delivered over also need to ensure that a 3 day period. Both of the correct equipment these courses are offered The regulations (first aid kits and the like) by Heart Starterz. are available, dictating apply to all what level of training be And these skills need employers achieved and ensure to be kept up to date each employer has an through refresher regardless adequate number of courses usually once qualified personnel to every three years. of the size of cover throughout their working hours. The Refresher courses organisation. are not mandatory, but Other factors which also are highly recommended need to be considered by the HSE and Heart are the distribution of employees across Starterz offer these annual sessions for FREE different sites. Having all the first aiders in the head office will not help those that are As an introductory offer, Heart Starterz is working offsite, in different departments, offering Chamber Members a discount for on various floors or even in other buildings! a number of their courses.

The regulations apply to all employers regardless of the size of organisation. If they have not already done so an employer should undertake a First Aid Risk Assessment and from the results of that assessment

Training for these courses is provided locally by Heart Starterz who only use qualified First Aid instructors. Each of the courses provide hands on training and participants learn the key essentials in

However, there are numerous companies who are actively training and retraining staff in order to ensure they are up to date and adhering to the local regulations.

So what are the local First Aid at Work regulations and how do they affect your company?

For further information on the First Aid at Work Regulations, please contact us on Telephone: 54021289 or via our website twww.heartstarterz.com

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BUSINESS GROWTH STARTS HERE

Lombard shares your ambition to build your business. That’s why we offer flexible asset finance on everything from plant and machinery, cars to commercial vehicles and light aircraft to boats. Lombard has unparalleled expertise in asset finance. For more information on how we can help your business grow, please call Albert Borrell

00 350 200 46475 or 00 350 200 46413 or visit www.lombard.com/gibraltar. 57 Line Wall Road, Gibraltar

Where asset finance goes further Lombard Manx Leasing Limited. Registered in the Isle of Man: No. 7591. Registered Office: 45 Victoria Street, Douglas, Isle of Man IM1 2LD. Registered as a branch in Gibraltar with registration number 100527 and with place of business situated at 57 Line Wall Road, Gibraltar.


Chamber News

New training courses from the Chamber  

As part of the our efforts to bring members greater benefits, the Chamber is pleased to announce the introduction of a new schedule of structured training during 2010. The Chamber has linked up with local trainer Sarah Gomersall and Video Arts, one of the world’s premier providers of training resources. The ability to use Video Arts material has been made possible after lengthy discussions between the Chamber and the company. Previously rigid user-licence restrictions prevented organisations such as the Chamber from charging third party viewers. These restrictions have been adapted along with the advent of digitised encryption to make Video Arts’ extensive training library available for the first time to third party users. Indeed the Gibraltar Chamber is one of the first organisations outside the UK to be using this new way of using Video Arts’ material. There will be a variety of training themes but all the workshops are designed to make positive and lasting impact on members’ businesses. The workshops will be delivered at the Chamber by Sarah Gomersall from Proven Solutions who will use her own knowledge and training experience along with proven Video Arts materials to deliver unique compelling and useful training. The sessions are short, usually no more than half a day, and are designed to enable business owners and their staff to be flexible in

terms of time and financial commitment and also to benefit from some of the latest learning methods available. The programme is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2010 and the first few sessions will focus on Customer Service, an area which many members have highlighted a need for training support. In particular sessions will include the following themes: • • • •

Customer Care made perfect Improving the quality of your Customer Service Representing your company and effective after-sales service Complaints and the Customer

This first workshop will follow the theme of Customer Care Made Perfect, it will help you to discover how to satisfy demanding customers. The cost of the workshops is £55 per person for those members who have fully paid up their 2009 subscriptions. The Chamber has access to the entire training library of Video Arts so if members wish to have a particular then they can look at the library www.videoarts.com and then contact the Chamber to see how this could be done.

Places for courses will be allocated in a first come, first served basis. Contact the Chamber on 200 78376 to reserve your place or email the Chamber on info@gibraltarchamberofcommerce.com.

S&T Training Solutions – a year and a half on  

S & T Training Solutions have been successfully running accredited statutory training courses for the last year and a half, covering a range of health and safety training, delivered both as ‘open’ and corporate in-house, to the Gibraltar market. STTS was set up locally as a ‘one-stop shop’ to provide a comprehensive range of certified statutory, technical and other training courses; bringing into Gibraltar professional qualified UK trainers, and taking care of the organisation behind setting up courses and the statutory training required by law and EU regulations. S & T Training Solutions Director, Josephine Lorns, says, “Employers have a statutory responsibility to look after the health and safety of their employees and proper training by qualified professionals is needed to do this effectively. Many companies in Gibraltar already have a Health & Safety Policy, other companies are looking to implement such a policy and this reflects their commitment to the welfare of their employees.” She adds, “With Health & Safety courses being delivered in Gibraltar, it reduces the time for key personnel to be away from their desk which is a big consideration for many small local businesses. Also, because STTS is a ‘one-stop shop’, it saves clients the onerous task of locating the right course in the first place, as well as the time and costs in organising it.” STTS offers a range of Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) and Royal Society for the Promotion of Health (RSPH) accredited

courses, focusing on Health & Safety and Environmental issues. CIEH Courses - Health & Safety in the Workplace – start with the Level 2 Award which is aimed at anyone in a work environment, Level 3 for Supervisors, Managers, rising to the top level to Manage H&S and qualify to named “Competent” person, as required by law. Specific areas of training in Health & Safety are also offered, such as Safe Working at Heights and Risk Assessment Training, to name but two. Health & Safety covers an extensive area and STTS have additional courses in the pipeline; and also in the area of technical training, such as electrical. The full range of training courses offered by STTS can be seen on their website, www.sttraininggibraltar.com . S & T Training Solutions plan a special focus this year on offering CIEH - Food Safety in Catering Courses. These courses are designed for all Food Operatives working in a Catering environment, through to managers and owners of Bars, Cafes, Restaurants, and Hotels. STTS offer ‘Open’ courses and ‘Corporate in-house’ courses which can be tailored to suit the client’s business requirements. Statutory refresher courses where applicable, are also available to revalidate the accreditation. The facility of an Interpreter can be arranged, and exam papers be provided on some Courses for non-English speaking delegates. Josephine says “As laws and EU legislation are ever evolving, other courses will be introduced to cover that new legislation.” info@sttraininggibraltar.com.

31


Business Briefs

Gibtelecom’s new state of the art headquarters Gibtelecom Chairman and Minister for Enterprise, Development, Technology and Transport, the Hon. Joe Holliday

 

Gibtelecom officially inaugurated its new headquarters at John Mackintosh Square at a reception held on the evening of Tuesday 8 December 2009. The building was officially opened by Gibtelecom Chairman and Minister for Enterprise, Development, Technology and Transport, the Hon. Joe Holliday who expressed his confidence that “Gibtelecom’s building will help the

Company to provide an even better service to customers by offering a state-of-the-art one stop shop, conveniently located in the centre of town.” Mr Holliday was joined by Bojan Dremelj, the President of Telekom Slovenije, in inaugurating the new building. The building runs over six levels and occupies a total area of approximately 1,300 square metres and contains over 15kms of cabling. The CEO, Tim Bristow said that “the new building had been designed in

keeping with the surroundings, embellishing the Piazza by constructing a modern structure whilst replicating the old façade.” The building houses many of the Company’s departments such as Information Technology, Wireless Technologies and Sales and Marketing, as well as providing a Customer Services Centre with multi-tasked agents trained to help customers with all their communications needs - ranging from purchasing services through to simply paying a bill. “There are also many benefits for Gibtelecom from having these new premises adjoining the Haven and City Hall” said Tim Bristow “as much of the Company’s fixed line and internet technologies are located in these premises.” The laying of foundations for the premises commenced in 2006 with a time capsule containing telecommunication equipment and documentation being buried there so that a future generation can track the development of telecommunications in Gibraltar over the 20th century and into the 21st. The architects for the building were WRSM Architects and Planning Consultants and the project manager was M J Hassan and Co, with the main construction being undertaken by Casias, the Portuguese business with a base in Gibraltar. This building was completed at the turn of this year.

Verralls Barristers & Solicitors move offices

 

Verralls Barristers and Solicitors would like to advise that they have moved offices from Montagu Pavillion and can now be found at 2B Centre Plaza, Horse Barrack Lane, Gibraltar. Alternatively you can contact us by telephone on 200 47252, fax 200 72789 or email us at office@verralls.gi

32


Business Briefs

The ‘Sir Joshua Hassan Lectures’ launched  

James Levy QC, Senior Partner at leading law firm Hassans, announced last night at the firms 70th Anniversary Staff Cocktail Party at the Caleta Hotel, the launch of the ‘Sir Joshua Hassan Lectures’. The lectures, in memory of Mr Levy’s uncle Sir Joshua Hassan, the longest serving Chief Minister of Gibraltar and founder of the firm, will take place annually around Spring time. The lectures will be held in Gibraltar and will be presented by a leading figure/ VIP on issues pertinent to Gibraltar. The first lecture will be presented by the Rt Hon Michael Howard QC MP. The selection, by the partners of Hassans of Mr Howard as our first speaker is regarded as especially appropriate given Mr Howard’s credentials, like Sir Joshua, as both a politician and lawyer. The lectures will kick start our countdown to the firm’s 75th Anniversary Event which we hope will mark a milestone in celebrating its success and growth.

James Levy QC and the Hassans team

Hassans was the first firm in Gibraltar to break away from the traditional, and usually closed, family based firm. Hassans opened its doors to legal practitioners from varied backgrounds, providing an environment in which hard work and merit form the basis of advancement and recognition.

Mr Levy commented “I am extremely proud to lead such an exceptional team of people. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our clients, staff, suppliers and press for their loyalty and support and we look forward to working together with them all in the years ahead”.

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33


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Business Briefs

RBS rebranded NatWest  

Bank staff gathered at the entrance of the new NatWest branch in Corral Road for the formal opening of the premises. NatWest’s longest serving employee and Senior Bank Manager, Gillian Balban, cut the ribbon with to officially open the branch. She was joined by senior management including Marvin Cartwright, Regional Manager for Gibraltar and Jeff Williams, Head of Retail branches, NatWest offshore, who had travelled to Gibraltar for the occasion. NatWest is now the only bank in Gibraltar with two full-service branches for its customers. The new branch has been enhanced with a quick deposit till and access has been made easier for those customers using wheelchairs. A number of further improvements will be introduced in 2010. At the time of the opening Marvin Cartwright, Regional Manager and Head of Corporate Banking in Gibraltar, told B2B: ‘We are delighted with the new NatWest branch and look forward to welcoming both NatWest and former

RBS International customers here to do their banking. This represents a significant investment by our Group in Gibraltar following the recent expansion of our Line Wall Road branch and installation of four more ATM’s around the Rock.” Gillian Balban added: “Through an enhanced presence in Gibraltar we will be better placed to serve the needs of customers and the community as a whole. Led by branch manager, Abigail Garcia, the whole team are here to give an excellent personal service. We also aim to offer the latest in automated and online services to customers. It’s an exciting move for all of us and the first of a number of service and product improvements that we plan to introduce in the coming months”.

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35


Business Briefs

Interoute and Gibtelecom bring next generation telecommunications to Gibraltar The new Point of Presence (PoP) will give users and businesses in Gibraltar additional resilient access to Europe via Interoute’s technologically advanced pan European network. Moreover, the fibre optic network offers virtually unlimited capacity to support further Adrian Moreno (Operations Director Gibtelecom), Tim Bristow (CEO Gibtelecom), growth in Gibraltar. Diego Matas Morilla (Director General of Interoute’s Madrid Office) This new route complements Gibtelecom’s Gibtelecom, the leading existing international routes, including via telecommunications provider in Telefonica and Cable & Wireless, and will Gibraltar, and Interoute, owner operator provide further communications resilience of a state of the art European next for Gibraltar.

 

generation network, have deployed an alternative telecommunications route to Gibraltar, offering high capacity connectivity between the Rock and the rest of Europe.

Gareth Williams, CEO, Interoute, states, “Gibraltar’s position makes it the natural hub for international businesses looking for easy access to Europe and Africa. Gibraltar

has created a successful financial services and ecommerce sector which depend on first class communications. Consequently, we’ve seen an increasing demand from our customers to provide high capacity access to the region and we’re delighted to be able to partner with Gibtelecom and connect to their fibre optic network.” Tim Bristow, CEO, Gibtelecom, said, “By partnering with Interoute, we bring businesses in Gibraltar access to a European next generation network and the 25 European countries that it crosses. Gibraltar has witnessed a substantial surge in demand for network access, and through Gibtelecom financing the construction of this new link businesses are guaranteed enhanced connectivity, now and in the future.” Today Gibtelecom’s CEO signed an agreement, together with Diego Matas Morilla, Director General of Interoute’s Madrid Office, confirming that Gibtelecom and Interoute are now in a position to launch this new link and jointly market the services following the successful trialling of the new route.

Fund Industry Award for Hassans International Law Firm  

Hassans International Law Firm has been named “Best Gibraltar Law Firm” at the Fund Domicile Awards that took place at the Chesterfield Hotel in London on the 14th January 2010. This award is recognition of the prominence the firm plays in the fund industry in Gibraltar. The event, hosted by Fund Domcile. com was well attended and followed a full days’ conference on the issues pertinent to the offshore fund industry. The winners were selected as a result of a two stage procedure. Award winners were selected as a result of votes received as well as being based on the views of a panel of judges. A total of 223 votes were cast for 115 service providers in 14 domiciles.

36

Members of the judging panel were: Grant Fuller, Managing Director, Axicorda; Christi Gujral, Chief Operating Officer, Zan Partners; Dallas McGillvray, Managing Director, FM Consult Ltd; Paul O’Donnell, Managing Director, The Canonbury Group and Simon Osborn, Editor, International Fund Investment. The panel was chosen as a result of their independence, knowledge of fund service provision and the many years of experience that they all have had dealing with organisations in the fund domiciles. James Lasry (pictured right, receiving the award), partner and Head of Funds at Hassans said “I am delighted Hassans has been recognised as Gibraltar’s best law firm for funds. Our Funds Team has worked very hard over the years to develop Gibraltar as a jurisdiction of choice.”


People on the Move

MN Associates Limited launched  

Mike Nicholls

Mike Nicholls has launched MN Associates Limited to focus on property, funding and relocation. Mike originally trained as a chartered accountant with KPMG in London before later moving over in 2002 to take up the role of finance director at Ocean Village.

“I will also focus on advising companies relocating to Gibraltar, and am working on a full ‘hand-holding’ service to ensure that new entrants to Gibraltar secure the right premises whilst guiding their staff through the sometimes confusing maze of residency cards, tax registration etc.”

Mike told B2B, “I want to use my experience in property and funding at the highest levels to serve an array of Gibraltar based clients.  There is huge interest out there in investing in Gibraltar and I will assist clients identifying opportunities and approaching the right banks to help fund their ventures.  This service will blend seven years of Gibraltar property knowledge with many more years financial expertise and as such I think will be unique in the market place – and just as important – a lot of fun”.

“If I can help in some small way to attract greater inward investment and ensure newcomers are well served, then word of mouth will ensure we can take the Gibraltar story further afield, which must be good for all of us.” Mike’s role at Ocean Village extended well beyond the standard financial stewardship of the company and is probably well known to most of us and we wish him the best of luck.  Mike’s contact details can be found on his website www.mn-associates.gi

Senior NatWest Appointment to bolster service  

NatWest has strengthened its Corporate banking team with the appointment of Paul Miles as Senior Relationship Director to head up a new corporate team which will focus on servicing Financial Institutions. In his newly created role, Paul and his five-strong team, based at 55 Line Wall Road branch, will service the financial needs of intermediaries such as trust and wealth managers, fund administrators, insurance intermediaries, the gaming industry and other professional service providers. Paul has 35 years’ experience in financial services working for the RBS group, mostly in client servicing roles. Paul is already known in Gibraltar having first moved here from Canterbury in 1998 when he was appointed to head up the Bank’s corporate team. In 2003, he re-located to Guernsey where he worked for the Bank’s Real Estate Finance team until earlier this year. Paul, who met his wife Eileen, a Gibraltarian, during his first spell in the jurisdiction has described his return to Gibraltar as ‘like coming home’. He and Eileen have two children, Paul and Alex,

John Treacy, Marvin Cartwright, Paul Miles.

who are now at school in Gibraltar. A keen golfer and passionate England football fan, Paul also has an interest in restoring vintage motor cars. Alongside Paul and the Institutional team, John Treacy continues to head up a separate Corporate and Commercial team and, under the revised structure, they both report to Marvin Cartwright, Regional Director for NatWest. Marvin commented: ‘Paul’s appointment provides us with additional experience in meeting the needs of our corporate clients. Having

previously worked in Gibraltar, Paul can immediately call upon existing insights into the nuances of the corporate market in Gibraltar and adds continuity for our clients. By adding to our senior management team we can focus more on the services we offer to financial institutions, which continues to be a growing sector in Gibraltar. At the same time this allows John and his team to turn their attention entirely to the equally important corporate and commercial sectors. This latest investment in the team further underlines the RBS group’s commitment to Gibraltar.’

37


People on the Move

Barclays imports new talent  

As Barclays Wealth in Gibraltar continues to roll out its range of services for individuals and local businesses, the peninsula’s largest bank is also boosting local staffing levels. One recent arrival on the Rock is Lee Francis who will be the bank’s Director responsible for Business Management both locally and also for Cyprus. It is part of Barclays Wealth’s ongoing commitment to ensure that as many of the bank’s services available elsewhere are also accessible to businesses in Gibraltar. This follows on from the great IT migration project two years ago when the bank became seamlessly connected to Barclays’ global wealth network instead of pursuing its own locally developed technology platform. Taking a brief break from his busy schedule to snatch a quick cup of coffee Lee Francis quickly gets down to business. “The migration project went down very well here and many of our customers are already seeing the benefits of being linked up with the bank’s global network.” But it is not what the bank has achieved in the last few years that has Lee excited. It is what lies ahead. “Yes of course there are all of the usual challenges that a new role entails: internal things like getting to know the staff, looking at skill sets and the external issues like the meeting clients, regulators and intermediaries. But what has struck me is the opportunity that exists here. It’s massive.” “I have just come from spending two years in Cyprus as Country Director. Economically and geographically the two places are quite different – with Cyprus being bigger in every way. But Barclays’ business in Gibraltar is twice the size of the business in Cyprus. And I think that we can continue to grow at a steady rate if we continue to invest in our brand and to invest in our people locally.” Warming to his theme he taps his paper cup as if he can barely contain his excitement. “Because of what has happened in the wider world in the last eighteen months and because the of the path which the bank decided to take as an institution, I think that Barclays Wealth is ideally placed to leverage the strength of its global brand and the Barclays network for Gibraltar’s business community. There are three sectors in particular where we see the greatest potential: in retail corporate among

38

Lee Francis

Gibraltar’s predominant small and mediumsized enterprise (SME) community, among intermediaries such as accountants, lawyers and fiduciary services and finally among High Net Worth Individuals”. When asked about who is servicing these various sectors currently he says that the offering is a mixed bag from a number of local providers. “I am not for one minute suggesting that these groups have been neglected until now. It is just that I know if we can match local knowledge and the power of those local relationships, which many of our team have, with improved product knowledge of what Barclays Wealth can offer, I am sure that our clients will benefit hugely and the bank and our staff will benefit too.” What is clear about Lee is that apart from being extremely driven and knowing what he wants, he is also very certain about how he intends to achieve it. “I am a firm believer in training and development. It is not always easy and it is certainly not cheap. But it is really one of the few ways to sustain and grow your business over time. It is also one of the best ways to attract and retain staff. It shows you value them and what they can bring to business and this feeds on itself. One of the things I have been spending time on since my arrival is assessing skill sets and seeing what additional training people need. I am also very keen to make sure that our people really understand the power of effective teamwork. A lot of organisations say this but relatively few really practise it consistently and so the benefit is soon lost. I want the words

“teamwork” and “service” to become synonymous for Barclays Wealth in Gibraltar. But we can only achieve this if we continue to invest in our people.” Lee says that as a policy he has a preference for developing staff from within the bank. He also has a preference for employing local staff where possible rather than bringing people in from outside – the power of local knowledge and those all-important relationships again. However, there have already been some new additions to the team. They have been brought onboard because of the strong client relationships they have or particularly because of their international experience. “One has to strike the right balance. Local knowledge and relationships are critical. However, we also need to ensure that these are complemented by specialist product knowledge or by internal relationships within Barclays’ global network. Barclays Wealth is the UK’s largest wealth manager and is one of the largest financial institutions in the world with total client assets of £145bn.  We have offices in over 25 countries and are backed by the Barclays Group. There are very few if any other providers who can match the strength and expertise that Barclays Wealth offers.” “We have been in Gibraltar for over 120 years and we have deep roots in this country. We lend, invest, move and protect money for over 48 million clients worldwide and in these turbulent times our clients want to deal with a bank they can trust.”


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MH Bland - 200 years of history PAYE - to pay or not to pay? Business profile: Tony Welsh The Quarterly Magazine of the Chamber of Commerce V...

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