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Sound academic training important

Published: May 09, 2013

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Name: Sofia J. Papageorge

Industry position: Associate, Delaney Partners

What attracted you to the sector?

I always had an interest in studying law. As a teenager, my father and I would often watch Bloomberg together. My father and I would each select a stock that we liked and wager as to whose would be the most successful by a particular date. This exercise sparked my interest in the financial services sector.

When I finally went to study law, I decided to take some corporate law electives.  At that point there was no doubt in my mind that I wished to pursue a career in commercial law.

My interest in securities law specifically developed during my pupillage. My pupil master, Pamela Klonaris, encouraged me to try this area of law stating that within a year, “I would love it”.  She was right.

What does your present job entail?

I am an associate with Delaney Partners, a commercial law practice servicing the financial services industry.  Working alongside the partners of the firm and our consultant attorney, my practice focuses on securities, investment funds, banking, financial services law and regulation and commercial matters.  Additionally, I have acted in financial regulatory, corporate, trust and estates, immigration and employment matters.

I am also a member of several working groups of the Bahamas Financial Services Board, including the Registry Services Working Group, and I have assisted with the private sector review of the Securities Industry Act, 2011 and the Securities Industry Regulations, 2012.

What keeps you motivated?

I love what I do, and I enjoy the team of professionals with whom I work.  My work is my motivation. Whether my instructions involve the closing of a transaction, the building of an investment fund or the incorporation and licensing of a registered firm, my work is diverse, frequently challenges me to learn something new and always offers a tremendous feeling of accomplishment.

Why do you think you have been successful?

Whatever I have accomplished until this point can be attributed to my education, hard work, mentors and my strong support system comprised of my family, friends and colleagues.  Nonetheless, it is important to acknowledge that success is not stagnant and is part of a continuum — there is always room for improvement and bigger goals to attain.

Did mentoring play a part in your success?

Mentoring has been a key component in attaining my goals thus far. Having mentors throughout my academic and legal career has encouraged my professional development, enabled me to receive honest and impartial guidance and has enhanced my professional network.

What qualifications do you feel are the most useful in helping you perform in the sector?

The ability to perform well in this sector, in my view, is twofold — sound academic training and strong inter-personal skills.  To put it simply, you have to know what you are talking about and you have to be able to work with people.

What has been your biggest challenge in your career and how did you overcome it?

One of the biggest challenges thus far has been addressing the concern, sometimes expressed by new clients (including foreign counsel) who are unfamiliar with the jurisdiction, regarding the quality of professional and legal services available in a small country like The Bahamas.

My approach for alleviating these concerns has been to continue to convey everything, we as a nation, have accomplished; discuss what we are doing to continue to grow and be at the front lines of innovation and world class service and lead by example.

Are there specific suggestions for sustaining and/or growing the financial sector?

In order to maintain our standing as a premier financial services jurisdiction as well as grow the industry, I believe that our priorities must include:

• Increasing the efficiency of regulatory oversight in The Bahamas;

• Continuing to market “The Bahamas” brand globally;

• Continuing to develop new products and services;

• Providing impeccable and timely service to our clients;

• Encouraging ongoing professional education;

• Ensuring that our legislative regime continues to evolve to address global trends, including FATCA;

• Continuing to develop our infrastructure;

• Ensuring that we remain a cost-effective jurisdiction;

• Harmonizing the processes involved in doing business in The Bahamas; and

• Continuing to encourage dialogue between our private and public sector through organizations such as the Bahamas Financial Services Board.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 13:17

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