13 May 2019
The following statements have been made on the death of Colin Powell, CBE:
Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, said: “I first met Colin when I was 18 years old. He served both my father and me with distinction, and his contribution to Jersey’s financial services industry, and to the island itself, is incalculable. For more than fifty years Colin guided the island’s economy with wisdom and foresight.
“Colin shared his expertise with generations of officials working in economics and external relations, and his dedication was instrumental in forging the island as we know it today. He will be greatly missed.”
External Relations Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, said: “Colin was respected globally throughout the financial services world and will be missed by all of us who have worked with him over the years.
“I will always be grateful for the wisdom of Colin’s advice when I served the island as Chief Minister. There aren’t many difficult situations, either local or international, that Colin hasn’t faced before, and he was always able to help politicians to see the long view.
“I would like to extend my sincerest sympathies to Colin’s wife, their daughters and grandchildren. They have shared Colin with Jersey for more than 50 years, and for that I thank them.”
Treasury Minister, Deputy Susie Pinel, said: “Colin was a lifelong family friend and a mentor to me. He was someone on whose sage advice I knew I could trust and rely, especially in my political life. I will miss him dreadfully and will be forever grateful to have known him, both personally and professionally.”
Colin was a young Cambridge-educated economist when he was appointed Economic Advisor to the States of Jersey in 1969. His brief was to “carry out the research required to establish the nature and characteristics of the island’s economy, and… provide forecasts of the rate at which it is likely to grow”.
When Colin’s report appeared in 1971 it was clear that he had delivered much more than the brief; not only a detailed examination of the Jersey economy, but a blueprint for its future development. He covered everything from crop patterns and air freight to land reclamation and sewage treatment.
Long before it became fashionable, he devoted space to immigration and environmental protection, showing a talent for foresight that Jersey has benefited from.
The economy looked very different in 1971: tourism contributed more than half the island’s income and finance just 9% – less than agriculture. The framework he recommended, favouring high-quality businesses, soon proved a catalyst for growth. Within a few years the island was host to global institutions like Citibank, HSBC and Royal Trust Company of Canada, while numerous complementary businesses flourished, providing legal, accounting, trust and fund administration services.
While he was the last person to claim credit for Jersey’s emergence as a leading international financial centre, Colin deserves recognition for his study of Jersey’s economy more than 40 years ago, and for his accomplished stewardship of the island’s economic fortunes in the years that followed.
Colin held many key positions, chairing the Jersey Financial Services Commission for ten years and advising ministers on International Affairs.
From 1981 until October 2011, he chaired the Group of International Finance Centre Supervisors (formerly the Offshore Group of Banking Supervisors), a group of 18 jurisdictions. In this capacity he attended meetings of the international Financial Action Task Force on combating money laundering and terrorism financing, and was co-leader of two Financial Action Task Force groups, one on the misuse of corporate vehicles and the other on the money laundering vulnerabilities arising from the trafficking of human beings.
Colin received many awards and was immortalised in an oil painting commissioned by Jersey Heritage.
- in 2005 Colin was awarded the CBE for services to Financial Regulation and to the community in Jersey
- in 2009 Colin took on the role of Vice Chair for a Peer Review Group set up by the OECD. This group developed terms of reference for a robust, transparent process to assess how effectively the international standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes were being implemented by individual jurisdictions
- in 2013 IOD Jersey awarded Colin a Lifetime Achievement Award
- Colin was a long-standing member of Rotary
- for many years Colin devoted time and energy to the welfare of children – bringing his understated brand of leadership, integrity and vitality to chairing the Jersey Child Care Trust and helping to secure a new centre for the NSPCC in Stopford Road, St Helier.
In one of Colin’s many articles, he left advice for those who are now charged with safeguarding Jersey’s future: “If eyes remain fixed on the horizon and there is appropriate early response, there is every reason to remain confident in Jersey’s ability to protect and enhance its position as a quality international finance centre. There will be many business opportunities in existing and new markets and Jersey requires only a small share of what will continue to be a large global market for financial services.
“Jersey can be expected both to maintain its excellent track record in adapting to economic and political change, and to further reinforce its growing international reputation as a jurisdiction supportive of G20 and other global initiatives on financial regulation, Anti Money Laundering, and transparency and information exchange. The horizon is not without some clouds but nevertheless the future remains bright.”