Introducing the ACAMS Barbados Chapter: The Caribbean Hub

On Friday, May 31, 2019, ACAMS officially launched the Barbados Chapter, which will serve as an anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing (AML/CTF) hub in the Caribbean. The chapter was launched at the “ACAMS Anti-Financial Crime/Counter-Terrorist Financing Symposium: Barbados” held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. The Barbados Chapter is the 64th ACAMS chapter worldwide.

The Barbados Chapter aims to promote the mission of ACAMS and seeks to foster the exchange of ideas and information amongst Caribbean professionals dedicated to the detection and prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing. This will be accomplished by organizing and staging various learning and networking opportunities of regional interest that will be designed to gather professionals in an atmosphere that encourages sharing experiences, best practices and acumen.

The Honorable Prime Minister Mia Mottley, Queen’s Counsel, Minister of Parliament (M.P.) gave the feature address and the Honorable Minister of International Business and Industry Ronald Toppin, M.P. delivered keynote remarks at the official launch. The symposium hosted international and local speakers from regulatory agencies and the private sector on cutting-edge topics. These topics were especially opportune for members of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), which recently conducted mutual evaluations in Antigua, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica.

In support of ACAMS’ international mission, the Barbados Chapter will accomplish the following:

  • Provide a forum for local and regional ACAMS member events on a regular basis and facilitate ACAMS-approved potential speakers, trainers and sponsors.
  • Provide continuing education credit for ACAMS members to maintain their CAMS designation.
  • Collaborate with and become a trusted partner/advisor for government, regulators, professional associations and other industry partners.
  • Promote the mandates of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), CFATF and other sector development agencies in the region vis-à-vis AML/CTF matters.
  • Provide the regional perspective, international standards, and input into regional and international AML/CTF events.
  • Offer unique benefits for members of the chapter and provide practical insights for implementation as well as an engaging experience.
  • Allow members to add their voice, experience, and expertise in the local and regional effort to promote, expand and enhance the AML/CTF community.
  • Become an effective and productive resource for members, financial institutions and related businesses.

Meet the Board

The founding executive board is comprised of the following team of experienced regulatory, compliance and financial services professionals:

  • Cyralene Benskin-Murray, CAMS, general counsel, Financial Services Commission | Barbados Chapter co-chair
  • Deidre Marquez-Padmore, CAMS, manager, corporate services, PwC | Barbados Chapter co-chair
  • De Von Hunte, CAMS, Central Bank of Barbados | Barbados Chapter executive board member
  • Abena Agard, CAMS, senior analyst, securities ag, Financial Services Commission | Barbados Chapter executive board member
  • Nigel Pierre, compliance architect, Sagicor Financial Corporation | Barbados Chapter executive board member
  • Candice Huggins, chief compliance officer, CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank | Barbados Chapter executive board member
  • Beverly Best, CAMS, compliance manager, J&T Bank and Trust Inc. | Barbados Chapter executive board member
  • Denise Perez, head of Caribbean, ACAMS

One Year With the ACAMS Barbados Chapter

In 2020, the Barbados Chapter hosted six virtual learning events with approximately 450 AML/CTF professionals in attendance from the Caribbean, as well as one networking event for members. The virtual events focused on medicinal marijuana, politically exposed persons and enhanced due diligence, freezing orders, ultimate beneficial ownership, and listings by FATF and the European Union. The board continues to liaise with other chapters for information as well as speaking at chapter-hosted events. The Barbados Chapter greatly appreciates the time and effort of all participants in sharing knowledge within the compliance community in the Caribbean.

The chapter has already begun planning 2021 events that include networking-only gatherings, as well as learning events focused on new regulatory and FATF guidance, AML/CTF and proliferation financing inspections, conducting a risk assessment, and case studies of recent money laundering and terrorist financing cases. A number of exciting events are in the works; the chapter looks forward to an exciting 2021!

For more information, the Barbados Chapter highly encourages following the chapter on Instagram and Twitter @acamsbarbados to receive regular updates about proposed activities. The Barbados Chapter invites members to share their thoughts by emailing and as always anyone interested can join the chapter through the ACAMS website at 

Abena Agard, senior analyst, securities (ag), Financial Services Commission; director, communications, ACAMS Barbados Chapter

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