BIba's head of compliance and training is already singing Spandau Ballet hits...

Steve White, head of compliance and training at Biba:

Doesn’t time fly! It seems like only a few months ago we were in Glasgow for the 2008 Biba Conference and now the 2009 event in Manchester is just days away.

I have been busy travelling around the Biba regions chairing our ever-popular compliance forums. This gives me the opportunity both to update members on key regulatory matters and to gauge their reaction to the current issues. The FSA are starting to step up their interest in client money and capital resources and these forums give us the opportunity to alert members to issues at an early stage.

Clearly the Industry Guidance on transparency, disclosure and conflicts of interest in the commercial insurance market is uppermost in a lot of members’ minds right now. The series of half-day regional workshops we are running around the Industry guidance are attracting a lot of interest from members – indeed three of the London dates have already sold out!

Conference time is always a very busy period for the Biba team and this year is no exception. I have the pleasure of introducing Sahar Hashemi, co-founder of Coffee Republic on Thursday afternoon in a session called The innovation mindset – an entrepreneur’s personal journey. On the Friday morning I will be joining some of my colleagues in a session called 'What Biba does for you' which I know will be popular with members. Friday also sees Ruby Wax and Erin Brockovich on stage, once again providing conference delegates with first class keynote presentations.

This will be my sixth Biba Conference (I joined Biba in March 2004) and each one has had its highlights. These for me include keynote speakers like William Hague, Matthew Pincent, Ian Hislop and Sir Bob Geldof and gala dinner entertainment from The Rat Pack, Michael McIntyre and Heather Small. This year’s gala dinner will feature Tony Hadley. With Spandau Ballet reforming and touring later in the year, having Tony perform is a real coup.

The BIBA Conference in Manchester will be a great event and, as Tony Hadley will sing: “I know this much is true!"

For more Biba countdown, see the RELATED ARTICLES on the right.