Those who hold high hopes for the transition of Invesco from London to Bermuda should recognize what it may mean for our economy and our island. Should we really be looking to continue growing or slow down so we can get a handle on our infrastructure first? What does the move of Invesco mean for Bermuda? Will this ultimately yield good or bad things for our economy and our people? Should Bermudians have had more of a say?
Frequent readers of this blog will note that this isn’t the first time that it has been mentioned that we need to slow down growth. Inflation is high, housing isn’t affordable, affordable rents are impossible to find, traffic is abysmal and our infrastructure is overstretched. How can we be considering the introduction of a firm that manages $520 billion in assets when we really should be trying to get a grasp on our growth by closing to new business?
In management there’s an old adage that suggests “You can’t manage what you don’t measure”, one which holds application to the management of our islands economy. The questions must be asked, if we already have over-employment, how many jobs will Invesco be adding? How many of those jobs will be for Bermudians and how many will require more foreigners? Where will we house these new foreigners? Will they require cars and how will that impact traffic? Are we measuring the impact of the addition of this new business?
Should we be asking ourselves the larger question of what tangible value does our people gain from the introduction of yet another company? If we don’t need more jobs, we’re already overstretched on housing and we suffer from too much traffic as is, what do we gain? The only thing we really gain is more payroll taxes for those workers that are imported (at which point we should asking what the point of 7 year term limits is) and the limited flat corporate taxes.
Bermudians should really be asking themselves where we will gain from having another large firm domiciled in Bermuda. How will it benefit you, Mr. Joe Average Bermudian to have this firm here? Will it impact your ability to own or rent housing? Will it give you more traffic? Will you really benefit from the increase in taxes due to even more foreign workers? The really incredible thing is that every shareholder of Invesco had the chance to decide whether or not it should re-domicile in Bermuda and the average Bermudian shareholder was given no say.