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Bermuda Praised As E-World Power By New Digital Trading House

Royal Gazette

21 December 2000


This story is reproduced by kind permission of the Royal Gazette at http://www.accessbda.bm

Bermuda has been dubbed the "Hong Kong of the new e-world" by the head of a new digital trading house which has started up on the Island.

Basil Peters, Chairman of Global e-Biz Ltd, which has opened a sales office in Hamilton, said yesterday that the company had taken on investment from a Bermuda incubator company and praised the way the Island was run.

Dr. Peters said that eVentureCentre had bought a stake in the company and announced the appointment to the board of directors of Paul Hellmers, President and CEO of Centre Solutions (Bermuda) Limited, which owns eVentureCentre.

Dr. Peters said: "After doing a thorough analysis of jurisdictions worldwide, Global e-biz is convinced that Bermuda will be the Hong Kong of the new e-world.

"Bermuda's unique combination of e-commerce legislation, e-business-oriented government, international reputation, competitive tax structure and multiple redundant high bandwidth Internet connections creates the ideal environment for global success in the new economy."

The appointment of Mr. Hellmers to the board came on the heels of a strategic investment in Global e-Biz by e-VentureCentre (Bermuda) Limited, the world's first offshore e-commerce incubator. Mr. Hellmers is also president of eVentureCentre, which is owned by Centre Solutions.

Dr. Peters said: "This is an exciting time for Global e-Biz and I am very pleased to have Paul Hellmers join our Board of Directors. Paul's experience and skill in corporate finance and his position as a leader within Bermuda's financial and business communities will be an enormous asset in our efforts to globalise e-commerce for regional manufacturing leaders around the world."

Mr. Hellmers is at the forefront of capital market development for Centre Solutions, a wholly owned subsidiary of global insurance leader Zurich Financial Services Group.

Centre Solutions says it provides highly customised, innovative and non-traditional solutions to meet the risk based and financial needs of its client companies. Mr. Hellmers has worked with businesses around the world, helping them define their financial and risk needs, and developing customised financial strategies that provide the greatest return.

Previously, he co-founded Zurich Structured Finance, which specialises in innovative real estate finance and has merged with Centre Solutions. He spent 15 years with Morgan Stanley in New York where he started the firm's distressed real estate debt acquisition and commercial mortgage securitisation and trading activities as well as managed the firm's capital markets and derivatives business.

"Global e-Biz' strategic business model is unique. The company's management recognised early that Bermuda offered them first-move advantages in the new world of global trade in a digital economy," said Mr. Hellmers.

"Their vision, coupled with the strength of their management, will ensure the success of this company. Global e-Biz is at the forefront of the next wave of change in global trade and it will be very exciting to help build an organisation that is revolutionising the way trade is conducted world wide."

Global e-Biz says its mission is to drive new global sales for leading regional manufacturing companies, helping today's regional leaders "become tomorrow's Global 2000".

Global e-Biz said it sees an opportunity to revolutionise international commerce using the next generation of e-business technologies, combining a physical network of Global Sales Offices in leading trade centres around the world with a proprietary Internet-based global e-business system built on Microsoft's new .NET platform.

Global e-Biz is close to completing its seed round of financing. A second round of US $4 to 5 million will be raised in mid-2001 to develop its e-business software, expand its network of Global Sales Offices, add manufacturing partners and begin generating revenues through its Global Sales Network. Global e-biz currently has global sales offices open in Seattle, USA, Vancouver, Canada and Hamilton, Bermuda, with plans to expand into Europe, Hong Kong, Dubai, and South America in 2001.

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