Q & A WITH ANASTASIA CAMPBELL CHAIR, WSG, 2023 – 2024October 2, 2023
Nassau, The Bahamas – This past September 2023, GrahamThompson Partner and GTC Corporate Services Limited (GTCCS), Chief Operating Officer (COO) Anastasia Campbell, became Chair of the Board of Directors of the World Services Group (WSG) for the 2023 – 2024 year. She succeeds Herman H. Raspé, of Patterson, Belknap, Webb and Tyler LLP, in New York, USA.
With this milestone, Anastasia also became the first woman and the youngest person to serve in this top role for WSG. The World Services Group is a prominent global network comprising a membership of over 120 firms, spanning nine regions worldwide. The network represents over 23,000 professionals.
In the days prior to the change in leadership, Anastasia paused for a Q&A, providing insights on a few role-defining areas.
Q1. As you get set to begin your year as Chair of the World Services Group, how would you characterise the significance of the role and its scope of responsibility?
There is no doubt that the role of the Chair is significant to an organization’s corporate governance and strategic direction. However, during my term on the Board thus far, I have come to appreciate WSG’s judicious and collaborative approach on all levels. This is by no means a “one (Chair)woman show” – pun intended.
The process to becoming Chair is measured to ensure that candidates are enlightened and well equipped for the responsibility. By the time one becomes Chair, they are serving in their 4th year on the Board and 2nd year on the Executive Committee. I also have the added benefit of serving on WSG’s Strategic Planning Committee prior to becoming a Director, which I am sure will prove hugely helpful with ensuring that, as Chair, I steer organization’s strategic direction appropriately.
The responsibilities of the Chair require persistent engagement, which is quite the commitment when also actively practicing law. I am comforted, however, by the experience gained during my lead-up years and the fact that our CEO and Houston headquarters team provide considerable support which I deem invaluable.
Q2. You are set to become the first woman, first person of colour and the youngest person to hold the role as Chair of WSG what do these distinctions mean for WSG and for you?
The undertaking of being “the first” can seem daunting, but the distinction and driving force for me has been the fact that representation matters – as cliché as that might sound. This is the most meaningful part of being the youngest, first female and first person of colour Chair to be elected. The basic idea of seeing oneself reflected in leadership helps to foster a sense of identity, validation and connectivity, which are powerful factors in changing the trajectory of groups which have been traditionally marginalized or excluded. I wish to actively and gracefully demonstrate to young women and people of colour that the proverbial “it” is indeed achievable.
I would be remiss not to also note that as a global network WSG’s membership is wide and diverse, running the gamut of nationalities, races, cultural backgrounds, genders and more. Having its youngest, first female and person of colour as Chair sends a strong signal that WSG is committed to inclusivity, diversity and indeed succession. We are adamant that the network must remain resolute in its pursuit of an inclusive, enlightened culture in which its membership feels genuinely seen and safe.
Q3. What can a Bahamian in such a prestigious international role mean for The Bahamas and the region?
It is not fortuitous that The Bahamas is one of the most successful jurisdictions within the Caribbean. However, this appointment reminds the wider global community of the value proposition for The Bahamas and indeed the region. We have a long history of political and economic stability, internationally respected human capital, and strong legal and regulatory regimes. Putting the spotlight on small nation countries (and its citizens) opportunely conveys that we remain formidable despite our size.
Q4. As far as your goals for your year as Chair, what will be your primary areas of focus?
I have set three goals for the coming year: Diversity, Emerging Leaders and Training Programs
- Diversity: WSG’s diversity has grown leaps and bounds since attending my very first meeting, many years ago. We are now proud to boast leadership that is symbolic of the wider membership. At the Regional Council and Board levels we are actively cultivating authentically representative groups. Sub-Group initiatives, such as the Women’s Group, provide great opportunities for us to expand on diversity and inclusion. We hope to explore further Sub-Groups this year.
- Emerging Leaders: As an “emerged” member of the Emerging Leaders Group (ELG), the growth initiative of our members firms’ bright-and-best is very close to my heart. The ELG is a wonderful and very necessary movement to ensure succession and membership engagement, which are two key elements to safeguarding the network’s viability and continued vibrancy.
- Training Programs: One of the paramount objectives at WSG is providing tangible benefits for our members. We have launched various leadership programs by engaging renowned professionals and learning institutions to develop specialized programs for the membership at large. These offerings have proven to be hugely successful. We hope to continue to equip our members with opportunities for professional and personal growth.
Q5. When you think of the trajectory of your career, how does this kind of achievement align with the professional goals that you’ve set for yourself?
In all truthfulness, this achievement exceeds the personal goals set for myself when I started participating regularly in WSG events. Despite becoming active in the ELG, it was not until I was asked to serve as a Director that leadership within WSG actively registered on my radar – even so, at that time, I did not imagine that I would one day be Chair. When first elected to the WSG Board, I perhaps thought that I was too young to be eligible for the Executive Committee and ultimately Chair. However, others saw in me what I evidently missed. I am immensely grateful for those within GrahamThompson and WSG who steered me towards positions I did not myself recognize as attainable. I am a walking testament to the value of meaningful mentorship and, for that, I will be forever indebted.
Anastasia Campbell is a Partner in GrahamThompson’s Finance and Corporate Practice Group.
The World Services Group network of independent firms, represents over 23,000 professionals with multinational clients in more than 150 jurisdictions globally.