Archive for November, 2007

CIMA celebrates 10-year anniversary

Friday, November 30th, 2007

On November 16, 2007, the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) celebrated its 10-year anniversary as 10 years of regulating Cayman’s financial services sector.

CIMA Chairman Timothy Ridley, Managing Director Cindy Scotland, numerous distinguished board members, present staff, past employees and other guests reflected on CIMA’s accomplishments during the period.

According to Mr. Ridley, CIMA’s 10th anniversary was a great opportunity to recognise and thank those who played a role in its creation and development as an independent authority, and who assisted it in enhancing the economic well-being of Cayman.

Marking the significance of CIMA’s 10 years, Mrs. Scotland said that “it is safe to say that the past 10 years have by far, been the most challenging for our industry, not only because of increasing competition from other jurisdictions, but from the increasing demands of international standard setters and regulators”. She also added that more and more of time is being spent by CIMA to assess the battery of international initiatives that represent the jurisdiction and to negotiate on regulatory issues. As a result, CIMA is regarded by many financial regulators as a leader in many aspects of regulation.

Legal expert says Cayman needs bill of rights

Monday, November 26th, 2007

According to a legal expert Professor Jeffrey Jowell who was hired in order to advise the Cayman Islands in drafting a new constitution, a bill of rights will be a necessary part of the revised constitution if Cayman wants it to be approved by the UK.

Professor Jeffrey Jowell is the UK’s representative on the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission. He said that it is needed to have a bill of rights as now the UK also has one and as very few countries in the world do not have it.

According to Mr. Jowell, UK officials expect to find some universal human rights issues in the Cayman Islands proposed constitution as some aspects of the European Commission on Human Rights are absolute in all bills of rights. He indicated that they generally include guarantees of certain civil and political rights, freedom of expression and association.

Chinese delegation visits Cayman

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

On November 5-7, 2007, the Cayman Islands was visited by a delegation from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce. The delegation was led by Vice-Minister Madam Ma Xiuhong.

During the visit, Madam Ma Xiuhong paid a courtesy call on His Excellency the Governor, Mr Stuart Jack, CVO. Also, she and her delegation held talks with the Financial Secretary, the Hon. Kenneth Jefferson.

Besides meeting many private-sector representatives, the delegation met the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority’s Managing Director Cindy Scotland. The delegation also had a meeting with the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange’s Head of Business Development, Gerry Halischuk.

On November 6, a reception was held at Government House in honour of Madam Xiuhong and her delegation.

C&W upgrades mobile network and infrastructure

Saturday, November 17th, 2007

Over the last few months, Cable & Wireless (C&W) has announced significant upgrades to its mobile network and infrastructure.

In the end of October, Albert Anderson, C&W’s vice president of network services in Cayman, revealed the improvements. He explained that the changes were prompted by growth in the mobile market in Cayman over the last few years. According to him, the upgrades conducted over the past months are a continued testament to company’s efforts to ensure top quality service for its customers.

Cleavy Scott, wireless services manager, supervised the upgrade that started with the addition of a new communication tower on the Linford Pierson Highway as well as a new cell site on Harbour Drive.

Cable & Wireless said that the investment will improve mobile coverage within office buildings in these areas as well as help to prevent dropped calls.

Scott observed that despite numerous challenges C&W has kept the important project on schedule in accordance with the project plan.

Walkers and Mourant hold merger talks

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

Two legal giants Walkers and Mourant are engaged in merger talks. If the talks are successfully completed, the world’s biggest offshore law firm can be created.

If Walkers of the Cayman Islands and Mourant du Feu & Jeune of the Channel Islands complete the merger, the new firm would employ more than 300 lawyers, which will make the combined entity far larger than the current offshore leader, Maples and Calder, another Cayman firm employing 150 lawyers.

The merged companies would not only have a considerable presence in the Cayman Islands (where Walkers is currently building a new headquarters), but also be based in the major financial centres of London, Hong Kong, New York and Dubai.

According to Walkers managing partner Grant Stein, talks with Mourant commenced in May 2007. However, he said that a merger is an option but this stage has not been approached so far. He said that at the moment the two companies are “getting to know each other’s cultures and the synergies between the firms”.

The head of Mourant’s Cayman office Charles Quin refused to comment on the merger talks.

New Head of Banking Supervision Division of CIMA

Friday, November 9th, 2007

After heading the Banking Supervision Division of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) for more than 2 years, Malcolm Eden leaves it on January 31, 2008 in order to pursue other endeavours.

As a result of successive promotions within the Banking Supervision Division, including to the post of Deputy Head of Banking in 2003, Malcolm Eden was appointed as Head of Banking in September 2005.

A former Deputy Head of Banking and consultant to CIMA will become his successor. Currently, Reina Ebanks is part of Butterfield Bank’s Enterprise Risk Management Department.

Reina Ebanks will take over as the new Head of Banking on February 1, 2008. She was the Deputy Head of Banking from August 2001.

When announcing the changes, the CIMA Managing Director Cindy Scotland said that the Authority is sorry to see Malcolm go because his contribution to CIMA was significant. According to Scotland, “Not only has he had responsibility for the regulation of Cayman-licensed banks and non-bank financial institutions, which now number 357, but for assisting with the regulation of the financial industry as a whole and the implementation of a number of prudential rules and statements of guidance.” She also mentioned that Malcolm Eden laid the foundation for the upcoming phased implementation of the new Basel II capital adequacy framework .

Ogier gets another top award

Monday, November 5th, 2007

Corporate and finance law and associated fiduciary services provider Ogier Partners has recently been awarded as the Top Offshore Law Firm. This is the 2nd consecutive year when Ogier receives the Top Offshore Law Firm Award from the Alpha Hedge Fund Service Provider Survey.

Alpha Awards tabulated this year’s results from responses of more than 1 000 hedge fund firms, which manage an estimated USD 1.4 trillion in assets. The votes of hedge fund managers were collected by Alpha magazine. Hedge fund managers rated the quality of service by their providers of legal, administration, prime brokerage and audit services. The service elements were divided into broad categories with more specific sub-units. The importance of each service attribute, forming the basis of the calculation was also rated by the respondents.

In accordance with the result, Ogier was put at the top of the list in the “Overall” category.

Also, Ogier placed 1st in 2 new rankings for 2007. These were “Small Firm Favourites” (managers with less than USD 1 billion in assets) and “Big Firm Favourites” (hedge fund firms with assets USD 1 billion or more). Ogier got top assessments in the subsidiary categories of client service, document preparation and fund formation, hedge fund expertise and regulatory, and compliance.

Peter Cockhill, Ogier Partner, said that this award is the result of the expertise and hard work of Ogier’s attorneys and support staff who have managed to prove for the 2nd time that they are the best in the business.

In 2006, The Lawyer named Ogier “the offshore giant across 9 jurisdictions”. Ogier in the Cayman Islands is a full-service firm specializing in international finance and corporate law and an authorized listing agent for the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange (CSX) . Its wholly owned affiliate company, Ogier Fiduciary Services (Cayman) Limited provides tailored fiduciary and administrative services in the areas of investment funds, trusts, structured finance vehicles, companies and partnerships. It holds a Trust Licence and a Mutual Funds Administrator’s Licence issued by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) .

CIFSA welcomes changes to Cayman insolvency legislation

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

The insolvency legislation in the Cayman Islands is planned to be changed soon. These changes to the legislation include the licensing of practitioners and measures used to help with cross-border insolvencies. The above-mentioned changes have been welcomed by the Cayman Islands Financial Services Association (CIFSA).

The changes are to be implemented within the next 6 months. A new Insolvency Rules Committee is developing a framework of rules and regulations in order to give practical effect to the changes, which will improve an already successful formula.

David Roberts, a director of CIFSA, observed that the Cayman Islands is well-known and respected for the strength of its insolvency framework and it provides commercial certainty, transparency and protection for the needs and rights of investors and creditors. According to him, “these changes will only serve to increase Cayman’s reputation as a modern and effective financial centre, ideally suited to working through the complexities of major cross-border insolvencies”.

Also, the new framework provides for disciplinary action against practitioners who act improperly. Foreign receivers and liquidators are given the power to recover assets in Cayman, in line with the legislation in the UK and the US recognizing Cayman liquidators.

Bryan Hunter, CIFSA director, commented that there is no doubt that Cayman’s insolvency regime is equally friendly to investors and creditors, and no special favours are offered to the management of companies that are liquidated in the Cayman Islands.

Cayman Islands liquidators will also be entitled to administer foreign companies based and conducting business in the jurisdiction.