Archive for January, 2013

Cayman is still Domicile of Choice for Captives

Monday, January 28th, 2013

The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) has announced that it received 67 applications for new captive insurance licenses in 2012.

Out of these 67 applications, 52 licenses were granted and 15 are scheduled for approval in 2013. This results represents growth in applications of 58% year-on-year – which is the strongest year in terms of interest in captives since 2004.

Although the Cayman Islands is widely recognized as a leading healthcare captive domicile, the 52 new formations came from a broad range of sectors including life reinsurance, property and casualty reinsurance, manufacturing, technology, as well as healthcare. A number of group captives were also established as segregated portfolio companies.

Existing Cayman captives also dramatically grew their assets during 2012. Total premiums written by captives were reported at USD 11.8 billion and total assets under management climbed to USD 88.1 billion, both record high levels.

According to the Insurance Managers Association of Cayman (IMAC), there are some 5,000 captives globally and since 1980 3,095 captives have been licensed in the Cayman Islands.

With the Insurance Law now in place, Cayman expects to welcome even more insurance business to its jurisdiction. The new law is designed to clearly differentiate between the domestic and international insurance markets in the Cayman Islands and to regulate each in accordance with its own requirements. It strengthens legislation to protect Cayman entities and brings the law formally into line with international standards.

CIMA Clarifies Database System Proposal

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) clarified that the names of Cayman Islands-regulated funds are currently searchable and available on CIMA’s website, and have been for a number of years now.

The Authority stated that the database referred to in local and international media is part of the corporate governance proposals recently announced and, if adopted, would be an extension of the current system.

On January 14, 2013, CIMA began formal consultation with local industry stakeholders on corporate governance proposals aimed to enhance and clarify corporate governance standards. This was the commencement of a consultation process only and not agreed regulatory reforms. The extended database is a proposal in the consultation paper.

The corporate governance proposals seek to recognise the international character of Cayman’s financial services market and provide continued protection of the Cayman Island’s financial services sector, its consumers and investors.

Managing Director, Cindy Scotland said: “CIMA has undertaken much research into the enhancement of corporate governance standards. We want to ensure that the advancement of the corporate governance standards for the Cayman Islands financial services sector is measured and appropriate for our industry, therefore formal consultation with local industry associations is vital”.

“The consultation and survey both present an important opportunity for industry stakeholders to provide input into the process and contribute to shaping the future of the mutual funds regulatory framework in a manner that retains the Cayman Islands’ position as the leading jurisdiction for mutual funds formation formation.”

The consultation is open for feedback for 45 business days. All interested stakeholders are invited to present their opinions by March 18, 2013.

CEC Extending its Reach into US

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Acting to extend its reach into North America, Cayman Enterprise City (CEC) – the first technology-based Special Economic Zone of its kind in the Americas region – announces a strategic partnership with the ArdreyGroup LLC.

The ArdreyGroup is a management consulting firm based in Southern California helps firms identify business growth difficulties. It makes recommendations to solve these issues and then helps the firms implement solutions. The ArdreyGroup is also behind iVentLABS Business Accelerator a program with a mission to reach 500 firms and propel them to $5MM in gross revenues over the next 5 years.

President/CEO Stephanie Ardrey noted: “Cayman Enterprise City provides for our clients an off-shore opportunity as a gateway to global market participation”. She added said: “I am able to not only educate US based firms on the merits of an off-shore solution for their international business, but to deliver through CEC and the SEZ the actual operation solution. Further, this is an opportunity to educate business owners on the value of cultivating a scalable business venture.”

Internet and technology companies that establish a presence or international headquarters in Cayman Enterprise City enjoy a more efficient tax structure and retain 100% ownership. All transactions are conducted from Cayman’s tax‐neutral jurisdiction and companies with intellectual property such as proprietary software of music, video and film content can license it around the globe and benefit from significant tax savings. VC companies are seeing the advantages of establishing their tech and new media start-ups in Cayman Enterprise City, as without having to pay 39% Federal Tax and 13% States Tax, their investment dollar goes much further.

Currently CEC enjoys 140 channel partnerships with businesses in 20 countries around the globe. Cayman Enterprise City has gained great traction and already has 42 companies moving into the Zone or signed up and going through the licensing process with another 132 in the sales pipeline.

Cayman Financial Industry welcomes New Premier

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

The Cayman Islands financial services industry has welcomed the appointment of Juliana O’Connor-Connolly as the territory’s new Premier.

It is worth reminding that the new appointment follows an announcement of criminal proceedings against former Premier McKeeva Bush who was arrested on December 11, 2012, on suspicion of theft, as well as breach of trust, abuse of office, and conflict of interest, in connection with the alleged importation of explosive substances without valid permits on or before February 2012.

The appointment of the Cayman Islands’ first female Premier comes after a successful vote of no-confidence. There were 11 votes in favour and 3 votes against.

Welcoming the news, the President of the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce, Chris Duggan said: “Political stability is a cornerstone of any successful democracy. Governor Duncan Taylor’s decision to utilise his discretionary powers under the Constitution to revoke McKeeva Bush’s appointment as Premier and to appoint the Juliana O’Connor-Connolly as the new Premier, in addition to accepting her recommendations for the appointment of Cabinet Ministers, brings much needed stability and order to what has been a very difficult and tumultuous time for the people of the Cayman Islands.”

Richard Coles, the Chairman of Cayman Finance, sought to distance the local financial services industry from the debacle. “The financial services industry operates independently of the political arm of the Legislature and any potential criminal charges against an individual do not impact the ongoing effective functioning of the government or the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA).”