Pictured: Alden McLaughlin
Working closely with the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority and the Insurance Managers Association of Cayman has helped the Cayman government maintain its position as a leader in captives, writes Premier the Hon. Alden McLaughlin.
Captive insurance is one of many important sectors in the global financial services industry and the Cayman Islands is proud to be a leading jurisdiction, with a wealth of experience and technical knowledge in place.
The Cayman Islands’ reputation as a worldwide leader in captives, and indeed as a major international financial centre, rests upon a proven record of attracting sound business and aptly catering to the needs of our clients. We take pride in nurturing a robust business environment featuring legislation that offers managerial and structural freedom for captives and importantly, also maintains global regulatory standards.
While legislation and regulation are the ultimate responsibilities of any government, the Cayman Islands government does not work in isolation. We carefully consider the input of other important stakeholders, including our financial services regulator, the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA); and the Insurance Managers Association of Cayman (IMAC).
CIMA and IMAC both offer tremendous insight and expert knowledge on the captive space. By drawing upon their collective wisdom, government is well positioned to enact policy, legislation, and regulation that both meets global standards and addresses the needs of those looking to domicile captives in the Cayman Islands.
As a result, our framework underpins the compelling business case for the Cayman Islands being the jurisdiction of choice for captives.
Cayman also takes pride in our overall governance and stability, as government’s fiscal and capital policies clearly demonstrate.
The government’s sound fiscal stewardship has resulted in an overall government surplus topping $200 million for the first six months of 2018; and we continue to set aside money to build our reserves. We also continue to pay down government debt and have, in fact, repaid almost $20 million over the course of this year alone. Government will make a significant further step in that direction next year.
The surplus is also funding our capital projects that are under way. We remain committed to completing multiple capital projects, including the Owen Roberts International Airport renovations, and constructing a modern cruise pier and cargo dock.
Spring 2019 will see the completion of the full airport renovation, which forms an integral part of Cayman’s five-year National Tourism Plan. The modern airport will almost triple its current capacity, thus supporting an increase in visitor air arrivals and facilitating even smoother Immigration and Customs processes.
Another key aspect of the tourism plan is for government to continue its progress on the development of two cruise piers and associated enhanced cargo facilities in the Cayman Islands. These works will minimise environmental impacts, such as anchor damage to the reefs in George Town Harbour.
Negotiations with cruise companies regarding financing and other elements remain on track. Government has also narrowed project bidders to three finalists, with the winner expected to be announced by December 2018.
In addition to these advancements on capital projects, Cayman’s economy remains strong. As a key indicator, the downward trend in Caymanian unemployment since it reached a peak of 10.5 percent in 2012 has continued. The most recent figure of 5.3 percent, according to the Spring 2018 Labour Force survey, shows unemployment has effectively been halved since that peak.
In short, a holistic view of the Cayman Islands shows an economically strong jurisdiction, built on a robust framework that is well suited for the presence of captive insurance business.
On behalf of the Cayman Islands government I applaud the members of IMAC for their dedication to promoting Cayman’s captives sector. I also thank CIMA for its steady commitment to upholding the principles of sound business.
Like with other financial services sectors, captives can enjoy the most success when all stakeholders contribute to the overall position of the jurisdiction—ensuring all viewpoints are considered and collaboration is fostered to meet all responsibilities and achieve objectives.
The government does not take the success of our captives sector for granted and is committed to working with CIMA and IMAC to maintain the Cayman Islands’ position of strength, built upon satisfied clients and our adherence to global regulatory standards.
Alden McLaughlin, Captive insurance, CIMA, Cayman