3 December 2015Actuarial & underwriting

A shared reality

“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand”—Woodrow Wilson

Wise sentiments, such as this expressed decades ago by former US President Woodrow Wilson, remind all of us that in whatever we do, we have inherent responsibilities both to, and for, each other. This is why, after decades in the financial services industry and now as a minister in government, I remain gratified to watch Cayman doing its part, year after year, as we significantly contribute to the ability of people to live more amply because of the benefits that our products and services provide.

So when I say that this government recognises the importance of financial services, and that as minister, my priority is to ensure that Cayman continues to modernise our legislation and adhere to international regulatory initiatives, it is not only for the sake of our local economy and residents. Equally, it is for the benefit of industry’s clients, including pensioners, university students, and employees, worldwide.

International financial services, and the captive insurance sector in particular, are competitive industries—companies have many options from which to choose when they are selecting a domicile. However, they keep coming to Cayman because of our 40 years of success in captive insurance, the deep pool of experienced, qualified resident insurance managers, and the intellectual capital and support of our service providers: the lawyers, auditors, bankers, and investment managers.

"Our regulator is further enhancing its contribution to the strong reputation of efficiency and robust risk-based regulation for which the Cayman Islands is known."

Our modern legislation also is a strong reason. Most recently, the implementation of Cayman’s Portfolio Insurance Company (PIC) Law and Regulations has commenced bearing fruit, and there already are exciting case studies regarding how companies are effectively using these new structures. Furthermore, we are attracting more international commercial insurance, reinsurance, and life and annuity companies to our shores by using our strength as a hedge fund jurisdiction, which ultimately supports the captive insurance industry.

New faces

From the regulatory perspective, in August this year the government appointed a new chairman and new member to the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) board. As chairman, Grant Stein draws on his accomplished legal career, primarily at Walkers, where he served in many capacities including global managing partner and chairman before retiring in 2012.

I also am pleased to welcome Adrian ‘Gus’ Pope to the board. He retired in 2008 after a distinguished career with Maples and Calder, where his positions included global managing partner and head of the firm’s investment funds practice.

Having taken up their roles, Stein and Pope are already augmenting the practical, solid leadership that their CIMA board member colleagues continue to provide. By so doing our regulator is further enhancing its contribution to the strong reputation of efficiency and robust risk-based regulation for which the Cayman Islands is known.

While I acknowledge the recent advances in our legislation and regulatory structure, I also acknowledge that both government and industry are keeping a trained eye on the increasingly assertive competition in the captives market. Together, we are committed to rolling up our sleeves and not just getting it done as quickly as possible, but getting it done well.

Our reinvigorated approach to industry trends and developments does not involve looking only to tomorrow—as I noted earlier, it embraces a far view, a vision. The truth of the Cayman Islands financial services industry, of which captives are a core strength, is that we do exist to enable people around the world to live more amply, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement; and we take up this responsibility with an earnest purpose.

It is rewarding to work with industry partners, as we turn this shared vision into a shared reality. On behalf of government, I thank all of you who choose Cayman as your jurisdiction of choice for captives, and I look forward to continuing to work with you, for the good of all.