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Since the 1960’s the Cayman Islands has developed its financial services industry to become one of the world’s most sophisticated and leading financial centres. The industry consists of captive insurance, mutual funds, banking, trusts, vessel registration, partnerships and companies, structured finance and the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange (CSX). The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) regulates the industry. A recent report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) highlighted the strong compliance and regulatory structures maintained within the industry.

Captive Insurance
The captive insurance industry recognises Cayman as being the domicile of choice. There are over 700 captive insurance companies registered in Cayman of which the predominant portion is healthcare-related.

Mutual Funds
The Cayman Islands maintains a global dominant position for all kinds of offshore mutual funds, especially hedge funds. The Island provides asset managers and fund promoters with a wealth of expertise as provided by world leading fund administrative, audit/accounting and law firms. Cayman is now home to around 80% of the worlds estimated 8000 hedge funds.

Private banking clients, both local and international look to Cayman for a full range of banking products. There are over 300 licensed banks, registered with 43 of the world’s largest 50 banks represented on the island and there are a number of retail banks, which provide lending, deposit and transaction based services.

Cayman is a popular jurisdiction for trust structures due to its favourable tax environment and modern and flexible trust law. Cayman attracts investors seeking a jurisdiction renowned for its level of expertise and specialist knowledge in financial planning, estate administration and wealth preservation.

Vessel Registration
The Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands (MACI) has long been a keeper of the seafaring tradition of the Islands. The Authority looks after the interests of ship owners whilst maintaining the highest international standards. In 2005 there were approximately 300 commercial and 1300 pleasure vessels registered with the Authority. There are various guidelines, which are applied and which allow for registry within the Cayman Islands.

Partnerships and Companies
There are more than 70,000 companies registered with Cayman’s Registry of Companies. The Registry also registers exempted trusts and limited partnerships. Many professional firms on the Island incorporate companies and provide services such as directorships, registered offices, nominee shareholders, other officers and company management.

Structured Finance
Law firms specialise in capital markets and structured finance transactions. A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) is created within these transactions, which acquires the underlying assets from the promoting financial institution. The financial characteristics of the assets are converted into notes or bonds, which may be listed and rated.

Cayman Islands Stock Exchange
This was established in 1997 and allowed funds housed within the Islands to be listed within the jurisdiction. The CSX also lists derivative warrants, depository receipts, Eurobonds, preferred shares and international equity. The CSX also provides a secondary listing facility for companies listed and traded on another recognised exchange within the North American time zone.

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