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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
A recent report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) highlighted the
strong compliance and regulatory structures maintained within the industry.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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