Premier Briefs London's Financial Services Community
Published 10th November 2009, 10:53am
More than 60 members of London’s financial services community attended a ‘Cayman Islands Financial Services’ briefing in London on Monday to hear about incentives and programmes that will help more financial services firms locate in Cayman.
“Our overall message is not just that we are open for business – that is nothing new – but that we are committing time and resources to attract a greater share of the global financial services market to locate in the Cayman Islands, along with their families,” said the Premier, the Honourable W. McKeeva Bush, during his remarks to briefing attendees.
Camana Bay, one of the private sector partners supporting the initiative, was represented by Ms. Pilar Bush, who reinforced the message that the Cayman Islands is a unique place to live and work.
Private sector representatives such as Cayman Finance Chairman Mr Anthony Travers, as well as London-based professionals from Cayman firms – many bringing clients and stakeholders – were on hand to find out how the Cayman Islands is making it easier for businesses to relocate in the country.
“It is encouraging to see the Premier take the new Cayman message to the financial markets,” said Mr Travers. “When the message is delivered in person it has a good deal more credibility. A revised immigration policy is overdue and is needed now to revitalise the financial industry and a revitalised financial industry will secure many more job opportunities for young Caymanian professionals than exist currently.”
All in attendance were briefed about specific programmes, policies and incentives targeted to potential new financial services sectors such as investment management and reinsurance. They include the following:
Devoting resources to existing departments such as the Cayman Islands Investment Bureau to support, advise and act on behalf of potential investment management firms considering Cayman;
- Securing a commitment from the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority to look at expedited turnaround for time-sensitive applications;
- Providing dedicated people within the Immigration Department to expedite work permit applications and providing investor relations officers who will help prospective investors secure office accommodation, identify staff or support the relocation process for families;
- Issuing directives to the Immigration Department to structure three to five-year work permits for professional staff of accredited investors in the financial services industries;
- Offering exemptions from standard term limits for work permits of senior leaders of financial services firms such as CEOs, Managing Directors or other senior staff under the existing ‘key employee designation’ programme;
- Considering a proposed amendment to immigration legislation that will offer a 25-year direct investment certificate for investors with a net-worth of CI$5 million dollars and who have invested at least CI$2 million dollars in the Cayman Islands or in a local business. The certificate will entitle the holder to work within the business in which he/she has invested in and will entitle a spouse and minor children to reside in the Cayman Islands as residents. This certificate will be renewable or extendable at the end of 25-years, and;
- Offering a guarantee to not increase work permit fees for a period of four years for permits granted under this programme.
Earlier in the day, the Premier met with Reuters’ London bureau to spread the information about the Cayman Islands new areas of focus. The resulting story from Reuters appeared the following day and reinforced many of the key information shared with briefing attendees.
The concept for the briefing and its content were conceived with private sector support and endorsement and other events are scheduled in New York, Hong Kong and Singapore over the next two weeks. As with the London event, Government is reaching out to the private sector input to work together on identifying potential attendees and ideas on mutual opportunities in the near future to promote direct investment to the Cayman Islands.