The Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands is a major international financial centre located in the western Caribbean. Its stable economy and successful financial industry have been carefully developed in order to create the best possible investment environment.

Unlike other offshore financial centres, the Cayman Islands is in the unique position of being a top international banking centre and one of the leading jurisdictions for the creation and administration of trusts, the world’s leading domicile for offshore funds, the second largest captive insurance centre and a world leader in structured finance. The jurisdiction stands as the only offshore international financial centre to possess such breadth and depth in financial services.

Private and institutional investors are attracted to the Cayman Islands because it has been able to demonstrate consistently that it can provide the prerequisites for discerning clients, including:

  • innovative, progressive and user friendly legislation
  • a full range of knowledgeable and efficient service providers
  • strong partnership between the government and private sector
  • a well regulated regime
  • tax neutrality and
  • economic, social and political stability

Many of the world’s top lawyers, accountants, fund administrators, trust companies, corporate service practitioners and other financial services professionals operate in the Cayman Islands. Consequently, that expertise and more importantly, the innovative legislation that has grown out of it, has attracted business to the Cayman Islands.

The jurisdiction has undergone a number of enhancements to its financial services regulatory regime over the past few years, continuing its commitment to adhering to the highest international regulatory standards. Cayman adheres to the Basel Core Principles for effective Banking Supervision, the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) principles for insurance regulation, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) principles for regulation of investments business and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Forty Recommendations on anti-money laundering.

The British Virgin Islands (BVI)

Located in the north eastern Caribbean, the British Virgin Islands are a British Overseas Territory enjoying internal self-government in a stable political environment. The legal system is based on English common law and the US dollar is legal tender within the islands. There are no exchange control regulations and entities established by and for international clients can operate from a tax free base in the BVI. This international business represents over 50% of the economic activity of the islands (tourism being the other major industry) and has lead to the development of a growing infrastructure of legal, accounting, banking and other skills.

The BVI is the recognised leader in offshore corporate activity with the largest companies registry in the offshore world. The BVI Business Companies Act now forms the basis and impetus for this growth and the jurisdiction has been rightly praised for offering quick, flexible and cost effective solutions for many offshore structuring plans. Trust, Partnership, Mutual Fund and Insolvency legislation also has all been passed within recent years allowing the BVI to take its place as a premier international business jurisdiction serving a truly global client base.