Quite often, we seem to hear what goes wrong in our financial sector: this hedge fund failed, that special purpose vehicle collapsed, another insurance scheme went belly up.
It’s true that the Cayman Islands has had its share of things go wrong in the finance industry – no jurisdiction is perfect in fighting financial crime – but we seldom seem to hear about our successes. And given that the Cayman Islands is one of the world’s largest financial services centres, those successes must far outnumber the failures.
Unfortunately, the successes often go under the heading of ‘business as usual’, and there’s very little news value in that. As a result, our successes rarely make the front page of newspapers.
But we had an event in the Cayman Islands this week that not only should be considered a success for the organisers, but for our jurisdiction as a whole.
There was hardly a seat available for most of the speakers at the 3rd annual Global Compliance Solutions Seminar held at the Marriott Beach Resort on Monday and Tuesday.
The list of guest speakers was impressive, with some of the top professionals in Cayman’s public and private sectors joined by presenters coming from New York, Washington, DC, Canada and the Channel Islands.
The speakers included financial crime consultant Kenneth Rijock, a former money launder himself, who talked about how hedge funds could be used by money launders.
Another speaker discussed how buying and selling items like watches or computer chips could be used to launder money, and about why people in the financial industry now really need to know the fair market value of goods to be able to spot potential crimes.
Other presentations dealt with a variety of financial crime threats and how to prevent them.
The information provided by the speakers was interesting and timely, and all the attendees – who came from many on-shore and off-shore jurisdictions – undoubtedly learned something.
The conference also provided a chance for industry professionals from all over the world to meet, network and share experiences
That this conference took place in the Cayman Islands, and does so annually, helps underscore the fact that this country takes the detection and prevention of financial crime seriously, and is in fact, setting an example for the world to follow.