Event underscores benefits for Caymanians
The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority celebrated 10 years of regulating Cayman’s financial services sector with a reception under the stars at Pedro Castle on 16 November.
The stars above were matched by a veritable constellation on the ground members of Cayman’s financial establishment who have been working assiduously to place Cayman at the heights of the international regulatory club.
CIMA Chairman Timothy Ridley, Managing Director Cindy Scotland, numerous distinguished board members and staff past and present, as well as invited guests had the chance to reflect on CIMA’s accomplishments and witness the unveiling of the Authority’s 10th anniversary numismatic gold and silver coin issue by Governor Stuart Jack.
‘CIMA’s 10th year anniversary is a great opportunity for us to recognise and thank those who played a part in CIMA’s creation and development as an independent authority, and those who assist it in its mission to enhance the economic well being of the Islands through a well regulated, internationally recognised and competitive financial services sector and stable currency,’ Mr. Ridley said later.
In her remarks, Mrs. Scotland marked the significance of CIMA’s 10-year mark.
‘It is safe to say that the past 10 years have by far, been the most challenging for our industry, not only because of increasing competition from other jurisdictions, but from the increasing demands of international standard setters and regulators,’ she said.
‘More and more of our time is being spent assessing the battery of international initiatives, representing the jurisdiction and negotiating on regulatory issues.’
However, these efforts seem to be paying off.
‘CIMA is now regarded by many financial regulators in the region and beyond as a leader in many aspects of regulation as well in our continuous efforts to secure a level playing field and a place at the table for ‘offshore’ regulators in the setting of international standards,’ said Mrs. Scotland.
Underscoring the proceedings was the theme of CIMA’s, and by extension the financial services sector’s, contribution to Cayman.
The event gave Mr. Ridley the opportunity to announce the creation of the CIMA Thomas Jefferson Memorial Scholarship, named in honour of the late Financial Secretary, who was Chairman of the Cayman Islands Currency Board, one of CIMA’s predecessor organizations, as well as past Leader of Government Business.
The scholarship is valued at $25,000 per annum and will be open to Caymanians wishing to pursue bachelors or masters degree studies in finance, economics, business or accounting.
‘The financial services sector is a key driver of Cayman’s economic success. It is important that this success be shared by the community as a whole,’ said Mr. Ridley. ‘Critical components are an education system that supplies literate, numerate and motivated graduates and an industry that provides employment and career advancement opportunities for those graduates.’
Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts described how government has partnered with CIMA in providing a secure legal framework, ensuring a regulatory regime that is well developed and demonstrating leadership to help the industry collectively manage issues and opportunities.
‘Cayman’s financial industry is part of the economic lifeblood that flows through our islands bringing stable employment and a good standard of living, support for entrepreneurs and investment opportunities.’
Mr. Tibbetts also highlighted the fact that Caymanians entering the industry have many options ahead of them considering the rising demand for skilled labour within the sector.
‘With Government’s support and the helping hand of industry leaders through scholarships and grants, we’ll ensure Caymanians share in the success we’ve all worked so hard to achieve,’ said Mr. Tibbetts.
Mr Tibbetts’ observations on the contribution the financial services sector to the local economy were well received by those in attendance.
‘I think this is a vital point that needs to be made more often,’ said Eduardo d’Angelo Silva, director of the Cayman Islands Financial Services Association.