History of Island Companies

Island Companies Ltd. originated in 1978 under the name Renard’s Sports World.

It was founded by two long-time friends: John M. Rea and Renard Moxam.

Originally from England, Mr. Rea was a banker by trade and, in Cayman, he served as the managing director firstly of Bank of America, and later of what is now part of the Fortis Group.

During his free time, he played football (soccer) for Cayman’s National Team and also coached the CNB football league – with Renard Moxam as his star player.

Mr. Moxam excelled on the football field for 25 years and went on to become Cayman’s first professional athlete. He played professionally for a Canadian team, The Toronto Blizzard, and then came back to Cayman to start up his Renard’s Sports World store with Mr. Rea as his partner.

Mr. Moxam worked on the sales floor and Mr. Rea handled the financial side of the business during his off time from the bank.

In 1986, the name of the company was changed to Island Clothing Company and a third shareholder, American Lee Aronfeld, joined the company.

These three partners, affectionately known as The Three Amigos, steered the company towards the tourist market and the Renard’s Sports World store was transformed into the first Hot Tropics souvenir store.

By 1993, the name of the company was changed again to Island Companies Ltd. and it continued to expand to become one of the largest retail businesses in the Cayman Islands selling clothing, souvenirs, art, jewellery, leather, sunglasses, cigars, fragrance, cosmetics, crystal and liquor.

On their own, The Three Amigos grew the company to 17 successful stores. Then, from 1996 through 2003, a fruitful partnership was formed with The Nuance Group, one of world’s largest retailers and a wholly owned subsidiary of The Swissair Group.

Unfortunately, as a result of the terrorist attacks of 2001, The Swissair Group eventually disbanded and the partnership with Nuance was forced to end as well.

However, in 2004, Island Companies Ltd. began an exciting new partnership with Dart Management Ltd. and that partnership continues today.

The history of Island Companies is a story of pure entrepreneurship. Without any prior knowledge or experience in retail, the original founders built the company using principles that they knew from managing football teams: hard work, dedication and a passion to create the best team possible.

Mr. Rea and Mr. Moxam have transferred their success on the football field to the arena of business, both areas relying on good leadership pulling along excellent teamwork with a desire to win.

They have trusted others and used their instincts to make decisions and to alter those decisions as necessary.

Today, in the year the company opened its 30th store, Island Companies continues to evolve, grow and diversify, including the opening of a 6,000+ square foot store at Camana Bay, Cayman’s largest development, opened this December.

The people working for Island Companies are equally diverse and from all areas of the world. Their employees speak more than 20 different languages and are from more than 30 countries, embracing a diversity of styles, ideas and people.

The company is committed to maintaining and engaging an inclusive culture that values each employee’s unique ideas and contributions, and this is reflected in the diverse range of products and services that characterises Island Companies Ltd.

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