NYC seminar tackles global role of offshore

Cayman’s role in the offshore world was front and centre in New York City on June 30 at an invitation only event exploring responses to, and opportunities arising from, the global financial crisis.

The event, organized by Stuarts Walker Hersant and RBC Wealth Management, was attended by approximately 60 private and institutional investors

Speakers included former CIMA chairman Timothy Ridley, who was joined by Andrew Morriss, H. Ross and Helen Workman Professor of Law and Business and Professor of the Institute for Government and Public Affairs, University of Illinois. Other speakers were Houman B. Shadab, Associate Professor of Law, New York Law School, Joseph A. Field, Senior International Partner, Withers Bergman LLP, New York, and Margaret R.A. Paradis, Partner at Baker & McKenzie LLP, New York.

Anthony Akiwumi represented Stuarts Walker Hersant and Jane Wareham was there on behalf of Cay Solutions Limited, a corporate and administrative services affiliate located in British Columbia.

As expected, there was particular focus on global taxation and regulatory developments, with particular emphasis on the potential impact of proposed U.S. legislation and regulation on offshore financial centres, offshore funds and U.S. taxpayers. Litigation issues for funds and fund investors were another hot topic, as was how fund of funds and hedge funds will have to adapt to meet private investors’ expectations and demands.

‘The event was extremely well received by attendees. Clients are increasingly reassessing their banking and investment relationships with their service providers,’ said Deanna Bidwell, managing director of RBC Wealth Management.

‘It has never been more important for the banking industry to demonstrate its commitment to providing solutions to the issues presented by the current financial crisis,’ she said.

‘We are confident that our forum proved beneficial to wealthy investors and their advisors, and helped provide further information with regards to the role of offshore financial services centres.’

With regard to the Cayman Islands, Mr. Ridley noted Cayman recently elected a new Government and approved a new constitution.

‘With that has come a renewed commitment from the political leadership to support, enhance and protect the financial services industry and to benefit the local economy,’ he said.

‘While the list of what I think needs to be done is lengthy . . . an encouraging start has been made by the new Government.’

While attendees benefited from the high level analyses, the greatest beneficiary of the day may have been Facing Africa, the UK based charity dedicated to helping sufferers of a devastating flesh eating disease which affects children in sub-Saharan countries.

Stuarts Walker Hersant and RBC Wealth Management are currently working together with dms Management and Krys & Associates to raise funds for Facing Africa as well as the children’s ward of George Town Hospital in Cayman.

Speaker presentations can be found at www.caymanseminar.ky.

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