The impact of the troubled political and economic climate in which the Cayman Islands currently operate as an Offshore Financial Centre has been well documented in recent months. The industry faces competition from other offshore centres which have secured inclusion on the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s white list of offshore jurisdictions.
The heightened urgency Cayman has been faced with to present its case to US lawmakers has not gone without a response, as a number of tactics have been employed by government, the private sector and industry associations to parry negative publicity.
One such organization is the Cayman Financial Services Association. Members had the chance to hear from Jack Quinn and Manuel Ortiz of Quinn Gillespie and Associates, the Washington based lobbying and public affairs firm appointed by the Association to advance the interests of the Cayman Islands financial services industry.
Quinn Gillespie & Associates and its members are consistently recognized as being among Washington’s most influential and effective lobbyists by prestigious publications such as the Washington Post, Fortune and the National Journal. Mr. Quinn and Mr. Ortiz are also frequent political commentators on television and radio.
At a gala dinner held at the Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman on 7 July, the speakers expressed optimism about the initiative. Describing the results as encouraging, at the dinner Mr, Quinn outlined in detail the approaches made to US policymakers and the media.
In addition to the dinner, Mr. Quinn and Mr. Ortiz had a full itinerary during their four day visit. The lobbyists attended briefings with the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange, the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority, and senior officials of the Cayman Islands Government.
‘It was very important to us to meet with key stakeholders in Cayman’s financial services sector,’ said Mr. Quinn.
‘These meetings have enabled us to further develop essential relationships and add depth to our understanding of how this jurisdiction conducts business. We are delighted to have had these opportunities and feel very positive about what we have seen and heard.’
Mr. Quinn and Mr. Ortiz also met with the CIFSA board of directors and International Advisory Board, the principal driver behind the association’s international public relations efforts.
‘CIFSA’s main objective for this visit was to raise the profile locally of the challenges facing Cayman’s financial services industry and to describe the strategies now being employed to address them,’ said CIFSA Chairman Anthony Travers.
‘I am satisfied that the visit achieved the desired outcome. We will be entering into discussions now with the Cayman Islands Government to discuss how the public relations initiatives should best develop.’