US students study Cayman’s financial services

A group of US law students visited
Cayman last week as part of a course that presented the financial services and
regulatory regime of the Cayman Islands.

The group of second and third year
law students heard presentations from well-known members of the financial
community in Cayman during their four day stay.

The programme set up as a joint
course of the University of Illinois and De Paul University combined the field
experience in Cayman with class room work and complementary presentations from
financial professionals in the US.

The Cayman field portion of the
class gave students the opportunity to meet and interact with professionals and
policy-makers from the Cayman Islands and learn first-hand not only about the
financial transactions that take place here, but also the political and
regulatory framework.

Read the Cayman Financial Review for in depth industry articles.


“It is the sixth year that we have
brought down students to the Cayman Islands”, said Professor Andrew Morriss,
who together with his colleague Professor Craig Boise ensured that 250 students
made the trip to Cayman over the years.

“The main issue is trying to
understand how things work in the Cayman Islands,” said Gustavo Morales Oliver,
one of the course participants.

The course aims to give a basic
understanding of the structures and international business transactions such as
as the creation of hedge funds,
captive insurance companies and special purpose vehicles in both onshore and
offshore jurisdictions.

 “The big advantage is not only being able to
listen to the professors, but also to people who actually practice on the
island,” Mr. Morales Oliver added.

The students heard form well-known
Cayman industry figures, including Cayman Finance chairman Tony Travers, DMTC Director
John Lewis, Stuart’s partner Anthony Akiwumi, Butterfield’s Caribbean EVP Conor
O’Dea, Pilar Bush and former Monetary Authority Chairman Tim Ridley.

Third-year law student Meaghan said
she was impressed with the rigorous regulatory regime that governs investments,
the registration of bank accounts and the exchange of tax information with the
US, which stands in contrast to the image “of confidentiality that is often advanced
even by our own politicians.”

“The different viewpoints give you
a better understanding of Cayman,” she added.

 Students believed the programme helps the image
of the Cayman Islands with regard to the Grisham factor that is still associated
with the offshore jurisdiction.

 “If I were part of the Cayman government I
would support this kind of project, because it brings together students from
all over the world, who will learn about some of the misconceptions that still
exist about the Cayman Islands,” said Mr. Morales Oliver.

We heard a lot about confidentiality
regulations that have been introduced in the Cayman Islands, he added.

The students believe that
maintaining tax neutrality and the quality of the professionals should remain
an advantage for Cayman.

The group of students featured both
US students and graduates from overseas who, in many cases, already have a law
degree in their home countries and are now in the process of obtaining a Masters
in US law.

Professor Morriss stated that in
the past students had benefitted greatly from the course.

“Several students actually
got a job as a result of the course,” he said, because it helped them to speak
eloquently in job interviews about the kind of international transactions that
are carried out in the Cayman Islands.


Students from the Universities of De Paul and Illinois during one of the course sessions held at the Ritz-Carlton
Photo: Michael Klein