The privately funded and largely
informal financial industry representative group Cayman Finance will get
$75,000 in funding this year from the government, under the terms of a memorandum
of understanding signed by the government in September.
According to the agreement, Cayman
Finance currently provides “an essential public relations and public affairs
service for the benefit of the financial services industry and the jurisdiction”.
Under the memorandum, the
government is to contribute $75,000 to Cayman Finance for the 2010 calendar
year. The contribution amount is to be reviewed annually going forward.
Any other funding provided as part
of the agreement should be identified in the yearly budget process, the memo
“As-needed funding for any mutual
projects and programmes need to be supported by an estimate of costs and must
have written sign off prior to incurring any costs,” the memo states.
Also, as part of the agreement, the
government has agreed to delegate the management of day-to-day obligations to
the financial services industry to the Financial Services Secretariat.
The secretariat is a unit within
the Ministry of Finance that has responsibility for the negotiation of Tax
Information Exchange Agreements. It also has a tax negotiating team and
researches financial services matters, liaising with the financial services
sector in the Cayman Islands, and advising the ministry and minister of finance
on matters in regard to financial services.
The secretariat’s director,
Michelle Bahadur, will assume responsibility under the memorandum for
implementing the memorandum of understanding from the government side. For
Cayman Finance, either Chairman Anthony Travers or the group’s head of
marketing will take on that role.
In general, the agreement between
government and Cayman Finance seeks to create a closer working relationship
between the two entities and help avoid the duplication of efforts with regard
to various promotion and lobbying initiatives for Cayman’s financial services
The main thrust of the memorandum
is to ensure that Cayman’s financial sector and the government are on the same
page in marketing and public relations efforts. Cayman Finance will also
provide key technical support related to the international finance industry
As part of that effort, the two
groups will meet monthly and, where appropriate, organise international
meetings, seminars and press interviews to establish “clear messages and the
delivery of these messages”.
Cayman Finance will also be invited
to attend all “industry-related” press conferences and events government hosts
and the industry group will provide monthly briefing notes to lawmakers and
government officials on financial industry matters.