Business in brief

CIDA

The Cayman Islands Directors Association announced it is again bringing the directors accreditation course to the Cayman Islands.

The course, set for May of this year, is devised and run by the Canadian branch of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries to respond to rising demand for enhanced standards in the boardroom. Candidates who are successful in passing the course are entitled to display the internationally recognised “Acc. Dir” after their name.

CIDA President Paul Harris said the directors accreditation course has proved extremely popular in prior years. Candidates who undertake the qualification learn about the formal role of the board and its directors, financial management and reporting and the board’s role in assessing and managing risks. The course consists of several months of reading and studies and an intensive three-day seminar in Grand Cayman run by industry experts from Canada, followed by the Chartered Secretaries examination.

Mr. Harris said CIDA has proved since its inception in 2008 that it is at the forefront of promoting the good corporate governance and training for directors in the Cayman Islands. By making this high quality designation obtainable locally, simply underscores CIDA’s commitment to furthering good corporate governance, the association contends.

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The number of available places for the Directors Accreditation course in 2012 will be strictly limited and first offered to CIDA members. Any remaining places may be offered to suitable candidates who are not members of CIDA.

CIDA is an association with members in the Cayman Islands who are directors of one or more Cayman Islands registered companies. Although the majority of members focus on providing corporate governance to hedge funds, CIDA is comprised of all sectors of the fiduciary services industries – from family companies to large financial service providers – and it is the voice of the independent director in the Cayman Islands.

LIME

LIME is sponsoring the Capacity Caribbean Conference 2012 to be held at The Ritz-Carlton, Rosehall in Montego Bay in Jamaica on 7-8 February.

The two-day event focuses on the wholesale side of the telecommunications industry and brings together 200 buyers and suppliers of wholesale telecoms capacity in the Americas.

The conference is expected to highlight trends and issues such as data traffic in the region, the future of broadband as well as the regulatory concerns of operators. The regulatory session will include presentations from the Office of Utility Regulations, Jamaica, as well as the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad & Tobago and the Caribbean Telecommunications Union.

Co-platinum event sponsor, LIME is a premiere carrier, with 21 cables in the region, which is one of the busiest routes in the world for traffic of Internet-based services. This route places the Caribbean as a key data corridor for traffic between South America and North America, and is a signal growth area for the company.

“Data traffic is growing in this region as fast as elsewhere in the world and all forecasts suggest that this is set to continue. Fixed and Mobile Internet penetration and usage remains relatively low across most of the Caribbean however the advent of 4G, high speed fixed broadband, IPTV and cloud computing is driving rapid growth in demand for data, which in turn enables socio-economic development,” said David Crawford, chief operating officer of LIME.

“Equally important, the Caribbean lies on the important South to North American corridor through which data capacity flows. All of this underscores the need for retail operators, carriers, regulators and suppliers to be well aligned and this conference is an important part of that process,” he said.

Mr. Crawford, who is also a panellist along with fellow co-platinum sponsor Columbus International’s Brendan Paddick and Gabriel Holgado of Level 3 Communications, will weigh in on a day-one discussion titled: Evaluating The Changing Landscape In The Caribbean Market Place; M&A Activity, Competition, Growth Opportunities.

Feed our Future

Feed our Future, a nonprofit association that provides nutritionally balanced school meals to children in need, has benefitted from two local professional services firms replacing traditional paper Christmas cards with e-cards. In December, the law firm of Campbells and the accounting firm of KPMG elected to send their good wishes in a paperless manner to benefit the environment and donated the cost savings to Feed our Future.

“We are most appreciative of the decision taken by these two reputable firms to donate funds in lieu of paper cards to our cause,” said Feed our Future Chairwoman Stacey VanDevelde.

The donated funds will support the provision of school meals for children in need during the remainder of the school year. Feed our Future provides school meals for more than 100 children at 10 local schools.

“Campbells is proud to support this worthwhile programme, as every child in our community deserves the opportunity to do their best in school,” said Shaun McCann, senior partner of Campbells. “No child should go to school hungry in Cayman, but it’s happening and Feed Our Future Cayman is trying to do something about it.”

Through partnerships with government agencies, private companies, schools, and concerned citizens, Feed our Future Cayman exists to provide an immediate and direct way to reduce child hunger and improve health and educational development through the funding of nutritional meals.

JN Money Services

Jamaica National Money Services is repositioning its operations as a global money transfer provider and launched a brand campaign in December to strengthen brand awareness beyond Caribbean markets in the Diaspora and to reach other migrant communities in Europe and North America.

In 2011, JN Money Transfer expanded its services in major international cities and provinces including New York, London and Ontario; as well as Caribbean territories, such as the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands.

“These new locations have strengthened our network to more than 250 branches and agents throughout the Americas, the United Kingdom and Africa,” said Leesa Kow, general manager of JNMS. “While we maintain our uniqueness as a Jamaican company which provides services to Jamaican and Caribbean Diaspora communities, our growing presence in the international market gives us the opportunity to establish a company, which is fully-owned by Jamaicans, but truly global and competitive.”

Although fiscal difficulties in the global economy have resulted in challenges for many countries, remittances to less developed countries continue to grow. Ms Kow maintains there are many opportunities for Jamaica in this expanding market.

“Remittances have proven to be an even more important source of income for recipient countries over the past four years of global economic turmoil, particularly countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean,” she said. “There are tremendous opportunities for us as a company, and for Jamaica, to enter into new markets and provide a unique alternate channel for remitting and receiving funds from developed countries,” she underscored emphasising the strength of the ‘Jamaica brand.’” Remittances to the developing countries are expected to grow at lower, but more sustainable rates of 7 to 8 per cent from 2011 to 2013, according to a World Bank paper, which noted that inflows are projected to reach US$375 billion by 2012 and US$404 billion by 2013.

BDO

BDO is supporting Junior Achievement’s Corporate Ambassador sponsorship programme.

“An ‘Ambassador’ corporate sponsor pledges to support Junior Achievement through an annual donation of $10,000 for a 3-year term,” said Junior Achievement President Paul Byles.

Junior Achievement is dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programmes. The programmes help prepare young people by showing them how to generate and manage assets, create jobs – which make their communities more robust – and apply entrepreneurial thinking.

Mr. Paul Arbo, partner BDO Cayman, said his company was proud to become a JA Ambassador as it was a great opportunity to participate in programs benefiting youth during BDO’s 10th year of business in Cayman.

“Junior Achievement provides a valuable support framework to enable students to realise their potential,” he said. “BDO is committed to the sustainability of this important initiative and the benefits it will bring, not only to participants, but also to their families, schools and the Cayman community.”

“Junior Achievement’s young people inspire us with their abilities and leadership skills and the contributions they make in our community will help define where the Cayman Islands heads in the 21st Century,” Mr. Arbo said.

Junior Achievement is celebrating its 20th anniversary in the Cayman Islands this year. It is supported by many corporate sponsors including its seven Corporate Ambassadors: HSBC, Rotary Central, Dunkin Donuts, Caledonian Global Financial Services, Maples & Calder, BDO and Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce.

Tortuga Rum

Cruise and travel publication Porthole Cruise Magazine has named Tortuga Rum Cakes as the “best cruise souvenir” for the eighth consecutive year.

Tortuga Rum Cakes are sold in nearly 100 onboard cruise ship gift shops throughout the Caribbean.

Porthole Cruise Magazine’s editor-in-chief awards annually honour cruise lines, island merchants, ports, resorts and others that the magazine consider being among the best in the business.

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