Business in brief

Cayman Enterprise City

Following a visit to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Cayman Enterprise City has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Dubai Multiple Commodities Centre to establish mutually beneficial trade opportunities between the 
two free zones.

The agreement signed in November by CEC Chief Executive Officer Jason Blick and Ahmed Bin Sulayem, the chairman of the DMCC, represents the first major step by CEC to establish the zone internationally.

The DMCC is a specialised free zone focused on the commodity trade primarily in the gold, diamond, pearl and tea market. The DMCC, since it was established in 2002, has become one of the premier free zones in the UAE and has built an international reputation in the commodities market with the diamond sector trading US$23.5 billion of rough cut diamonds in the first half of 2011, making the DMCC the second largest diamond trading hub in the world.

Speaking on the memorandum of understanding, Mr. Blick said: “The agreement with the DMCC creates a tremendous opportunity for both CEC and the DMCC. By enabling companies to establish in the DMCC and Cayman Enterprise City, we are creating a unique environment for the commodities sector in the Americas and the clients governed by DMCC that can allow the rapid opening of new markets and let companies manage those opportunities successfully.”

CEC said the signing of the memorandum of understanding represents the fulfilment of an early part of CEC’s vision to connect the Cayman Islands to established and emerging markets worldwide. The selection of Dubai as a trade partner is an extension of the earlier trip to the UAE in March 2011 by CEC and a Cayman Islands delegation led by Premier McKeeva Bush.

“Dubai is known for having the world’s most successful free zones. They have completely transformed the local economy and are populated by blue-chip companies from across the globe,” Mr. Blick said. “Connecting with Dubai was an integral part of our vision, to gain from their experience while also creating the flow of capital between the two countries. We are immensely pleased to realise this agreement, as it shows that the world is interested in what we are doing in Cayman, and brings the success from the premier’s visit 
last year.”

Following the ratification of laws and the creation of the Cayman Special Economic Zone Authority (SEZA), CEC has begun operations and SEZA has started issuing trade certificates.

Ernst & Young

Feed Our Future, a nonprofit association with the mission to provide needy children with school meals, recently received a donation from local professional services firm Ernst & Young Ltd.

“The funds donated by Ernst & Young Ltd. will help us to ensure that needy children in our schools are assured a hot meal per school day,” said Stacey VanDevelde, chairwoman of Feed our Future. “For many children this school meal represents the only meal they will receive on that day. We are extremely grateful for their generosity and dedication to Cayman’s future generation.”

“It is widely recognised that children must have sufficient diets in order to grow, learn and become productive adults,” said Ernst & Young partner Rohan Small. “We are proud to support Feed Our Future and their goal for a hunger free 
Cayman Islands.”


Caledonian joined Junior Achievement as the latest corporate ambassador of the programme.

Caledonian Global Financial Services CEO Barry McQuain said: “We take great pride in being able to contribute to the communities in which we have offices. Social responsibility and the importance of involvement has been a cornerstone for us in terms of how we operate, and has played an important role for us as a group since Mr. William Walker first established Caledonian over forty years ago.”

Mr. McQuain said Caledonian recognised the important role Junior Achievement played in grooming young people for the workforce by providing them with opportunities to develop and apply creative thinking, leadership skills and business acumen. Skills learned in Junior Achievement would benefit students inside and outside the workplace, he said.

Paul Byles, president of Junior Achievement, explained: “Our corporate ambassadors, of which we now have seven, commit to donating an annual $10,000 for a 3-year term which means we can build a solid foundation to ensure that the programme can continue into the future. We are truly thankful to all our sponsors for supporting the programme in this way.”

Junior Achievement is celebrating its 20th anniversary in the Cayman Islands in 2012.


In recognition of International Women’s Day, Deloitte this year made a donation to the CAYS Foundation for the Frances Bodden Girls’ Home in honour of all women. The funds donated will assist the home in re-establishing its grow boxes.

“I join with all the staff and residents from Frances Bodden Girls’ Home to say thank you, for your generosity,” said Angela Sealey, chief executive officer of the CAYS Foundation. “The donation is very timely as the residents and staff prepare to implement an agriculture programme at the home, which will entail the growing of garden vegetables. The goal of this programme is to increase the residents’ understanding, appreciation and participation in agriculture and nutrition. Not only will they benefit from the agriculture side, but they will also be exposed to other aspects, such as finance, marketing and sales.”

Cayman National

Cayman National is a platinum sponsor of this year’s 50-50 Caribbean Conference staged by the University College of the Cayman Islands, in collaboration with the University of the West Indies and the International College of the Cayman Islands.

With its theme, “50-50: Surveying the Past, Mapping the Future”, the conference seeks to gather the community in examining the last fifty years and charting a course for the next fifty, both locally and regionally.

“Cayman National has strong local roots with an effective global reach. We are committed to the socioeconomic development of the Cayman Islands. Our business ethos is aligned with the strategies of this conference and it provides us an opportunity to help shape the intellectual and strategic direction of the region,” said Ormond Williams, president of Cayman National Bank.

“The event celebrates Federation as an important marker in the West Indies and provides an opportunity to explore the issues that led to that event and how the lessons learned can be used to chart a new way forward for Caribbean people,” he said.

Recognising the importance of corporate support in hosting this important community event, Dr. Livingston Smith, conference director, said “We are delighted to partner with Cayman National for the 50-50 Conference. Staging an event of this magnitude is by no means an easy feat, and would not be possible without the generosity and support of our sponsors.”

Cayman National recently also supported the Cayman Islands Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Youth Parliament, which was held at the Legislative Assembly on 12 March.

The CPA Youth Parliament comprised students between the ages of 14 to 25 years from government and private high schools as well as participants from the 2011 Youth Parliament and give them the opportunity to debate, and give their opinion on topics of their choice that affect their everyday lives.

Claudia Welds, senior executive corporate communication, said, “our organisation is committed to preparing our talented young people who will be the leaders of tomorrow, and we believe this is an excellent opportunity to expose them to this forum”.


Ogier appointed Richard de Lacy QC as partner and head of the firm’s Cayman litigation practice, effective 19 March, 2012.

Mr. de Lacy brings 30 years experience in the legal profession, not only as a barrister, but also as an academic and trustee. He joins Ogier from chambers 3 Stone Buildings in London, where he focused on commercial litigation and insolvency cases in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas.

“We are delighted to be welcoming someone of Richard’s calibre and expertise to our litigation practice in the Cayman Islands,” said Nick Rogers, managing partner, Ogier Cayman. “Richard’s appointment allows us to build on the strong foundation we have established servicing the complex Cayman litigation needs of Ogier’s global client base.”

Mr. de Lacy will assume his responsibilities from Chris Russell, who will be leaving Ogier after seven years. “We are grateful to Chris for the lasting contribution he has made to Ogier,” Mr. Rogers said.


Appleby announced Cayman litigator Christopher Russell will join its Cayman Islands office as a partner on 1 May, 2012. He joins Appleby from Ogier’s Cayman office where, until recently, he led the firm’s litigation group.

Jeremy Walton, head of Litigation and Insolvency for the Cayman Islands, added: “I have known and respected Chris as one of the very best lawyers in the Cayman Islands for many years, and have often referred instructions to him where Appleby has been unable to act, knowing that the work will be done to the highest standard. I am greatly looking forward to working with him.”

Mr. Russell specialises in heavy insolvency, commercial and trust matters. He is a contributing author to International Asset Tracing in Insolvency and has published numerous articles on corporate and trusts law and litigation-related topics.

This is the second announcement of the recruitment of a senior litigator to Appleby’s Cayman office in the span of a month: the firm recently recruited Peter McMaster QC of Serle Court Chambers, who will join the firm on 2 April.

Solomon Harris

Cayman Islands law firm Solomon Harris has added two attorneys to the firm’s litigation practice, bringing the firm’s total head count to 30.

Tom Wright and Kai McGriele were recently admitted to practice in the Cayman Islands. Mr. McGriele joins the firm from Appleby in Jersey and has 7 years’ experience in general commercial litigation. Mr. Wright has an extensive background in dispute resolution and came to the firm after being with Porter Chamberlain LLP in London.

Sophia Harris, the firm’s managing partner, commented, “Notwithstanding the challenging global economic times, Cayman continues to hold its own in the international finance market and the firm remains confident about the future. This latest addition of lawyers with the level of expertise that the firm strives to maintain, is evidence of our continuing commitment to the Islands and the firm’s own strong position in the industry”.

The firm said it sees the addition of Mr. McGriele and Mr. Wright as an opportunity to grow its insolvency, restructuring and dispute resolution department. Laura Hatfield, the lead partner in that department said, “We are pleased to have attracted such quality attorneys as Kai and Tom to join our team. They will help us build on the reputation we have established for responsiveness and providing commercially orientated advice in a user friendly manner.”

Sophia Harris also noted the addition of Stefanie Suckoo to the corporate/commercial department after recently being called to the Bar.

“We have all had an opportunity to work with Stefanie, who has been articled to the firm. We are pleased to have our first newly qualified Cayman lawyer join the firm and we take special pride in this occasion. Stefanie has demonstrated that she is not only academically accomplished, but that she will be an excellent practitioner and it is with great pleasure that we welcome her to the firm as a lawyer.”

Caribbean Development Bank

The Caribbean Development Bank has appointed Carla Barnett as vice president (operations).

Ms Barnett is a Belizean national and economic consultant with experience at the executive level of the public service in Belize and throughout the CARICOM region.

She has served as financial secretary and chief executive officer at the Ministry of National Development in Belize, deputy secretary general at the Caribbean Community Secretariat in Guyana and deputy governor/acting governor at the Central Bank of in Belize. She has also served as a director on the Caribbean Development Bank board of directors.

As vice president (operations), Ms Barnett will have responsibility for the formulation of the bank’s assistance programme for each borrowing member country and the management of the bank’s portfolio of capital and technical assistance projects.

In other news, the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank has launched a video challenge through its youth outreach programme known as Vybzing. The Vybzing Video Challenge, which is open to residents of the Cayman Islands aged 16-25, requires the production of a three minute video on “Citizen Security in the Community”. The issue of citizen security has been singled out by CDB President Warren Smith as one of the hurdles challenging development in the region.

The submissions will be rated by a panel of local judges and the first placed winner will receive US$1,500.

Young people wishing to participate in the Challenge may visit the Bank’s website: or

Dunkin’ Donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts has joined the Junior Achievement of the Cayman Islands’ Corporate Ambassador programme. Dunkin’ Donuts Cayman General Manager Hugo Moran said: “We are happy to support the Junior Achievement programme as a Corporate Ambassador as we believe in the integrity of the programme and its ability to help young people successfully function and succeed once they have left school and have taken the giant step into the fast-paced corporate environment.”

Mr. Moran said in order to succeed in business, young people had to be well versed in all aspects of the business environment, possessing sound financial skill sets as well as the ability to think critically and strategically.

“We believe that the Junior Achievement programme plays an important part in this skill set development and we want to do our part by giving our support,” he said.

Paul Byles, president of Junior Achievement, said that the programme managed to achieve this by providing students with the chance to develop a wide set of skills that help them operate in today’s high pressure and quickly changing work environment.

The newly developed Corporate Ambassador programme was launched last year to retain continuity within the programme by having each corporate ambassador commit to donating $10,000 annually during a period of three years, thereby providing a steady stream of funds for the foreseeable future. Junior Achievement is celebrating its 20th anniversary in the Cayman Islands in 2012.


The duo of National Gallery buildings has been operational for just more than a month. With the larger facility come additional costs.

One of the areas expected to bring in more revenue is the new gallery gift shop where visitors may purchase items exclusive to the shop such as prints of select images in the NGCI Permanent Collection, jewellery by Xie Xie Designs, T-shirts, art supplies and now, as a result of a donation by PwC, coffee mugs.

“On purchasing a coffee mug for family members or friends, visitors will not only give a unique gift but also offer economic support to the National Gallery,” said Mona Watler, communications and marketing manager of the National Gallery.


Property and development consultancy BCQS International in Barbados has appointed senior valuation surveyor James Pollard.

“James brings experience and expertise in the field of property investment and professional property valuations and is a great addition to the BCQS team”, said Sanjay Amin, BCQS director. “We continue to see growth across all our business sectors and James will play a key role at BCQS, managing the expansion and raising the quality and standards of our appraisal and valuation business in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.”

Before joining BCQS, Mr Pollard worked for John Arkwright & Company as a senior surveyor. James holds an MSc in Estate Management from London South Bank University and a BA (Hons) in Economic and Social History from the University of Bristol. In addition, James is currently a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

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