Business in brief

Island Heritage

BF&M Ltd has completed the $68 million purchase of Island Heritage, after purchasing 338,409 common shares of the Cayman-based insurer. The Bermuda insurer had announced two weeks ago that it had agreed to buy Island Heritage that was majority owned by reinsurer Flagstone Re. Neither the management team nor the brand of Island Heritage is going to be changed according to an announcement two weeks ago.

Admiral Administration

Hedge fund administrator Admiral Administration has opened an office in Canada. The Cayman Islands-based firm’s new Halifax, Nova Scotia, office will serve as its primary center for middle- and back-office operations. The office is Admiral’s fourth, in addition to Cayman, Virginia, US, and Dublin, Ireland.

“I knew the next step for Admiral Administration was to expand our global footprint. When Nova Scotia Business Inc. approached us, we realised Nova Scotia was the right competitive jurisdiction for us,” managing director Canover Watson said. “Nova Scotia offers a great location, competitive costs and talented labour. It is the perfect fit.”

Admiral has some US$20 billion in assets under administration.

Maples and Calder

Maples and Calder staff has contributed to several charities as part of its Friday dress down days. The amount is matched by Maples and Calder and divided evenly between two charities. In January the Lighthouse School and Cayman Animal Rescue Enthusiasts (CARE) each received a donation of US$2,647.41. A total of US$5,500.74 was divided between Junior Achievement and the Cayman Islands Cancer Society for February’s donation, and the chosen recipients of March’s donation of the same amount are The Cayman Heart Fund and The Nathan Clarke Search Fund.

Cayman Islands Bankers’ Association

At the Annual General Meeting of the Cayman Islands Bankers’ Association held on 17 April, 2012 at the offices of HSBC the following members were elected to the executive committee.

Mike McWatt of Butterfield Bank as president, Jason Waters of Royal Bank of Canada as vice president, Close Bank Cayman’s John Sutlic as treasurer, and members Gary Darwent, Republic Bank (Cayman) Limited, Ben Gillooly, CIBC Bank and Trust Company (Cayman) Limited, Helena Soares Carneiro, Millennium BCP Bank and Trust, Anna McLean, CIBC First Caribbean Bank and Trust Co (Cayman) Limited, Brian Esau, Cayman National Bank, Doug Cochrane, Scotiabank & Trust (Cayman) Ltd and HSBC Cayman’s Gonzalo Jalles as immediate past president.

CIBA was launched in 1979 and its membership consists of 180 banks and trust companies including non-bank service providers.

KRyS Global

Local insolvency practitioner Kenneth M. Krys provided law students at New York University Law School with a foreign representative‟s perspective on Chapter 15 of the US Bankruptcy Code and the US Bankruptcy Court‟s interpretation of the UNCITRAL Model Law, with specific insight into two of the leading cases, SPhinX and Fairfield.

Krys, who recently participated in a Bankruptcy Litigation Roundtable presented by the Institutional Investor Educational Foundation, was invited by the roundtable moderator, retired Chief Judge Arthur Joseph Gonzalez, who now teaches, to share with NYU law students his “foreign” experience with US bankruptcy laws and the issues liquidators in offshore financial centers have in obtaining recognition pursuant to Chapter 15 of the US Bankruptcy Code.

“I was honored to be invited to NYU to provide first hand insight into my experiences in seeking Chapter 15 recognition”, said Mr Krys, founder and CEO of KRyS Global. “Our firm has been involved in two of the most often quoted cases in Chapter 15 and I was pleased to be able to share the dynamics I had to address when making those applications.”

SPhinX, a hedge fund group suffered heavy losses in excess of $263 million and was the first Chapter 15 application opposed under the US Bankruptcy Code. The application was made in August 2006, one year after Chapter 15 had been enacted, and Krys was successful in getting foreign non-main recognition. Part of the debate was whether the liquidators were acting in bad faith when seeking the Chapter 15 in attempting to set aside a preference settlement executed before their appointment. In 2007 applications by liquidators of Bear Stearns and Basis Yield failed to get any recognition in the United States. Then in 2010 the liquidators of Fairfield Sentry, a fund liquidated in proceedings in the British Virgin Islands, sought bankruptcy protection in the US under Chapter 15. The liquidators were successful in getting foreign main recognition. The order approving recognition gave further clarity to what was necessary, to demonstrate that the center of main interest was outside the U.S. Having Mr. Krys speak to the NYU law students was a special event for the students. “My class in Cross-Border Insolvency at NYU School of Law was thrilled today to have the opportunity to discuss cross-border issues with a person who has played a significant role in cross-border litigation,” said the former judge. “These cases have been at the center of the interpretation of the principles of recognition under Chapter 15 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.”

Cayman Islands Monetary Authority

The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) recently appointed three of its chief analysts to the rank of deputy head of their respective divisions. Kenton Tibbetts has been promoted to the post of deputy head of Banking, Leticia Frederick has been promoted to deputy head of Fiduciary Services and Pedro Reis was appointed as the deputy head of Insurance.

Together, the three bring 40-plus years of financial industry and regulatory experience to the deputy head level. They also havespecific expertise, including in Basel II capital adequacy framework implementation, captive insurance and trust supervision and involvement in the work of international regulatory organisations.

CIMA’s Managing Director Cindy Scotland, welcomed the appointments. “Our employees are the essential ingredient that allows CIMA to fulfill its monetary, regulatory, cooperative and advisory functions, helping the Cayman Islands to remain one of the world’s top financial services centres. Leticia, Kenton and Pedro have really enhanced the Authority by the knowledge, skill and dedication that they bring to bear. I am pleased to see staff members of such high calibre being able to move through the ranks into senior management,” she said.

As deputy heads the three will contribute to policy development and to the creation of recommendations on legislation, rules and guidelines for industry. They will provide guidance, assistance and supervision of staff in the processing of applications for licenses and other authorisations, in ongoing on- and off-site supervision of licensees and registrants, and in the general oversight of their sectors.

Cayman Islands Directors Association

Members of the Cayman Islands Directors Association attended a presentation on 28 March, hosted by the local law firm Higgs & Johnson in conjunction with the US law firm Baker Hostetler, on the provisions of a new United States tax regime, known as the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The presentation addressed the impact of the newly proposed regulations implementing FATCA on a broad range of financial activities and transactions based in the Cayman Islands. These include changes in the tax reporting, withholding and enforcement regime introduced by FATCA and related tax policy and regulatory changes being implemented by the US Treasury and Internal Revenue Service, and the effect of these wide-ranging requirements on the corporate governance, management, operation and administration of offshore financial institutions, investment companies, funds and service providers.

Whilst not all of the provisions of the law are fully settled, the final regulations are expected later in the year, FATCA will make substantial changes to information reporting and compliance requirements for offshore bank accounts and offshore investment funds.

Cassandra Powell, the executive CIDA committee member who organised the event, said that one of the main aims of CIDA is to provide education and guidance in the field of corporate governance and welcomed the opportunity to hear from some of the leading US lawyers on the subject of FATCA and how it will affect the members of CIDA in the Cayman Islands.

CIDA is an association with over 200 members in the Cayman Islands who are directors of one or more Cayman Islands registered companies.