Business in brief

Island Heritage

AM Best has affirmed the Island Heritage’s financial strength rating of A-(Excellent) and the insurer’s issuer credit rating of “a-“. The outlook for both ratings is stable. The ratings reflect Island Heritage’s solid level of risk-adjusted capitalisation, favourable operating results, experienced management team and local market expertise, the ratings agency said.

Solid underwriting results along with investment income have led to organic surplus growth in recent years, as well as a strong five-year average combined ratio. This has enabled Island Heritage to maintain more than adequate risk-adjusted capitalisation for its current business profile, AM Best noted.

Partially offsetting these favourable rating factors is the geographic concentration of Island Heritage’s business in the Caribbean, which exposes it to substantial losses from catastrophic events, the increasingly competitive landscape in its operating territories and local regulatory risk. Island Heritage, like other regional insurers, manages its exposure through the heavy use of reinsurance protection.

While the outlook is stable, factors that could contribute to rating enhancement include continued strong underwriting performance and overall profitability, and an upgrade in Cayman Islands’ country risk tier rating, the rating agency said.

Factors that may lead to negative rating actions include a sustained decline in Island Heritage’s underwriting profitability, significant deterioration in its risk-adjusted capitalization as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio and a downgrade in Cayman Islands’ country risk tier rating.

Island Heritage Chief Financial Officer Jon Coleman said, “The AM Best A- (Excellent) financial strength and credit rating (stable outlook) recognises the strengths of Island Heritage’s solid level of capitalisation and enhanced reinsurance protection against severe and frequent catastrophic events.”

Weststar TV

Cayman Brac residents turned out for WestStar’s customer appreciation evening Tuesday night. A big part of the night was the announcement that Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are being upgraded to digital cable service.

WestStar Sister Islands Manager, Chris Randall, explained that the upgrade should be completed by the end of the year and includes a direct link between Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac. “We will be putting up a new building on the bluff and will be able to offer more channels to our customers here in the Sister Islands,” Mr. Randall said.

Mr. Randall also announced the dedication of Stake Bay Gardens in memory of Captain Moses “Junior” Kirkconnell and Captain Mabry Kirkconnell. Sister Islands Member of the Legislative Assembly Moses Kirkconnell was on hand for the dedication of the Gardens which was created and is kept up by WestStar.

The night was capped off with the raffle draw for two Samsung LED TVs donated by WestStar TV with the help of AL Thompson’s Home Depot. The lucky winners were Elvia Martin and Melgreen Reid.

Cayman National Bank

Cayman National Bank pledged their help to prevent the lifelong consequences of chronic hunger and ensure our children access to the healthy food that they need in order to meet their full potential by supporting local charity Feed our Future.

Every day in the Cayman Islands hundreds of children do not get the food they need to live happy and healthy lives, the organisation said. Research proves that children struggling with hunger often do not know when the next meal will come and so hunger brings with it depression and anxiety. Something as simple as a healthy school meal every day can make all the difference for these children. Feed our Future, provides children in need in the Cayman community with access to nutritious meals when at school and have an annual goal of supporting 100 children each school year.

“The physical health of our youth positions them to take full advantage of the learning opportunities presented to them,” said Ormond Williams, president of Cayman National Bank. “We are delighted to support Feed our Future which enables them to provide services to our most vulnerable young people, and in the process making possible the goal of a fuller life and a brighter future.”

Feed our Future, a not-for-profit association, exists to provide an immediate and direct way to reduce child hunger and improve health and educational development through the funding of nutritional school meals.

Fidelity Group

Fidelity Bank & Trust International Limited has appointed Nicholas Freeland to the board of Fidelity and its subsidiary companies effective 1 July, 2012.

Mr. Freeland is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.

“We are pleased to welcome Nick to our board,” said Anwer Sunderji, group chairman. “He brings with him comprehensive knowledge of the financial services industry in the Caribbean and has considerable familiarity of our banking operations and the territories we operate in over many years.”

Mr. Freeland is a former manager of PricewaterhouseCoopers in The Bahamas and the former senior partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers in the Cayman Islands from where he retired twelve months ago. He sits on the boards of various Cayman Islands government-sponsored entities and oversight bodies, and brings vast experience in risk management and corporate governance to our boards, Fidelity said. All necessary approvals for his appointment have been received from the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority and The Central Bank of The Bahamas.

As a director at the parent company, he will also serve as a director of Fidelity Bank (Cayman) Limited and Fidelity Bank (Bahamas) Limited.

Fidelity’s board also includes Sir William Allen, former governor of The Central Bank of The Bahamas and former Bahamas minister of finance, D. Anthony Jones, former senior partner of KPMG Bahamas, Peter Andrews, Chairman of Bahamas Waste Limited, Hugh Sands, former managing director of Barclays Bank Bahamas and former Chairman of Bank of The Bahamas, and Scott Elphinstone, managing director and chief investment officer of ScotiabankFive Continents Financial Limited.

Maples

Maples and Calder and MaplesFS have partnered with the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre as major sponsors of the tenth annual Jingle Bell Walk/Run for the third consecutive year.

The Cayman Islands Crisis Centre, established in 2003, is the first and only safe shelter for the victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault in Cayman. The Jingle Bell Walk/Run is the organisation’s major fundraising event of the year and contributes approximately $50,000 annually to the operational resources for the Centre. The Maples group has contributed $5,000 to the 2012 event, which is scheduled for 8 December 2012.

“Maples and Calder is committed to many initiatives across the Cayman Islands, but we are particularly supportive of organisations that focus on helping those in need. Raising awareness is as important as the funding aspect, and the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre is doing a remarkable job in getting the word out about domestic violence,” said Paul Lumsden, managing partner, Maples and Calder, Cayman. “The statistics are concerning and we must all do our part to ensure that everyone has the opportunity for a life free of violence.”

Allison Clark, Fundraising Committee chair of the board of directors, expressed thanks to Maples and Calder and all sponsors of this event: “We are well into the planning stage of the 2012 event and are grateful for all of our corporate and individual sponsors. All of the money we raise at these events goes directly to fund operations of the Crisis Centre and we would not exist without these generous donations.”

From 1 January to 31 December 2011, the centre received 131 crisis calls and sheltered 30 women and 35 children, including providing them with meals, clothing and other daily essentials.

In other news the Maples Foundation donated US$25,000 to the scholarship programme of UWC Cayman Islands. UWC Cayman Islands Chairperson, Tara Rivers, said: “As our current longest standing donor, I’m delighted that the Maples Foundation has contributed to the UWC Cayman Islands scholarship fund again this year. The UWC movement and ideals are valued and appreciated by Maples and Calder, as evidenced by its support year after year.”

Each year, UWC Cayman Islands selects outstanding students from a pool of academically talented and service-oriented Caymanian applicants to attend the various worldwide UWC campuses on full scholarship. There are more than 60 Caymanian UWC alumni living, studying and working domestically and abroad. This year’s recipient is Madeleine Rowell, who will be attending UWC-USA in Montezuma, New Mexico on a full scholarship. She is due to graduate from Cayman Prep & High School this summer. Along with excellent scholastic abilities, she is involved in community services, such as Key Club and volunteering at the Humane Society and the Pines.

“The UWC Cayman Islands scholarship programme plays a vital role in our community and we are pleased to continue our support,” said Paul Lumsden, Managing Partner, Maples and Calder, Cayman. “Ms. Rowell is an impressive recipient of this year’s scholarship and we wish her all the best for her upcoming studies at UWC-USA.”

Appleby

Appleby’s Litigation & Insolvency Practice Group has hired two new associates Jeremy Snead and Anna Gilbert from Mayer Brown International LLP.

Mr. Snead will focus on banking and funds litigation, corporate dispute resolution, fraud litigation, insolvency and restructuring. He also has extensive knowledge of retention of title clauses, contractual interpretation, negligence and asset recovery.

Mr. Snead is a graduate of the University College of London, where he obtained his Bachelors of Laws with First Class Honours. He then went on to complete the Legal Practice Course receiving a Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice with Commendation from Nottingham Trent University.

Ms Gilbert will specialise in corporate dispute resolution, arbitration and mediation, banking litigation and negligence claims. While at Mayer Brown, she gained a wide range of experience including acting on behalf of corporate clients on a variety of high value contractual disputes and defending arbitration proceedings. She routinely advised on aspects of international arbitration practice and procedure and also worked on a number of regulatory investigations involving alleged breaches of tax and securities law.

Ms Gilbert received her Bachelor of Laws Degree with Upper Second Class Honours from the University of Bristol and completed her Legal Practice Course receiving a Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice with Distinction from the University of the West of England, Bristol.

Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank donated US$20,000 to UWC Cayman Islands to support the scholarship programme for exceptional Caymanian students. Deutsche Bank began its support to mark UWC Cayman Islands’ 25th anniversary in 2009 and has continued to provide financial assistance annually since that time.

“Since 2009, Deutsche Bank (Cayman Islands) Limited has played an integral role as a significant donor for the UWC Cayman Islands scholarship fund,” said Tara Rivers, UWC Cayman Islands chairperson. “The generosity of Deutsche Bank translates into real, tangible benefits to the scholars we select to attend the various worldwide UWCs every year, and to the Cayman Islands as a whole.

“As the UWC movement continues to grow, Cayman’s business sector and wider community has benefited, and will hopefully continue to benefit, from the civic-minded, challenge-oriented and culturally aware students, employees and leaders that the UWC movement fosters,” she added.

Janet Hislop, chief country officer for Deutsche Bank Cayman Islands, said: “A large part of Deutsche Bank’s commitment to the local community is supporting young Caymanians by helping them realise their full potential and, with this in mind, I am delighted to be able to maintain our support of the United World College. Studying at a UWC can give students a unique experience that will stand them in good stead to make a positive contribution to Cayman society in the future,” she added.

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