Former SEC top brass come to Cayman

Four former commissioners of the Securities Exchange Commission, who were at the SEC during the financial crisis, will speak for the first time at a conference in the Cayman Islands in March. 

As such, the Regulatory Compliance Association’s Symposium is truly a historic event for Cayman and a milestone in its development as a financial center, said association chairman Walter Zebrowski. “Who would have thought this possible 20 years ago?” he said. 

The former SEC commissioners, Kathleen Casey, Troy Paredes, Roel Campos and Paul Atkins, will be joined by Bart Chilton, acting commissioner at the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission, in a roundtable.  

The unprecedented debate will give delegates the opportunity to hear exclusive insights from the top of the SEC and the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission on how U.S. regulatory reform will impact Cayman, Mr. Zebrowski said. 

The Regulatory Compliance Association will host the symposium from March 12 to 14 at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. 

Local speakers include Premier Alden McLaughlin and Cayman Islands Monetary Authority managing director Cindy Scotland. 

Grand Court judge Andrew Jones, who handed down the decision in the Weavering [fund governance] case, will feature in a session on fund governance and due diligence. 

The event will cover various case studies, including one where the SEC’s Aberrational Performance Initiative, a model-based research unit that aims to detect unusual return patterns in hedge funds, uncovered internal control failures in a fund that caused the overvaluation of fund assets and inflated fees. The SEC fined the fund manager nearly $9 million and imposed several other requirements and restrictions upon the firm. 

The session will discuss how to institutionalize practices and controls to manage conflicts of interest and valuation processes. 

It is just one of the examples of regulatory and reputational risk that result from the current focus on regulation, compliance, reporting and enforcement. 

Other sessions will discuss SEC examination trends, including new priorities, processes and techniques, and explore new covert investigatory techniques and enforcement used since the SAC Capital insider trading case.  

Conference topics will also cover practical considerations for regulatory reporting and emerging issues and developments with regard to FATCA and tax compliance. 

U.S. regulatory reform will mean business for Cayman, as regulation and compliance are now affecting more than just compliance executives, said Mr. Zebrowski. “They are affecting operations and accounting executives.  

“Regulation is driving an institutionalization of operational processes and practices, in addition to the pure compliance that it has created.”  

The Regulatory Compliance Association symposium will help delegates formulate a business plan for their firm over the next six to nine months for operational compliance improvement and enhancement, Mr. Zebrowski added. 

The symposium returns to Cayman for the first time since the association discontinued its conference series after the financial crisis. 

The Regulatory Compliance Association is a not-for-profit organization, chartered as a graduate level institution. Its principal mandate is to protect investors and financial markets through accredited post-secondary education in compliance, operations and regulation, in particular in the alternative investment community.