Business in brief

Cayman’s auditors oversight body joins International Forum

 The International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators has approved the membership application of Cayman’s Auditors Oversight Authority. 

The AOA was established in 2011 to regulate and supervise auditors in Cayman who audit the accounts of market-traded companies. The IFIAR aims to share knowledge and practical experience of independent audit regulatory activity, promote collaboration in regulatory activity, and provide a focus for contact with other international audit regulators around the world.  

There are 46 independent audit regulators who are members of IFIAR. Michael Austin, chairman of the board of AOA, said membership in the International Forum allows the authority to access the knowledge and experience of audit regulators around the world and is further indication of the growing maturity of the Cayman Islands’ financial regulatory environment. 

100 Women in Hedge Funds, a nonprofit organization for professionals in the alternative investments industry, has announced the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre as the beneficiary of its 2014 Cayman fundraising activities, including its inaugural gala on May 3.  

The Crisis Centre provides the only women’s safe house in Cayman and has given housing, counseling and support to more than 700 women and their children since its inception in 2003.  

To date, the 100 Women in Hedge Funds group has raised $33 million globally for philanthropic causes. The organization’s philanthropic theme for 2014 is women and family health.  

“Our mission … is to create opportunities for our members to accumulate valuable industry knowledge through unique educational sessions, connect with their industry peers and make a difference in the communities in which they live,” said Amanda Pullinger, chief executive officer of the Cayman organization.  

“We are grateful to the [100 Women in Hedge Funds] community in the Cayman Islands for choosing CICC as its beneficiary for 2014. This is a wonderful example of women helping other women and families. Our ultimate goal … is to see a dramatic reduction in the levels of domestic violence on the island,” said Alisson Clark, chairwoman of the Crisis Centre’s fundraising committee.  

Marc Shirra is the new chief executive officer of insurance company Island Heritage. He succeeds Garth MacDonald, who retired at the end of 2013 after serving the company since its inception in 1996. 

Mr. Shirra will be responsible for strategic direction and day-to-day management, as well as oversight of the risk management strategy, reinsurance programs and the ongoing relationship with the company’s network of agents and other service providers throughout the Caribbean. 

“I am very much looking forward to this new and exciting opportunity with Island Heritage,” Mr. Shirra said. “This year, and the road ahead, promises to be challenging, yet rewarding, as we continue to seek opportunities to expand our insurance product and service offerings.” 

He joined Island Heritage in 2010 as senior vice president, business development. Prior to that, he held senior management positions in the Bahamas, where he worked for more than 20 years.  

Mr. Shirra is a fellow of the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants in the United Kingdom, as well as an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute (U.K.).  

MCS has partnered with offshore cloud service provider Calligo. The partnership will enable MCS to deliver cloud services to organizations of any size, both offshore and onshore. 

Chris Lopez, MCS chief executive officer, said, “We can now offer clients cloud computing solutions whilst providing strict data residency guarantees. Clients can now choose to have cloud services delivered from the Cayman Islands or other offshore locations within the Calligo network.” 

Research firm Gartner predicts that the bulk of new IT spending by 2016 will be for cloud computing platforms and applications. It also highlights security and privacy as a key challenge for all businesses. 

Placing data within the global offshore cloud network from Calligo, including its ability to encrypt 100 percent of data, addresses these concerns, MCS said. 

“We are delighted to be partnering with MCS to deliver our trusted and proven services to clients in the Cayman Islands, as well as clients in the Channel Islands that have offices there,” said Julian Box, chief executive officer and Calligo co-founder. “With MCS’s experience in delivering IT transformation services, offering cloud services is the next logical step.” 

Through the partnership with Calligo, MCS will provide services such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Desktop as a Service (DaaS) and various Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings. These services will be introduced at an event on March 19.  

Foster’s Food Fair – IGA has received the Independent Grocers Alliance award for the third time.  

The IGA International Retailer of the Year award is based on globally applied standards in terms of performance, leadership, innovation, community involvement and employee development. 

Foster’s Food Fair, which first won the award in 2000 under the management of the late David Wade Foster, was selected by a committee of IGA executives and food industry experts. Foster’s, now under the management of managing director Woody Foster, also won in 2007.  

The company said it has focused on strengthening its customer service approach and training program. 

In his acceptance speech in Las Vegas, Woody Foster thanked the 500-plus staff in Cayman. “Without you, we cannot be successful,” he said. 

He also noted the values his late father had instilled in his family. “Without your training, we would not have the work ethic and integrity to continue to run the company the way you started.” 

The International Grocers Alliance includes nearly 5,000 supermarkets worldwide. 

Woody-Foster-S

Woody Foster

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Mr. Shirra