Business in brief

Cayman Islands, Colombia to sign TIEA 

The Cayman Islands and Colombia will sign a tax information exchange agreement on July 1.  

It will be Cayman’s 36th TIEA and the third in 2014, after agreements were signed with the Seychelles in February and with Belgium in April. Negotiations are currently under way with an additional 14 nations. 

As a result of the agreement with Colombia, the South American country will recognize the Cayman Islands as a jurisdiction of significant transparency and regulatory standards and order its removal from Colombia’s Tax Haven List (Non-Cooperative Jurisdictions). Nations on Colombia’s “Tax Haven List” are subject to transaction restrictions and tax penalties not applicable to “white-listed” countries, including a 25 percent tax rate for portfolio investment proceeds as opposed to the 14 percent tax rate applied to white-list domiciled entities; a 33 percent withholding tax on any Colombian-sourced (taxable) income related payments made to individuals and corporations in tax haven jurisdictions; and transfer pricing compliance and anti-avoidance provisions applying to Colombian tax residents.  

Both Cayman and Colombia have committed to the early adoption of the OECD’s Common Reporting Standard for automatic exchange of information, and are members of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. 

Rob Leadbetter, chairman of the Insurance Managers Association of Cayman, expects the agreement to drive further insurance business to the Cayman Islands. “We view Latin America, and Colombia in particular, as a solid market in the captive insurance space,” he said. “This TIEA coming into effect reinforces Cayman as a viable option for Colombian companies looking for self-insurance alternatives, as well as for investment funds and trusts. With only a handful of jurisdictions on this white-list, we are well-positioned to offer a valuable service to these companies.” 

Mourant Ozannes trust conference  

Mourant Ozannes will hold its fourth International Trusts & Private Client Conference on Oct. 3 at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. Attorneys from Mourant Ozannes’s International Trusts & Private Client team will be joined once again by other well-known experts in the field of wealth management. 

Morven McMillan, who heads the firm’s ITPC team in the Cayman Islands, will co-chair the conference with Shân Warnock-Smith, QC. Other key speakers this year are from the U.K., Switzerland, the U.S. and the British Virgin Islands, and include Kobi Dorenbush (Caledonian Group Financial Services), Andrew De La Rosa (ICT Chambers), Anthony Poulton (Baker & McKenzie), Dawn Goodman (Withers), Joshua Rubenstein (Katten Muchin Rosenmann LLP), Nicholas Holland (Bircham Dyson Bell) and Tina Wüstemann (Bär & Karrer). 

They will join Mourant Ozannes speakers Jim Edmondson, Jeremy Wessels, Jonathan Speck, Christopher Edwards, Bruce Lincoln, Lucy Diggle and Eleanor Morgan.  

This year, the conference is being organized in collaboration with Caledonian Global Financial Services. Rawlinson & Hunter will host a speakers dinner on the Thursday evening before the conference. 

Conference founder and co-chair Morven McMillan said, “We welcome the opportunity to build on the great success of this annual conference in promoting the Cayman Islands as a center of excellence in wealth management. We are delighted to welcome Caledonian Global Financial Services on board as our collaborating sponsor this year and look forward to welcoming our delegates to the conference in October.” 

Registration is now open. Organizers are offering “early bird” registration at the reduced rate of US$450 for those who complete their registration by Aug. 31. Registration is available online at www.mourant​ 

Appleby appoints partner 

Benjamin Woolf has been appointed as a partner at Appleby. He is a member of the Corporate & Commercial practice group and specializes in structured finance and corporate transactions. He also works on mergers & acquisitions, asset finance and subscription finance.  

Prior to joining Appleby in 2011, Mr. Woolf practiced at Clifford Chance and Mayer Brown where he worked primarily on securitization and other asset-backed financings.