Business in brief

Mourant Ozannes voted best US offshore law firm 

Mourant Ozannes was named Best U.S. Offshore Law Firm by the readers of Hedge Funds Review. In the end-of-year readers’ survey, the firm topped the polls with 43 percent of the votes for U.S. offshore legal service providers. The annual Hedge Funds Review service provider rankings offer hedge fund managers and investors the opportunity to vote for outstanding service providers. 

Hayden Isbister, partner in the Cayman funds practice, said, “The recognition from the readers of Hedge Funds Review is immensely gratifying and we are delighted to have been voted the top U.S. offshore law firm by such a significant margin.” 

This year the firm also won Best Offshore Law Firm, Client Service at the 2014 HFMWeek U.S. Hedge Fund Services Awards and Best Offshore Law Firm at both the Hedgeweek USA and Hedgeweek global awards. 

PKF Cayman partner promotion 

Audit and accountancy firm PKF (Cayman) Ltd. has promoted Neil Maynard to audit partner. Mr. Maynard,who joined PKF Cayman in 2008, has more than 16 years’ professional experience in assurance and business services in the Cayman Islands and United Kingdom.  

He specializes in investment funds, trusts and captive insurance clients and has extensive experience in the application of both U.S. GAAP and IFRS. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales and the Cayman Islands Society of Professional Accountants. 

Ben Leung, managing partner, said, “Neil exemplifies our commitment to providing clients with a responsive, knowledgeable and professional service and has been instrumental in the continued growth of the firm. This promotion is richly deserved.”  

Walkers seminars 

Offshore law firm Walkers has completed a series of investment funds seminars in New York, San Francisco and London, highlighting the latest developments in governance and regulation of offshore funds, as well as the outlook for the global economy in 2015. 

In addition to the panel presentations from Walkers partners in various jurisdictions, Jane Buchan, chief executive officer at Pacific Alternative Asset Management Company, gave the keynote speech in New York and San Francisco. BBC economics editor and financial commentator Robert Peston entertained delegates in London.  

As in prior years, the centerpiece of the seminars was a review of 2014 activity, based on a survey of the funds Walkers has established for clients. 

“We continue to see a greater focus on corporate governance and an aversion to liquidity measures such as gates,” said Ingrid Pierce, global managing partner of Walkers. “Investors don’t want very long lock-ups or complexities. They want simple, clear and comprehensive disclosure.” 

Ogier advises on joint venture  

Ogier Cayman recently advised Gatehouse Bank plc on its joint venture with Sigma Capital for the construction of an initial 927 new rental homes, with a total development cost of approximately £110 million US$173 million). Gatehouse Bank plc is a London-based investment bank specializing in Shariah-compliant products and services.  

Ogier advised on the structuring, incorporation and financing aspects of the project. The equity investment in the project was structured by means of a Shariah-compliant murabaha agreement, with additional bank financing provided by means of a facility agreement with Barclays Bank.  

Ogier worked closely with Elian Fiduciary Services in both the Jersey and Cayman offices, and alongside Maclay, Murray & Spens, who advised Gatehouse on the U.K. aspects of the transaction.  

Clarien appoints head of private banking 

Clarien Bank has appointed Clare Spearing as head of Private Banking, effective Jan. 12. Ms. Spearing will be responsible for leading the new business efforts for private banking and providing overall strategic direction for the division. 

Ms. Spearing’s appointment reflects Clarien’s aim to become the pre-eminent financial institution for local Bermudian banking clients, while strengthening its international offering of sophisticated products and services, combined with top level investment advice to wealth management and private banking clients, the bank said, adding that Cayman remains a key international business center with opportunities for growth for Clarien. 

Clarien said the bank will continue to expand its business internationally, including in the Caribbean, Latin America and Asia. Ms. Spearing previously worked with Butterfield and HSBC in Bermuda.  

MaplesFS supports local charities 

During the past quarter, MaplesFS has donated money to a number of causes in the Cayman Islands, including the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Association, the East End Primary School PTA Community After-School Program, Junior Achievement and the National Housing Development Trust. 

MaplesFS donated $750 in support of Cayman’s Alzheimer’s and Dementia Association; the East End Primary School PTA received $1,500 for its Community After-School Program; Junior Achievement received $1,000 for in-school and after-school practical business programs; and the National Housing Development Trust and its annual government affordable housing communities kids Christmas party received $935. This event brings Christmas festivities to more than 150 kids in the West Bay, Windsor Park, Eastern Avenue and East End communities. 

Maples, Rotary bolster primary school literacy program 

Rotary Central and Maples and Calder raised funds to allow Red Bay Primary School to expand its literacy support program. The money will fund the purchase of a Year One Orange Level Literacy Intervention (LLI) kit.  

Katherine Briggs of Harbour House Marina has supported Red Bay Primary School by donating the Orange LLI kit free of charge. It is the third kit Ms. Briggs brought to Grand Cayman for the school. Education Minister Tara Rivers said, “Rotary Central and Maples and Calder have a history of contributing to initiatives aimed at raising literacy levels throughout the country.” She thanked Rotary Central, Maples and Calder, and Ms. Briggs for partnering with the government to support the literacy needs of all young Caymanian students. 

Rotary-LIteracy-Donatio

Desiree Charles presents a check to Minister for Education Tara Rivers to support the literacy program at Red Bay Primary School. They are joined by Red Bay teachers Delton Pedley and Tamara Dixon, principal Vickie Frederick and Ministry of Education Literacy Specialist Brad Wilson.

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