Business in brief

PwC commits to gender equality  

PwC joined UN Women, the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, and corporations around the world as a champion of the IMPACT 10X10X10 program and the HeForShe movement for gender equality. 

On Sept. 20, 2014, UN Women introduced HeForShe, which aims to mobilize 1 billion men and boys in support of gender equality. 

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January, PwC Chairman Dennis Nally became an IMPACT 10x10x10 champion, making PwC among the first corporations globally to commit to take action to achieve gender equality within and beyond their institutions.  

“Despite years of promoting gender equality, many women and girls around the world continue to face inequalities. Two things are clear,” Mr. Nally said. “First, this problem isn’t going to correct itself. And second, to create a more equal world, everyone has a role to play. 

“Achieving gender equality isn’t going to be an easy task, but I am personally committed to playing a part in solving the problem,” he said. “And with the support of 195,000 PwC people in 157 countries, I’m very confident that we can help to make a real difference in the lives of women and girls around the world – and build a much more innovative world where men and women have more choices.” 

The HeForShe’s IMPACT 10x10x10 program engages 30 key leaders across the public and private sectors and academia. All 30 IMPACT champions have made common commitments and have also developed tailored commitments, formally reviewed by an expert team at UN Women and approved by the executive director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. 

Mr. Nally signed the UN’s CEO Statement of Support for the Women’s Empowerment Principles, a set of principles for business offering guidance on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community, and he has committed to implement Principle 7: “Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality.”  

PwC will develop a male-focused gender curriculum with global reach, launch a Global Inclusion Index to increase women in leadership roles and raise the global profile of HeForShe with PwC people, clients and communities. 

KRyS Global appoints managing director 

International fraud investigation and dispute resolution firm KRyS Global has appointed Casey McDonald as managing director of its Cayman Islands office. 

Mr. McDonald started his career in 1997 with a big four accounting firm, working in Canada, the Cayman Islands, the U.K., and the British Virgin Islands, where he headed the company’s local advisory practice.  

Mr. McDonald has acted as liquidator, receiver and judicial manager on a number of engagements, working in jurisdictions throughout the Americas, Europe, Russia, Hong Kong, mainland China, Singapore and the Caribbean. His industry experience includes financial services, real estate, insurance, shipping, consumer goods and energy.  

“Casey is an excellent addition to our leadership team. His extensive experience in the region and internationally will complement well with our firm’s capabilities and the strengths of our team,” said founder and executive chairman Kenneth Krys.  

Award for Mourant Ozannes 

Mourant Ozannes has been named Best Offshore Law Firm at the Chambers Europe Awards, which were announced in Amsterdam on April 24. 

The Chambers Europe Awards are decided by the 150 researchers who interview clients throughout the year for the legal directory. The shortlisting of candidates takes into account the work highlights provided by the practice area submissions, ranking changes, new office openings, firm growth and client feedback.  

This is the second year Mourant Ozannes has received the award.  

Partner Paul Martin said, “We are delighted to have been presented this award by one of the industry’s leading directories. It is strong recognition of our position at the forefront of the offshore legal market.” 

Maples Fund Services celebrates 10 years 

Maples Fund Services, a division of MaplesFS, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. 

“This is a proud moment for our firm. I would like to thank all of our clients for their continued commitment and support,” said Toni Pinkerton, global head of Fund Services at Maples Fund Services.  

“Of course, our success has very much been a team effort and every member of staff has played a part in our achievements. Our teams in Asia, Cayman, Europe, the Middle East and North America have all contributed to our success across their respective jurisdictions, navigating tough economic climates, increasing regulation, new office openings, expansions and acquisitions.”  

Ms. Pinkerton, who has been with the firm since its inception, is in her fifth year as global head of Fund Services. In April, she was joined at the helm by Tyler Kim, Maples Fund Services’ chief information officer, who took on the additional role of co-global head of Fund Services in recognition of the accelerating importance of technology to fund services globally.  

“Over the past decade, Maples Fund Services has grown from strength to strength, establishing a presence across all major financial jurisdictions and gaining the respect and trust of our clients and peers,” Mr. Kim said. “I am excited to join Toni as a global head as Maples Fund Services continues to excel, particularly in the areas of technology and regulatory reporting.” 

The provider of fund administration and accounting services has been named an Institutional Investor “Tech 50 Firm” three years in a row. Additionally, over the past year it has been awarded “Best European Fund Administrator – under $30 billion single manager,” “Best European Fund Administrator – small and start-up firms,” “Best US Administrator – under $30 billion client service,” “Best Asia Administrator – under $30 billion overall” and “Best Asia Administrator – under $30 billion fund of hedge funds” by HFMWeek, as well as “Best Fund Administrator – private equity” and “Best Fund Administrator – sharia compliant funds” by MENA Fund Manager. 

“Our reputation for excellence and innovation continues to grow and we look forward to building on this in the future,” said Scott Somerville, chief executive officer of MaplesFS.  

Lawson Conner launches offshore investment management platform 

Lawson Conner, a European provider of investment management and compliance solutions to the alternative investment fund industry, has launched Discovery, an integrated offshore investment management platform.  

Discovery will be structured as a Cayman Islands segregated portfolio company, offering both EU and non-EU domiciled investment managers a “plug-and-play” solution for multiple jurisdictions. 

Each Discovery sub-fund has segregated liability and is therefore protected from the inherent risks of other managers’ portfolios, according to Lawson Conner. Funds can be launched within four weeks under Cayman Islands law and in line with Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive regulations.  

“The Cayman Islands structure gives managers access to a global investors base in a cost efficient way,” said Gerhard Grueter, managing director at Lawson Conner. 

Casey McDonald of KRyS Global