CIMA directors change in midst of 'internal review'

A shake-up in the Cayman Islands financial services industry regulator comes in the midst of an internal review that began earlier this year related to the involvement of local individuals and financial institutions in the ongoing FIFA corruption investigation. 

The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority board has replaced former Cayman Islands Chief Secretary George McCarthy as chairman of the panel along with at least two other members who served as directors, according to an official gazette notice released by government. 

Grant Stein, the former managing partner of Walkers Global in the Cayman Islands, was appointed as the new chairman. Other new appointees to the board include Gus Pope, Patricia Estwick and Brian Murphy. All of the new members were appointed to three-year terms ending July 20, 2018. 

The appointments, approved by Cabinet on July 21, retained professor William Gilmore and Judith Watler on the board through mid-July 2018. Also, current board member Harry Chisholm has been designated deputy chair for a term through mid-July 2017. 

Neither Financial Services Minister Wayne Panton nor CIMA Acting Managing Director Patrick Bodden responded immediately to queries seeking comment about the board changes. Mr. McCarthy was also contacted but had not responded before press time Monday. CIMA Managing Director Cindy Scotland was off island at the time questions from the Cayman Compass were received. 

Mr. McCarthy said in June that the agency would commission an internal review following the arrest of Caymanian businessman Jeffrey Webb, former FIFA vice president and ex-CONCACAF president, in Switzerland May 27 on U.S.-based charges of racketeering and money laundering. At least one current and one former Cayman Islands bank were named in connection with the probe, although neither bank was accused of wrongdoing in records filed with the U.S. court. 

The CIMA board met in early June to discuss a number of issues related to the FIFA investigation and how it could potentially affect Cayman’s financial services industry. 

Mr. McCarthy said at the time that members were “very much concerned about the events that are occurring,” but agreed that it was too early for direct board involvement in these matters. 

Mr. McCarthy said the three-person internal review committee will include newly appointed CIMA head of banking Charles Ilako, head of compliance R.J. Berry and deputy general counsel Andre Mon Desir. After the review committee completes its work, it will present a report to CIMA’s management committee, and the management committee will report to the board, Mr. McCarthy said. 

Mr. McCarthy confirmed that Ms. Scotland would remain in her role as managing director and that there was “no need for her to set aside her role at this time.” In addition, Mr. McCarthy said there was no evidence at the present time that any Cayman Islands banks had done anything wrong.

For the Cayman Compass’s full FIFA coverage, visit the Compass Data Desk.

Mr. Stein
Mr. Stein