Inequality will be the theme of the 14th annual business conference presented by Fidelity Bank (Cayman) Ltd. on Jan. 19.
The date for the Cayman Economic Outlook was announced Thursday at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, where the conference will be held.
Also announced were the guest speakers, who include global economist Dambisa Moyo. In 2009, Ms. Moyo was named by Time magazine as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world after the publication of her best-selling book “Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There is a Better Way for Africa,” in which she argues that government-to-government aid is ultimately harmful to Africa’s development.
The controversial book attracted several well-known challengers, including Bill Gates, who got into a public spat with Ms. Moyo. In addition to writing and speaking engagements, Ms. Moyo currently serves on the boards of Barclays Bank, SABMiller, the global brewer, and Barrick Gold, the global miner.
Other guest speakers will include Dr. Vikram Mansharamani, a global equity investor who is also a lecturer in the program of ethics, politics and economics at Yale University; Craig Wright, the chief economist at RBC Royal Bank; and Rasmus Ankerson, the author of the best-selling book “The Gold Mine Effect: Crack the Secrets of High Performance.”
Also included in the program of the all-day conference are opening remarks by Fidelity Group of Companies Chairman and CEO Anwer Sunderji; remarks from Cayman Islands Governor Helen Kilpatrick; the State of the Nation Address delivered by Cayman Islands Premier Alden McLaughlin; and a local panel discussion on the issue of inequality in the Cayman Islands, moderated by realtor Jeremy Hurst.
Speaking at the press conference Thursday to announce the date and speakers, Mr. Sunderji said inequality is a topical theme, noting that the World Economic Forum named it as a major driver of global social fragility.
“It’s an issue that needs to be addressed … and it’s an issue as well in Cayman. It’s evident in Cayman that the wealthier people are getting wealthier and the poor are getting poorer,” Mr. Sunderji said, adding that it was hoped the panel discussion could create some awareness on the topic.
Mr. Sunderji said that being thought-provoking is a key goal of the Cayman Economic Outlook conference, which has earned the reputation as a world-class conference. He noted that presenting the conferences is not a profit-making initiative.
“We don’t make money and in fact it costs us money, even after the sponsorships,” he said. This year’s conference has nine “event partner” sponsors: Campbells, Consolidated Water, Dart, Evolving Island, Five Continents, Guardian General Insurance Ltd., Health City Cayman Islands, IRG and PwC Cayman.
Alistair Walters, a partner of Campbells, said the law firm has been a sponsor of the Outlook conferences from the beginning because it believes they are beneficial to Cayman’s business community.
“They make us think about global issues from a different perspective, which I think is great,” he said.
The cost to attend the conference is US$490 per person, but an early-bird registration price of US$425 in available until midnight Dec. 31. Discounts are also available to groups and CISPA members. The registration fee includes the full program of speakers, the local panel discussion, a welcome breakfast, lunch and a cocktail reception at the end of the day.