Business in brief: RISA names accountant and rising star of the year

Declan Magennis, a director at major international accounting firm BDO’s corporate recovery and insolvency subsidiary, BDO CRI (Cayman) Ltd., has been voted ‘Accountant of the Year’ by members of the Recovery and Insolvency Specialists’ Association, Cayman Islands (RISA Cayman).

Presented with his award at the recent RISA Cayman Annual Christmas Luncheon, Mr. Magennis said, “it is an honor and a privilege, especially as it was voted for by my peers within the organization.”

Mr. Magennis an Irish national, has been in Cayman for over seven years and lives here with his wife and two children.

RISA also recognized Higgs & Johnson Associate Allyson Speirs with the 2017 Rising Star Award for the most promising Caymanian insolvency lawyer or accountant with fewer than three years post-qualification experience.

Ms. Speirs completed her articles with Higgs & Johnson, which included a successful placement with Serle Court in London under the Cayman Bar association program, and joined the firm as an associate attorney in 2017, where she has already worked on a number of high profile cases including Sterling Macro and Primeo v HSBC.

“We are incredibly proud of this accomplishment,” said Higgs & Johnson Country Managing Partner Gina Berry. “Allyson is an integral part of our team and is certainly ‘one to watch’ because of her contributions to the profession and the community, and her promise of leadership. We are pleased that the Cayman legal sector has chosen to recognize her knowledge, hard work and potential.”

Nominations for the award are submitted annually from among RISA’s 350 members, who are mainly legal and accountancy professionals in Cayman. RISA Cayman is a member of the International Association of Restructuring, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Professionals.

CIREBA celebrates 30th anniversary

The Cayman Islands Real Estate Brokers Association is celebrating 30 years in the Cayman Islands.

Jeanette Totten, current elected President of CIREBA said “As we proudly look back at 30 years of accomplishments, hard work and success within CIREBA and the Cayman Islands Real Estate Industry, I would like to congratulate each of the individuals who had the foresight to start CIREBA. Today we can proudly say that thanks to hard work, dedication and a passion for the real estate industry, CIREBA has strong, ethical, well trained and thriving members of which we are so very proud.”

In a press statement, the organization said that 30 years ago, when the real estate market was already showing unmatched potential and the offshore financial market was growing exponentially, a group of established realtors decided to start the association.

“It was their desire to unify the industry and create a higher standard of practice in the local real estate business as they realized that sharing available property listings was beneficial for all parties involved, including their vendors, as it meant they could consult with one agent who had access to co-broker with other agents,” CIREBA said.

In addition, the association established a set of commission rates which meant all agents were operating on the same rate as other brokerage firms.

Later, the addition of the Multiple Listing System (MLS) created an inventory of all members’ property listings that is easily accessible to each member of the association and allows agents to locate any available properties that suit their purchasers’ requirements quickly and efficiently.

CIREBA also created structured commission guidelines, implemented a code of ethics and a system of rules and regulations with which to manage the relationship between the public, member brokers and sales associates.

These have now become industry standard within CIREBA that ensure all due diligence is followed for the benefit of all parties involved.

Ogier makes senior appointments in finance and funds teams

Kristi Green

Two specialists in banking and finance and investment funds have joined Ogier in Cayman.

Debt capital markets and structured finance expert Kristi Green, and hedge funds specialist Emma Sutherland have both been appointed as Counsel.

Ms. Green has in-house and private practice experience acting on benchmark-listed Eurobond transactions on behalf of investment grade, sub-investment grade and emerging market corporate, financial and sovereign issuers.

Before joining Ogier in 2017, Ms. Green practiced English law at several Magic Circle firms and most recently as a director in the Debt Capital Markets legal team of a global investment bank in London.

Emma Sutherland

Ms. Sutherland’s background includes extensive work with major financial institutions, hedge fund managers and their onshore counsel advising on the establishment, regulation, corporate governance and ongoing operation of investment funds.

She advises on a broad range of corporate and commercial matters including restructurings, mergers and listing on the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange (CSX).

Before joining Ogier in 2017, Ms. Sutherland spent ten years working in the investment funds team of another leading international law firm in the Cayman Islands.

Maples advises on debut aircraft bond transaction

Maples and Calder advised WAVE 2017-1 Limited and WAVE 2017-1 LLC, on the Cayman Islands legal aspects of the US$578.4 million portfolio finance transaction relating to approximately 19 aircraft on lease to a variety of operators located across 14 countries.

The Cayman and U.S. issuer co-issued three tranches of notes which are listed on the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange. Maples acted as Cayman Islands listing agent in the debut bond transaction for Wings Capital Partners LLC, a commercial aircraft lessor focused primarily in single aisle, in-production commercial jet aircraft.

Mourant Ozannes supports local charities

Mourant Ozannes employees helped local organizations including Literacy is for Everyone, the Cayman Islands Red Cross, Francis Bodden Children’s Home and the Cayman Islands Humane Society during the firm’s annual away day.

More than 70 people from the firm swapped their desks to work with local charities taking part in a range of activities such as entering over 1,000 books into the John A. Cumber primary school library database donated by LIFE.

Mourant Ozannes donated over $200 worth of new and used books to the charity. Other volunteers spent their time cleaning the beaches of Cayman, washing and exercising dogs, carrying out yard work and maintenance, and folding and sorting donations for the Red Cross Thrift Shop.

Marilyn Conolly from LIFE said having volunteers inventory books ensures a system of accountability and gets the books into children’s hands. “The potential for economic and social gain from improvements in literacy are dramatic,” she said. “There is a critical relationship between access to leveled books and overall student achievement, and your assistance provides a supportive literacy environment in the classroom.”

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