Business in brief: Ogier donates $5,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters

Ogier partner Giorgio Subiotto, right, presents a check to Craig Smith, left, and Richard Pooley of Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ogier has donated $5,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Cayman Islands, a local branch of the global charity. Big Brothers Big Sisters provides children and young adults facing adversity with strong, professionally supported, one-to-one mentorships to help them in their school, home and professional lives.

Ogier is already connected with the charity through associate Oliver Goodwin, who is currently a board member. Other Ogier staff will also be giving their time to the charity throughout the year to develop a meaningful partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Partner Giorgio Subiotto said, “I’m delighted that Ogier is supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters’ valuable work – mentorship has a powerful and positive impact on many young people’s lives in Cayman, developing skills that will help young people throughout their adult lives.

“From helping children to stay in school and building up their self-esteem and confidence to simply being there to listen, mentors are not only a positive role model for at-risk young people, they are also a trusted friend.” The charity bases its approach around the education and development of children who are facing problems in their school or home life.

Research conducted by Public/Private Ventures on the impact of the program found that after 18 months of spending time with their mentors, young people were 52 percent less likely to skip school, 46 percent less likely to use illegal drugs and 27 percent less likely to begin using alcohol.

Trade and business license application process simplified

The Ministry of Commerce and the Trade and Business Licensing Board have approved changes to application requirements that will make the application process for a trade and business license much easier.

The updated Trade and Business Licensing (Forms) Regulations, 2015 no longer require a proof of health insurance for the incentive grant or a business plan.

The board has also removed the need for a character reference, strata approval for residential businesses, and the replacement of a lease agreement with a letter of intent.

Changes will be reflected on the Sole Trader and Registered Companies forms, and come into effect Feb. 1.

“Small businesses are the backbone of the Cayman Island’s economy. Their success contributes to the overall national economic progress,” said Joseph Hew, minister of commerce. “That is why this government has prioritized reducing regulatory hurdles. We want to make doing business easier for business owners. These changes are one step forward in that effort.”

Additional updates to the Regulations and the Trade and Business Licensing Law are expected over the next months. “These changes will provide even greater benefits and improvements for businesses,” Minister Hew added.

A new online application system, developed by the e-Government unit and the Computer Services Department, will launch later this year.

Marsh raises $5,000 for Crisis Centre

Insurance and risk advisory firm Marsh raised $5,000 for the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre last month. The funds came from company’s annual Christmas party where employees raffled various prizes that had been donated.

Marsh representative Beth Henry said, “We truly enjoy raising funds for the Crisis Centre and giving back to the community.

“We are pleased to know that this gift will help improve the daily lives of those who have found themselves in circumstances needing the Crisis Centre’s assistance.”

Executive director Ania Milanowska said, “It’s heartwarming to see the incredible staff at Marsh have once again remembered us during the holiday season. We are grateful for their generous contribution to the shelter.”

Established in 2003, the Crisis Centre runs as a nonprofit organization and provides refuge and support services for victims of domestic abuse. There are several programs run by the charity, including its 24-hour crisis line, counseling, and the newly opened walk-in-center, Estella’s Place.

“Our programs continue to change the lives of countless women and children,” Ms. Milanowska said. “Without the fantastic support we receive from businesses like Marsh, our efforts to end domestic abuse would not be possible.”

SMP Partners recognizes staff for long service

Four staff members at SMP Partners’ Cayman office, with 65 years’ experience between them, have been recognized for their long service.

Ann Marie Jackson (20 years’ service), Gina Connolly, Joyce Seymour and Lecia McLaughlin (15 years each) were presented with certificates at a recent thanksgiving lunch at SMP Partners’ Cayman office, and also received a cash bonus to mark the occasion.

Ms. Jackson and Ms. McLaughlin were with Royal Bank of Canada’s trust, fund administration and custodian business in the Caribbean, which SMP acquired in May 2017, with their tenure transferred. Ms. Connolly and Ms. Seymour worked for Cayman National Trust, whose business was purchased by the SMP Partners Group in September 2017, and their tenures were also transferred.

Headquartered in the Isle of Man, the independent SMP Partners Group is wholly owned by its management and is dedicated to providing first-class services from its offices in the Isle of Man, Jersey, Switzerland, Hong Kong and the Caribbean.

CEO of the Caribbean region, Stephen Turner, who is based in Cayman, said, “Although the teams who joined us from Royal Bank of Canada have only been with the group for a short time, we felt it was important that their dedication and expertise was recognized by transferring their tenure to SMP Partners. This recognition not only marks the long service from Ann Marie, Gina, Joyce and Lecia, but also the way they, and their colleagues, ensured a very smooth transition for RBC and CNT clients.”

Carey Olsen adds Adam Bathgate to finance team

Offshore law firm Carey Olsen has appointed attorney Adam Bathgate as counsel.

Mr. Bathgate specializes in all aspects of finance and corporate work, with particular expertise in the areas of leveraged and acquisition finance, fund finance and structured finance.

He worked for Clifford Chance in Munich and London before moving to the Cayman Islands in 2010 to work at another offshore law firm.

Associate Hannah Diss has also joined Carey Olsen’s Cayman Islands finance team, relocating from Dentons in the U.K. Her practice focuses on aviation leasing and finance, export credit finance and Islamic finance.

Carey Olsen partner Nick Bullmore said, “We continue to increase our market share in the Cayman Islands and so having both Adam and Hannah on board as we begin 2018 is great news.”

The latest appointments follow the arrival of finance attorney Dylan Wiltermuth who joined the firm as counsel in November.

Enterprise City partners with NWDA

Cayman’s special economic zone Cayman Enterprise City is partnering through its local jobs initiative Enterprise Cayman with the National Workforce Development Agency to help improve job opportunities for Caymanians.

After reviewing applications submitted for its “Summer in the City” internship program, the CEC team found young applicants could benefit from additional support and learning opportunities on how to apply for jobs.

“We noticed that many students are lacking some basic skills that might prevent them from putting their best foot forward with employers, so we decided to address this issue in partnership with the NWDA,” said Maria Philip, vice president of client services.

“We want our young Caymanians to have the best possible chance at internships in the zone and jobs to improve their career options,” she said.

In partnership with Dianne Conolly, NWDA manager for training and development, CEC hosted a job skills workshop to help prepare young Caymanians to compete for jobs that are developing in the special economic zone. In addition to addressing the internship application process, attendees received tips on how to write resumes and cover letters. They learned about email communication and etiquette; telephone and face-to-face interviewing; and networking and negotiation.

“As the zone expands, new jobs are being developed and we want our students to be aware of those opportunities,” Ms. Philip said.

The Summer in the City internship program is geared to young people 18 to 25 who have graduated from high school. The program begins in May and the length of an internship depends on the company offering it. There are currently more than 200 companies from 20 countries established in the special economic zone, and internship opportunities are being developed all the time.

Workshop attendees were encouraged to sign up for NWDA’s Employability 101, a 10-day training course designed to address some of the direct and indirect barriers to employment.

“The NWDA is pleased to partner with CEC to promote its internship program and provide students information on how [to] best prepare when accessing these opportunities. Internships provide the opportunity to build relationships with an employer in an industry of interest, gain valuable applied experience and allows employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent,” Ms. Conolly said. “We would encourage young Caymanians to explore these specialized areas such as media [and] internet, commodities and derivatives, science and technology. These are not jobs of the future; these are opportunities that are available now.”

Those interested in opportunities offered through CEC’s Summer in the City internship program can email [email protected] or call 945-3722.