Recently released statistics from the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority show that the number of hedge funds, insurance companies and banks licensed in the territory all took a slight dip during 2017.
However, the number of companies domiciled at Cayman Enterprise City has grown to 225, according to a recent press release from the special economic zone.
According to the CIMA stats, the number of Cayman-registered funds fell from 10,586 to 10,559, continuing the trend of decreasing funds that has existed since 2013.
While the number of funds has decreased over the last several years, the net value of the assets administered by those funds increased from US$3.21 trillion in 2013 to US$3.59 trillion at the end of 2016 – net asset value statistics are not available for last year yet. CIMA has attributed the increase in net asset value to asset appreciation and positive net income, as well as lower performance, administration and management fees incurred by the funds.
In the insurance sector, the number of international insurers decreased from 711 in 2016 to 696 last year. There were 14 fewer captive insurance companies at the end of 2017 compared to the year before, and one fewer special-purpose insurer. There was also one fewer domestic insurer at the end of last year, according to the CIMA statistics.
In the offshore banking sector, there were nine fewer “Class B” banks – institutions that are restricted to conducting business offshore with non-residents – registered in the territory at the end of 2017 compared to the year before, putting the total of Class B banks at 139. The banking industry has been diminishing steadily since the early 2000s, when there were more than 500 banks in Cayman.
While many of the sectors within the financial services industry slightly dipped last year, the number of Cayman Enterprise City companies has grown to 225 in the special economic zone’s sixth year of existence. That number is more than double the roughly 100 Cayman Enterprise City companies that were in existence in 2014.
The growth in Cayman Enterprise City companies has been driven in part by approximately 50 blockchain companies becoming or applying to be established there in the last six months, according to Cayman Enterprise City CEO Charlie Kirkconnell.
In other branches of the financial services industry, the number of trust companies increased from 145 at the end of 2016 to 147 at the end of last year, the number of money services businesses registered in Cayman stayed the same at five, and the number of securities investment business licenses stayed the same at 34.