The Cayman Islands are in the British West Indies approximately 500 miles due south of Miami, Florida. Grand Cayman, being the largest of the three Cayman Islands is a one hour flight from Miami and is conveniently in the same time zone as the East Coast of the United States of America. The Cayman Islands is one of the world’s top five international offshore financial centres. The last three decades have seen the Cayman Islands emerge as a jurisdiction of choice for those seeking a sophisticated location from which to conduct international business. The lack of direct taxes, coupled with economic and political stability, good communications, professional banking facilities and flexible, sophisticated cutting edge legislation, has attracted the attention of the international business community.
The Cayman Islands is a British Overseas Territory and its Legal system is based upon English Law and the principles of Equity; it combines the English common law with local statutes and the Courts have assembled a quality judiciary to interpret and enforce the laws.
CIMA was established as a Supervisory and Regulatory body in 1997 and since has garnered a reputation for balancing the requirement for supervision and the needs of the International financial business arena.
The Cayman Islands Stock Exchange was also established in 1997, originally to provide an alternative to the Irish Stock Exchange for listing the Island’s mutual funds. It was recognised by the United Kingdom as an official exchange in 2004.
International financial centre
The Cayman Islands is recognised as a major international financial centre with leadership in a number of areas.
As the top international banking centre, the world’s leading domicile for offshore hedge funds, the second largest captive insurance centre and a world leader in structured finance, the jurisdiction stands as the only offshore international financial centre to possess such breadth and depth in financial services.
While achieving its commercial success, the Cayman Islands has maintained a high level of integrity. It is recognised by the FATF as a leader within the Caribbean region in the fight against money laundering and adheres to all of the relevant international supervisory standards.
Private and institutional investors are attracted to the Cayman Islands because of its professional infrastructure, business friendly approach, flexibility, an English common law framework, stability, well regulated regime and tax neutrality.
The Cayman Islands is home to many of the world’s top professionals in the areas of law, accountancy, corporate services and investments expertise. Many of the world’s leading firms in these areas have chosen to set up in the Cayman Islands.
The Cayman Islands Government and the private sector have maintained a partnership which has resulted in a climate that is responsive to local and international market needs and provides flexibility while maintaining the financial centre’s integrity.