Archive for November 3rd, 2008

Walkers winning in distress

| 03/11/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Despite the economic downturn, local law firm Walkers has carved a niche for itself in the market with the use of creative solutions to deal with the distressed situation. This week in New York, the fund experts will be hosting a special seminar looking at protecting and growing hedge funds in the current volatile market. (Left: Mark Lewis)

As the downturn in investment markets dominates attention in the hedge fund industry, Walkers are inviting key clients and guests to ‘Fighting the Tape’, a unique discussion on protecting and growing a hedge fund business in the current conditions.

"The issues up for discussion are extremely topical and reflect the areas that many of our clients have been looking for our guidance on during the recent market events,” said Mark Lewis, senior investment funds partner at Walkers. “There are a number of options available to funds facing illiquidity and large scale redemption requests, which can allow them to continue to operate and avoid formal liquidation, so we anticipate a lively exchange of views."

The seminar will deal with such issues as suspension of redemption requests from investors, the imposition of gates, creation of side pockets for underperforming or difficult to value assets and prime brokerage problems. In addition to looking at the various solutions funds can adopt to solve some of the problems they are facing, considerable attention will also be devoted to the new opportunities presented by the shift in sentiment and how funds can capitalise on them now to their best advantage.

As part of the ‘Walkers Fundamentals’ series guest speakers include renowned hedge fund manager George Hall, the Founder and President of the Clinton Group Inc., who has successfully navigated previous financial storms, who will share his experiences and his personal views on the outcome of the Presidential Election on the direction of the hedge funds industry.

Yolanda McCoy, Head of the Investments and Securities Division of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) will set out the Cayman regulator’s perspective and Jeffrey Rosensweig, Associate Professor of Finance at Emory University will examine the global economy, market trends, changing demographics and global opportunities for investors and investment managers.

"With the excellent panel of speakers that we have assembled, this will be a unique educational event and not just another hedge fund seminar," Lewis added. He explained that the variety of techniques that funds can employ to manage distressed situations will be explained by Walkers’ partners throughout the afternoon, along with a session devoted to issues regarding insolvency and the responsibilities of hedge fund directors. Also making a presentation will be Daniel Strachman, hedge fund consultant and author of ‘The Long and Short of Hedge Fund Investing’.

‘Fighting the Tape’ will take place at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers on Thursday 6 November and will be followed by a cocktail reception. The ‘Walkers Fundamentals’ series of ‘Thought Leadership’ events will be developed further over the coming months.

Continue Reading

C&W rolls out first of LIME products

| 03/11/2008 | 9 Comments

(CNS): Telecommunications firm Cable & Wireless continued with the roll out of its new product Monday morning, 3 November, as it introduced AllTalk within its new LIME brand. The firm said that this is a new service that allows customers to stop worrying about per minute costs and talk for hours every day for a single, fixed monthly fee.

“Our customers told us they’re fed up of worrying about talking too much and facing a big telephone bill each month,” said Richard Dodd, CEO of LIME. “AllTalk allows our customers to talk for hours, at any time of day, from anywhere, to any LIME telephone Caribbean-wide.”

The first new service to be launched by LIME, the firm said it gives mobile customers 6,000 minutes of talk time each month for just CI$40 a month in Cayman. Calls can be made to any other LIME landline or mobile anywhere in the Caribbean – that’s more than three hours a day to talk to friends, family and loved ones.

The plan is for both pre-paid and post-paid customers, and if customers use all 6,000 minutes the cost of each call works out at less than US 1 cent per minute. Both new and existing customers can sign up for AllTalk from today.

“I’m not sure I’ve got enough to say to talk for three hours every single day of the month, but I’d love to see some of our customers making the most of the offer and coming close” Dodd added.


Continue Reading

Nature’s mosquito control

| 03/11/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Eating millions of insects every night – many of them mosquitoes – Cayman’s bats are almost as important as the Mosquito Research & Control Unit in keeping the pesky creatures at bay. This is just one nugget of information picked up by the adults and children who joined in with the National Trust’s Bat Fly Out last week.

On Wednesday evening, 29 October, the Trust hosted a special Bat Watching event at Watler’s Cemetery. The evening included storytelling about duppies and pirates under the bat house, while everyone watched the bats make their first flight of the evening at sunset.

“The group learned how bats protect vineyards and fruit trees from insect predators, pollinate wild fruits and nuts in the rainforest and spread seeds to keep ecosystems healthy and diverse,” said Lois Blumenthal, Bat Conservation Coordinator for the National Trust. “Due to the weather, only 5 of the 300 or so bats in the bat house ventured out, but we could hear their squeaking,” she added.

Toy bat rings were handed out to the young people and a pamphlet giving the run down on Cayman’s nine bat species was distributed amongst the adults. As well as enjoying themselves, the bat watchers learned during the evening that the bat is Cayman’s only native mammal. Each bat eats over 1,000 insects every night, and with approximately 300 bats per bat-house and nearly 80 bat-houses throughout the island, that is equal to almost 2.4 million mosquitoes and other insects eaten per night. And as the bats munched on the bugs, the people enjoyed a more tasty selection of fruit juice and nuts.

The event also included story time with Denise Bodden, Historic Programmes Manager of the National Trust, who read “If Only Duppies Could Pinch”, a short story by Jackie Bodden. Participants were also offered a tour of the Watler Cemetery, which is a National Trust owned property with traditional house-shaped graves and sanded grounds.

“As hurricanes have ravaged these valuable historic sites island-wide, the unique elements of these sites and their significance in history needs to be passed on to our children,” explained Bodden, the Trust’s tireless advocate for preserving Cayman’s built heritage.

Continue Reading

Turtle Tri build-up race

| 03/11/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): On Sunday, 9 November, athletes will have the chance to compete in the final triathlon build-up race in preparation for the Cayman Islands Turtle Tri, scheduled for 23 November. Registration begins at 6:30 am on Governors Way opposite Public Beach, with a start time of 7:00 am. It’s also a great opportuntiy to get your entries in for the Turtle Tri. Information about all Triathlon events may be obtained by calling 927-2714.

Continue Reading

New president elect for Rotary Sunrise

| 03/11/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Local attorney Winston Connolly was elected President of Rotary Sunrise for the Rotary year commencing July 2009, following the club presidency of Woody Foster. An attorney with Maples and Calder, Connolly, whose face appears on the front cover of the 2008-2009 Cayman Islands Yellow Pages telephone directory, was born in Grand Cayman, educated here and at Loyola University and is a graduate of the Cayman Islands Law School.

Rotary Sunrise was chartered in 2002. It has almost 100 members (32 ladies) from the Cayman Islands and 22 other countries. Mostly young professionals – they are probably the youngest average-age Rotary club in the world and certainly the best looking. They meet every Wednesday at 6:45 a.m. for breakfast at the Grand Old House. Having fun helping in the community.

Continue Reading

Rotary Global History Day award

| 03/11/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Rotary Club of Grand Cayman was recently awarded the monthly award for ‘Recognizing the Value of History’ by the Rotary Global History Fellowship (RGHF). The hard work of putting this history together was drawn principally from the writings of Charter Member and Past President, the late Harry McCoy, who had a legendary memory of his over 40 years in the club.

Together, Past Presidents Larry Chomyn and Jeremy Hurst, Rotarians Donnie Smith and Mike Austin, and Past District Governors Bobby Bodden and Richard Harris worked with Past President Jonathan Nicholson who prepared the final text of the club history. The history is available on the club website, and also in the club manual given to all new Rotarians on induction.

The Global History Day was started in 2000 as a way of celebrating the rich history of Rotary Clubs worldwide, and is given to one club each month globally. The winning club must demonstrate a commitment to their history by properly documenting it and making it available to the membership and the wider local and global community.

The Rotary Club of Grand Cayman was the first service club in the Cayman Islands, receiving its charter on January 28th, 1966, having been sponsored by the Rotary Club of Boston, the seventh oldest club in the world. The club is part of Rotary district 7020 which now encompasses 57 clubs, which is part of Zone 34. The Club has sponsored the Rotary Club of Cayman Brac, Grand Cayman Central and the Sunrise Club which received their charters in 1981, 1986 and 2002 respectively, and has provided 4 District Governors.

Major projects of the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman have included the construction of the Bonaventure Boys Home and the Frances Bodden Girls Home, and major annual events organized by the club include the Senior Citizens Party, downtown Christmas Tree Lighting, and active participation in Batabanoo which was originally started by the Club, and the Meals on Wheels programme which was started and continues to be actively supported by the Club.

With approximately 100 members, the membership of the Club is a fair representation of the business community in Cayman with members ranging in age from their 20’s to their 80’s.
The Rotary Club of Grand Cayman meets weekly on Thursdays at 12:30 at the Westin Casuarina Hotel. More information here or here.

Continue Reading

New date for Taste of Cayman

| 03/11/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Tourism Association’s Taste of Cayman Food & Wine Festival at Camana Bay will now be held 22 November from 5:00 pm to midnight. All raffle tickets will be valid for the new event date. For more information contact CITA at 949-8522 or or log on to for updates.

Tickets will still be on sale for the next three weeks at all locations: Abacus, Books & Books, ALL Blackbeard’s locations, Brickhouse, ALL Café Del Sol locations, Cimboco, Kirk’s Supermarket Customer Service, Cayman Islands Tourism Association office (next door to Dunkin’ Donuts (upstairs) on Lawrence Blvd.)


Continue Reading

Estella laid to rest

| 03/11/2008 | 8 Comments

(CNS): In the wake of charges against her murder suspects, Estella Scott-Roberts was laid to rest on Saturday morning at Prospect Cemetery following an emotional service at the First Baptist Church and tribute by her husband Rayle Roberts. Only two days before the funeral, Larry Prinston Ricketts (25) and Kirkland Henry (27) were charged with her murder, robbery and abduction. Henry also been charged with rape. (Photo by Lennon Christian)

The two Jamaican nationals, both work permit holders living in George Town employed as a gardener and a carpenter, were remanded in custody by Magistrate Margaret Ramsey Hale on Thursday 30 October and told to submit their applications for legal aid in order to gain legal representation before they next appear in court on Thursday 6 November.

According to the Solicitor General, Cheryll Richards, there is significant evidence against both the men for the murder including material evidence, as they were both said to have had possession of Scott-Roberts’ cell phones. She also said there was forensic evidence against them as well as detailed admissions. Neither of the two men has yet entered a plea to the court and appeared without lawyers.

Estella Scott-Roberts was the former director of the Crisis Centre and a fearless activist against violence in the community. She joined Cable and Wireless as a Communications Manager in 2006, but continued with her work campaigning against violence perpetrated on women and children. She was also a member of the Human Rights Committee and had recently worked with the Sexual Harassment and Stalking Task Force to help introduce a law against these acts.

Her body was found in her own burnt out car in the remote area of Barkers in West Bay on Saturday 11 October. She was last seen leaving Decker’s restaurant after having dinner with friends around 11-11:30 pm. Her car was eventually found after an extensive search involving, friends, family, the Department of Environment and the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.

The news of her death sent shock waves through the community andfuelled extensive speculation over the motivations and potential perpetrators of Scott-Roberts violent death. Despite the distractions of the rumour mill which suggested her death could have been connected to her work, the police persisted with their lines of enquiry and arrested Kirkland and Henry on Monday, 27 October. Once the police announced they were charging the men with her murder, they said they were no longer able to make any comment. So far no motive has been officially offered for the crime and there is no indication whether Scott-Roberts was known, or not known, to either of the accused men.


Continue Reading

Still no date set for PAC

| 03/11/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Having cancelled one meeting planned for September to discuss the report from the Auditor General’s office on the failure of government departments to meet their accounting obligations, there is still no date fixed for the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to assess the failure to account for some $1.5 billion in government spending.Osborne Bodden, Chair of the Committee said, however, that while there a date had not yet been agreed he expected the committee would meet in November.

Last week Leader of the Opposition Mckeeva Bush said that, given the need to reduce government spending in the face of the financial crisis, there was an even greater sense of urgency for the issue over government delinquency in accounting to be addressed.

“We need to better understand the state of the country’s financials over the past few yearsin order to properly analyse the implications of the present crisis. The government has promised to sort out these delayed accounts but we are no where closer to getting them and they have become even more important given the economic crisis we are currently facing,” Bush stated.

The PAC was supposed to meet to question CFO and assess the report by the Auditor General, Dan Duguay, The State of Financial Accountability Reporting in which he revealed the significant delay and poor quality of accounting for government spending over the last four years. The meeting was cancelled however, because of preparations for the Constitutional Modernisation talks with the UK, but no new dates have since been set.

Duguay also says he is keen for the committee to meet to examine the problem but he added that his office is continuing to work with all of the departments that are struggling to meet their financial reporting obligations.

“I’m looking forward to the committee meeting but whatever happens we are continuing to work with the Chief Financial officers to help get all these reports in and up to date,” Duguay told CNS. “We are doing our very best to help people and we have seen an improved commitment to getting this done and it is important that we make sure this is adequately addressed. We intend to keep measuring the timeliness of reporting and we will keep giving a scorecard on how government entities are progressing.”

With the reports for the financial year end 2007/08 due last month Duguay said that it was going to be very difficult for some departments, given the state of their accounting to get those in on time, but the Audit office would keep up its work to help and assist them and that he believed the release of his report had seen CFOs taking the situation more seriously.

“My goal is to have every department that is behind committed to a schedule to and to become better each year. This is not something that is going to be forgotten we continue to push everyone involved in this to comply.” Duguay added.

The report which is available on line at reveals the shocking failure of government departments and statutory authorities to account for the money they have spent going back some four years. With an estimated $1.5 billion not officially accounted for the report raised concern not just from politicians on both sides of the house but from the Governor, who said, this went to the heart of good governance and needed to be addressed.

Continue Reading

OTCC agrees on rights and good governance

| 03/11/2008 | 1 Comment

(CNS): A need to address human rights, a commitment to the principles of good governance and the requirement to meet international obligations were just some of the issues on which the UK was seeking agreement from the political leaders of its overseas territories including Kurt Tibbetts, Leader of Government Business, at a recent territories meeting.

From gender discrimination and the issue of sexual orientation to financial services and money laundering, the areas of reported agreement are extensive and diverse. Speaking after hosting her first Overseas Territories Consultative Council (OTCC) in London the new, Overseas Territories Minister Gillian Merron said that even though she was meeting the OT Leaders for the first a lot of ground was covered. “Our discussions have been open and frank and have given me an invaluable insight into the issues of concern that we share with the Overseas Territories,” she said.

“The Overseas Territories are important to Britain. We greatly value our partnership with them and want to work together towards their future security and prosperity. I have been very interested to hear the views of the Overseas Territories leaders on issues that matter to them and their people and have been struck by the unique nature and varying needs of each of the Territories.”

Merron noted one of the highlights, for the UK government in particular, was the signing of a Tax Information Exchange Agreement between the UK and the British Virgin Islands with the islands’ premier Ralph T O’Neal. “This is a good example of the partnership and co-operation that exists between the UK and the Overseas Territories,” she added.

Michael Foster, Stephen Timms and Huw Irranca-Davies were also at the OTCC speaking on issues such as good governance, financial regulation, combating international corruption and environmental protection. Merron said that over the three days aside from the recommitment to the principles of good governance agreed in 2006, the Overseas Territories Consultative Council in 2009 should include a forum to discuss the 1999 White Paper ten years on.

The meeting also came to agreement on the UK supporting the territories in meeting their international obligations. They also set target dates of October 2009 for extension to all the populated Territories of ILO Convention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour and the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women and to consider the options available to meet international obligations on sexual orientation.

Merron also said the OTCC agreed on the importance of maintaining effective regulatory and law enforcement systems in order to combat money laundering and terrorist financing and to tackle corruption and bribery in line with international standards. The importance of engagement with international initiatives in the area of transparency and the need for early progress on the signature of Tax Information Exchange Agreements with the UK and other OECD states was also agreed Merron said.

The UK has also agreed to keep the territories informed of progress on EU and other international agreements relating to financial services and improve close dialogue between the territories and the UK on the relationship with the EU.

Climate change was also on the agenda and the OTCC members said that they would work together to address the potential impact of climate change and to promote sustainable environmental policies in the territories with additional support from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

They also confirmed the need to encourage and support regional initiatives and co-operation between the Territories in areas such as disaster management, the environment and criminal justice. Finally agreement was made to co-ordinate an approach to the EU/OCT Forum meeting, which is scheduled to be held here in the Cayman Islands this month.

Continue Reading