CIFSA starts own PR blitz

| 03/05/2009

(CNS): Following the recent revelations on CNS that the government and CIFSA’s partnership may have hit a rocky patch, the organisation has announced that it has also hired its own PR firm to launch what it describes as an all-out, public affairs assault on their detractors in the UK and US governments. Chairman of the CIFSA, Anthony Travers, said he  is deeply concerned about the recent ill-informed attacks that have linked fully tax-transparent Cayman with non compliant jurisdictions such as Monaco, Dubai, Switzerland and Andorra.

Media House International, with offices in London, Edinburgh Glasgow and New York. has been retained by CIFSA to tackle these attacks and the account will be managed by Chairman Jack Irvine, a former Editor and Managing Director with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. In Washington the assault will be led by Jack Quinn, former counsel to President Clinton and founder of the powerful lobbyists, Quinn Gillespie. 

The appointments follow attacks by Prime Minister Gordon Brown and President Barak Obama on offshore banking, and Travers attacked Gordon Brown’s assertion that the world would be safer if offshore tax havens were outlawed. “The correct answer is of course the exact opposite,” says Travers. “Everyone’s savings would have been safer in The Caymans Islands bank accounts where the entire banking industry has remained robust due to the excellent liquidity controls applied by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority.”  

Travers says he believes the reason for Brown’s attack on the Cayman Islands is that, with the recent 50 percent upper tax limit imposed in the UK Budget, there will be a flow of highly skilled people and their funds out of the UK. Obama’s reasons, which played a big part in his election campaign, are similar and “very ill informed”, Traverse said.

In a recent letter to the Leaderof Government Business Travers said professionals in the local financial services sector were very concerned about the negative situation regarding the grey list, which Cayman found itself on following the G20 summit, as opposed to the white list where Cayman’s Channel Islands competitors have landed. Warning of irreversible damage to the sector, Travers demanded immediate action regarding signing more bi-lateral Tax Information Exchange Agreements as well as a public statement of intent to repeal the Confidential Relationships Preservation Law.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Why now though?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Tony Travers and Tim Ridley are the two most competent and capable attorneys and spokesmen for the Cayman Islands in recent memory. Some of the snide commenters might consider that Travers, and Ridley, before he was outrageously replaced as head of CIMA in favor of a "Caymanian," have virtually donated their time and talents to these islands. The proper response is, "Thank you."

    • Anonymous says:

      If the combined wealth of these two individuals in any indication, it can hardly be said that they have "donated their time and talents to these islands" They have been more than rewarded for whatever they have done. The whole long and short of the story is that they have looked out for themselves mostly not the Cayman Islands.

      • Anonymous says:

        It take everyone to help. this is what every Caymanian to do help the country, not the Country to help you.  "It is what you can do for your country, it is what you can do for your country".  Good job for helping the Cayman Islands. 

  3. Anonymous says:

     In response to the comments made " Let them Contribute " 

    I fear you may be missing the point , the facts are that the PPM has spent millions on an in effective PR & Lobbying campaign . Lets face it the PPM have fiddled while Rome has burned. 

    I am fairly certain that CIFSA / Travers do not have any hidden agenda –  Travers is  globally well known for his unquestionable integrity , and is a true Cayman patriot . I am sure there are other things he would rather be doing than sorting out this mess however I feel it speaks volumes about his character that he is prepared to step up to the mark so to speak . 



  4. Step up to the Plate! says:


    CIFSA’s decision is LONG overdue!  Private Sector partners who too clearly benefit from the Financial Services Industry here in the CI should also spend some of that hard earned money in promoting the industry and jurisdiction.

    Good on the Financial Services folks for taking this proactive stance.

    Let’s see if the private sector in TOURISM will also step up  the the plate and contribute to marketing the Cayman Islands internationally as the ideal  vacation spot inthe Caribbean!

    I see commercials/ads on TV and in magazines all the time with various hotels and resorts in Jamaica, Bahamas, Turks and Caicos etc promoting their offerings..all i see here is the Cayman Islands government promoting Cayman….this should be done….BUT the private sector should also be contributing to the marketing spend.

  5. Anonymous says:

     As far as I am concerned Travers is the reason KY has had the success it has had . Sadly however the powers that be appear to have not realised what as asset they had in their own backyard so to speak . If they had consulted him I am certain we would not be in the position we are now in . 

    Why the hell did the PPM waste all that money on useless PR which has been as musch use as a chocolate fireguard .  

    I wish Travers all the best in what I am sure will be a most challenging time , Travers track record speaks for itself and he  will give everything his has to turn the situation around and if anyone can do it he can  

  6. Thank you, but the harm been done says:

    This Government did nothing to protect the offshore industry in Cayman during its tenure, it simplysat back and took in fees while other jurisdictions moved with the times.  The policies of rollover and Caymanization reduced the most valuable asset Cayman had, namely experienced human capital, and has started to turn us into a bland offshore business center like so many of our competitors.  But are competitors are cheaper, have less business risks and are more welcoming to foreign workers with the experience, skills and, importantly, contacts, not available locally.  Unless there is a radical shift in the new Government’s policies it may well be too late to save this sinking ship. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank God

      Thanks God for CIFSA as they – unlike the PPM – will try to save our financial services sector.

      PPM – What a failure, and this is what they call "progress"

  7. Anonymous says:

     It’s interesting to me that the current government recently renewed a contract with a Canadian firm which, as I understand it, is charged with public relations and public relations advice for and on the financial services sector.  The contract was stated to be in the neighbourhood of $600,000 per year.  Given the current sad state of affairs and the lack of action that led to that state, one must wonder what exactly the government is paying for?

  8. Richard Wadd says:

     This should have been done BEFORE the G20 meeting. While it is better late than never, the horse has already bolted through the gate, anything done now is ‘damage control’.


  9. Anonymous says:

    I think that Cayman should be very concerned, regardless of what PR occurs or what party is in power. I am suprised that CNS and any other CI News agency hasn’t picked up on this release.


    For information on how Obama will be trying to make sure taxes are paid. 

  10. Will says:

    Thanks Tony!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Good for CIFSA – this partnership should have been in existence from long ago!! Only one thing missing now – that is the Government (PPM) – but then again, they have been missing everything that they should have done for the past four years!!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Let them contribute yes!

    Believe you me it’s not out of altruism.  These people have raked in hundreds of millions over the years for their personal fortunes.  Yes we have gotten jobs and some opportunities out of the deal, but for the most part they ‘tolerate’ Caymanians in the industry. 

    They love to remind us it wasn’t created by us, and it’s not really for us.  So let THEM pay for the PR for protecting ‘THEIR’ nest egg.

    I am not so stupid to wish the industry any ill-will which is tantamount to cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face.  But, with all that Government has to face right now…health care, crime fighting, roads and infratstructure and let’s not forget educating those ‘uncapable’ and ‘unqualified’ Caymanians who they begrudgingly hire in the industry, why should we fork out millions more to lead a different PR effort?

    Clearly Travers et al want to be able to dictate what is said and when.  Government has to be a bit more cautious and diplomatic in it’s approach.  So if they want their own bandwagon and are paying for it…it’s fine by me. 

    This only proves that the local Financial Services Industry could have been doing this from a long time ago. But they got caught with their pants around their ankles…due to being weighed down with all those fat bonus cheuqes they had been raking in for years.

    • Anonymous says:

      Clearly you appear to be missing the point , the problem is the PPM has spent millions of dollars on PR/ lobbyists that has been completely ineffective –  lets face it  the PPM have fiddled while Rome burned .

      I am certain that CIFSA and Travers  genuinely want to save Cayman and this isnt about hidden agenda’s etc  . 

      What I would like to know is bearing in mind Travers track record and expertise why the hell wasnt he consulted before – that is the question that should be asked . 

  13. Anonymous says:

    It is really apalling that the private sector had to take the initative in this but we should be grateful that they have. Hopefully after the election whichever group takes control of the government will have the foresight to to assist in this initative. Although I dont recall any of the candidates talking along those lines. Hopefully this will alert at least a few of the candidates to stop beating up each other and focus on some of the real issues facing Cayman.

  14. Caymanian to the bone says:

    Thank God for the professionals at CIFSA.

    Dog would have ate our suppa, lunch and breakfast  too,  if we depended on the PPM.

    I bet if Mr. Tim Ridley was at the Monetary Authority, we wouldn’t have been caught with our pants below our knees, as the case was.

    Thanks to Mr. Travers and others, you guys are true Caymanian patriots in every sense of the word.

  15. Anon. says:

    This man is one of the main reasons why Cayman has been such a successful offshore financial centre.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Mr. Travers for taking the bull by the horns, in spite of the current deer in the head lights govt. You are a true patriot and always have been.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you Mr. Travers, finally some one is going ahead with the right idea, why this "Piss Poor Management" The PPm did not have the sense or the ***** to  do so, we applaude you. We need a few more like you to take the bulls by their horns and wrestle them to the floor.

      PPM ya see how its done. God save Cayman from the clutches of the PPm.