Mac pitches to moneymen

| 11/11/2009

(CNS): The Cayman Islands road show got underway on Monday when the premier, McKeeva Bush, made a major pitch in London to members of the financial services community to relocate to the Cayman Islands and bring their business and families with them. Explaining that government has created an incentive package, which includes significant immigration changes and rolls out the red carpet for investment managers, Bush said he intended to take the Cayman Islands financial services sector to another level.

A release from the Ministry of Finance said over 60 members of the industry were present at the special presentation when Bush outlined what would be on the new red carpet to encourage them to move to Cayman. Wishing to expand the traditional administrative arm of the Cayman fund industry, the road show was going all out to encourage the moneymen to move their business and settle in the jurisdiction.

Bush promised a significant package to potential investors, including dedicated people within the Immigration Department to expedite work permit applications and investor relations officers to help them relocate. He also offered exemptions from standard term limits for work permits of senior leaders of financial services firms, such as CEOs, managing directors or other senior staff, under the existing ‘key employee designation’ programme. The premier said he was issuing directives to the Immigration Department to structure three to five-year work permits for professional staff of accredited investors, as well as a guarantee not to increase work permit fees for four years for permits under the new programme.

A proposed amendment to immigration legislation, Bush said, would also offer a 25-year direct investment certificate for investors with a net-worth of CI$5 million who have invested CI$2 million in the Cayman Islands, entitling the holder to work within the business in which they invested in and residence for family members. He also outlined the support services that would be offered by the investment bureau and CIMA’s commitment to expediting the turnaround of time-sensitive applications.

Setting out Cayman’s proverbial stall for the London financiers, Bush said the initiative was all about encouraging the investment management arm of the fund business to move to the jurisdiction.

“Many of you in this room are direct members or are tied in some way to the global investment management sector – as we are in the Cayman Islands, given our position as the world’s leading hedge fund domicile. We see great potential to welcome this sector to our financial services community,” he said, asking them to give Cayman serious consideration as the new incentives would make it quick and efficient to relocate operations.

With a number of hedge fund mangers jumping ship from the City of London in the wake of major tax increases, the current government is extremely keen to place Cayman on the list of alternative locations.

“These incentive programmes are a first step in what we hope will be a significant global initiative to present the Cayman Islands as an ideal place to live, work and do business for the investment management community,” Bush told the gathering. “We firmly believe that the Cayman Islands will continue to be an attractive and globally-relevant financial services sector.”

Speaking to the international news agency Reuters, Bush said he wanted those in the fund business to make Cayman their home. "It’s what I encourage, it’s a new drive. You bring your children," he said. "People are running from the UK and metropolitan areas because of the tax regime."

Bush told the agency that he was hoping to see investment in Cayman reach $2.7 billion over the next three years.

Also helping to sell Cayman on the road show are a number of representatives from the private sector, including Cayman Finance chair Anthony Travers, who has spent a considerable part of this year fighting the anti-tax haven battle and who commended Bush for taking the message directly to London.

“It is encouraging to see the premier take the new Cayman message to the financial markets,” he said. “When the message is delivered in person it has a good deal more credibility. A revised immigration policy is overdue and is needed now to revitalise the financial industry and a revitalised financial industry will secure many more job opportunities for young Caymanian professionals than exist currently.”

The road show moves on later this week to New York, and then to Hong Kong and Singapore. A fifth destination has yet to be named.  

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  1. Joe Average says:

    Lord, we dont need another meadow,
    there are corn fields and wheat fields enough to grow,
    there are sunbeams and moonbeams enough to shine,
    we don’t need another river,                                                                             there are rivers and oceans enough to cross,                                                    until the end of time                                                                                               what the world needs now                                                                                    is more hedge fund managers                                                                             

    Somehow, it’s not rhyming properly.  Something’s missing. 

  2. What if says:

    This might be a stupid question but here goes nothing….Why does Cayman have to give "status" to someone after 8 years or kick them out.  Why can’t they at least chose to have "residency" as long as they are working on a permit and chose not to be "given" "status"?Am I wrong to think that residency means you can live and work here, Status means you can stay regardless if your working and you can vote and work for the Government, not have to get a work permit, etc.etc. Am I wrong to think that many expats that work on Cayman are here to work and once they are done with that job will want to move on.  I know that some will want to stayand live but not all.

      So why can’t there be a contract that you could sign saying that you want to stay and work as long as your employer wants you and you want to work regardless of the time factor. Wouldn’t that solve a lot of your problems?  You could also stipulate that if during that time a suitable Caymanian was found for that job then they would have to find another job or leave. That way you would not be forceing businesses to kick out good employees when they have no one to replace them on island.

    Good professional workers are hard to find and harder to replace all over the world. If Cayman had this over other competitors wouldn’t this help Cayman?  Just a thought.

    • Anonymous says:

      Once a person is given residency they may then apply to be naturalized and obtain Caymanian status. If the ability to obtain status were removed for permanent residents this might fall foul of the UK’s international human rights obligations. Any agreement by an employee that he will not apply for permanent rights if he qualifies is unlikely to enforceable.   

      • noname says:

        Too bad as it would seem to solve a lot of the problems associated with keeping businesses heathy and keeping Cayman Caymanian.

        Right now as it stands too much of one unbalances the other and there can be no harmony.

        So this is a UK human rights obligation that does not seem to be working for the benefit of all.  Am I right in assuming that only a small percentage of all expat workers could get status or else Cayman would soon be over run.

        So instead of Cayman being able to chose who they would like to be part of them it is left up to who ever gets to stay long enough because of a job and then they must still be chosen by the representatives of Cayman? Is that correct?

        If so it seems like an extra step that really helps no one.

        • Anonymous says:

          Thu, 11/12/2009 – 00:21 wrote:

          "Am I right in assuming that only a small percentage of all expat workers could get status or else Cayman would soon be over run.

          So instead of Cayman being able to chose who they would like to be part of them it is left up to who ever gets to stay long enough because of a job and then they must still be chosen by the representatives of Cayman? Is that correct?"

          Yes and yes.  At issue is the fact that the watered down and pro foreigner Immigration Law makes it very easy for those persons who have been allowed to "stay long enough because of a job" to qualify for Caymanian Status and so the "representatives of Cayman" have little say in the choice.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes it is a stupid question and I hope you have not posted it in another thread – just read the same nonsense in the thread prior to this.  I suggest you go and educate yourself on your Immigration Law and get familiar with a few international onventions and then you will understand the stupidity of your suggestion.  Of course, ignorance is bliss.

      • Mozzie Fodder says:

        Wow, someone got out of bed on the wrong side this morning. What an unhelpful, mean-spirited reply.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Instead of posting the ignorance some of you spporters of both pathetic parties is doing on here I suggest you focus on the meaning of what this our new premier has said above and how it will affect Caymanians and future generations in this country!  I also suggest that you go and read the comments made by Mr. Ezzard Miller regarding these new initiatives that it appears the premier is now peddling in Europe. It amazes me that such far reaching directives could be issued without obtaining input from the whole body of the Legislative Assembly. On reflection though, I should never be amazed nor should I be surprised that our so called opposition is not already taking a strong stand against this! God help Caymanians.

  4. Anonymous says:

    More than 60 members!


    CNS. Did you get any news back from anyone in attendance? I spoke with someone last night who heard through a third party that the event was poorly organized and the turnout was disappointing. It would be interesting to know what size room they rented and the number of people they would have been able to accommodate.


    With the "Friends of Cayman" contingent in the Parliament, I am surprised that there was no name-dropping in the report. Do we still have a representative in London?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Maybe it is just me, but if I would be a BIG investor, it would take quite a bit more to convince me to move my business to Cayman than just opening immigration and throw everything in my direction. In fact, this kind of approach would make me think there is something fishy. For sure I wouldn’t ignore the recent talk of the same person in respect to the country’s financial situation and desire to get independence! I guess as usual, McKeeva doesn’t aim to attract the reputational people and investors.

    Another question, where are we going to put all the children of the families he encourages to come along? What roads are all these additional people supposed to be driving on?

    • Anonymous says:

      I applaud the person who posted in this thread on Wed, 11/11/2009 – 12:29. Obviously no thought has been given by this administration as to the increased burden on the infrastructure of this country, let alone the detrmental effect it will have on quality employment of Caymanians, if they open the flood gates as their premier is overseas offering. Displaying this kind of ignorance to the highly intelligent businessman overseas does little to encourage quality investment here. In fact, as you allude to, it could have a detrimental effect. Good to know there are still a few sensible persons around here.

  6. MacMan says:

    Just one question, and here I do not mind showing my ignorance.

    Is Mackeeva recruiting actual Hedge Fund / Financial institution and thereby increasing our Financial sector.?

    Or as I suspect is he merely beating the drum for potential managers to come here and work for existing companies…which I am sure the companies in question can do very well with out his interference!

    • Anonymous says:

      If you were a Hedge Fund Manager would you be impressed by the fact Cayman has sent a team of people that has no experience of Hedge Funds 

      They’ll all be signing up to go to Switzerland once they have met  Laurel & Hardy – 

    • frank rizzo says:

      I believe the thrust of the Premier’s pitch is to entice the hedge fund managers and administrators, who are typically based onshore, to move their operations to Cayman. The managers and administrators are support industries and do not compete with existing financial institutions. In the short run there may be some overlap with existing Cayman service providers, but in the long run will increase Cayman’s capacity to expand our financial industry. In the short run Caymanians will say, "great, more expats and no jobs for us", but after the initial setting up phase and the expansion kicks in, I see many jobs for Camanians being created.

    • Anonymous says:

      He is trying to recruit Investment Managers to either move their operation to Cayman or set up a Cayman office.  It is more than just Mac, Cayman Finance is also supporting this initiative.

      So, yes, if successful, it would expand the financial services industry here in Cayman.  And it would be an incredible opportunity for young Caymanians looking to work in finance – to be able to work with a hedge fund manager.

    • FCB Investor says:

      I hope that our leader knows more about hedge funds than banks. This ain’t no ficus you know.

  7. NSS says:

    Very pleased to know Mr. Travers is along on this trip.

    • Anonymous says:

       We do not believe that Mr Travers is  on the trip.He is  organising a Cayman Finance meeting forCIG  at the House  of Commons with Tory MP’s.


      • Anonymous says:

        Why is Travers in London and Bush in London on separate missions yet apparently  with the same aim ?!  Talk about the right hand not knowing what the left one is doing !! 

        Wouldnt it be far more sensible just to have Travers / Cayman Finance do this type of thing – Why do we need to be spending our precious $$$$ on Bush to parade around – What the heck does he know about Hedge  Funds  


        Who has Bush taken with him on this jolly ????

        • Anonymous says:

          In the Compass he seems to have taken a ‘senior political advisor’.  Question, how many ‘senior political advisors’ are there, who are the ‘junior political advisors’ and who is paying their salaries?

    • Anonymous says:

      It would have been extremely prudent to take  Anthony Travers with them as he has the respect of the various Financial / Legal organisations Mac will be speaking with , unfortunately Mac has no expertise in this sector – clearly this is all about looking like the "big I am "  Its a bit like  recommending a sticking plaster when someone has a broken leg – completely ineffective , unprofessional and dangerous.

      Mac you should have stayed at home instead of you and your cronies showboating round the globe –  still I guess it gives a unique opportunity for Christmas shopping.  Hope their bags get checked at customs  when they return to the islands 




    • Anonymous says:

      Did you verify that Tony Travers is really on this trip?  I think not. Tony is doing his own thing separate and apart from the government. Didn’t you know that?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Can anyone tell me:

    1) What happens to these people, and their families, when it comes to rollover? Please note they are being INVITED here. In seven years are they going to be told that they only came here to "get rich" and to "take advantage of Caymanians"? 

    2) How can we invite more people while kicking thousands out? What is the current backlog and waiting time for residency applications?

    3) What is the current backlog and waiting time for Appellants?

    I’m just trying to get a sense of fact versus rhetoric?




    • Anonymous says:

      Clearly you have not been paying attention. Mr. Bush is running cart and horse through ‘rollover’ if you are a "senior employee" in the financial industry since you will then automatically be a key employee and able to apply for permanent residency.

      It doesn’t really matter how long the permanent residency hearing takes since you are allowed to continue to work in the meantime. Indeed many appellants abuse the appeal system when there is no prospect of success because of this advantage. However, the flood of applications will no doubt lengthen that process.

      The obvious way for expats to avoid being seen as "taking advantage of Caymanians" and giving nothing back is actually to give meaningful contributions to our society (not join a service club the year before you apply for permanent residence), treat Caymanians fairly in the workplace without giving preference to persons on the basis that they have a similar skin colour or nationality and integrate into life here. There are some who do, but many who do not.    




      • Anonymous says:

        I appreciate your taking the time to respond. Perhaps I should make myself clearer. Will the Premier’s new immigration initiatives be made retroactive? If I stick with your senior financial personnel example, don’t you think it looks bad if "hundreds" of them are invited to the islands when at the same time "hundreds" have been denied? Do you think Immigration has statistics on how many business owners, home owners and professionals were denied residency? 


        • Anonymous says:

          I am not sure what you mean by retroactive. I understand that it will apply going forward so that if you have been here for 6 years you may qualify as a key employee under the new rules on the basis that you are a senior employee.

        • Mars Mum says:

          Ha ha…they couldn’t even tell us how many have been rolled over since the "rollover policy"…Great thought though!

      • Anonymous says:

        Not doubt a moan from one of the mafia of the mediocre who see complaints to immigration as a means of career progression rather than talent and hard work.

        • Anonymous says:

          First, there is no issue about my talent and hard work and so it happens that with perseverance I have met with success.   

          I think the problem is that talent and hard work has more often than not  proved to be not enough for Caymanians when faced with the preferential treatment being given to expats by their expat bosses. Same reason there is affirmative action for African Americans in the U.S. to combat the effects of racism and prejudice.   

  9. Bodden says:



    WHO IS IT?

    MCKEEVA BUSH FROM THE CAYMAN ISLANDS:  "People are running from the UK and metropolitan areas because of the tax regime"

    Way to Go, MAC!

    • MacMan says:

      My oh my are we showing how ignorant we are..

      "people are running from the UK and metropolitan areas"  as if the metropolitan area is not within the UK!

      Do you honestly think an insignificant fly speck like Bush is ever even considered by Obama or Brown? By letting Bush run off at the mouth as he is he is doing more damage to Cayman than any "new World Order conspiracy" can ever do.


      Mac is OUR biggest enemy.


  10. Joe Average says:

    Poor souls, we should start dredging now for the mega-yacht loads of fund managers and their families.  I can see it now.  Help!!! We’ve been out of Grey Poupon for weeks!!!  We’re down to our last case of Perrier!!! 

    Anyone wishing to make a donation can send it to Barclays Bank addressed Hedge Fund Manager’s Relief Organization. 

    minimum donation: $200,000 CI.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Let’s go PPM Propaganda Machine… CNS presents another juicy McKeeva article!  Let’s see how many bad things we can say about. him this time..We have  to out do the most recent postings.  Come on hurry before any UDP person says anything.

    And they’re off……


    Go Team!!!


    • Anonymous says:

      Just change your name from Anonymous to "UDP bandwagon cheerleader".  It would differentiate you from the masses since your posts are so original from article to article. You’re about as effective as the Young UDPers (and by that I mean….irrelevant).

      • PPM Bandwagon cheerleader says:

        Good idea, no longer anonymous! at your request I changed my name but for the life of me I don’t know why you think I should call myself UDP Bandwagon, I am cheering on the PPM Propaganda Machine not the UDP’s. Those guys don’t stand a chance against you webmasters!!


        Go Team!!!

        • da wa ya get says:

          You’re obviously vey hard at work as the UDP bandwagon cheerleader, why don’t you correct your name? Oh, what is that, that wouldn’t be UDP style?


          • PPM Bandwagon cheerleader says:

            Now your talking about style..Everyone knows PPM  has more style than UDP..look at them red eh!!