“We continue to evolve and go from strength to strength and I
feel we have really found our role on the island,” Powell says. “Our
standing continues to be recognised; Industry, the regulator—the
Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA)—and the government all
increasingly understand the important role we play around education
and consulting and advising on regulatory matters on behalf of our
Powell says the organisation’s goal is to be the aggregating body
for directors and the fiduciary industry in Cayman. Its membership
has also diversified in recent years with directors from a wider crosssection
of industry joining the body.
She notes that originally membership was primarily of directors
within the alternative investments sector, but over the last several
years, membership has expanded to directors from across the
financial services sector.
“We represent good corporate governance in any sector,” she says.
She adds that CIDA now has more than 300 members, and she
is comfortable the voice of the body is heard and taken seriously
across the industry and at the highest levels of government.
With celebrating the 10-year anniversary, 2018 was a busy year for
CIDA, Powell says. It was also a year in which many more regulatory
changes were mooted, with the association assisting in consultation
with the Cayman government and CIMA, as it continues to do.
Work continues on the Beneficial Ownership Regime, which
came into force in 2017 and was revised later based on industry
feedback; the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Regulations; and
the implications of the EU General Data Protection Regulation
(GDPR) on how entities in Cayman operate and Cayman’s own
data protection legislation. Top of the list at the moment, Powell
says, is the debate around economic substance and what the
potential implications of rules that will be issued by the OECD
and the EU might be on the Cayman Islands. “We have been
involved in a number of working groups examining the situation
and what that might mean for Cayman and various categories of
business currently operating here,” she says. “We have also been
heavily involved in the bedding in of AML rules in terms of what
the changes mean, including the role of AML officers, which are
She adds that, given the increased clarity around AML rules
applying to both regulated and unregulated entities, additional efforts
are now required to ensure unregulated entities are compliant.“Given
the continued international focus, we expect that further changes to
CIMA’s oversight of the unregulated space will occur; matters are still
developing in this area,” she says.
She stresses that although entities might be classed as
“unregulated” in Cayman, they are often managed by entities that
are regulated in other jurisdictions and have service providers often
regulated in another domicile that monitor them also.
“Between those factors and the fact that AML officers are now
accountable, these products are pretty well scrutinised already,” she
“Every country in the world is going through a similar process on
regulatory oversight,” Powell says. “When we talk to investors, they
understand that Cayman is very much in line with that. We need to
satisfy global regulatory standards but in a way that is right for us.
“Through our involvement in industry and consultation, CIDA plays
a key role in helping achieve that balance.”
CAYMAN ISLANDS DIRECTORS ASSOCIATION
“Our membership has been
growing rapidly and we have
increasingly found our voice.”
In previous years, CIDA has also advised on a number of key
legislative initiatives including amendments to the Limited Liability
Companies Bill 2015, which was tweaked in 2016; the Directors
Registration and Licencing Law (DRLL), which was very relevant to
the interests of CIDA’s members; and the future shape of the EU
Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD).
Powell says CIDA is very purposeful. It understands the value of
numerous stakeholders having a say in regulatory changes and plays
a full part in this process.
“The level of consultation here is much higher than in most
jurisdictions and that is a good thing,” she says.
CIDA staged a number of educational events last year on topics
including understanding the hedge fund audit process, and the new
administrative monetary penalties (AMP) regime, while also running
the Directors Accreditation Course, which Powell says continues
to be very popular. By teaming up with the Chartered Secretaries
Canada, a division of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and
Administrators (ICSA)—the international professional body for
chartered secretaries—CIDA offers an accreditation course in
Cayman that professionals would normally have to travel to Canada
“Our membership has been growing rapidly and we have
increasingly found our voice when it comes to the issues facing the
industry and areas where we feel the views of our members should
be heard,” she says.
CIDA is an honorary member of Cayman Finance and sits on a
number of working groups which include representatives from
government and the regulator.
Powell says the momentum of CIDA is still building. The association
instilled a new Executive Committee at the end of 2018 and she
expects a further growth in membership in 2019, and states it will be
an even better year in terms of events for the body.
CIDA is an association of individuals resident in the Cayman
Islands who hold office as directors of one or more Caymanregistered
Cassandra Powell is a director
at Harbour and the president of
CIDA. She can be contacted at:
Each member is an employee of a Cayman Islands financial
services company licensed and regulated by the CIMA, or
an individual whose membership has been sponsored by at
least two such members.
CAYMAN FUNDS | 2019 23
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