8 CAYMAN FUNDS | 2018
“Independent directors or an
independent board can help
resolve many issues in a variety
of situations.” Mark Cook
Smith: It is an interesting ongoing conversation between securities
and bank regulators in relation to this topic. Banking regulation has
become more prescriptive, with a lot more rules appearing in that
space, which has had the effect of making the provision of credit by the
banks a much more rigorous process. Securities and capital markets
regulation, on the other hand, has remained more nimble and arguably
more responsive to the needs of the market, thus seeking to strike the
balance between effective regulation and the continued availability of
economic growth opportunities utilising the capital markets.
Rivers: There are three types of audiences we need to be aware of.
There are those who know us and love us, and they’re not going to
take much convincing on the benefits of doing business in Cayman.
There is the audience that don’t know because they don’t want
to know. It doesn’t matter how much information you give them,
they won’t change the narrative. It’s a campaign. You cannot be too
concerned about changing the hearts and minds of that group.
The group that is most influential is those who don’t know because
they just don’t know. They haven’t been given the information, and
they don’t feel an impetus to go out and get the information, so they
rely on the public messaging. That’s the group we really need to figure
out how to address.
Obviously, the Ministry, government and industry have a role to play.
We need to figure out very quickly how we develop those informed
messages. We should be shifting from being reactive to being
proactive to ensure that when they have the other messages, at least
there’s some balance.
that’s happening in Europe, and in the UK, could have a knock-on
effect to us—I don’t think we can afford not to engage.
Government and industry both need to start to dispel those
misperceptions and the myths that continue to occupy the space of
public debate. That is probably our greatest challenge. We need to tell
our story. We have to combat perception with facts, and we have to
connect with the public.
Cook: I see a great deal of irony that the world’s largest sovereign
wealth funds and pension funds that represent the general public
find a way to invest into Cayman funds anyway. Yet the person on
the street has the idea that the Cayman Islands only serves wealthy
people around the world. It’s misplaced.
Rivers: Cayman provides the ability for them to live comfortably in
their old age. That’s the kind of message that we need to be able to
create, based on facts,
Calleja: You could say the same thing about private equity. Banks
are much more reluctant to provide credit these days and when it
comes to job creation, infrastructure opportunities, and developing
economies private equity vehicles are picking up the slack. The
capital is often coming through a Cayman entity, so you can connect
the dots of the opportunities, job and wealth creation as a result of
investors who are willing to accept the risk:return profile and invest in
the private equity vehicle.
If PE was absent from capital markets then we would have a very
inefficient way of raising capital and one could argue that there
wouldn’t be the capital available for some of that development.
“It is encouraging to see an
increase in independence on
the boards of private equity
funds.” Trinda Blackmore