Cayman Islands to publicize previously hidden companies

Posted Jan 19, 2013 by Milton Este
Cayman Islands is a popular destination for tax evasion in movies and possibly reality as well. However, this is all about to change with the new policies the Cayman Islands regulator body is considering.
The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) is proposing the creation of a public database consisting of funds domiciled on the island and list a directory of hedge fund directors as well. This proposal is due to close mid-March of 2013.
According to The Telegraph:
“In the 24 months subsequent to the onset of the financial crisis, the BVI Financial Services Commission, the Central Bank of Ireland, the Jersey Financial Services Commission, the Bahamas Financial Services Board and the Isle of Man Supervision Commission all updated their corporate governance codes, laws and/or regulations,” the FT reports CIMA said in one document.
CIMA is yet to respond to Financial Time's request for a comment.
On another note, HedgeWeek provides the reasoning behind this proposal to publicize and increase the transparency of funds on the island. Since 2009, professional and private funds are down 264 (from 1885 to 1621) and 656 (from 816 to 160).
However, HedgeWeek also states another factor that could be weighing in. Regulation is tightening on the islands. The Securities and Investment Business Act now requires all funds to appoint a pre-approved compliance officer and submit fully audited accounts, making it more difficult to start up.
The Royal Gazette reports:
A 2011 investigation by the Financial Times exposed how directors for Cayman-based funds can be anywhere in the world, and are don’t necessarily always have the required knowledge or experience. The report uncovered certain directors in the Caymans that were sitting on the boards of hundreds of hedge funds at once.
This, in turn, would change how the anonymity on the island would function. Fund managers will have to be more transparent or seek another location to continue its business practices. Once angering the United States and European Union with the policies, the islands are setting things right in hopes of increasing funds managements.