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Today's Date: 24 July 2014
Last Updated: 23 July 2014 18:31:17 EST
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Business in brief

Forbes Hare

Offshore law firm, Forbes Hare, has opened in London and recruited an experienced corporate lawyer to its expanding team. Forbes Hare’s new London office comes in addition to existing operations in the BVI and Cayman. Managing partner William Hare said Forbes Hare’s growth is a by-product of the service it offers clients. “A significant number of those clients are either in London or in places better served from London, so we see this as a logical development.”

Forbes Hare’s London office is headed by former Walkers partner Catherine Ross, who has now been joined by ex-Maples and Calder lawyer Karen Gilbert as a senior associate in the firm’s Corporate and Funds practice.

Ms Gilbert previously practised for almost five years in the corporate department of Maples and Calder’s BVI office, where she worked alongside current Forbes Hare partner and global head of corporate, Jose Santos, before he left Maples to set up the corporate practice at Forbes Hare in 2010.

“Karen has an exemplary track-record advising international clients on corporate and financial transactions,” Mr Santos said. “In addition to strengthening relations with our clients in Europe, I am confident that Karen will be an asset to our growing public equity practice, having already worked with us on the IPO of the first Russian IPAC just before year end, and in our Latin American practice.” The firm plans to make further additions to its London team in the next few months. Forbes Hare was established in 2005 in the BVI, and opened in the Cayman Islands in early 2010. The firm provides Cayman and BVI legal advice to an international client base.

Butterfield

Butterfield has established Butterfield Trust (Cayman) Limited a separately incorporated trust company in the Cayman Islands, through which it will continue to provide personal and corporate trust services. Butterfield Trust is a wholly owned subsidiary of Butterfield Bank Cayman, which is itself a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bermuda-based Butterfield. Trust and fiduciary services were previously provided in Cayman under the auspices of Butterfield Bank Cayman.

Butterfield has provided Cayman-domiciled trust and fiduciary services since 1967 as Butterfield Trust. That entity was among the first to receive a class A banking licence in Cayman.

The bank said the formation of a trust company that operates separately from the bank is “reflective of the increasing importance clients place on the independence of trustees, and is consistent with Butterfield’s operating model in other jurisdictions from which it provides trust and fiduciary services: The Bahamas, Bermuda, Guernsey, Switzerland and New Zealand”.

Brian Balleine has been appointed the managing director of Butterfield Trust Cayman. Other members of the board are Rosalie Jamieson, head of Corporate and Institutional, Peter Walker, head of Private Clients, Conor O’Dea, managing director, Butterfield Bank Cayman and senior executive vice president – International Banking at Butterfield; and Bob Moore, executive vice president and head of Group Trust at Butterfield.

Mr. Moore said, “The formation of Butterfield Trust (Cayman) Limited is just the most recent step in the evolution of Butterfield’s trust business internationally. The multi-jurisdictional capability that we offer clients has been key to our success and will continue to be a driver of growth going forward. Cayman, as a jurisdiction, is an essential component of that model.”

In other news Butterfield Bank (Cayman) Limited has appointed Bruce John senior manager and head of Private Banking in the Cayman Islands. Mr. John is a career banker with more than 30 years of experience in wealth advisory, trust, corporate and commercial banking. Prior to joining Butterfield, he was based in Hong Kong and headed the trust company as the managing director for a major international bank with responsibility for the Asia-Pacific region. Prior to moving to Hong Kong, Mr. John spent 12 years in Cayman where he held senior management positions with a major international bank, managing their wealth management and commercial-corporate banking operations.

Cable and Wireless Communications

Cable and Wireless Communications, the parent company for LIME, plans to invest an additional US$20 million in network infrastructure across the region. The company says this is expected to further boost data speeds and build out a TV product, especially in markets such as Barbados and Cayman.

Cable and Wireless said it has accelerated some investments designed to reduce costs and improve services for customers. This includes commencement of a major deployment of fibre in Barbados and Cayman to upgrade the fixed line infrastructure enabling provision of high speed Internet and TV services.

The decision to accelerate customer focussed efficiency investments in the Caribbean, excluding the Bahamas, will increase the exceptional restructuring costs by around US$20 million to a total of US$55 million.

“These and other initiatives will improve the efficiency and flexibility of the business and drive cost savings in future years which is critical as market conditions in the rest of the Caribbean remain difficult, particularly in the Eastern Caribbean and Barbados,” the company said.

Maples and Calder

Six people within the Maples and Calder Corporate Services Group were recently promoted as part of the firm’s annual review process. Allan Webb, Renita Ebanks, Jessica Jackson and Tiffany Myles advanced to the position of Jr. corporate administrator, and Kesherra Spence and Sharon Robinson were promoted to corporate administrator.

Cayman First

AM Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) and the issuer credit ratings of “a-” of Bahamas First General Insurance Company Limited and Cayman First Insurance Company Limited. The outlook for the ratings of BFG is stable, while the outlook for the ratings of CFIC has been revised to stable from negative. Both companies are subsidiaries of Bahamas First Holdings.

The ratings of Cayman first recognise its capitalisation and positive non-health operating results along with its expertise in the Cayman market. CFIC’s revised outlook acknowledges the improved operating results from its accident and health lines of business. Additionally, the revised outlook reflects Cayman First’s winding down of litigation from prior ownership, which had a significant negative impact on the company’s earnings and capital position.

AM Best said negative rating triggers for CFIC would include deterioration in its operating results, in particular from its accident and health business, or a decline in equity resulting in increased leverage metrics. Positive rating triggers would include continued improved profitability and organic surplus appreciation.

Yellow Pages

The Cayman Islands Yellow Pages is about to finish “Yellow2Green”, its annual telephone directory recycling programme. The three week initiative, aimed at keeping old phone books out of the landfill, kicked-off on 1 February and will run until Friday 22 February, 2013.

Old phone books can be dropped off at the Foster’s Food Fair supermarkets at the airport, Countryside, Republic and the Strand, at Kirk Supermarket, Hurley’s Supermarket and at Mailboxes etc and Hollywood Theaters in Camana Bay.

Cayman Islands Yellow Pages will accept any dry phone book, even if it’s not one of theirs. Once the programme comes to an end, the directories will be sent, via Thompson Shipping, to GreenFiber - the largest manufacturer of GreenFiber insulation in the United Sates, and the end result will be converted into material that will be used for home insulation in aid of energy efficiency.

Last year the Yellow pages collected 57,000 old phone books.

LIME TV

LIME showcased its new LIME TV product during the Cayman Islands Agriculture Show on Ash Wednesday.

Reynaldo Ysaguirrie, Customer Solutions Delivery Coordinator said “everyone was excited that we are finally putting the E in LIME and bringing a great product which will give customers more choices, more channels and more value. Lots of people pre-signed for the service at the event and we are pushing forward with an aggressive launch programme.”

LIME will be launching the “TV Experience Centre” at its Galleria store soon.

During the Agriculture Show, LIME held a drawing for a 42-inch TV. The winner was Ian Miller.

Guy Harvey in Galapagos

Conservationist Guy Harvey announced his company Guy Harvey Outpost is expanding to the Galapagos Islands.

The company is teaming up with two Ecuadorian owner groups to establish presences on the islands of San Cristobal and Isabela.

On San Cristobal, the company will open a 30-unit ‘eco-lodge’, to be called the Guy Harvey Outpost Lodge, Galapagos Islands. It is expected to open in early 2016.

Meanwhile, Guy Harvey Outpost has taken over management of the Iguana Crossing boutique hotel on Isabela Island. The 14-unit hotel is ranked the top lodging property by TripAdvisor.

Mr. Harvey said, “The Galapagos is without question one of the best diving experiences to be had. I know firsthand, however, that not everyone enjoys the confines imposed by dive live-aboards or small cruise ships. As land based operations, our Outpost properties will open up the Galapagos to everyone who enjoys diving and adventure travel yet appreciates the comfort of retiring each night to a bungalow or suite.”

Brac Labour Law seminar

The Department of Commerce and Investment is facilitating a seminar on the Cayman Islands Labour Law 21 February on Cayman Brac. Also assisting will be senior labour inspector Sandra Solomon from the Department of Labour and Pensions.

The seminar, which begins at 7pm, will be held in the Cicley Rose Conference Room at the Alexander Hotel.

Attendees will have the chance to register for employment opportunities with the National Workforce Development Agency and ask questions about their legal rights under the law.

Companies who have not yet registered with the labour and pensions department can do so at the event, and can also list job openings within their businesses.

Under the job registration provision in Section 57 of the Cayman Islands Labour Law, all companies are required within one month of commencing business operations to file a written notice with specific particulars with the Director of Labour.

For more information contact Lolita Bodden-Arch at the Department of Commerce and Investment at lolita.bodden@gov.ky or 948-2400.

LoopUp + LIME

Business collaboration and remote meetings company LoopUp announced a partnership with LIME, where the telecom company will distribute LoopUp’s product as LIME Conferencing as part of a managed service agreement to business customers in 14 countries.

LIME director of product and process Eugene Nolan said, “Our own team had already begun using LoopUp throughout the region and was benefiting from its better meeting experience, so naturally we wanted to partner with LoopUp and deliver the same service to our own customers.”

Steve Flavell, co-CEO of LoopUp, said, “LoopUp stands out in the world of everyday conference calls. Following our September opening of LoopUp’s regional hub in Barbados, we’ve been actively seeking to partner and bring LoopUp to the corporate market within the Caribbean and surrounding areas including Panama and Trinidad.”

LoopUp opened its Barbados office in September 2012.

PWC donates computers

PricewaterhouseCoopers donated five new laptop computers to the Ministry of Education’s Extended Afterschool Programme.

Staff will use the computers to keep track of daily attendance in the eight programmes and to complete quarterly reports for sponsors.

Since it began in April 2011, the ministry’s initiative has grown from 60 students to include more than 1,400 students from 12 schools on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac.

RBC Wealth Management

The RBC Wealth Management team, located on Shedden Road, received the Euromoney awards for ‘Best Private Banking Services Overall’ in the Cayman Islands, as well as in the Caribbean region. It is the fourth consecutive year RBC Wealth Management has won the regional award. RBC Wealth Management also won the number one ranking in Cayman in eight different categories, including ‘Range of advisory services’, ‘Equity Portfolio Management’, ‘Commodities investing’ and ‘Trust services’.

It is the fourth consecutive time RBC Wealth Management – which serves high net worth and ultra high net worth clients in the Cayman Islands, Bahamas and Barbados – has won the regional award. It also ranked first among its peers in ‘Bespoke Wealth Management’ and in providing high net worth services for individuals with $10m-30m in investable assets.

Deanna Price, head of Caribbean, RBC Wealth Management, based in George Town, said, “Over the past year, our team in the Cayman Islands has worked extremely hard to deliver client service of the highest standard right across the range of solutions. It is very encouraging to have the industry acknowledge and reward our efforts, and we look forward to building on this success over the coming years.”

 
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