A recent review has seen a rise in Family Office enquiries recorded in the Cayman Islands. A higher emphasis has been placed on living standards during the pandemic as remote working spiked significantly. As a result, High Net Worth Individuals are realigning their priorities, and choosing a jurisdiction that not only offers a safe haven for their private wealth, but a luxury lifestyle to match.
The Cayman Islands has been recognised for having one of the highest living standards in the world, and has one of the lowest crime rates in the Caribbean. A key factor that differentiates the jurisdiction is its superior quality of life, offering a perfect balance between business and leisure.
A leading International Financial Centre, a Cayman family office can benefit from some of the best trust structures and wealth vehicles in the world. Its white sandy beaches, and turquoise waters offer a typical Island lifestyle, whilst its world-class infrastructure attracts a pool of experienced professionals from leading global banks, legal offices and accountancy firms. This has formed a competitive landscape that businesses can depend on for expert advisory and fiduciary services.
The jurisdiction has an extremely stable economic, political and legal environment. Its robust legislative derives from principles of English Common law and equity, supported by a well-established, independent judiciary and court system. The legislation is reputable for its flexibility and efficiency, removing traditional limitations to establish structures within a matter of days. The environment that the Cayman Islands offers is key as it depicts the level of risk involved, and the security of assets is a critical, determining factor that High Net Worth Individuals seek when protecting their wealth.
The jurisdictions thriving economy is supported by a forward-thinking Government which encourages new business ventures, advancements in technology and development in new sectors, and services. An example, the Cayman Enterprise City, a special economic zone fostering growth in science, technology and media. The jurisdiction is made up of a growing number of sectors, such as high quality residential and commercial real estate, an innovative, developing tech space, a reputable maritime sector, various luxury asset sectors and a major finance sector. All of which provide lucrative investment opportunities and safe structures to hold private wealth. A differentiating factor in the Cayman property market is the access to foreign ownership which has been a significant contributor to the recent unprecedented growth in the market. In addition to this, there is no property tax on sale and no requirement to pay tax in Cayman on income from leasing a property, providing an attractive return on investment.
The Cayman financial sector is rated as the sixth largest in the world, and draws a substantial amount of foreign investment. It excels in various markets such as funds, banking, capital, investments and trusts. A key reason for this investment, and for relocating is the competitive neutral landscape consisting of no direct taxes, including no income tax, capital gains tax or inheritance tax.
A family office setting up in Cayman will have the choice of an abundance of investment opportunities, and modern structures in private wealth vehicles. It also has local firms and international firms to support their office with integral knowledge and services, such as a Cayman Trust. This makes it more convenient setting up an office, as they will have the familiarity of the regulatory and legislative frameworks. The rise of family offices in Cayman, especially single family offices also provides a network of experts in the industry that understand a family office environment, and the necessity for a bespoke approach that involves a tailored strategy which underpins personal goals.
The Cayman Islands is also known for having exceptionally high transparency in financial services, having early adopted FATCA and CRS. They also implement a stringent AML regime, which consists of vigilant, regulatory measures across the market that financial instruments abide by.
The landscape of exceptional characteristics that the Cayman Islands offer create an ideal environment to conduct business which is placed in a tropical paradise. With this, recent trends have discovered there has been an influx of second family offices expanding to Cayman with interest from the U.S and Canada and the rise of single family offices relocating from the Middle East and Asia. As for Asia, Cayman vehicles are one of the most utilised specifically to provide access to international markets, and diversification in offshore investments. The increased interest from the U.S and Canada has stemmed from the tax-neutral landscape, along with the dependable political stability.
Another attraction is the jurisdictions efficiency, incorporating a company in Cayman can be completed within 24 hours and has many flexible requirements, over a number of competitive structures. A jurisdiction of choice, its prestigious reputation provides High Net Worth Individuals with a stronger sense of security by having the knowledge that their wealth and estate planning is not only in very capable hands, but the environment is a recognised safe haven for asset holding delivering protection, preservation and maximisation.
In terms of the ease in relocation, the government has been regarded as highly efficient, supportive and welcoming to new immigration which has formed a diverse mix of culture and vibrant friendly community. The jurisdiction offers immigrants superior quality in all aspects of life, with exceptional real estate, excellent healthcare facilities, prestigious international schools, and an abundance of leisure activities, such as world-class underwater diving.
As one of our specialist sectors, Affinity have experience working with several families to meet personal and financial goals. Our boutique style of service is extremely personal to understand a client’s individual needs and requirements. Our office in the Cayman Islands provides our clients with so many exciting opportunities, and unique competitive characteristics in the preservation and maximisation of private wealth.