Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva:
The number of CIMA fund registrations in 2016 was about 1,230, slightly down from the prior year but holding up well compared to other jurisdictions, said participants at the recent Opalesque Cayman Roundtable.
Internal statistics also show a lower number of launches as well as a shift in geographical regions for Cayman fund launches, said Craig Smith, partner at large auditing house PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). "For example, the numbers from Europe are down but they increased a lot from Asia, to the point where Asia is somewhat bucking the trend and now represents almost half of the new launches that we are taking on as far as audit clients at PwC."
This trend, he explains, comes from creation of new wealth in Asia, particularly China, leading people to look for partners to manage money in different asset classes. There are also a lot of younger participants looking to invest long term.
"So all these mega trends as far as urbanisation and people moving from the countryside to the cities, creating a new middle class and becoming more sophisticated, are still happening," he continued. "At some point it's also about gaining more access to professional, alternative investment managers. These factors still feed into the increase in demand for managed investment products."
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