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Cayman positions for FinTech/PE growth, strong hedge fund demand from China and Japan - Opalesque Roundtable

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With about 1,230 new CIMA fund registrations in 2016, the Cayman Islands remain the undisputed leader in offshore funds. A closer look at the numbers reveal that 2016 has seen an interesting shift in geographical regions for Cayman fund launches. For example, the numbers from Europe are down but they increased a lot from Asia to the point where Asia now represents almost half of the new launches Cayman's PwC unit is taking on as audit clients.

This growth is coming from two sides. With the creation of new wealth in China as an overriding mega trend, many of the new rich are looking for partners to manage money in different asset classes. New launches are also on the rise from Hong Kong as assets continue to go through Hong Kong and a lot of managers on the ground there collect capital from Mainland China. Historically an early adopter of alternative investments, Japan is the other region with high demand for Cayman products. Particularly large institutions sponsor preferably Cayman fund products for distribution in Japan. This area has not slowed down for some years, and their AUM is considerable. (pages 6-8).

With investors in the driver's seat, customization is key

Investors are really in the driver's seat now more than ever, and investment managers have to find new and innovative ways to differentiate themselves. More and more funds of one are created, typically in the $50-100 million range, but also as low as $10 million and as large as over one billion. There is also an increased use of side letters in commingled vehicles and fee pressure across all service providers.

Creative fee schedules in particular on incentive fees are agreed on as managers seek to retain and attract capital. Whereas you can't prevent investors from withdrawing capital in an open-ended structure, managers will offer alternative arrangements such as redemption replacement arrangements whereby an existing or incoming investor can step into the shoes of a departing investor as if it were receiving a transfer of the departing investor's interest in the fund. Along with any such customization, investors are still getting a full institutional quality product (pages 9-11).

The Opalesque 2017 Cayman Islands Roundtable took place in George Town, Cayman Islands, with:

  • Ingrid Pierce, Global Managing Partner, Walkers
  • Craig Smith, Partner, PwC
  • Christopher Bodden, Director, The Harbour Trust Co.
The group also discussed:
  • At which point consider investors entering into passive vehicles? (page 11)
  • Success model: New Cayman LLC adopted by many institutional US managers, mostly as carry vehicles (page 12)
  • Why more professional conferences are coming to Cayman (pages 12-13)
  • How will Cayman's AIFMD equivalent regulatory framework look like? (page 14)
  • Where does Brexit leave Cayman? (pages 14-15)
  • Why is the adoption rate of governance standards is much slower in PE? (page 16)
  • Around 80% of all new regulated funds now have a split board: Meaningful improvement or a fad? (pages 16-18)
  • How will Cayman benefit from the global infrastructure boom? (page 18)
  • How Cayman assists startup managers in launching their products (pages 19-20)
  • How is Cayman participating in the global FinTech boom? (pages 20-22)
  • Why will digital identities play a role in alternative investments? (pages 21-22)

Access the Opalesque Roundtable Series - Cayman 2017 | Download here

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