Editor’s note

Finding the silver linings

“The cancellation of the Cayman Captive Forum in 2020 was a huge loss for the island.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for governments and businesses everywhere. Some jurisdictions, however, enter 2021 with their reputations enhanced by the decisive and effective steps they took to halt the spread of the virus, as well as helping businesses maintain their operations. The Cayman Islands is one such jurisdiction.

That is not to downplay the challenges Cayman has faced, particularly its tourism industry, which has suffered from the lack of visitors. The finance industry, however, has proved itself remarkably resilient, and some finance professionals have reportedly taken the opportunity to enjoy the island’s hotels and restaurants, as a show of solidarity with their colleagues in the tourism industry.

It has been difficult for many islanders being unable to travel to see family and friends in 2020, or to attend conferences or meet clients, but the silver lining has been an opportunity to remind themselves of the pleasures of working in such a beautiful location.

As has been the case everywhere else, working life has changed in Cayman as a result of the pandemic and people being forced to work from home. Workers were able to return to their offices earlier in Cayman than they were in many onshore financial centres, given how effectively the government tackled the outbreak, but many businesses have embraced remote working.

As Philip Alexander of RSM writes in this issue, senior managers must think carefully about these changes and formalise them to ensure they maintain productivity while offering workers greater flexibility.

The cancellation of the Cayman Captive Forum in 2020 was a huge loss for the island and a disappointment for the many people in the captive insurance industry who look forward to their December trip to Cayman as one of the highlights of the year.

Cayman International Insurance and the Insurance Managers Association of Cayman are confident that the event will go ahead as usual in 2021. That will give visitors who missed out on their annual winter getaway something to look forward to.

In the meantime, the captive insurance community in Cayman is feeling bullish about the prospects for 2021. Captive formations have continued throughout 2020, but a number of programmes have been put on hold, many of which will likely be revived in 2021. Businesses have spent a lot of 2020 thinking about the way the risks they face are changing. This could lead to changes to their captive programmes.

As one of the foremost captive insurance domiciles in the world, Cayman will benefit from these changes. The island remains best known as a centre for healthcare captives, but in reality it has long been the home for many different types of captives, and the sector is becoming increasingly diverse with every passing year.

As the world comes to terms with the “new” risks it faces, from cyber to pandemics, Cayman will be among the most important jurisdictions globally for managing those risks. And captives will remain among the most useful risk management tools at its disposal. Solomon Teague, editor

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