Why the Cayman Islands is the family office jurisdiction of choice: A Q&A with lawyer Bernadette Carey

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By Sue Nickason

L-R: Sue Nickason and Bernadette Carey

The Dart Family Office was established on Grand Cayman over two decades ago, attracted by the attributes of close proximity to the United States, British Overseas Territory status, stable government and economy, and tax neutrality. Since then, many other family offices have recognised the benefits of having a presence in the Cayman Islands and the jurisdiction is now a preferred address.

Whilst the benefits are readily evident, the types of structures available to family offices are less well known. Carey Olsen recently produced an overview of different family office structures in the Cayman Islands.

We chatted with Bernadette Carey, a partner at the law firm, to learn more about the options available.

Q. You have observed that “With its modern legislation, robust judicial system, extensive infrastructure and sophisticated service providers, the Cayman Islands represents an ideal location to establish or relocate a single or multi-family office.” Can you share some specific examples of the legislation and robust judicial system that make Cayman a desirable locale for family offices?

In terms of desirability, the Cayman Islands is well known for offering legislation that is modern, innovative, and flexible. But perhaps most importantly given the pace at which changes comes to us these days, the legislation is always evolving (with the input of industry experts) to meet local needs, global standards, and industry requirements. Our laws offer structures and vehicles that appeal to family offices (such as special purpose trusts, reserved powers trusts, and foundation companies) because they can be established with ease, be administered by experienced professionals, and allow families to continue to have involvement and give directions as to the distribution of family wealth. Our judicial system is renowned for also being at the forefront of developments in trusts law and presided over by a highly skilled and considered judiciary that produces leading judgments – many of which are regularly cited by courts in other jurisdictions that are considering similar issues. And, procedurally, family offices can also be assured of an expeditious resolution of any applications that may need to be presented to the Grand Court – our systems recognise the need for early and practical solutions, particularly for private clients.

Q. Family offices, like families themselves, are constantly growing and expanding. What advantages do the Cayman Islands offer to family offices in this regard?

There are the obvious advantages – such as a short commute to the office along a stunning coastline, and weekends spent on award-winning beaches – but the islands offer family offices so much more than the perks associated with a traditional Caribbean vacation. Our infrastructure is among the best in the Caribbean – high speed internet, new and modern office space, experienced service providers, and (hopefully in the near future) a return to ease of travel to major international hubs. On the island, our construction sector and property market is booming, and the service industry continues to expand the nature and extent of offerings available to make island life efficient and enjoyable. Professionally, and with a particular spotlight on the financial services industry, Cayman offers highly experienced and skilled professionals who are well-versed in meeting the many and varied needs of family offices. But it is also worth noting that it is a jurisdiction that is evolving and growing without losing sight (and in fact being careful to protect) it’s heritage and uniqueness – and the elements that attracted newcomers to the islands in the first place.

Q. Family offices value privacy and security. The STAR Trust model is unique to Cayman and well suited to families seeking constraints on access to their information. Can you share some insights into that legislation and how it compares to other forms of trusts offered elsewhere in the world?

The STAR Trust is a fantastic, and very well-used, option for family offices. Traditional family trusts in common law jurisdictions like Cayman follow a relatively standard form and are usually discretionary in nature for family members and administered by trustees who have wide powers over distribution and investment of the assets. Beneficiaries of those trusts have many rights to information about, for example, trust assets. The STAR Trust, on the other hand, is a special form of trust available in Cayman that can be for charitable or non-charitable purposes, and for either individuals or for defined purposes (such as business or investment) or both – drafting can be very bespoke. Unlike other trusts, a STAR Trust operates to restrict the rights of the beneficiaries to obtain information about the trust from the trustee or to attack the trust. So, as a structuring vehicle it is an exceptionally flexible, robust and private option. A STAR Trust must have a licensed trust company (or registered private trust company) in Cayman as one of its trustees, and an appointed “enforcer” who is the only person with rights to enforce the trust. Private trust companies (with family members on the board of those companies) are regularly established in Cayman and appointed as trustees of STAR Trusts, in order to increase privacy and allow for family involvement in administration of the structure to be maintained.

Q. Your firm has produced an excellent guide to the types of structures that family offices use in the Cayman Islands. The pros and cons outlined for each option are particularly useful. As you reflect on the family offices you have worked with in the last five years, and as you look ahead to the next five years following the impact of COVID-19 on family wealth preservation, do you see a particular type of structure emerging as the most common one to use in Cayman?

As our guide shows, family offices come in all shapes and sizes and with different levels of complexity (which generally depends on the “age” of the family office). The most interesting aspect for us in recent times is how many of our matters now involve helping family offices set up a presence in Cayman. Five years ago, most family offices we worked with had just one or two companies or trusts with a Cayman connection and their structures were already very mature. Now, we are working to help with the physical relocation of family members to Cayman, the establishment of brand new structures to manage relatively new wealth, and wealth management and succession plans that are designed to ensure the smooth transition of wealth between generations. So, the most common structure for these more modern families is a structure that provides for all aspects of family life from business interests to investments to “concierge” services.  This is quite the contrast from the more traditional family dynasty trusts, which mainly operated to provide regular lump sum distributions to family members, that were most common ten or twenty years ago.

Q. For family offices considering expanding or relocating to Cayman, what advice can you give them as they start the diligence process? What do you feel a family office who is now established here would say, “I wish we had known this before we moved/expanded to Cayman.”

My most important piece of advice is to begin the process of establishing and growing good relationships with service providers well before moving or expanding to Cayman. A fantastic aspect of professional life in Cayman is that those of us in the industry all work closely together and are hugely supportive of recommending and referring the best person for any particular job. This means that family offices will always have easy access to, for example, immigration or property specialists in our networks and a relatively seamless service across the board. As events across the globe over the past 12 months have shown us, we can now build these relationships virtually and with relative ease. The ability to have trusted advisors on the ground, with knowledge and connections to make the move or expansion as efficient and cost-effective as possible before it happens is invaluable. Our goal is always to establish strong support networks for family office representatives, and to be in a constant dialogue with them, even before they arrive. That way, when the time to move comes, they already feel like they’re coming home.

For more on why you might consider relocating your family office to the Cayman Islands click here.

Emerging from a pandemic: Dart Real Estate tenants offered re-emergence webinar series

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Stefano Franceschi of Gelato & Co. learned digital tactics during a three-part webinar organised by the Camana Bay property management team to help merchants through the business challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Photo: Rhian Campbell

Early this past summer, shops and restaurants across the Cayman Islands grappled with the effects of a pandemic that interrupted business instantly and shifted focus from weekly sales targets to daily survival tactics. Uncertainty loomed after months of curfews and curbside pickups, but the country’s resilience and low COVID-19 case numbers cast a light of hope across a business sector that relies on regular foot traffic.
In Camana Bay, shop owners and restaurateurs looked for ways to stay afloat, employing their own strategies while wondering how they would emerge from a crisis of this magnitude.

Linda Podlaski, Dart‘s senior vice president of property management, kept close tabs on the company’s 40+ retail tenants after the government-mandated lockdown and knew that, in addition to compassionate support and rent relief, they needed tools that enabled them to act, not react. With that in mind, Podlaski helped organise a Dart-sponsored, three-part re-emergence webinar that focused on how businesses could reboot their business models and reconnect with customers in a world changed by a pandemic.

“The desire to revitalise business was strong,” says Podlaski. “Many of our retail tenants were eager to participate in the re-emergence series, which took place in August when local shops and restaurants were trying to recover and also hoping to survive without the typical revenue generated by tourism.”

Taking responsibility 
Led by Angel Cicerone, a New York-based small business mentor and author of “Growing Small,” the webinar series was designed to help Camana Bay retailers rethink all aspects of their operations while implementing their reopening strategies.

The webinar included lessons in marketing, social media, digital infrastructure, consumer trends, profitability and the use of technology and provided a “100 New Customers” challenge. It also reminded participants that “pre-coronavirus thinking won’t prevail in a post-coronavirus world.”

Podlaski says the series offered a broad range of tips and tactics from simple “Just Cleaned” tabletop cards in restaurants to profound analyses of business operations and customer relations.

“Tenants were offered a lot of practical advice, but they were also given a reality check when Ms. Cicerone challenged them to acknowledge problems that may have existed prior to the pandemic,” she says.
This struck a chord with Sara Lesieur, owner of Bedside Manor in Camana Bay.

“We can’t blame it all on coronavirus,” says Lesieur. “That was the biggest takeaway for me. Of course, the pandemic threw us some crushing blows, but the webinar forced me to examine difficulties in my business that were not necessarily caused by COVID-19. It encouraged me to think about how to solve these issues and to think outside the box.”

Lesieur says the lockdown pushed her to fast track a few things she had on the back burner, such as updating her website to provide online shopping, and the webinar series provided useful strategies and tactics to implement both online and in the store.

“I was inspired to further understand my customers and their journeys,” she says. “I also enjoyed studying the marketing funnel system that supports an increase in client base. Overall, I found the series quite useful and I’m very grateful to Dart for providing this opportunity.”

Connecting with customers
Stefano Franceschi, co-owner of Gelato & Co. Cremeria Italiana in Camana Bay, says the series offered an opportunity to learn about connecting with customers in refreshing, new ways.

“I enjoyed discovering digital tactics,” says Franceschi. “For example, we can offer people more in-depth information on the history of our products, including many speciality treats we import from Italy. Using a QR code is one way we can provide details on ingredients, origins or even cooking techniques. I think this can help people connect with their food in a more meaningful way.”

Like many small business owners, Franceschi was compelled to conduct his own research in an effort to outlive the pandemic and keep his business alive.

“There is a lot of information out there and I had to distill my research and figure out how to apply it to our situation,” he says. “When Dart offered the webinar series, I was very interested in learning about strategies that could actually help us. It was very helpful in the end and I’m excited to create new bonds with our customers.”

Franceschi also expressed his gratitude to Dart for its ongoing support.

“They are an excellent landlord.”

This article originally appeared in the October 2020 print edition of Camana Bay Times with the headline “Emerging from a Pandemic.”

About the Author

Andrea Lumsden has worked with Dart since 2013 and has been writing professionally since 2003. Graduating from University of Central Florida with a BA in Communication, Andrea has worked with clients across a range of industries, including financial services and real estate. Raised in Cayman by Costa Rican and American parents, she’s a New Yorker at heart who enjoys reading and travelling with her husband and three children. Find her in Camana Bay reading a good book under a tree near the water, savouring the breeze and sipping on a glass of wine.

Intertrust and DMS Governance to move into Camana Bay; One Nexus Way, Dart Real Estate’s newest commercial building, is fully leased

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Intertrust, the largest trust and corporate service provider in the Cayman Islands, will occupy the top-floor offices of One Nexus Way, Camana Bay’s newest commercial building, resulting in the building being fully leased.

As anchor tenant, Intertrust will occupy 20,000 square feet of the mixed-use building. The move – estimated for early 2021 – will bring 150 team members to the Camana Bay Town Centre, who will enjoy panoramic views of George Town and Seven Mile Beach from their top-floor offices, as well as convenient proximity to the town’s 15 eateries and 40 locally owned shops and boutiques.

“The Intertrust Cayman team is excited to make the move to our new office, One Nexus Way, Camana Bay,” said Nadine Watler-Ritter, managing director of Intertrust Cayman. “This move aligns with other exciting growth initiatives in our Cayman business, and we look forward to a modern and fresh space designed to support our dynamic ambitions.”

Intertrust’s announcement closely follows DMS Governance’s move to One Nexus Way in mid-August. The two companies further strengthen the town’s thriving financial services community, which includes Big 4 accounting firms PwC and EY, reinsurance firms including AureumRe, Aon and Greenlight RE and the presence of four of Grand Cayman’s five retail banks with the recent opening of Butterfield in One Nexus Way at the start of 2020.

“Our decision to move to the new location of Camana Bay was driven by a desire to improve connectivity, both in terms of our internal teams who now enjoy a more flexible, open and collaborative work space and in terms of an improved location, alongside a thriving financial services community that includes many of our key business partners,” said DMS Governance Chief Executive Officer Anne Storie. “For our staff, this new vibrant and modern location has certainly had an extremely positive impact on functionality and on the daily working environment.”

As a mixed-use building, One Nexus Way is designed with retail and restaurant space on the ground floor, which includes the recently opened Pane & Pasta, offering authentic Italian cuisine for dining in, or housemade ingredients to purchase and prepare at home. Carnivore opened in February 2020, offering high-quality butcher meats to take home or a deli menu for those dining in. Workplace Environments will soon be opening a showroom on the building’s ground floor, and Sportista, previously located on the Crescent, will bring its sporting goods and activewear retail experience to One Nexus Way.

“We are thrilled that One Nexus Way is fully leased, and so quickly following completion. Our team continues to see active demand for commercial real estate from global firms,” Dart’s President of Business Development, Jackie Doak, said. “The Cayman Islands’ lifestyle and quality of life further contributes to attracting new enquiries. The quality of our construction and the design of our buildings, as well as Cayman’s advanced telecommunications systems and Camana Bay’s data security centre reinforces companies’ decisions to establish a presence here.

“This consistent demand for office space shows the distinction and strength not only of Camana Bay as a business community but the Cayman Islands as a jurisdiction of choice. We continue to work with our clients to meet demand for office space given our portfolio of commercial product, and through pre-leasing our next commercial building at Camana Bay, 60 Nexus Way, currently under construction and slated for completion in 2022.”

Completed in 2018 and built to LEED® Gold standards, One Nexus features 82,000 square feet of office, retail and restaurant space, and shares Helicona Court with the adjacent 18 Forum Lane. Heliconia Court is the largest of Camana Bay’s five courtyards, beautifully landscaped and offering shaded seating for those living in, working in and visiting Camana Bay to enjoy an outdoor meeting or a peaceful moment. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and is the most widely used certification programme that recognises buildings that are efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly.


About Dart Real Estate

Dart Real Estate is a development company based on Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands, a British Overseas Territory.

The company’s flagship development is the 685-acre mixed-use, master-planned town of Camana Bay, the Caribbean’s first and only community founded on the principles of New Urbanism.

Dart Real Estate’s portfolio continues to grow with the addition of world-class Seven Mile Beach developments, including the LEED® Silver-certified Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, The Residences at Seafire, The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, an upcoming five-star resort and residences, and Paradise Villas on Little Cayman. Dart Real Estate also manages Regatta Office Park, Flagship Building, Island Plaza and the Cayman Islands Yacht Club. It developed the residential neighbourhoods of North Creek and Salt Creek. In addition, the 26-acre Dart Nursery propagates and supplies native plants and trees for all of its developments and properties.

Dart Real Estate strives to enhance the quality of life and to create opportunities for all in the Cayman Islands through purposeful placemaking, meaningful connections and lasting experiences that transcend bricks and mortar.

For more information, visit dartrealestate.com and keep up with the latest developments on Linkedin, and Twitter.

About Camana Bay

A destination within a destination, Camana Bay is a vibrant town located in the heart of Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands, a British Overseas Territory.

Situated on 685 acres between Seven Mile Beach and the North Sound, this mixed-use master-planned community is one of the first examples of New Urbanism in the Caribbean.

Developed by Dart Real Estate, Camana Bay offers more than 650,000 square feet of commercial office and retail space as well as 63 luxury apartments available for long-term lease, and condos, townhomes and duplexes at OLEA, Camana Bay’s first for-sale residential project. The town also offers public spaces for all to enjoy, world-class shopping and dining, as well as family-friendly entertainment, events and attractions.

For more information, visit camanabay.com and keep up with the latest developments on Facebook and follow us on Instagram.

Media contact

Anna Wootton
Digital Marketing & PR Manager, Dart
[email protected]

Flexi-terms, agile solutions and modern amenities: how readyspaces is ahead of the trend

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By Andrea Lumsden

There is a trending list of pandemic-inspired buzzwords currently pulsing through  the commercial real estate world and circling the digital universe. Workplace mobility. Workspace agility. Flexi-leases. Flex amenities. Employee safety. Privacy. Security. The list goes on. If these popular terms form a checklist, then readyspaces ticks all the boxes.

Last October, nearly six months prior to the Cayman Islands lockdown in response to the global COVID-19 crisis, readyspaces opened its 25-office facility—a sophisticated, flexi-lease, full-service, turnkey workspace solution in the heart of the Seven Mile Beach corridor. Owned and operated by Dart Real Estate, readyspaces launched its operations by offering local and international business clients a flexible and instant solution to setting up a physical business in the Cayman Islands.

“The demand for flexible and sophisticated offices space was there last year,” says Jennifer Ebanks, senior manager of business development for Dart. “We anticipate an even greater demand now, particularly from local firms in need of satellite offices and from small Grand Cayman operations seeking a safe and affordable workplace for their employees.”

Photo: Jennifer Ebanks

Readyspaces is an ideal solution for these needs, with efficient offices perfect for professional clients requiring a physical presence in the Cayman Islands, global firms entering the Cayman market with a smaller footprint, and local entrepreneurs looking for flexible, modern office space. “With amenities that you would expect from a larger office included in the cost, such as Wi-Fi, furniture, local phone calls, tea, coffee, water, and even public liability insurance, readyspaces are truly turnkey,” Ebanks adds.

Flex-amenities and workspace agility

The readyspaces website, a bright and modern digital presence that mirrors the fresh sophistication of its physical space, proclaims an alluring list of features that include flexible leasing terms, e-booking, e-billing and move-in-ready private offices.

Located in Regatta Office Park, adjacent to the North Sound Golf Club, readyspaces also offers 24/7 security, high-speed Wi-Fi, a fully-equipped kitchen (with fresh coffee readily available), ample parking and bookable meeting rooms wired with modern technology options.

“This brand of new office space is the epitome of agility and flexibility,” says Ebanks. “And the affordable pricing is the icing on the cake.”

Employee safety and wellbeing

“Readyspaces already has an optimal layout to promote workplace safety and wellbeing,” says Ebanks. “The interiors are not only beautifully designed, they’re also laid out so that each tenant has access to their own private office and the ample common areas provide peace of mind when it comes to social distancing.”

The rotating readyspaces staff members, tasked with everything from managing client needs to keeping that pot of coffee fresh at all times, maintain a friendly distance and supervise a rigorous, daily cleaning schedule.

“Every surface in all common areas is sanitised to perfection every single day,” says Crystal Silburn, readyspaces manager and administrator . “I’m a clean freak and I can attest to the cleanliness of our office environment.”

Silburn explains that cleaning services are available to all tenants and that each private office goes through a deep-cleaning process between tenants.

The office of the future

“We are able to offer the perfect office space for a business of any size, thanks to the diversity that readyspaces adds to our portfolio,” said Ebanks, referring to other commercial properties in George Town and Camana Bay that Dart Real Estate offers for lease. “readyspaces is the modern ‘office of tomorrow’ for businesses and entrepreneurs in the Cayman Islands.”

What was once an elusive concept of total flexibility brimming with cool and sophisticated amenities is now a reality that can be found nestled within a lushly landscaped gardens across the street from the white sands of the Caribbean Sea. With high-tech options, clean design, stylish furniture, and affordable leases that expire on demand, readyspaces is ahead of the commercial real estate curve and leading the pack when it comes to buzzwords.

About the author

Andrea Lumsden has worked with Dart since 2013 and has been writing professionally since 2003. Graduating from University of Central Florida with a BA in Communication, Andrea has worked with clients across a range of industries, including financial services and real estate. Raised in Cayman by Costa Rican and American parents, she’s a New Yorker at heart who enjoys reading and travelling with her husband and three children.

Economic substance – how can Dart Real Estate help?

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The Cayman Islands’ economic substance laws (ES Law) were introduced at the end of 2019 in response to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting, and since then law firms and other professional service providers have been assessing what these changes mean and how to be in compliance.

An inevitable result of this global impetus for economic substance in the Cayman Islands has been that businesses have turned to local service providers to deliver turnkey solutions to meet compliance requirements. The focus has been on solutions that allow business to continue to take advantage of the benefits of a Cayman Islands registered company, while fulfilling economic substance requirements in their jurisdiction of choice.

The ES Law in the Cayman Islands requires a “relevant entity” conducting “relevant activity” to prove economic substance in Cayman. The types of businesses that fall under a “relevant activity” include banking business, distribution and service centre business, financing and leasing business, fund management, headquarters or holding company business, insurance business, intellectual property business, and shipping business. A relevant entity that conducts one of these relevant activities has to satisfy the economic substance test in relation to each activity to comply with the law.

If you need assistance in this area, KPMG recently launched the KPMG Economic Substance Tool, a dynamic tool developed to assist with “in dealing with this complicated area of compliance.”

In terms of what is classified as a “relevant entity,” we leave that to the lawyers, but there are Cayman Islands incorporated companies, limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships and registered foreign companies that will fall into this category.

The ‘economic substance test’ determines that a “relevant entity” carrying out “relevant activity” must satisfy the test in order to be compliant with the ES Law. One of those tests relates to the fact that they must have “an adequate physical presence (including maintaining a place of business, or plant, property and equipment) in the Cayman Islands; and has an adequate number of full-time employees or other personnel with appropriate qualifications in the Cayman Islands.”

And this is where Dart Real Estate can help. Dart Real Estate is the largest property developer in the Cayman Islands and manages over 800,000 square feet of Class-A and Class-B office, retail, and commercial space in strategic business locations. These commercial spaces are located in premier locations on Grand Cayman and provide the “place of business” address for companies that must meet the economic substance test.

These new requirements have prompted demand for turnkey, flexible space. In response, Dart Real Estate launched readyspaces. This new concept on Grand Cayman delivers a turnkey option for international businesses to establish a presence, where a fully fitted space eliminates the necessity of setting up a professional environment in Cayman from scratch.

Readyspaces offers commercial office space at Grand Cayman’s Regatta Office Park. It provides a professional working environment for a variety of businesses and individuals on month-to-month terms. Regardless of each venture’s unique nature, readyspaces is equipped with a complete range of business essentials, including high-speed WiFi, a full-time receptionist, access to shared copier and printing facilities, shared kitchens and washrooms, access to high-tech meeting rooms, free and ample parking, a back-up generator, and secure 24/7 access. Premium units have a more open floor plan and space for internal or client meetings are also available.

All readyspaces units are fully furnished, modern and sophisticated. The functional, private units have fast become a vibrant environment with a buzz of business activity, making both independent work and collaboration easier. A convenient online management system makes it simple and straightforward to be a part of this business complex.

Dart Real Estate’s portfolio also includes Grand Cayman’s premium office space at Camana Bay, offering a prestigious business address for both local and international business. Camana Bay also offers a cutting-edge data centre, on-site physical security, environmental controls, and power protection. The Camana Bay Town Centre is one of the most technologically advanced and physically secure of its kind in the Caribbean and with a superior communications infrastructure is particularly well suited to the demands of international banking, financial services, legal, insurance and accounting businesses.

For organisations relocating employees to Grand Cayman to work in these offices, Dart Real Estate can also assist by locating properties for sale via Provenance Properties, the official Christie’s International Real Estate affiliate in the Cayman Islands. This seamless approach to assisting clients seeking a place to live and a place to work makes the process efficient and timely for businesses meeting the economic substance test.

Dart Real Estate has developed more than US$1.5 billion in mixed-use, residential, commercial, recreational, educational, and hospitality throughout the Cayman Islands and has committed to an additional US$1.5 billion investment in the next decade.

To find out more about how we can assist, contact our VP of Real Estate Sales and Marketing, Sue Nickason, on +1.345.325.8341.

Watch This Space: 62 Forum Lane, Camana Bay – Unit 6102, First Floor

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Are you part of a smaller team looking to join the growing and vibrant business community at Camana Bay? Available for immediate occupancy, this 454-square-foot, first-floor space is ideal for a compact office of three to five members with reconfiguration possible to accommodate specific needs.

This bright, modern office has garden views and is located within close proximity to Camana Bay’s Town Centre. Some of the many benefits of relocating your business to Camana Bay include on-site property management, a back-up power generator, and on-site security with key fob access.

This type of space does not come available often within Camana Bay; inclusive of utilities, excluding tenant internet and telecoms, this unit is truly turnkey. Situated amongst a diverse mix of businesses, this location offers a dynamic work environment and endless opportunities for networking.

To view a 3D tour of Unit 6102 click here, or contact our leasing team here to schedule a viewing today!

To learn more about other available Grand Cayman Class-A and Class-B commercial real estate located along the Seven Mile Beach corridor and in Grand Cayman’s capital of George Town, click here.


A new partner for Mourant

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Sara Galletly

Offshore law firm Mourant recently appointed five new partners, including one for its Cayman Islands office.

The appointments bring the number of partners in Mourant, which also has offices in London, Hong Kong, BVI, Guernsey and Jersey, to 64. The appointment of Sara Galletly brings the number of partners in the Cayman Islands office to 12.

Galletly, who joined Mourant in April 2016, is part of the specialist financial services regulatory team and has significant experience in both Cayman Islands and BVI regulatory matters. These matters include anti-money laundering, beneficial ownership, economic substance, regulation of Cayman funds and other vehicles, data protection and other evolving regulatory regimes, as well as licensing applications, inspections and enforcement matters.

Prior to specialising in regulatory law, Sara’s offshore practice focused on investment funds, as well as general corporate law and structured finance transactions.

Cayman Islands Office Managing Partner Hayden Isbister said Galletly is a valued member of the firm’s Cayman team.

“She’s one of three financial services regulatory lawyers promoted to partner this year,” he said. “We’re building our leadership capability in this area, in response to increased demand from our clients for regulatory services in all our locations, especially the Cayman Islands.”

Galletly wasn’t the only woman promoted to partner; Amy Demetriou and Sarah Huelin in the Jersey office were also appointed partners. Although the industry average for the number of women partners of law firms is 18% to 20% according to a 2019 PwC survey, 27% of Mourant’s partners are women, a testament to the firm’s stated inclusion strategy.

This story will appear in April 2020’s print edition of Camana Bay Times with the headline “A new partner for Mourant.”

A butcher shop and more: Carnivore opens in Camana Bay

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The Carnivore team, shown here on its opening night on 5 February, includes, from left, executive chef and partner, Dylan Benoit; partner Alberto Beraha; partner Mike Stroh; partner Kris Bergstrom; and operations manager and partner Eric Schwandt. Photo: Alan Markoff

By Alan Markoff

All that is missing in Camana Bay from the roster of the old nursery rhyme is the candlestick maker, now that the butcher has joined the baker, Petit Paris, on Market Street.

Carnivore Premium Meats, which opened last month, features more than just a butcher shop though, says executive chef and partner Dylan Benoit.

“It’s definitely a butcher shop, but then some,” he says, noting that Carnivore also sells sandwiches, pre-cooked meats, seasonings and even edible candles.

As its name suggests, Carnivore’s main offerings revolve around meat. Its selection includes lamb, pork, local free-range organic chicken, bison, venison, elk and of course, beef. Much of its beef is grass-fed Angus beef from the United States-based Joyce Farms, a company that not only never uses pesticides, animal by-products, hormones, growth stimulators or antibiotics, but that also practises regenerative agriculture methods.

“Grass-fed beef tends to be much more lean than traditional beef and the fat can have a slightly yellow colour,” says Benoit. “Our Joyce Farms beef is exceptionally well marbled and has a great flavour that isn’t as strong and ‘earthy’ as most other grass-fed beef on the market.”

In addition to bringing in American Waygu beef, Carnivore is also bringing in authentic Japanese Waygu beef.

“Eating Japanese Waygu is a completely different experience,” says Benoit. “It’s rich and buttery, but doesn’t taste greasy. It actually feels light in the mouth and has a different flavour.”
Japanese Waygu doesn’t come cheap — it’s priced at CI$10 per ounce at Carnivore.

“I think it’s something every meat lover should try once…” he says, adding with a smile after a pause, “a month.”

Carnivore offers all the basic cuts of meat as well as some gourmet cuts like tomahawk steaks. Special cuts can also be ordered in advance and if they are not immediately available, it can ordered for arrival within a week at the most.

“Our meats are flown in twice a week,” Benoit said. “Everything comes in fresh — not frozen — except for the Waygu hot dogs and the kosher meats.
Another important offering from Carnivore is dry-aged beef. The dry ageing, which gives beef a unique, nutty flavour, is done in Carnivore’s temperature-controlled ageing cellar.

Charcuterie, sausages and cooked meats
Not all of Carnivore’s meats are sold uncooked. It also serves a selection of charcuterie and pre-cooked meats like braised lamb shanks, venison osso bucco, bison back ribs, duck confit and various cuts of meat prepared in a sous vide. These meats are sold in vacuum-sealed wrapping and just need heating using a variety of methods.

“You just put the lamb shanks in hot water and while that is heating up, you can make your side dishes,” says Benoit.

The charcuterie is made in-house by Benoit.

Carnivore also makes its own sausages including bratwurst, bangers, chorizo and jerk pork sausages.

Spices, stocks and fats
There’s also a wide selection of products that will make cooking at home easier — and more delicious — for sale at Carnivore. Various meat stocks, tallow, duck fat and speciality mustard are all available in the display refrigerator.

Edible candles, made with beef fat and good for dipping with bread, are also available.

Look and feel
Carnivore features a modern look, which was helped by the fact that one of its partners is Mike Stroh, an architect who is also a partner of Trio Architecture in Camana Bay. Stroh provided the architectural design for the space while his colleague, Carolina Hane, was the interior designer.

Stroh said the design was inspired by the modernism of today’s world.

“We kept the design clean and simple to really showcase the main attraction at Carnivore: the meat!” he says. “The lighting we used throughout really helps define the different areas within the space. We added wall planters made out of milk jugs filled with fresh herbs to contrast the hard surfaces of concrete, porcelain and wood, making Carnivore a modern, yet warm, place to shop and get together.”

The Carnivore team brings together five people with different backgrounds and expertise. Stroh explains how it all came together.

“A few weeks after Alberto Beraha returned to Cayman from living abroad, he came to me with an idea: to create a high-end butcher shop on island,” he said. “Without discussing it much, I immediately thought that my friend Dylan Benoit had to be the ‘magician’ who could put the whole thing together. Within a few hours, the three of us were in my office going through an explosion of ideas and dreams.”

Carnivore then brought in Operations Manager Eric Schwandt, who had previously served as the manager of West Indies Wine Company, and a strategic partner, Kris Bergstrom, Stroh says.
“After one and a half years of hard work, dedication, discipline and imagination, those ideas and dreams became a reality.”

This article originally appeared in the March 2020 print edition of Camana Bay Times with the headline “A butcher shop and more.”

About the author

Alan Markoff has worked with Dart as the editor for Camana Bay Times for three years and has been writing professionally since 1997. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Alan graduated from the State University of New York at Albany with a degree in English, and first moved to the Cayman Islands in 1982. He has 16 years of experience in the real estate industry and previously worked as a journalist for Cayman Compass before joining Dart to relaunch the Camana Bay Times monthly newspaper. An avid baseball fan, Alan loves travelling but also schedules trips back home around catching a summer game or two with his home team, Cleveland Indians.

Addressing gender bias in the workplace at the Cayman Islands Institute of Professional Accountants summit

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Yasmine El-Ramly during her presentation at the Cayman Islands Institute of Professional Accountants summit in November, 2019.

By Anna Wootton

Despite progress in the equitable employment of women, unconscious gender bias is still preventing them from earning as much or reaching the same career heights as men.

During the two-day annual summit presented by the Cayman Islands Institute of Professional Accountants on 25-26 November, Yasmine El-Ramly, a senior manager with the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, spoke about the impact of unconscious bias on women in the workplace. She began her presentation with some eye-opening statistics: While women represent 44.7 per cent of the workforce, they represent just 26.5 per cent of executive or senior-level managers, 11 per cent of top earners and just 4.8 per cent of CEOs.

The field of accounting shows similar gender bias. Although the percentage of women entering the field of accounting has increased significantly over the past 40 years, the percentage of women becoming partners in firms hasn’t kept pace. This gap reflects the fact that women are entering the accounting workforce, but they are either not staying or not being promoted.

“This is why organisations need to be intentional about advancing women,” El-Ramly said.

Unconscious biases 
To demonstrate how people develop unconscious biases, she projected a number of faces — which ranged in age, gender, ethnicity and style — and then asked attendees to partner up and discuss which face they would most prefer to be stuck with on a trapped elevator. Answers ranged from choosing someone based on their friendly smile, choosing an older companion because they looked maternal and choosing others because they looked “fun,” “creative” or “efficient.”

El-Ramly noted that unconscious biases are an “inescapable human condition [to which] no one is immune,” adding that after a fifth encounter with someone, the brain becomes lazy and writes a script for what it believes it knows — thus developing unconscious biases.
Some common unconscious biases include:

  • Confirmation bias — having a preconceived judgment about a group of people or place, and looking for evidence to confirm this judgment
  • Affinity bias — having a connection or preference for someone due to familiarity or personality similarities
  • Observation bias  the tendency to see what we expect to see
  • Conformity bias — behaving similarly to others in a group, even if doing so goes against your own judgment
  • Halo effect bias — the transference of one good deed or act onto a person’s entire personality
  • Horn effect bias — the transference of one negative deed or act onto a person’s entire personality

El-Ramly theorised that one reason women are remaining in the minority when it comes to leadership positions is because of affinity bias, which causes inherent preference for someone else due to familiarity or personality similarities. This is just one reason why the onus is on companies to recognise workplace bias, El-Ramly said, noting that there are several channels through which bias needs to be monitored. These channels include marketing and communications, recruitment and advancement, job placements and assignments, benefits, and company policies, among others.

Although companies should step up their ownership of perpetuating historic patterns that do not serve or support diversity in the workplace, El-Ramly said it is also important that individuals become more aware of their biases.

“Recognise, reflect and respond,” she said, giving a three-step approach to awareness, noting that perception is reality and to change reality, people must change their perceptions.

“Individuals who are looking to advance in an organisation should have a sponsor, or someone within the organisation, who can help them become more visible and advocate on their behalf when or as needed,” El-Ramly suggested. “Sponsors spend political capital as necessary for the advancement or access to opportunities that will benefit their protégés.”

El-Ramly believes the answer begins with an inclusive and coaching culture.

“It is the foundation that is needed to groom talent and build successful firm-wide initiatives such as mentoring and modified work arrangements that will engage talent and keep the best and brightest in our organisations and professions.”

This article originally appeared in the January 2020 print edition of Camana Bay Times with the headline “Addressing Gender Bias in the Workplace.”

About the Author
Anna Wootton is the Digital Marketing & PR Manager for Dart’s real estate companies and assets, including Dart Real Estate, Provenance Properties, Camana Bay and The Residences at Seafire. Born in the Cayman Islands, with British heritage and a Canadian passport, Anna is multinational with a Caymankind heart. Anna has a background in journalism and a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from University of British Columbia. She has worked in Camana Bay for the past six years and can be found at an afternoon Ryde class or getting her paint on at 3 Girls & A Kiln.


Offshore law firm Mourant welcomes two new Articled Clerks

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Rejonté Rivers, left, and David Ramsaran recently joined Mourant as articled clerks in the firm’s Cayman Islands corporate practice.

Two Caymanians recently joined the offshore law firm Mourant as articled clerks.

The addition of David Ramsaran and Rejonté Rivers, who will both work in Mourant’s corporate department, brings the number of employees at the firm’s offices in Camana Bay to 90.

Ramsaran, the 2018 Chantal Whittaker Memorial Scholarship recipient, recently completed his legal practice course at the University of Law in London. Prior to that, he graduated with first-class honours in law from Oxford Brookes University. He is no stranger to Mourant’s offices, having completed four consecutive summer internships with the firm.

“I have really enjoyed working at Mourant during previous summer internships and I’m very grateful for their support during my studies,” he said. “I look forward to developing as a lawyer with the incredible Mourant team.”

Rivers originally joined Mourant’s corporate services arm in January 2015 as a corporate administrator. She progressed to senior corporate administrator and then to client services manager on the governance team, while simultaneously working toward a graduate diploma in law at BPP University. Upon completion of that diploma in July 2018, she continued her studies and successfully finished the professional practice course at the Truman Bodden Law School in July 2019. While completing that course, Rivers transferred to the law firm as a paralegal in October 2018.

“It has been a challenging and exciting three years of pursuing my legal education and working hard in my various roles,” Rivers said. “I have grown and developed so much thanks to the opportunities and support from Mourant since joining the firm almost five years ago.”

Hayden Isbister, managing partner of the Cayman Islands office, welcomed the two new articled clerks to the firm.

“We’re committed to nurturing and developing our people to be the best they can be and pleased to have previously supported them both on our student programmes,” he said. “I look forward to seeing David and Rejonté continue to grow their careers in the firm and wish them every success in their new roles.”

This article originally appeared in the November 2019 print edition of Camana Bay Times with the headline “Mourant welcomes two new Articled Clerks.”