Offshore lawyer to head regulatory board

| 29/07/2015 | 2 Comments
CNS Business

Grant Stein, CIMA chair

(CNS Business): The former managing partner at Walkers, Grant Stein  is the new chair of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority. Stein replaces George McCarthy, the former chief secretary, at the regulator, which oversees the islands’ offshore sector. Financial Services Minister Wayne Panton confirmed Tuesday that Stein and several other new faces were appointed because existing members reached the end of their tenure and not as a result of any shake-up at the authority.

Panton said the appointment of new people and re-appointment of some members was a legal requirement.

“Five appointments expired on 20 July 2015 and the sixth appointment expired (Tuesday) on 28 July. In accordance with the Monetary Authority Law (2013 Revision), these appointments must be filled, as the board is responsible for CIMA’s governance, policy and performance, as well as the general conduct of its affairs and business,” he explained.

The minister denied that the membership changes had anything to do with a review triggered by the authority in the wake of charges against former Cayman banker Jeffrey Webb, who is embroiled in the FIFA corruption scandal. The massive US justice department’s racketing case relating to football’s global association cited a number of Cayman based financial institutions, and although none of them have yet been accused directly of wrongdoing, questions have been raised about possible money laundering.

In his position as chair of the board, McCarthy had set up a CIMA review team to focus on the implications of the Cayman connection to the investigation.

But with CIMA’s managing director, Cindy Scotland, married to Mark Scotland, one of the Cayman Islands Football Association’s executives who worked closely with Webb, the former CIFA president, and several other  senior employees at the authority having direct or indirect links to him, the management team was required to distance itself from the matter to avoid any possible conflict.

Once the review of Cayman’s possible financial connections to the scandal are assessed, a report is expected to go before the board but officials have not yet confirmed in the three-man team, which included the head of banking Charles Ilako, the compliance boss RJ Berry and deputy general counsel Andre Mon Desir, have finished the review.

Following media reports on Tuesday, which Panton said implied the changes at CIMA were as a result of the review and possible links to the FIFA scandal, he was adamant that there was no shakeup. The minister said the new appointments were purely due to the end of tenures and a legal obligation to ensure the board was complete as quickly as possible.

“Any suggestion that the changes are a result of anything else is unfortunate and completely inaccurate,” added Panton, a former offshore lawyer.

In addition to Stein, new faces on the board directors include Patricia Estwick, Brian Murphy and Gus Pope. While most of the board positions have been filled, there still are some vacancies. Minister Panton said that further appointments for a full complement of CIMA board members will be announced in due course.

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Category: Finance, Financial Services

Comments (2)

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  1. New Vintage says:

    Not altogether silly. Truth be told it’s purpose has always had rather more to do with fee collection than prudential regulation.

    We’ll see how it does under an amateur vintner.

  2. Anonymous says:

    “Any suggestion that the changes are a result of anything else is unfortunate and completely inaccurate,” added Panton

    Just like Fidelity shutting down the Western Union in the midst of a review of their compliance procedures by Deloitte – again completely inaccurate I’m sure

    Just incredible coincidences

    CIMA is and always has been incompetent. Those who’ve been regulated by it have been aware of this for years, but now its clearly demonstrable for all to see – the management at CIMA has been called upon to deal with 2 situations in the last 6 months (Caledonian and Fidelity/FIFA/Scotland/Webb) and they have miserably failed the regulated entities, clients and the jurisdiction on both occaisons

    Just my dispassionate thoughts…

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