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Dart Real Estate shares key takeaways from trio of Elite Financial Conferences held in the Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands continued to strengthen its position as a financial services leader and one of the world’s top financial centres with three noteworthy and well-attended industry conferences in February: STEP 2019, CAIS19, and Royal Fidelity CEO.

“These conferences collectively drew over 300 international speakers and delegates to the Cayman Islands. The gathering of so many of the world’s top financial services professionals in our small country is extraordinary,” said Chris Duggan, Director of CAIS and VP of Business Development for Dart Real Estate. “Each of these conferences provided a platform for candid conversations and mind-blowing talks on a broad range of interesting and relevant topics – it was a truly enriching experience for those attending any of these three events.”

STEP 2019: International Wealth Structuring Forum
STEP Cayman Islands, the local chapter of Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, focused on wealth structuring and issues affecting the trust industry at their annual conference held on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 at Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa. Over 40 local and international speakers and trust experts, including keynote speakers the Honourable Grand Court Justice Ian Kawaley and Independent Advisor to Families USA Mary Duke TEP, presented to 350 attendees. Major conference sponsors included the Cayman Islands Ministry of Financial Services & Home Affairs, Dart Real Estate and Cayman Finance.

“The discussions around legislation, transparency and regulatory guidelines for family offices were timely and informative, especially as we are seeing an increase in interest in Cayman,” said Jackie Doak, President of Business Development for Dart Real Estate. “We also became aware of new trends in the reinsurance industry and how they will encourage more businesses to select the Cayman Islands.”

Doak, who also attended the CAIS19 conference, was delighted to hear from newcomers to the Cayman Islands about their first impressions and overall experience. “Delegates at STEP and CAIS were notably impressed by the excellent quality of just about everything they experienced here,” says Doak. “I met many who noted the sophistication of Grand Cayman’s infrastructure, the level of professionalism exhibited by service providers, the quality and variety of culinary offerings and the luxury real estate available for sale on island.”

CAIS19 Tech-Tonic Shift: Innovation in Alternative Investments 
Academy Award-winning actress Natalie Portman and renowned magician David Blaine added a touch of brilliance and magic to the already exceptional lineup of speakers at this year’s Cayman Alternative Investment Summit, better known as CAIS, held on Feb. 6-8 at Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa.

More than 80 different speakers from around the globe, many of them experts in the fields of investment or technology, gathered at the annual conference—a not-for-profit event hosted by Dart Enterprises and dedicated to supporting financial services both in the Cayman Islands and internationally. Speakers included the best minds from the alternative investment industry such as Ian Bremmer of Eurasia Group, Mark Yusko of Morgan Creek Capital, Daniel D’Aniello of The Carlyle Group, Nancy Davis of Quadratic Capital Management, Scott Kupor of Andreessen Horowitz, Dr. Jianbo Lu of Ford Motor Company, Eileen Murray of Bridgewater Associates, Fahmi Quadir of Safkhet Capital and Bettina Warburg of Animal Ventures.

“Over 400 people gathered to explore an array of topics from blockchain and cryptocurrency to artificial intelligence and alternative data to globalisation and geopolitics,” said Chris Duggan. “We also saw more women take the stage than ever before.” Female speakers included Dr. Beth Healey, who spent a year in Antarctica researching the effects of physical and psychological isolation on a group of people as a precursor to deep space exploration; and Jessica Jackley, co-founder of Kiva, the world’s first peer-to-peer microlending website.

Royal Fidelity CEO 2019 — Dynamic New World: Braving the Turmoil 
At the end of February Royal Fidelity Merchant Bank & Trust Limited hosted the 16th annual 2019 Cayman Economic Outlook, or “RFCEO” Conference, under a theme inspired by the ideas presented in the dystopian novel ‘Brave New World’ by Aldous Huxley. The one-day event explored today’s global economic challenges, technological changes and the five-speaker lineup challenged thoughts and beliefs of the status quo in healthcare, technology and globalisation.

In line with the conference theme, Cayman Islands Premier Alden McLaughlin gave his annual RFCEO address and announced Dart’s proposal to develop an iconic tower that would create a new Grand Cayman skyline that would become recognisable the world over.

“The potential economic benefits are considerable,” said McLaughlin who indicated Dart’s proposal would include another US $1.5 billion in investment to support economic growth in the Cayman Islands. “There is much that is within our grasp if only we are bold and the decisions we make will have profound impact on the long-term economic outlook of these islands.”

Following the Premier’s address, was keynote speaker and economist Noreena Hertz, a regular commentator in publications like The New York Times, The Guardian and The Washington Post, who spoke about forces facing business leaders such as political and technological disruption, biotechnology and current geopolitical risks. Other speakers included Ian Goldin, Founding Director and Professor of Globalization and Development, University of Oxford; Andreas Ekstrom, Digital Revolution Journalist; Jamie Metzl, Biotechnology Futurist; Mark Mathews, Professional Surfer, Red Bull Athlete and a motivational speaker who moved the audience to tears.

“RFCEO is an important event for the Cayman Islands,” says Brett Hill, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Fidelity Bank (Cayman) Limited. “If you’re living or doing business here, this is a relevant business conference that analyses global influences impacting our economy. If you’re considering moving your business to Grand Cayman, conferences of this calibre prove that the jurisdiction is a safe, stable and reputable place to do business.”

Find out about 2020 conference dates as they are announced, or for more information on doing business in the Cayman Islands, visit



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