November 26, 2020

The Editor Speaks: The devil you know or the one you don’t

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David Marchant’s OffshoreAlert is the unofficial eye on the offshore financial industry and its very name can strike like a lightning bolt into an offshore finance manager’s heart. It concentrates in writing about multi-jurisdictional, white-collar crime that includes money laundering, investment fraud, insider trading and market manipulation, corruption and bribery and organised crime.

On Sunday, April 29 the 10th Annual OffshoreAlert conference takes place at the Ritz-Carlton Miami Beach, Florida, USA and runs until May 1st. The price of the pre-sale ticket was a mere US$1,195 (but that’s already sold out) whilst the standard conference ticket is only US $1,495. For that ‘bargain’ price you actually get FREE (note the caps) admission to “all of the Networking Events including two 2-hour Cocktail Receptions; continental breakfasts, luncheons and breaks on days when the conference is in session and certificate of attendance.”

Among the fifteen sponsors is our very own Cayman National Bank and the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Most of the sponsors are law firms including one that represents ‘whistleblowers’.

OffshoreAlert asked for representatives to speak and/or be on the panels at their conference from Cayman but only the judiciary responded. Justice Charles Quin agreed to attend the conference and talk about some of the key decisions handed down by the courts this year and their impact on the industry. He joins Ian Kawaley of the Bermuda Supreme Court and Edward Bannister of the British Virgin Islands High Court on the panel chaired by cross-border fraud and asset recovery attorney, Martin Kenney.

According to Mr. Marchant the Cayman Islands sends more attendees to the conference than any other jurisdiction excepting the USA. He said, “They do an excellent job of showcasing the jurisdiction’s many positive attributes.”

It is astonishing then that not only is no one from Cayman Finance going to speak at the conference, but Mr. Marchant never even received a reply nor an acknowledgement to his request. He had asked Cayman Finance Chairman, Richard Coles, last July to contribute agenda ideas and suggestions for the event.

Cayman Finance is always complaining about the news articles by foreign journalist saying they are “uninformed.” Here was the perfect platform to state their case in hailing the many positive attributes the Cayman Islands has but they let the opportunity pass them by. Worse still they showed rudeness and utter disdain by not even sending a polite ‘no’.

The days of ignoring the ‘devil’  – if that is what they consider OffshoreAlert is – is akin to burying your head in the sand. Especially as that ‘devil’ includes The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Bloomberg and Reuters. Do you think our snub is going to go un-noticed? It is not as if Mr. Coles was not given an advance notice.

It is ALWAYS best to meet the devil, try to understand him, know him, make your case, and put him on the defense. If you aren’t there at his own event and you are invited, he will run you over.

 

 

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