The Cayman Islands are a British Overseas Territory in the western Caribbean Sea. The 264 sq km territory comprises the three islands of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, located south of Cuba and northwest of Jamaica. The Cayman Islands are considered to be part of the geographic Western Caribbean Zone as well as the Greater Antilles. The territory is one of the more sophisticated offshore centres with an emphasis on hedge funds (where it is the market leader)
The Cayman Islands are a major international financial centre. The largest sectors are banking, hedge fund formation and investment, structured finance and securitisation, captive insurance, and general corporate activities. Regulation and supervision of the financial services industry is the responsibility of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA).
Since the introduction of the Mutual Funds Law in 1993, which has been copied by jurisdictions around the world, the Cayman Islands have grown to be the world’s leading offshore hedge fund jurisdiction. As of 2016 there were 11000 hedge fund registrations. To put this in perspective the next biggest is the BVI at about 2100 and Ireland at several hundred.
The Cayman Islands goes hand in hand with sophistication which is borne out by the presence of all of the major offshore law firms banks and accounting firms. The Cayman Island company also often serves as a vehicle for listing and is well represented on the list of companies listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.