Cayman National is the largest financial services provider based in the Cayman Islands providing full business and personal banking services, trust and corporate services, fund administration, wealth management, and insurance brokerage from its headquarters in the Cayman Islands and from Isle of Man and with representative offices in Dubai and Panama.
Cayman National’s shares are publicly listed and traded on the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange (CSX: CNC-KY). No single or closely associated group of interests may hold more than 10% of the company’s shares, and the majority of the Board of Directors are Caymanians.
All of its business continues to thrive, even in the extremely difficult recent economic conditions, due significantly to conservative investment and measured growth strategies. For example, Cayman National had no direct investment in sub-prime debt or carried sub-prime loans which caused significant losses to so many other financial institutions around the world. Such conservative strategies will also position the Cayman National business for future growth as the opportunities develop.
Cayman National Bank
Cayman National Bank was formed in 1974 (then known as Cayman National Bank and Trust Co Limited), initially born out of a need for a local banking entity to serve the needs of the local population. Since those early beginnings the Bank has grown from strength to strength over the past 35 years, weathering the 2004 Hurricane Ivan extremely well, and recognised as ‘Bank of the Year’ for the Cayman Islands by the prestigious Banker Magazine in both 2005 and 2008.
Cayman National Bank’s headquarters is located at its purpose-built facility at Elgin Avenue, and has the largest branch network throughout all three of the Cayman Islands. (Centennial Towers in West Bay, Buckingham Square on West Bay Road, Edward Street in George Town, the Countryside Shopping Village at Savannah and at Camana Bay, as well as branches on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman). The Bank is open six days a week (at its Centennial Towers, Countryside Shopping Village and Edward Street locations; other branches open the traditional five days), and offers full banking services, including credit and debit card facilities, chequing and saving accounts, mortgages and other lending, money transfers, foreign exchange transactions and traveller’s cheques. The Bank has the largest network of ATM machines on the Islands, with 17 ATMs on Grand Cayman and one on Cayman Brac. Cayman National Bank’s internet banking facility is widely used and will soon be significantly upgraded for both personal and business users.
The opening of a Cayman National branch in Camana Bay, Cayman’s new town that is taking shape at a rapid pace, has been a milestone for the organisation. We are the exclusive retail financial services provider for Camana Bay in its first phase. This has been a significant strategic move for us because the Camana Bay project is set to grow tremendously in the coming months, which in turn will be an important business driver for us.
Ormond Williams, President of Cayman National Bank, said: “We are proud to be the Cayman Islands’ community bank with a clear strategy of making a meaningful and significant contribution to the socio-economic development of these islands. However, the depth in our business also allows us to meet the needs of international clients directly or through the services provided by our sister companies.”
Plans are also underway to expand the West Bay Customer Service Centre as the Bank has outgrown its existing space.
Spreading its global wings
Although the Bank has grown at a measured pace within the Cayman Islands, Cayman National has also created a significant presence in a number of international locations as well. Expanding the geographic reach for the organisation has been an extremely important part of the overall growth plan for the organisation. As such, Cayman National has opened representative offices in Panama and Dubai, and is working to open a subsidiary bank in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Panama is an obvious choice, with its unique position at the gateway of Latin America. Carlos Guzman, Senior Vice President, heads up Cayman National Panama operation. He says the positioning of a physical presence for Cayman National in such a crucial location enables them to be closer to their clients. This is not a small point to overlook, as Cayman National has taken care to understand the specific characteristics of their clients and provide them with a service that they will appreciate.
Mr. Guzman explains, “Even with emails or phone, in the Latin American culture a person to person meeting is critical, especially when the meeting is about the protection of the family wealth.”
Dubai is also a logical move. Dubai is currently taking a key role in the Middle East. It has quickly become an international hub for travelers to and from the Middle East/Asia and Europe and is an important area of focus for us as far as our customer base is concerned. Our business stream is growing, and with Naiem Qadir (who moved from head of Cayman National Securities to lead the Dubai operation) now in place, we look forward to continued growth.
Broad range of international services on offer
The International Financial Services division of Cayman National is headed by its President, Ian Phillips, who has been at the helm since 2005.
The IFS division is further split into three separate entities: trust and corporate services under Cayman National Trust Co. Ltd, mutual fund administration operating under Cayman National Fund Services Ltd, and brokerage and investment management, which function under Cayman National Securities Ltd.
Mr. Phillips says each of these three operations complement each other, and confirms, “In essence we ensured that each area had clear and defined roles, while still working collectively under the umbrella of International Financial Services to offer clients an all-round service.”
Given the growth of the Fund Administration services, this part of the business within IFS was spun off into a separate company on 1 October, 2008. Under the leadership of Christopher Lumsden, this area is the fastest growing business within the group even after the recent financial markets meltdown.
The target of the trust and company has shifted over the years and focuses on servicing the needs of high net worth individuals, families, and institutional business. Cayman National Trust has improved its systems and geared itself to provide value-added, timely, and expert service to demanding clients.
Cayman National Securities has also invested substantially in new systems and resources as part of its transformation into providing more value-added services. In addition, Cayman National expects to launch shortly the Cayman National ‘Family of Funds’ to provide investment solutions to clients.
A foothold in Europe
Cayman National’s Isle of Man operations have been established since 1985. Two companies provide services: Cayman National Bank & Trust Company (Isle of Man) Ltd and Cayman National Fund Services (Isle of Man) Ltd With a team of around twenty staff members, the two companies give Cayman National a firm foothold into the European time zone and therefore offering a gateway for servicing European clients.
Ian Bancroft heads up the Isle of Man operations as its Managing Director and says business is strong. For example, the Isle of Man office has a new aircraft registry service, as well as offering families varying packages to suit their needs and budget, when it comes to trust administration.
Mr. Bancroft confirms, “This type of product offering plays to our strengths of wealth management and investment advice, particularly when it comes to a multi-jurisdictional perspective.”
Implementing a series of upgrades at this location (such as new spacious premises), Mr. Bancroft says he has seen tremendous enhancement of its service to its clients. He says they are currently implementing new business development strategies that will take product and service offerings to an even higher level.
Ensuring customers are covered
The partnership between Aon and Cayman National began in November 2006, creating Aon Cayman National Insurance Brokers Ltd, a centre for both institutional and private clients to seek the best deals for all their insurance needs.
Managing Director, Peter Popo says that the fundamental purpose of his organisation is to work on behalf of their clients, acting independently, shopping the market to find the best insurance products available in the Cayman Islands.
Customers benefit from Aon Cayman National’s wealth of knowledge when it comes to the insurance packages offered in the Cayman Islands. Although it may take a person many phone calls before he or she has found the right insurance, Aon Cayman National can speed up the process considerably – and at competitive rates – because they are already extremely familiar with what is currently available.
“We know the restrictions and the benefits to each policy, and share that information with clients” he confirms.
Servicing both their individual as well as corporate clients with the same measure of commitment, Mr. Popo says Aon Cayman National is also an advocate for clients during claims filing, in keeping with the Cayman National philosophy as a whole of creating a service for the people of the Cayman Islands. The firm assists clients with the proper completion of claims form and work to ensure a fair and timely response by the insurance company.
Cayman National’s holistic approach to the financial services needs of its clients, its steady, measured yet innovative approach to growth, and its commitment to service excellence has meant this Cayman Islands icon has built a strong foundation to weather the current financial crisis and will continue to grow and prosper in the years to come, both locally and internationally.