Hedge fund firm seeks to block Cayman Islands transparency reforms


GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands — One of the largest hedge fund services firms in the Cayman Islands is attempting to block reforms that would make the world’s principal offshore location for hedge funds more transparent.

DMS Management, a provider of hedge fund management and fiduciary services, including the provision of so called independent directors for Cayman registered funds, has filed a law suit against the local financial services regulator, the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA), seeking to prevent the agency from moving forward with a number of proposed transparency and corporate governance reforms.

DMS said in a statement that the move to enjoin CIMA was necessary in order to avoid “poor predetermined outcomes deriving from CIMA’s arbitrary and exclusionary consultation process”.

“Bad facts make bad law,” the company said.
Calls for a reform of Cayman hedge fund directorship rules in particular have increased in the wake of the global financial crisis, which highlighted poor oversight on the part of offshore fund directors, some of whom sit on the board of hundreds of hedge funds.

Don Seymour, founder of DMS, said that while he believed in reform of some Cayman corporate governance practices, CIMA’s plans to focus on the number of directorships were misguided and it should instead focus on reforms such as directors’ past track records and potential conflicts of interest.

According to Seymour, who attends as many as 500 board meetings a year, the proposed reforms would not have prevented some of the islands’ biggest hedge fund disasters from occurring.

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