The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) became an ordinary (full) member of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) at the 34th annual conference held in Tel Aviv, Israel on 10 June 2009. The granting of membership came on the heels of the signing of a Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MMOU) that commits CIMA to co-operation and exchange of information with international regulators. IOSCO is the organisation that has largely set the international standards and practices for securities regulation and has as a key objective “to reduce global systemic risk, protect investors and ensure fair and efficient securities markets”.  

CIMA’s acceptance into this group has been longawaited. As a regulator of the highest international standards, it has, for a number of years, been pursuing this recognition by IOSCO based on a “level playing field” and has been actively represented on the IOSCO committee looking at this issue.  

This membership is important to Cayman’s financial services industry as it opens doors to some international markets that were previously closed to direct investment by Cayman funds. For example, it is expected that Cayman funds which invest in India should now have the option of being registered as a foreign institutional investor (‘FII”) with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”) rather than investing through intermediary funds based in another jurisdiction or through participatory notes issued by other FIIs.