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Updated by IMS Cayman on Nov 27, 2019
IMS Cayman IMS Cayman
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IMS Service

At IMS, we specialise in managing Cayman hedge funds, incorporation in the Cayman Islands, funds administration, and provide full company management & trust services.




MLRO,DMLRO,AML Compliance Officer Services for Cayman Islands Funds

The Requirement

Following recent amendments to the Cayman Islands Anti-Money Laundering Regulations 2017 and Guidance Notes issued by CIMA pursuant thereto, there is now a requirement for all Cayman domiciled entities carrying out ‘relevant financial business’ (which includes funds) to appoint individual named persons as AML Compliance Officer (“CO”), Money Laundering Reporting Officer (“MLRO”) and Deputy MLRO (“DMLRO”).

A person acting as MLRO / DMLRO must (i) act autonomously; (ii) be independent (have no vested interest in the underlying activity); and (iii) have access to all relevant material in order to make an assessment as to whether an activity is or is not suspicious.

Our Solution

Our professional team at IMS have developed a solution for funds for which we currently provide independent directors.

One of the many benefits of our solution over other potential service providers is that our AML Officers will have face to face access to the director(s) we provide and access to fund documentation to which our directors obtain and review from all service providers to the funds we work with, giving them invaluable knowledge of the fund(s) operations and structures.

We are able to offer a tailored number of appointments (see below) to suit your requirements, and will arrange relevant documentation to effect the appointments.

Combinations of appointments offered

  • CO, MLRO and DMLRO
  • CO & MLRO
  • CO & DMLRO
  • MLRO and DMLRO

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  • IMS Fund Services is a division of IMS, which focuses on the provision of directors and trustees to hedge funds and related entities.  We have over 150 years of collective experience and expertise in the fund industry and provide services to some of the largest global fund organizations.

  • Our Fiduciary Team members are professionally qualified and are recruited from household names in the financial services industry.  IMS is not only independent of the investment manager, but also independent of the administrator and all other service providers to the funds to which we provide directors or trustees.

  • Our model provides inherent capacity constraints limiting the number of director appointments per team member.   We take our role as directors and trustees seriously, thus providing exceptional corporate governance of the highest standard.

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In over 35 years of operation IMS has formed thousands of companies on behalf of its clients. IMS has developed procedures and processes which enable it to arrange the registration of a Cayman company within 48 hours of receiving instructions provided all regulatory and compliance requirements are met.

The three types of most commonly registered companies in Cayman under the Companies Law are the Ordinary Resident Company, Ordinary Non-Resident Company, and the Exempted Company.

1) An ordinary resident company

2) An ordinary non-resident company 

3) A Cayman Islands Exempt Company 

  • An exempted Caymans company does not have to use Ltd or Limited in its name;
  • it may issue bearer shares in addition to registered shares, but they must be held by an authorized depositary;
  • it need not file a list of shareholders annually, and does not even have to keep such a list;
  • it may obtain a Certificate of Tax Exemption (ie against any future Cayman taxation)

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As a service provider licensed to provide full trust and corporate services, whether you are a private individual, an intermediary, a family office or an institutional investor, we can help you realise your objectives in setting up your offshore entity or structure in the Cayman Islands.

Trusts are among the most secure and versatile financial planning vehicles available, and are widely recognised internationally.  Cayman’s trust law allows trust arrangements to be tailored to clients’ specific objectives.

We work closely with all local law firms, and can therefore provide a wide range of trust deeds to suit our clients’ requirements.  These trust deeds can be tailored for individual requirements and IMS are able to make these available to our clients at a competitive cost.

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To complement the provision of registered office services we also offer our clients the full spectrum of company management services. This can play an important role in establishing the ‘mind and management’ of a company in the Cayman Islands. Many clients prefer this service as it allows them to concentrate on the growth aspects of their business whilst IMS takes care of all the administrative requirements. This may include but is not limited to:

  • The provision of Directors
  • Secretarial Services
  • The provision of Nominee Shareholders
  • Preparation of financial accounts and assistance with the audit process if required
  • Introduction and liaison with banking, legal, tax and accounting professional from our vast network of professional contacts

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Wealth Management

Wealth Management
  • As an independent and fully licensed trust and fiduciary service provider in the Cayman Islands, we can work with our clients’ own preferred advisors (tax, legal, financial etc.) when dealing with wealth structuring matters.

  • We have a wealth of experience in establishing offshore structures to individuals, families and blue chip companies alike.  A combination of trusts and private companies continue to be the preferred structure for wealth management purposes worldwide, which can help to ensure privacy and provide efficient asset management and administration.

  • Used correctly, and with appropriate legal and tax advice, trusts (with or without underlying companies) can be extremely robust tools, used not only for securing tax neutrality but also in achieving succession planning  goals (e.g. by avoiding forced heirship rules) whilst creating flexibility for beneficiaries and protection from the unknown, such as political upheaval and reckless or imprudent beneficiaries.

  • Please see our Purpose Trusts page and our Private Trust Companies page for more details regarding the more popular trust tools being utilised of late by our clients.

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Captive Formation

Captive Formation


  • The starting point for forming a captive insurance company involves a feasibility study, analysing the insurance program of the organisation, including status and costs, and ascertaining whether it would be beneficial to instead use a captive structure.

  • We can guide you through the feasibility exercise, the negotiation of fronting and re-insurance arrangements (if appropriate).  We can also prepare the insurance licence application and liaise with and submit the licence application to the insurance division of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA), and thereafter form and manage of the captive structure.

Why IMS?

  • IMS was established in 1974 and has been establishing and managing captive insurers since 1976.  We have built a solid reputation in the captive insurance arena and specialise in medical malpractice (MedMal) captives, but can assist with other industry captives.

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Captive Management

Captive Management

IMS can provide general management services in relation to your Cayman captive insurance company. In particular, we:

  • Provide and maintain the company’s principal and registered office in the Cayman Islands.
  • Assist with board meeting arrangements, including preparation of agendas and board packs.
  • Provide meeting facilities in the Cayman Islands.
  • If required, provide directors and officers to the captive company and attend and vote at board meetings, acting at all times in the best interests of the company (subject to requirements of policy documents etc.).
  • Liaise with and/or appoint underwriters, actuaries, legal and tax advisers as required.

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Our Philosophy

Our Philosophy
  • We were one of the first providers of independent directors in the Cayman Islands and pride ourselves on being one of the premier firms in the space – many other providers of director services have modelled themselves on us.

  • We believe in transparency and integrity – our ultimate goal is to ensure that the funds we provide services to benefit from corporate governance of the highest standard.

  • We believe that the directors of a fund (and indeed our own board of directors) should have relevant experience and expertise, capacity and independence. They should also be accessible to all stakeholders in the funds we serve, including investors, and that our directors’ fiduciary duties are owed to the fund as a whole and that they must therefore act at all times in the best interests of the fund.

  • Our total independence from investment managers, administrators, lawyers and other service providers ensures that we are not conflicted when considering difficult issues facing a fund.

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Virtual Office

Virtual Office

At IMS we recognise that for many clients it is not practical, cost effective or convenient to maintain their own physical office on the Islands. As a consequence we offer a virtual office service utilising our modern offices and leading technology. IMS makes available its extensive resources to clients in order that they may continue their day to day activities in a professional manner without the need or cost of a physical presence. We have built redundancies into our own systems, including a robust disaster recovery plan, which means we can provide unrivalled reliability when it comes to virtual office services.

Virtual office services include but are not limited to:

  • Receptionist services
  • Voice mail and answering services
  • Email and website hosting
  • Mail forwarding
  • Professional and mailing address
  • Business meeting space
  • On site amenities – fax, copier & printing, internet access and conference call facilities.

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Under the Companies Law all Cayman Islands companies must maintain a physical presence on the Islands via a registered office. At IMS we view this an integral part in the efficient and effective administration of a Cayman Company and as a consequence we have built up an experienced team of Corporate Administrators who are able to provide the highest level of service to our clients. As registered office we typically provide the following:

  • Provision of a Cayman Islands mailing address and a mail forwarding service

  • Submission of the company annual return to the Cayman Islands Registrar.

  • Maintenance of the statutory records of the company including the Register of Directors, the Register of Members and the Register of Mortgages & Charges.

  • Provision of ad-hoc services as requested from time to time by our clients, such as the provision of tax certificates or certificates of good standing.

  • The display of the company name (as required by law)

At IMS we realise that the efficient management of Registered Office can play an important role in a company fulfilling its obligations and requests from third parties, therefore we take a very client focused approach particularly in the turnaround of information.

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As an independent service provider, we enjoy good relationships with all of the major law firms both in the Cayman Islands and on-shore.

The Cayman Islands benefits from a form of regulation which benefits both investors and fund managers alike, with the result that funds are easy to establish and easy to maintain in the Islands.

The law governing Cayman domiciled investment funds is the Mutual Funds Law (as revised from time to time) (the “Law”). Closed-ended funds (i.e., where the equity interests may not be redeemed or repurchased at the option of the investor) and funds which issue only debt instruments are not subject to the Law, but all open-ended funds are accordingly covered by the Law and regulated by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (“CIMA”), unless the equity interests are held by not more than 15 investors and the majority of those investors have the power to appoint or remove the fund’s operators.

The three types of regulated funds under the Law are Licensed Funds, Administered Funds and Registered Funds.

1. Registered Funds – Require that either (a) the minimum subscription per investor must be at least U.S.$100,000 (or its equivalent in any other currency), or (b) its equity interests be listed on a stock exchange approved by CIMA.

2. Administered Funds – A mutual fund having more than fifteen investors and not being a licensed or registered mutual fund will be an administered mutual fund (an “Administered Fund”) if its principal office in the Cayman Islands is provided by a mutual fund administrator licensed in the Islands.

3. Licensed Funds – Unless a mutual fund is an administered, registered or is subject to an exemption, it must not carry on business in or from the Cayman Islands unless it has a mutual fund license and has either a registered office in the Cayman Islands or, in the case of a unit trust, has a trustee which is a local licensed trust company.

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Cost Effective and Fast Track Company Formation Services for Intermediaries

Corporate Filing Services Ltd is an associated company of International Management Services Ltd. It was formed to provide a superior and cost effective company formation and administration service for professional intermediaries, law firms, accounting firms and corporate service companies providing corporate services on a global basis. Our services are specifically tailored for the busy professional where costs and efficiency are of the utmost importance. For example Cayman companies can be formed for eligible introducers within 24 hours!


  • company formation
  • provision of registered office
  • filing of statutory documents
  • legalisation of documents
  • company searches
  • certificates of good standing
  • all other statutory corporate services

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STAR Trusts (known in other jurisdictions as purpose trusts) have been available for use in the Cayman Islands since 1997 following the enactment of the Special Trusts (Alternative Regime) Law, 1997, which has since been incorporated into the Trusts Law (revised) (the “Law”).

The introduction of the STAR Trust regime represented a huge shift in the potential uses for Cayman trusts, resulting in a highly adaptable tool for settlers which allows much greater flexibility in structuring possibilities, subject of course to the STAR Trust’s purpose(s) being lawful and not contrary to public policy.

The uses for STAR Trusts will continue to evolve and grow, limited only by the creativity of settlors, lawyers and trustees, but the main benefits of their use will be the flexibility and confidentiality afforded by their use. Examples for uses of STAR Trusts include:

  • a STAR Trust may be created for philanthropic purposes that are charitable in the popular sense without risking that the trust could be held to be invalid because its objectives are not exclusively charitable in the legal sense.

  • in a commercial context, a STAR Trust can allow a transaction to be effected ‘off-balance sheet’ or in a bankruptcy remote ‘Special Purpose Vehicle’ where the beneficial ownership of the shares in a company is not vested in any of the parties to the transaction.

  • funds settled for the relief of victims of a disaster may be established as a STAR Trust such that it may benefit causes not considered to be strictly for the poor or which may not be considered charitable.

  • Dynastic style trusts to hold family businesses or heirlooms, preserving them for future generations.

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  • Private Trust Companies (PTCs) are companies incorporated to act as trustee of a trust or a number of related trusts, for example with the same settlor or related settlors. They are not able to provide trust services to or solicit business from the general public.

  • PTCs are very popular among HNW/UHNW clients who desire a level of influence over, or at least a greater involvement in, the administration of the trusts under the control of the PTC, such as, for example (and subject to tax considerations) by appointing family members or trusted family advisers to the board of directors of the PTC.

  • PTCs are therefore a good place to start when considering establishing a family office or a complex wealth management structure for the administration of a family’s various interests and have proven especially popular where a patriarch wants a continued involvement in the direction of the family business.

  • The PTC acts as trustee of the family trust(s)/connected trusts and generally instructs a Cayman service provider such as IMS to provide some or all of the directors to the PTC and/or provide secretarial services and prepare accounts etc.

  • The most common ownership structure for a PTC is for the shares of the PTC to be held on a purpose trust, known in Cayman as a STAR Trust (see our Purpose Trusts page for more information), which would itself have a professional trustee and be administered by an offshore trust administrator such as IMS. Other ownership options are available but may be less attractive from a tax perspective.

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  • At IMS, we specialise in managing Cayman hedge funds, incorporation in the Cayman Islands, funds administration, and provide full company management & trust services.

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