Cayman Islands: AIMA And Hedge Funds: A Long And Distinguished History

Last Updated: 1 March 2016
Article by Jack Inglis

When I visited Cayman in April 2015 to launch the latest edition of AIMA's Fund Directors' Guide – arguably the definitive guide to hedge fund directors' roles and responsibilities – I was struck by the level of interest in this area, as reflected by the large turnout that our event at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman generated. So many changes have come on stream since the global financial crisis that there is considerable demand for information and guidance from current or prospective hedge fund directors, investment managers and fund promoters in Cayman and around the world.

The Guide, last published in 2008, takes account of regulatory and tax reforms since the financial crisis, such as the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) and the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which have brought significant changes to the role and responsibilities of fund directors and boards.

New sections have been added covering, among other topics, the general approach to fund governance, monitoring of trading practices and business continuity planning. Practical, legal and tax considerations when selecting and appointing fund directors are considered. The basic tasks that fund directors should carry out are explained, while issues relating to the way in which fund directors manage their relationships with the fund's service providers are also discussed. Guidance is provided on several important issues, including, for example, the review of annual audited accounts and issues relating to directors' and officers' liability insurance. In addition, the Guide assesses the impact of taxation on the fund, its service providers and its directors.

The Guide can be downloaded by AIMA members from the AIMA website.

The decision to launch the guide in Cayman, of course, was no accident. We have many member firms in Cayman, and there has been an AIMA 'National Group' or chapter in the jurisdiction for almost a decade. In terms of offshore hedge funds, Cayman remains an absolutely key domicile for the global industry, which we represent.

AIMA has been in existence for only slightly longer than Cayman's fund industry. This year marks the 25th anniversary of our association. Founded in Europe back in 1990 by a small group of managers realising the need for mutual representation, AIMA has grown into a truly global organisation, with the majority of its 1,500 corporate member firms now based outside Europe's borders. The global nature of investing, trading and regulation means our relevance today is as high as it has ever been. By the same token, the first funds legislation in Cayman, passed in 1994, helped to lay the groundwork for the jurisdiction's status today as a leading fund domicile and international financial centre.

Indeed the growth of AIMA in terms of membership and staff reflects the growth of the global hedge fund industry. In 1990, we had only a parttime secretary and in 1994, we were still operating out of shared office space in Paris. As recently as 2005, by which time our head office had relocated to London, we still had only eight staff members.

Today, we have a total of 35 staff; 25 in the London head office and a further 10 in our representative offices around the world. Much of this additional resource has been added since the global financial crisis. The world changed in 2008/2009, and with it, AIMA changed too. Following the crisis, we built new structures and brought in new people to address the challenges posed by the crisis and the regulatory reforms that followed.

The Government and Regulatory Affairs department that we established after the crisis comprises former law firm partners and regulators. It provides members of AIMA with guidance notes and updates on complex initiatives, detailing how developments may affect their business and the advocacy positions that we are adopting. With our public affairs work on the ground in the main financial and political centres, we are able to engage in extensive advocacy in the best interests of the industry.

Our communications team coordinates our engagement with the media globally and works closely with the industry to demonstrate the value of hedge funds to investors, financial markets and the 'real' economy.

At the very top of the organisation, we have had seven Chairs, some serving for five years, and only three Chief Executive Officers in our 25 years. I myself took over as CEO in February 2014.

From small European beginnings, an impressive international network encompassing Asia-Pacific, EMEA and the Americas has been constructed. Our members now come from over 50 different countries. The US has the dominant market share in the industry and represents over 50% of the aggregate AUM of our global membership; our Americas presence is further augmented by the existence of our National Groups in Canada and Cayman as well as our activities in Brazil. In Asia-Pacific, we have National Groups operating in Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and Australia, all now combining under a single regionally focused operation.

Our members are the backbone of the association and comprise both the largest and smallest firms around the world. Over 800 of our member contacts (roughly 10% of the total membership), representing about 370 firms, contribute to our more than 70 committees and working groups around the world. These groups tackle advocacy, help us draft our regulatory submissions, drive our sound practices work and support the development of other vital industry tools.

Our focus on education and sound practices has resulted in a substantial body of work for investors and practitioners alike. The first AIMA due diligence questionnaire was issued in 1997, and has gone on to become the industry-standard DDQ, covering the selection of hedge fund managers, clearing members, prime brokers, CTAs/managed futures funds, fund of hedge funds managers and administrators.

Our first sound practice guide was published in 2002, and our library of guides cover hedge fund management, valuation and asset pricing, administration, governance, business continuity, due diligence for managers and service providers and fund of hedge funds managers, not to mention our Fund Directors' Guide.

In terms of our events, our initial Regulatory Forum was held in 2000, our 10th anniversary year, and our first Annual Conference was held in 2010, our 20th anniversary year. Today, the AIMA Annual Conference and AIMA Global Policy & Regulatory Forum (the successor to the Regulatory Forum), open to all AIMA members, are our flagship fixtures and attract hundreds of delegates and leading speakers from the industry and the policymaker community globally.

We organise many additional events in Cayman and other jurisdictions, which provide helpful intelligence to delegates and networking opportunities. In 2014, we held over 180 events worldwide, with a total attendance of well over 10,000.

AIMA regards the global hedge fund industry as a valuable contributor to the global economy. We provide a global forum for members to establish a common adherence to industry sound practice. Our goal remains to maintain a fair and functioning environment allowing alternative asset managers to contribute to growth through capital markets activities. AIMA stands for investor protection, global consistency of regulation, market efficiency and integrity and the mitigation of systemic risk by maintaining diversity of business models within the financial sector. AIMA works this through advocacy, awareness and education among policymakers, investors, regulators, the media and the wider public.

Above all, AIMA remains a "people organisation". Crucial to everything AIMA does are its members, its network and its staff. The voluntary work provided by all who contribute in committees and working groups, who sponsor and host our events and facilitate our product offering is a priceless feature of the AIMA toolbox. Without our members, in Cayman, the US, Europe, Asia and elsewhere throughout the world, there would be no AIMA.

AIMA Staff and Offices

About the Author

Jack Inglis became the chief Executive Officer of AIMA in February 2014. He has been involved with hedge funds for 25 years and has held leadership positions in prime brokerage at both Morgan Stanley, where he served for 16 years, and Barclays, where he was prior to joining AIMA. From 2007 to 2010 he was CEO at the convertible bond specialist, Ferox Capital Management. He began his career in 1983, and has extensive experience across origination, distribution and trading across the capital markets. He holds a Master of Arts in Economics from Cambridge University.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.