Since it launch just over two years ago, the Cayman Islands Financial Services Association (CIFSA) has made significant strides in its objective to promote a more accurate image of the Cayman Islands financial services industry at the international level, according to a recent summary of the organizations activities.
The organisation's website www.caymanfinances.com has become one of the most popular Cayman Islands websites for international audiences, evidenced by its ranking within the top ten websites in search engine "Google" for search terms such as "Cayman finance", among others.
"Our local agency Tower Marketing receives many enquiries each month through the website and we have seen that CIFSA in general has become a sort of "go-to" entity for many questions relating to the financial industry," Mr. Eduardo D'Angelo P. Silva, CIFSA Director said.
Queries to CIFSA can range from simple queries on where to get certain information to complex questions on regulatory issues and tax matters.
"In many cases we can assist by pointing people in the right direction, though we often provide information that is readily available from our own resources and members," explained Ms Elissa Costello, Account Director and PR professional at Tower Marketing.
The organization's involvement in a number of key visits by international publications and important official bodies as well as its day to day fielding of queries from reputable international journalists and editors has increased its value to the industry immensely over the two years.
"We are seeing that many international bodies are now approaching CIFSA directly as a central contact point and this is a significant achievement given our informational role," Mr. Silva, said.
"This year alone we have conducted interviews with the Financial Times and the LA Times as well as a number of prominent industry magazines and journals," Mr. Silva said. "We have also negotiated sponsorships with conferences such as Hedge Funds World LatAm 2007 and OffshoreAlert Conference."
CIFSA has also worked closely with the PR department of the government's Portfolio of Finance on many occasions and heaped praise on the Portfolio for its role in promoting the financial industry over the years.
"Working with Ted Bravakis and the staff of the Portfolio of Finance has been tremendous in terms of the value we have been able to achieve together for the benefit of the Cayman Islands," said Mrs Lynne Byles, Managing Director of Tower Marketing.
CIFSA stressed that it did not respond to every internationally or locally published article that depict the Cayman Islands in a negative light, nor does it believe it is necessary to always respond in this manner.
"The most cost effective way to utilise our funds is to focus on those articles which have the strongest combination of audience reach and factual errors. It is always important to correct factual misrepresentation wherever possible because in many cases international writers are simply not aware of the nature of the regulatory regime or even of the many changes that have been made here over the past ten years," explained Mr. Silva.
"We can tell by some of the articles we have seen over the past year that our message is finally getting through as the international media become more aware that the old stereotype created by movies such as The Firm is slowly fading," added Ms Costello.
The organisation was quick off the mark in terms of achieving its objective since launching in 2003; its first annual report also revealed a number of significant achievements towards the organization's goal to 'communicate the quality and integrity of the Cayman Islands' financial services industry' and it continues to grow from strength to strength.
26 April 2007
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