The Cayman Islands: A jurisdiction of choice for family offices

In a new body of research, the Cayman Islands is identified as a leading jurisdiction for establishing an international family office. The report details location attributes that are pivotal factors to family offices such as reputation, taxation, lifestyle, climate, accessibility, privacy and security.

The report was commissioned by Dart Real Estate, a division of Cayman Islands based Dart, a global organisation with investments across a range of industries including real estate, hospitality and retail. "The Cayman Islands: A jurisdiction of choice for family offices" explores family office sector characteristics and assesses the geographic and demographic markets that the Cayman Islands is best suited to serve.

Dart first considered the question of where to locate its own family office in the early 1990s in order to choose an offshore base of operations for Ken Dart and his family. An heir to William F. Dart, his grandfather and the founder of the Dart Container Corporation, Mr. Dart wanted to set up a global family office where he could continue to invest in multiple international businesses while making local investments in his new domicile.

Dart has invested more than US$1.5 billon into the Cayman Islands and the group now employs more than 800 people in the islands across its various businesses. In addition, Dart has given more than US$6 million to community development initiatives. (Source)

"The Cayman Islands: A jurisdiction of choice for family offices" was produced in partnership with London-based research boutique, Barton Consulting, and global data experts, Wealth-X. These firms are, respectively, global leaders in market data and research for the private wealth segment.

The data in the research paper was compiled from in-depth interviews with professional advisors who work with ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWI) and family office clients. It includes findings from expansive one-on-one interviews with lawyers, trustees, residency and citizenship consultants, ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) lifestyle consultants, multi-family office advisors, tax advisors, asset managers and private bankers. The participants were based in key markets including North America, the United Kingdom, Russia and CIS, Latin America, Asia and Europe.

Jackie Doak, Dart's president of business development, commented: "The Cayman Islands has long held its position as a world-class family office jurisdiction and the findings of this new report highlight Cayman's continued relevance and many advantages. More than 60,000 people call the Cayman Islands home, representing over 135 nationalities. An increasing number of new residents come from the financial services community, including single and multi-family offices."

Speaking on behalf of the Cayman Islands Government's Ministry of International Trade, Investment, Aviation and Maritime Affairs, Chief Officer Eric Bush endorsed the findings of the research, noting that "The Cayman Islands has numerous attributes to offer - including its political stability, rich culture and history, world class standard of living, connections to the world and exceptionally welcoming people."

He continued, "These qualities, in combination with Cayman's modern amenities and pristine natural environment, make Cayman an ideal jurisdiction for family offices to consider as a location for themselves and their portfolio of assets."

The report looks at the family office landscape and how the needs and objectives of globally mobile, wealthy families have changed. As multi-generational families spread themselves far and wide, having an entity looking out for their interests - and sometimes, for their interests alone - provides a sense of structure, reassurance and strategy for the family's wealth that cannot be achieved through disparate, third-party service providers.

The report also explores the data when it comes to the family office tier of wealth. The vast majority of families with family office structures have at least USD $100m in net worth, which is an exclusive tier of the UHNW population (those with more than $30m net worth). Of the 291,470 individuals around the world who qualify as UHNW, there are just 63,020 individuals with more than $100m - 21.6% of the UHNW population.

In terms of geographic location, according to the report findings, the largest population of wealthy individuals in the family office tier of $100m+ are based in the Americas. With 20,880 individuals, this region represents 37% of the total. The next largest region, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), is close behind with 19,560 individuals. Asia-Pacific is the third largest, with 15,450 individuals.

When looking at the needs of those seeking a family office there are a number of factors that were highlighted in the research as significant, these include:

  • A convenient time zone
  • Expertise and reputation of the jurisdiction
  • Family and advisor sentiment
  • Immigration policies of jurisdictions

When it came to the Cayman Islands value proposition, the report identifies that Cayman has additional advantages and assets that can benefit wealthy families looking to relocate or expand their family office network including location, natural environment, lifestyle and tax neutrality. The report also explores the life stages and lifestyle archetypes that would be most attracted to Cayman's proposition. The overriding message is that quality is the element that unites in the Cayman Islands - quality of people, quality of place and quality of life.

The research findings will support the efforts of the top-tier law firms, trustees, banks and professional service providers in the Cayman Islands who work with UHNWIs and family offices considering relocation to the Cayman Islands.

Dart's business development team collaborates with these professionals to promote the Cayman Islands as a leading family office jurisdiction and to encourage other family offices to join them in Cayman and enjoy all the benefits that Cayman has to offer. The aim is to help mobilise a world-class network of market-leading expertise for UHNWIs and family offices considering relocation to the Cayman Islands.

Dart, and its luxury brokerage, Provenance Properties (the official Christie's International Real Estate affiliate in the Cayman Islands), assist global wealthy families, corporations, international businesses and single and multifamily offices in learning more about the Cayman Islands' value proposition and the benefits of establishing residency and a corporate presence in the British Overseas Territory.

Individuals and family offices considering establishing a presence in the Cayman Islands require efficient, timely and discreet service from trusted professionals who are specialists in their respective fields. Jackie Doak added: "Dart Real Estate and Provenance Properties offer a comprehensive service when it comes to relocating to Cayman. The team's extensive experience in the Cayman Islands and relationships with qualified service providers permit us to assist with locating residential and commercial properties; make introductions to legal, banking and other professional service providers; provide information about education, healthcare and lifestyle services and with navigating Government approval processes."

To receive a copy of "The Cayman Islands: a jurisdiction of choice for family offices" click here

To find out more about relocating your family office to the Cayman Islands email or enquire via


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