Philip Sinel & Joe Brice, Richardson Sinel & Associates
A jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction rundown on the key legislative developments in the offshore world in 2004 and 2005
The Mutual Funds Act 2003 The Mutual Funds Act provides for the licensing and regulation of mutual funds, fund managers or fund administrators doing business in, or from within, Anguilla.
The act recognises three categories of mutual funds: private funds, with fewer than 50 members and with prohibitions on offering shares to the public; professional funds, designed solely for sophisticated investors who are willing to make a minimum initial investment of not less than $100,000 (£53,200) or its equivalent in any other currency; and public funds, simply defined by the act as funds which are neither a private nor a professional fund.
There will be a time period during which all existing funds, managers and administrators' entities will be 'grandfathered' into the regulatory system. The new act introduces a flexible regulatory regime, which is expected to be attractive to promoters looking for a jurisdiction that is user-friendly, yet soundly regulated in accordance with international standards.
The Insurance Act 2004 The Insurance Act 2004 will bring regulatory requirements up to International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) standards. Several types of licences are available to persons wishing to carry out domestic or foreign insurance business. A class A licence enables a domestic or foreign insurer to carry on insurance business generally in, or from within, Anguilla. Various other categories of class B licence are available to foreign insurers, making the new act well suited to captive insurance and other forms of offshore insurance product.
The act also provides for the licensing and regulation of insurance intermediaries, including agents, brokers and insurance managers. Captive insurance companies will be required to appoint an insurance manager in Anguilla to provide services with respect to accounting, claims, underwriting and administration.
Protected Cell Companies Act 2004 The Protected Cell Companies Act 2004 is designed to complement the Insurance Act, although it may be used with respect to other types of business. The act allows for companies engaged in insurance or other business to be registered by the regulatory authority, and enables insurance companies wishing to underwrite insurance business on a protected cell basis to establish protected cell accounts.
The act defines a protected cell account as a separate and distinct account of a protected cell company, comprising assets, rights, liabilities and obligations. Assets linked to a particular protected cell account are held separately from the general assets of the protected cell company, and are held exclusively for the benefit of the account holder of the protected cell account. The assets are available only to meet liabilities of the owners and creditors of that protected cell account, and are protected from other shareholders and creditors of the company.
Pending legislation for 2005 l Enhancements to the International Business Companies Act and other corporate legislation, including the Limited Liability Companies Act.
- Improvements to the Trusts Act to keep pace with recent developments in other jurisdictions.
- Insolvency legislation.
- Introduction of the Legal Profession Act to regulate the conduct of legal practitioners.
- A new Labour Act.
Philip Sinel is a partner and Joe Brice an assistant at Richardson Sinel & Associates, Anguilla