Two global firms, Maples and Calder and Deloitte, joined forces in 2012 with a plan to make the Cayman Islands the next official location of the international association, 100 Women in Hedge Funds, and now the plan has come to fruition, as Nicola Stradling and Odette Samson report.
It is easy to see why professional women in the Cayman Islands have jumped at the opportunity to become involved in 100 Women in Hedge Funds (100WHF). An international organisation with a membership of more than 10,000 women in the funds and finance sphere, it aims to make a difference in industry and community through educational programming, professional leverage and philanthropy.
According to Nicola Stradling, partner at Maples and Calder: “It is very exciting to have the Cayman Islands formally recognised as a new 100WHF location. Here in Cayman we are fortunate to have a high percentage of talented professional women. With such a strong membership base there is no doubt that 100WHF Cayman will be a catalyst for positive change in the funds and finance industry and our local community.”
Maples and Calder and Deloitte are co-sponsoring the inaugural 100WHF Cayman educational event, to be held on April 21, 2013 at the Westin Casuarina resort. The speakers will be Jane Buchan, CEO of Pacific Alternative Asset Management Company, and Yolanda Banks McCoy, head of the Investments and Securities Division of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority. Amanda Pullinger, the executive director of 100WHF, will also attend. The event is supported by GAIM Ops Cayman, and a 15 percent discount on conference registration fees has been extended to all 100WHF members.
“We are delighted to have Jane, Yolanda and Amanda join us for our first educational session. We hope that our members and supporters locally and any 100WHF members visiting the Island for the GAIM Ops Cayman conference will enjoy a wonderful evening of networking and education,” added Odette Samson, partner at Deloitte.
As priority access is given to 100WHF members, all female professionals working in the funds and finance industry are encouraged to register if they have not already done so (go to http://www.100womeninhedgefunds.org/pages/join_us.php). Information regarding the GAIM Ops Cayman discount is also available through the website via 100WHF’s networking interface, Connect!
Certain criteria will be applied to all membership requests to determine eligibility and those who do not satisfy the requirements (including male applicants) are urged to join as supporters. This type of registration allows for admission to events globally, provided space is available. In the future, there will be many opportunities for members to become involved in planning educational, networking and philanthropic events. Committees will soon be established covering these areas and members should indicate their preference when registering.
Other firms on the Island have already expressed an interest in sponsoring future events.
Nicola Stradling is a partner at Maples and Calder. She can be contacted at email@example.com.
Odette Samson is a partner at Deloitte. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
100WHF will be 12 years old in 2013 and since inception it has raised more than US$28 million for charities focused on women’s and family health, education and mentoring, as well as transforming the lives of roughly 371,000 people through its fundraising efforts. In addition to its philanthropic activities, the group has created a number of ways in which members are able to use the wisdom of their peers through advisory groups, educational sessions, job boards and 100WHF Connect!, the online platform exclusive to 100WHF members. All of this is carried out on a global scale, with educational events open to members worldwide.
The organisation operates in 16 locations, including New York, California, Paris, Hong Kong, London, Geneva, Milan, Toronto and Zurich. Many high-level names in the funds and finance arena are active supporters and speak at the educational events organised worldwide. In 2009 100WHF caused quite a buzz when the Duke of Cambridge became a 100WHF patron, and then in 2012 the organisation hit the headlines again when both the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry joined him.
Nicola Stradling is a partner with Maples and Calder in the Cayman Islands. Nicola has over 16 years of experience in the establishment and maintenance of investment funds and private equity funds, as well as all aspects of corporate and commercial law.
Odette Samson has more than 15 years experience serving audit clients in Cayman and internationally. She specialises in the alternative asset management industry and serves a diverse set of hedge funds, fund-of-funds, fund administrators and family offices.