2017 was a memorable year for 100WF Cayman as a new brand and new identity led to a surge in membership and record levels of charity fundraising. 2018 is set to be even better, says Michelle Morgan, chair of the Communications Committee of the 100WF Cayman Location.
It has been a busy 12 months, notable for a number of further achievements for 100WF Cayman, the global network of professionals in the finance and alternative investment industries. It held many successful events, raising thousands for charities in the process, and launched several new initiatives.
By way of background, the Cayman location of 100WF was launched in 2013 with over 200 members. Now with more than 775 members, it is one of the fastest growing locations globally. Originally branded 100 Women in Hedge Funds, the organisation formally changed its name to 100 Women in Finance (100WF) in 2016.
The move, applicable to all locations of the organisation globally, was made to recognise the way the body has changed over the years and also the more diverse role of women in many areas of finance.
Since February 2017, Lise Baril, a director of Deloitte Cayman, and Monette Windsor, managing director of MUFG Investor Services, have acted as co-chairs of the main committee of the Cayman Location of 100WF.
Baril has served on the Main Committee of 100WF’s Cayman Location since its inception in 2013 and recently served as co-chair of the organisation’s Philanthropy Committee.
Windsor has also served on the Main Committee of 100WF since its inception in 2013 as well as serving as co-chair of the organisation’s Peer Engagement Committee since 2014.
The committee also contains members from firms such as DMS Governance, Harbour, Highwater, Intertrust, MaplesFS, Mourant Ozannes, and Titan Technology, as well as various family offices.
A big objective for 100WF is education, something it does by arranging speakers and experts to speak on a variety of topics. The past few years have been particularly productive with a number of globally renowned experts speaking.
They include Jane Buchan, chief executive officer of PAAMCO; Anne Richards, global chief investment officer of Aberdeen Asset Management; Anne Marie Petach, chief financial officer of Blackrock; and Dr. Karissa Thacker, founder and president of Strategic Performance Solutions and author of The Art of Authenticity.
All education sessions are free to attend and are usually followed with networking.
One particularly well attended event was called The Female Millennial, A New ERA of Talent, sponsored by PWC, with a panel comprising Angilynn Chan-Baraud, Kelli Dawson, Sherri Fleming, Suzanne Scott, Peter Small, and Melanie Snyman, all from PwC, and Brianna Wilkerson from Made Well.
Other events held in the past 12 months include Global Macroeconomic Outlook with featured speaker Raoul Pal of Real Vision; and Debunking the Myths on Cryptocurrencies where the panel featured Ashok Goyal, CPA, senior audit manager, Rankin Berkower (Cayman); Eileen Overbaugh, counsel, Lowenstein Sandler; Professor Rebecca Spang, Indiana University; and Laura Montoya, moderator, a senior project manager, Trident Trust.
100WF believes that empowering women in finance also means supporting women and families everywhere. Its galas and fundraising events benefit organisations dedicated to improving lives through mentoring, women’s & family health, and education, which are three rotating themes of our philanthropic efforts.
Since its formation in 2013, the Cayman Philanthropy pillar has raised a total of $220,000 for local charities. These include the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre; Literacy is for Everyone; Big Brothers Big Sisters; and the Breast Cancer Foundation (BCF).
In 2017 alone, it raised more than $64,000 for its 2017 beneficiary, BCF, through a series of successful events, including the Fourth Annual Barefoot Beach Gala and the repeat of the extremely successful Corporate Mixology Competition.
Globally, 100WF has raised more than $44 million (gross) for philanthropic causes in the areas of women’s & family health, education, and mentoring. 100WF Cayman aligns its yearly objectives to 100WF’s global theme, which rotates on an annual basis to ensure the greatest impact for local communities. For 2018, the theme is education.
Earlier this year, the organisation revealed that its Cayman beneficiary in 2018 would be the Special Needs Foundation Cayman (SNFC). Established in 2008, SNFC is a local charity that is committed to supporting children with a range of special needs across the Cayman Islands.
SNFC is embarking on an initiative to go beyond advocacy and services through the establishment of ‘Our House’, which will include a physical location to consolidate services and programmes. Key to this initiative is a pilot programme committed to implementation and action, through the development and provision of high quality inclusive learning services.
By partnering with the Haring Center from the University of Washington’s College of Education they will bring increased attention and support for early intervention and inclusion. They will be bringing together specialists to form an inclusion team that will bring direct support to reception classes and pre-schools in both the public and the private systems.
The pilot programme is a three-year commitment and 100WF will be raising funds to help defray the costs of year one of the programme.
Commenting on the selection, Susie Bodden, executive leader of SNFC, said: “On behalf of all the children and families of the Special Needs Foundation I wish to express our sincere gratitude and excitement for being chosen as the 2018 Cayman Beneficiary for 100WF.
“The Special Needs Foundation, aided by this generous support, intends to rapidly increase our impact in Cayman during 2018, most notably with regard to inclusive education. We believe this programme will make a huge difference to the lives of our children.”
Leanne Golding, chair of the Philanthropy Committee for 100WF Cayman, added: “100WF is proud to support the SNFC and, in particular, this groundbreaking programme. It is our hope that this initiative will benefit the Cayman Islands community as a whole for many years to come. We look forward to many successful fundraising events and activities together in 2018.”
To help reach new heights in fundraising, 100WF Cayman has a number of events planned for 2018. It has already held the James Bond-themed Fifth Annual Barefoot Beach Gala, on March 10 at Royal Palms, Grand Cayman.
Another very popular event which will be held for the third year is the Corporate Mixology challenge. Last year, the sold-out event featured 16 different corporate teams and more than 200 cocktail-sipping attendees. Net proceeds were to support the Wellness Programme at the BCF. Competition was fierce and clearly, huge amounts of thought and preparation had gone into the themed drinks, bar decoration and outfits.
A panel of judges including Vicki Wheaton and her sidekick Lynne Firth, Paul Croucher, Steve Hughes, and Steve Shore took their duties seriously and managed to sample all 16 cocktails and remain standing at the end of the evening.
First place for Best in Glass went to the Marriott’s Anchor & Den, and CML Recruitment and Rum Point tied for second place. Attendees voted for best-decorated bar with Intertrust capturing first place for the second year running and Walkers and Deloitte taking second and third, respectively.
“It’s been a great event,” said Golding “We’re so thankful to all the participants for helping us raise funds and awareness for the BCF.”
Finally, just in time for Christmas, 100WF hosts a Bubbles and Bling networking event at Kirk Freeport which has always generously donated a portion of the sales to the 100WF charity.
The third pillar of 100WF is peer engagement, which takes a number of different forms. Broadly, 100WF believes that achieving gender parity in senior leadership and investment roles will strengthen the industry and the broader global economy.
“Our targeted initiatives and professional development and networking opportunities help position women for success at every career stage,” 100WF states.
Many initiatives fall under this area of focus including peer advisory groups, NexGen Groups which hosts the NextGen Inspire event, Investing in the Next Generation, Corporate/Private Boards Initiative, and a Job Board.
Peer advisory groups (PAGs) are intimate circles of female senior practitioners working in the same specialised areas. These groups, whose members are selected by invitation, provide an effective infrastructure for our more tenured members to engage with one another and leverage collective wisdom, skills, and experience. The current format is that these PAGs get together on a regular basis for coffee to discuss issues affecting them and their industry.
The Cayman Location currently has PAGs for auditors, fund directors and lawyers and it is looking to add administrators, followed by banking, C-suite, insurance and internal finance if this would benefit new members.
In addition to these advisory groups, special events targeted to a subset of 100WF members are held. Events from the past year include a series of golf lessons, an image, brand and networking seminar and a hedge fund strategies session.
NextGen is an energetic group of members who have up to 10 years of working experience. The groups provide an educational and social forum at which members can build lasting, synergistic relationships. Qualifying members enjoy an open dialogue about their current interests and navigating the challenges of managing a successful career and personal life.
Since launching in October 2017, NextGen Cayman has grown to over 170 members and hosted over 20 educational, mentoring and networking events.
The Investing in the Next Generation Initiative aims to reach, inspire, and support young women at high school, university and business school who will become a talent pipeline for the future leadership of the industry.
As part of the Investing in the Next Generation Initiative, NextGen Cayman founded ‘GirlForce 100’, a mentoring programme connecting NextGen Cayman mentors with public school student mentees. The programme is a strategic partnership between the Cayman Islands Ministry of Education and 100WF NextGen Cayman
Studies have determined that Fortune 500 Companies with the highest representation of women on their boards of directors tend to achieve higher financial performance than those with the lowest representation of women board directors. The 100WF Corporate/Private Boards Initiative seeks to connect qualified candidates from within its membership ranks with director opportunities.
Finally, it also supports the Global Angels Program. Angels are leading women in and around the alternative investment industry who generously underwrite the organisation’s global operating costs. Charter Angels include seasoned practitioners whose vision and generosity helped establish 100WF and fund the organisation’s operating expenses.
Sustaining Angels are members who play a vital role in helping to fund ongoing operating expenses and to ensure that educational programmes continue to be free for members.
About 100 women in finance
100WF is a global network of professionals in the finance and alternative investment industries working together to empower women at every stage of their careers. Through peer engagement, philanthropic, and educational initiatives, our more than 15,000 members are making connections and creating opportunities that help to advance careers and strengthen our field.
Global 100WF membership costs $150 for premium membership. This allows access to free education events in Cayman and globally. Many members visit the website www.100women.org to see if they can coordinate an education or networking event while travelling on business and have found it to be very advantageous.
About the special needs foundation
Established in 2008, SNFC is a local charity that is committed to supporting children with a range of special needs across the Cayman Islands. Since its establishment, SNFC has grown to support more than 295 families and provides a range of free support including parent meetings, age-related support groups, community education sessions, a dedicated family support worker, respite care, sports and leisure activities and financial assistance.
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