Ugland House is an office building in
George Town, Grand Cayman and is the headquarters of international law firm Maples and Calder.

The Cayman Islands has always been an open, free market, economy, and from the 1960's onwards, successfully invested its "historic capital" to the benefit of the financial services sector.

Cayman's anti-money laundering laws are recognized by the Financial Action Task Force as more compliant with international standards than those of the U.K. and by the International Monetary Fund for promoting
a "strong compliance culture.

 
  Overview  
Ugland House is an office building in George Town, Grand Cayman. Maples and Calder, a leading international law firm advising financial, institutional and business clients around the world, is the sole tenant at Ugland House. The building has been the subject of highly-charged and unfair comment in press and political circles. Amongst other things, companies registered at Ugland House have been described as "shells", owned by individuals to evade tax and take advantage of secrecy laws. This is not the case and mischaracterises the true purpose of setting up Cayman companies.

The Cayman Islands strongly adheres to international anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing standards and has invoked numerous statutory measures to cooperate with and assist foreign governments, authorities and courts with the provision of information held in the Cayman Islands.

This website seeks to dispel the myths surrounding Ugland House and answer several questions that have arisen out of the need to understand exactly what really happens here. Offshore vehicles, such as those registered at Ugland House, operate in a highly developed and stable regulatory structure, make a lasting and necessary contribution to economies and jobs onshore and play a crucial role in the worldwide economic recovery and growth as a whole. This is a well known understanding of the nature of institutional financial work by those within the industry but is often misunderstood by the wider public. This website further aims to ensure that the negative image generated is not interpreted as fact.

Ugland House is the registered office address of more than 18,000 Cayman companies and other business entities.

There is nothing unusual about this. Most advanced jurisdictions, including the US and the UK, require a registered office (or "agent") address for companies incorporated under their laws. In Delaware, for example, one building in Wilmington provides that service to more than 200,000 Delaware companies. The service involves nothing more than the provision of a statutory address as required by law. The actual business of those companies is not transacted in Ugland House (in the same way that the business of the Delaware companies is not actually transacted in Wilmington).

Cayman is a leading jurisdiction for the formation of:
    • international investment funds (including hedge funds and private equity funds) managed by major financial institutions and investment fund managers;

    • global business joint ventures; and

    • companies formed by multinational businesses.

Those vehicles often provide an opportunity for pooling global capital from institutional investors – including lenders, pension funds, charitable foundations and university endowments – to support economic development worldwide. They are established by major financial and institutional clients on advice from legal and tax advisers in the most reputable and well-known law and accountancy firms in London, New York and other leading financial centres around the world.

US government agencies and the World Bank invest in Cayman investment funds. Several support businesses and finance infrastructure projects in developing countries in South America, the Middle East and Africa.

US, UK and other European government agencies routinely guarantee the financing of new commercial aircraft placed through Cayman vehicles.

The importance of Cayman and other offshore financial centres in facilitating global liquidity and capital flows cannot be over-emphasized, particularly in today's difficult economic environment. Businesses and governments in both developed and emerging economies benefit significantly from them.

 
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