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A look inside a Cayman Islands gold vault

05 Nov 2020

Owning precious metals offshore remains one the safest and most prudent means of preserving one’s wealth today. At the forefront of offshore storage in the Western Hemisphere is Strategic Wealth Preservation (SWP), a fully integrated precious metals dealer and vaulting facility headquartered in the Cayman Islands.

Provenance Properties is a luxury real estate brokerage that assists high-net-worth clients in understanding relocation opportunities in the Cayman Islands. These individuals often ask about banking and other financial services providers available in the jurisdiction. To that end, Provenance Properties recently spoke with SWP’s General Manager, Mark Yaxley, to understand exactly how his firm serves these clients.

In a nutshell, how would you describe SWP?

SWP is a fully integrated precious metals dealer and secure storage facility. Investors can deposit their existing precious metals with us or buy new metals from our extensive stock of bars and coins and store them in our Cayman Islands vault.

Reports suggest that some traditional asset classes are becoming riskier, making it harder for investors to diversify. What is your view on it?

Yes, quite so. In times of economic crisis, stocks, bonds, hedge funds, etc. can be expected to take a hit. In preparing for a crisis, such as we’re now entering, the objective is not so much making money as not losing money. In such times, real estate and precious metals have always been the safest havens. But it’s essential that those investments be outside of the jurisdictions that will be the hardest hit and whose governments can be expected to tax or ‘overreach.’

So, we do assist clients interested in expatriating wealth out of the US, UK, EU, Canada, etc. and converting it to precious metals in safer locations such as the Cayman Islands.

Mark Yaxley headshot

There are plenty of jurisdictions out there. Why did SWP choose the Cayman Islands?

Cayman is hands-down the most advanced country in the western hemisphere with regard to wealth preservation. It enjoys both political and economic stability and is just a one-hour flight from North America. It’s one of only a handful of countries that has no direct taxation of any kind. There is no import, export or any other tax on the purchase, sale or storage of precious metals here.

Banks today are facing increasingly onerous reporting requirements imposed on them by various international entities. Do these same reporting requirements apply to SWP?

No, SWP is classified as an Active Non-Financial Foreign Entity. As such, SWP has no wealth reporting requirements to any local or foreign tax authority or government. This is particularly important to people trying to retain their privacy, which can be challenging these days.

gold bars

Do you provide the same security as banking institutions?

Yes, security is essential to our business. We have a state-of-the-art Class III UL-rated vault, located in a purpose-built building that also houses one of the largest security firms in the Caribbean. SWP is fully insured by Marsh, and our policy is underwritten by Lloyds of London. Most importantly, clients’ holdings are 100% allocated, segregated and insured within the vault. The precious metals they own remain their personal property at all times.

Do you have safe deposit boxes available for rent?

Yes, we offer safe deposit box rentals similarly to a bank, except our boxes are insured; those in a bank are not. We also provide precious metal IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts) for American citizens, and handle storage of cryptocurrency wallets and keys.

That's quite comprehensive. If clients wish to diversify their holdings outside of Cayman, is this easy to do?

Yes, much easier than most people think. We regularly facilitate international transactions for our clients. We also provide metal acquisition and storage services in Toronto, New York, Zurich, Liechtenstein, Singapore and New Zealand. All international locations are accessible under one single account with SWP.

gold vault bins

Is it possible for a client to visit the Cayman facility and check what he has on deposit? We all need another excuse to spend more time in the Caribbean...

Of course. In fact, we encourage our clients to visit us for a personal audit. And withdrawals are available upon demand, provided we receive 24-hours’ notice. We go to great lengths to service clients’ needs. Many investors are only on Grand Cayman for a few days, and on occasion, we’ve opened up on a Saturday to handle a deposit from a client who’s just arrived, so that he didn’t need to store his gold in his hotel room over the weekend.

How do you see the future of precious metals trading and storage for SWP?

Well, today, wealth preservation is becoming increasingly problematic. Our goal is to make it easier. We’ve been very thorough in creating a state-of-the-art facility, located in the most advantageous jurisdiction, so, going forward, our most important task is to focus on developing long-term relationships with our clients. The key to that is to get to know their individual needs and to consistently provide them with a world-class experience.

If you would like to learn more about how Mark and his team at SWP can help you, visit SWP’s website at www.swpcayman.com, call 1-888-445-1977 or email info@swpcayman.com.