Offshore, But Close to Home: Precious Metals Storage in the Cayman Islands
By Rich Checkan
Earlier this month I had the pleasure to speak with Mark Yaxley, the Operations Manager for Strategic Wealth Preservation (SWP), the private precious metals storage facility in the Cayman Islands. Our discussion revealed how you can profit from offshore storage housed so close to home. ASI has an outstanding relationship with SWP, so please call us at 800-831-0007 to take advantage of this unique storage venue.
Rich: Mark, can you please tell us exactly what SWP is?
Mark: SWP is a purpose-built precious metals storage facility located in the Cayman Islands. We are considered to be one of the premier precious metals storage facilities in the world. Independently owned and privately operated, we are the best offshore storage option for North American investors seeking to internationalize their hard assets. We are also an approved offshore storage facility for self-directed precious metal IRAs.
Rich: What is your client demographic at SWP?
Mark: We cater to investors who are seeking to geo-diversify their precious metal holdings while keeping them as close to home as possible. Our storage is available to private individuals, businesses and trusts. We do not have a minimum storage amount, so we encourage all investors to take advantage of our services.
Rich: The Caymans are so close to the United States. Has this been a draw?
Mark: We have great proximity to the continental United States. The Cayman Islands are only 1 hour south of Miami, 3 hours south of New York, and there are direct flights arriving daily. English is the primary language spoken, our financial transactions are in U.S. dollars, and our infrastructure is top-notch. The financial services industry is the lifeblood of the Cayman Islands, consequently, our government fully and unconditionally supports our endeavors. So yes, the Cayman Islands are definitely a draw.
Rich: Just how secure are the stored precious metals?
Mark: Clients who store their precious metals with SWP can rest assured their holdings are safely housed within our Class 3 vault and fully insured. Each client’s assets are allocated and separately segregated in their own uniquely identified industrial clear plastic tote. Deposited metals are first placed inside a tamper evident bag; the bag is sealed and then placed inside the client’s tote. Following each deposit, the tote is sealed with a locking-seal and stored on an elevated steel shelf within our Class 3 UL rated vault. A third party auditor conducts an annual physical count of each client’s holdings and issues a statement confirming the inventory.
Rich: What about insurance?
Mark: Each and every stored ounce is 100% insured for the full replacement value. The policy is totally comprehensive and covers losses due to theft, fire, flood and even hurricane. Insurance is underwritten by Lloyds of London. And, because none of our clients’ assets are pooled or merely allocated on paper, there is no danger of confusion over which asset is the subject of an insurance claim.
Rich: How do you make asset transfers easier?
Mark: SWP has a fairly unique system of easy asset transfer. Three major precious metal wholesalers store their metals in our vault. When clients buy metals through ASI, the order is placed, and the segregated and allocated metals are sourced from the wholesaler and transferred within our vault from the wholesaler to the client’s own allocated storage. The precious metals never leave our vault. There is no shipping. And, when the client sells, the process is reversed - with the metals being transferred, without shipping, back to the purchasing wholesaler.
Rich: What makes SWP unique compared to other storage facilities?
Mark: We are extremely proud of what we call ‘Concierge Storage.’ Unlike other storage facilities, we do not treat our storage customers like a security risk. Our storage clients are always welcome to visit us to view their holdings, on site. We will pick you up at the airport and give you a tour. We find our clients enjoy this ‘self-audit,’ where they can judge the security and reliability of our services for themselves.
Rich: What else does your concierge service include?
Mark: SWP can facilitate many of the business and financial needs of our clients on the Islands. Our concierge service includes helping our clients find lawyers, realtors and bankers to facilitate all of their real estate transactions.
Rich: Does the Cayman Islands location offer the kind of privacy we would expect from an offshore venue?
Mark: Many traditional offshore venues have actually, and unfortunately, been unable to provide the complete privacy that they were able to afford in the past. Since most of these locations were actually banks, they have been subject to increased scrutiny and privacy regulations. The banks in the Cayman Islands are no exception. Luckily, SWP is not a bank. We are a private storage institution not subject to reporting to the Cayman Island Monetary Authority (CIMA). Likewise, SWP is not subject to any wealth reporting requirements of the United States or other foreign governments.
Rich: What about storage of precious metals held in IRAs?
Mark: Our facility is 100% approved for self-directed IRA storage. SWP has partnered with New Direction IRA (the custodian) to offer American investors the opportunity to purchase and store precious metals held in their self-directed IRA here in the Cayman Islands. Our clients can access this service through ASI, directly.
If you are interested in storing your precious metals offshore in the Cayman Islands, or would like more information, please call one of our Preferred Client Relations representatives at 800-831-0007, or send us an email.