As VP of CML every time I am out at a sporting or social event or even meeting clients I am always asked the same question, “How’s the market?” This is a massive question that will change depending on who I am talking to. For example Fund Administration is quiet at present but the demand for insolvency and Audit seniors is off the charts!
I therefore tend to take a more broad approach. I feel that the Cayman market is at a cross roads. Typically offshore jurisdictions do well when Europe and the US are in decline, I am not going to go in to an economics lecture but trust me on this. Bermuda, one of our fellow and closest offshore markets, is suffering, companies are continuing to leave and there is a talent drain occurring. The main reasons cited by companies is the bureaucracy and cost of doing business, and yesterday (7th November) the Bermuda Sun ran a story about the latest stimulus package. Considering it quoted such stimulants as Gaming and Islamic Finance (http://cnsbusiness.com/content/bermuda%E2%80%99s-stimulus-package-unveiled ) whilst only giving a cursory glance about “rolling out the red carpet rather than red tape” worries me that they are not taking their talent drain seriously. Cayman on the other hand seems to be taking this seriously and has more flexibility to offer such as :
- We are income tax free (as opposed to Bermuda 14-15%)
- We have investment in infrastructure (Just look at Camana Bay, Cricket Square, Cayman Enterprise and the proposed new hospital etc…)
- The Government is prepared to attract new business to the island, and believe me when I say there are some clever people in the private as well as the public sector doing some very good work at making this happen.
So these are just a few examples of positives the Cayman market has going for it. Sitting on the front line allows us to see who is coming and going and there are more coming than going at present suggesting a positive turn. It may not seem like it but our market is adapting and changing to the latest demands. If we can continue to address our own bureaucracy then we still have an opportunity to bring back those roles that have started to move away. We can learn a lot from markets such as Dubai and Bermuda.
So, “how’s the market?” Well CML is busy, which means we are hiring – we placed nearly 50 Caymanians in the last 10 months (that’s 5 a month or one a week!) along with a similar number of ex-pats, we continue to adapt to the ever-changing job specs whilst keeping up to date with changing benefits and global demand for talent. We spend a lot of time attracting talent from other offshore jurisdictions to aid the human capital talent available on island!
So in stock market terms we are “bullish” on Cayman and seeing signs of solid positivity!