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What is life in Cayman like working in Financial Services as an accountant? Hear from one of our recently placed candidates about all there is to know and consider.

The Cayman Islands economy is dominated by the financial services industry, and our team at CML are acutely aware of the requirements & demands when it comes to recruiting in the jurisdiction.

One of the primary financial industries that we recruit for at CML is for companies that provide corporate, private capital, hedge funds and private wealth solutions. Will Koutney, a partner at CML, is especially knowledgeable about the qualifications, experience and skills it takes to land a role in this area of the financial sector.

This is the first in our Life in Cayman series for those interested in relocating to the Cayman Islands. Our recruiters asked our candidates through a Q & A about their experiences in Grand Cayman so far.  Brandon Smith was a financial services candidate that we placed in May 2021.  Brandon is a financial controller, with Intertrust. Let’s see what he has to say about working offshore in the Cayman Islands.

Life in Cayman Series – Interview by Will Koutney with Brandon Smith, Financial Controller, Intertrust

Will: Why did you choose to relocate to Cayman? Were you considering anywhere else?

Brandon:  My girlfriend at the time (since married) and I were open to Bermuda, BVI and Cayman. The Cayman Islands was our first choice, as we were looking for ‘fun in the sun’ and ideally wanted to avoid Bermuda winters, but these were small considerations to the opportunities on offer. I did end up receiving offers for an analyst role with a global bank in Bermuda, an audit role in the BVI and an internal finance role with a retail insurer in Cayman. We chose the latter as my wife was easily able to continue with her audit career in Cayman too.

Will: What did you immediately notice when you first moved here?

Brandon: How small it is. We hired a car and were very surprised by how close everything was. When we went to the beach, we were struck by how pristine it is.  After a week or so we were really surprised at how friendly everyone was.  Over the first month, it became eye-opening how expensive things were compared to South Africa. It took around $10k-12k to get set up with various accommodation deposits and needs, vehicles, and general unexpected expenses.

Will: What are the downsides of Cayman versus back home?

Brandon: No family. Everyone will lose a few creature comforts from back home i.e., there are limited golf courses here if you love golf and different sports might be on offer to what you are used to (in terms of playing and being available on TV).

Will: How does your day-to-day schedule vary versus friends back home or abroad in New York, London, etc?

Brandon: Basically, I get two more hours a day to myself that I wouldn’t have in the ‘real world’.  I also no longer really have excuses to say no to invitations as everything is so close, quick, and convenient. Given the weather, there is very rarely a day when you can’t go outside and do something.

Will: Why have you decided to remain in Cayman long-term?

Brandon: If it ain’t broke don’t fix it! In all honesty, South Africa presents some employment challenges that I don’t experience in Cayman. Add to that,  the lifestyle and take-home pay is far more superior, it’s a no brainer for my family. Also, simple things like being close to the equator mean I rarely either go into work or leave work when it’s dark outside. Less general admin and life planning are required week-to-week in Cayman.

Will: What activities do you take part in? How are they different from home?

Brandon: I still golf and fish like I would back home, but in Cayman, I also take part in lots of other activities.  Tennis and touch rugby are more social and easier to do for fun, for team building or just a bit of exercise. Back at home, I would sail in regattas. This does exist in Cayman but on a smaller scale. Supporting your home team, large sporting events, festival or concert gatherings are harder to come by, but all part of the trade-off we’ve discussed.

Will: How is your friend/social mix comprised?

Brandon: I’m mates with lots of financial services professionals from all over the globe, especially Australia, New Zealand, UK, Ireland, US and Canada. Depending on your interests you will develop friendships through sport, community/school activities with the kids and work.

Whether you’re on-island already or are considering Cayman as your next career move, don’t hesitate to have a confidential conversation with the professionals here at CML Recruitment. We’re always happy to provide clarity and understand the industry and how the recruitment process works!

There’s significant growth in the Private Wealth Financial Services industry here in Cayman, so there isn’t a better time to ask questions if it’s something you might be interested in. To speak with our Financial Services Recruiter, Will, please send him an email at and always feel free to check our current jobs on our website 


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