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 insolvency. Martin Leigh is especially knowledgeable about the qualifications, experience and skills it takes to land a role as an accountant in this field.
We decided it would be helpful for those interested in relocating to the Cayman Islands to hear from our candidates through a Q & A session with their recruiter. Carlos Bourgy was a financial services candidate that we placed in 2019. Carlos is an accountant, specialising in insolvency at Alvarez and Marsal. Let’s see what he has to say about working offshore in the Cayman Islands.
Life in Cayman Series – Interview by Martin Leigh with Carlos Bourgy, Insolvency Associate, Alvarez and Marsal
Martin: Thank you for your time today! As a young professional coming from Perth in Australia, how do you find and compare the social scene and lifestyle of the Cayman Islands?
Carlos: Coming from a big city, like Perth, Cayman is certainly smaller in size however it certainly makes up for it in other ways, and so far, it has been an incredible experience. As an ex-pat, it’s a tight-knit community and everyone is very friendly. I never had any problems fitting in or going out socially as there is always something going on. If I’m honest I actually find myself busier here than I did back in Perth as everyone makes more of an effort to go out and meet people. The locals are very welcoming and there are always new ex-pats arriving from all over the world. Back home you end up hanging out with the same group of friends and it was always the same. From a social perspective, it’s a lot of fun and I really enjoy it.
Martin: Great to hear! Were there any things about the social scene or the lifestyle that you didn’t expect?
Carlos: There has been a change in circumstances obviously given the outbreak of Covid19. When I first arrived on Grand Cayman everything was normal, and tourism was at an all-time high. I was surprised by the number of things going on, bars full of almost every nationality (Caymanian, Jamaican, British, Australian), parades and club nights. There was also random social or sporting events popping up. The range of activities to do here is what I’m most surprised about. Covid did have an impact on all of this, but now that it has been such a long time without any community transmission things are 90% back to how it was before. This is great, especially when you have the beaches to yourself, and you are never too far from a party.
Martin: Outside of work what kind of hobbies and interests do you have?
Carlos: My main hobby is the gym, as I can get a little too carried away with socialising. Frequenting the gym is a good balance to even things out and keep healthy. The gym is my number one hobby followed by music. I have a recording studio in my room and like to do this in my spare time. I’ve also joined a social Gaelic Football team and I am learning the sport with a bunch of Irish and other nationalities who know how to enjoy themselves! These are my main three hobbies on the island.
Martin: How do you find the professional culture and working environment in Cayman particularly in insolvency?
Carlos: Again, I find it a very close community here and everyone really does know everyone! It’s a bit different than going to a city where you might not have heard of a particular firm or partner. Here everything is more commonly known, there is a lot of camaraderie and networking between the firms and the lawyers. Professionally in Cayman, you start to make connections quite quickly, much quicker than you would in a city. You build professional relationships from day one which carry over for years on the island to hopefully generate work and connections for the future. The networking days here are unreal!
Martin: What did the recruitment process consist of and how did you rate CML in helping to secure the role?
Carlos: It was a very smooth transition, it started off with a message from Martin and then a call to answer all the questions I had. At the time I was open to multiple different islands but through his guidance, it became clear that Grand Cayman was the best one for me. He provided a selection of opportunities, helped me through the interview process making sure I matched the best cultural fit in terms of the firm.
I think having someone on the ground here makes a huge difference as they can not only give you the realities of the opportunity but also tailored guidance on the individuals, the firm, and their interview process. You wouldn’t receive this type of knowledge and service from a recruiter based in a different country.
Luckily enough I was offered a position by Alvarez and Marsal which I accepted. From there I started the work permit process and CML was great answering any random questions I had, which were a lot coming from Australia and not knowing too much about the jurisdiction and its laws before I got here. Martin was very attentive, always gave me continuous updates throughout the process. CML was very accommodating even when I arrived, we went out for lunch and made me feel very welcome and comfortable.
Martin: Travelling around the world from Australia to reach the Cayman Islands, must have been challenging. How did you find the relocation process itself?
Carlos: Personally, as I was at boarding school for high school I am used to being away from my family, but moving here from across the world was a bit of a change! In the end, the whole process was seamless, especially with your help.
Martin: Too kind! What would you say are the best things about living in Cayman?
Carlos: The beautiful beaches and the weather! All year there is fantastic sunshine and the beaches are like something you would see in the movies. The islands are great for downtime. The people, everyone is very friendly and are happy to hang out. The main thing is the ease of lifestyle, no hectic traffic and it feels like you are living in the late 90s or early 2000s.
Martin: How do you find the cost of living here?
Carlos: When I first arrived here it was tricky as the currency exchange between the Australian dollar and the Cayman dollar was poor so the money I initially brought didn’t go far. The first couple of months are always a bit tough and I think that is a general trend for anyone moving to the island until your Cayman salary kicks in. However, the firms are there to support you and after you receive your first couple of pay packets in the local currency everything fits into place. You can still live here, enjoy yourself, do what you want, save money and go on holiday. I do suggest having some money put aside for a deposit on your apartment and purchasing a car. It’s hard to beat a tax-free salary and one of the best places in the world to work in insolvency.
Martin: What would you say to any other professionals considering relocating offshore?
Carlos: It’s an awesome experience I would highly recommend it, even if it’s just for a couple of years. It opens your eyes to what’s out there in the world. To live in such a beautiful jurisdiction where you can earn more money, tax-free, whilst you enjoy yourself, why wouldn’t you go for it?
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 Accounting and 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, or just head to our information page to find out more. To speak with our Financial Services Recruiter, Martin, please send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and always feel free to check our current jobs on our website www.cml.ky/jobs