Immigration changes will create jobs for locals

| 16/10/2009

(CNS): In order for Cayman to derive more money from the financial services sector it will need to drop the rollover policy and make immigration laws more attractive to professionals, says the chair of Cayman Finance.  Anthony Travers said that roll over policy does not create jobs for Caymanians but removes them. He warned that if Cayman does not enhance the situation for the sector government revenue will depend on tourism and a budget as little as US$150million which would see three quarters of the civil service disappear.

Speaking at an anti-money laundering conference sponsored by Global Compliance Solutions on Thursday at the Grand Cayman Marriot, Travers spelt out the problems of restrictive immigration policies. “There can be no doubt that the application of the roll over policy and the administration of the grant of work permits has had a very negative bearing on the fund administration industry in the Cayman Islands with trickle down negative implications for the real estate industry and job opportunities for Caymanians.”

The need to attract new areas of business in the financial services sector will require attracting new professionals to the island, Travers explained.

“It is highly unlikely in the foreseeable future that the volume of transactional flows will return to the levels experienced pre Leman Brothers,” he added.  “To maintain both private and public sector revenues, the Cayman Islands Financial Industry must for the reasonably foreseeable future obtain greater revenue from fewer transactions.  This in turn means that a more substantial element of each transaction must be undertaken from in and within the Cayman Islands and by those professionals capable of undertaking real financial engineering.”

He said the choice for Cayman was clear cut. In a hypothetical example where the financial industry was taken out of the local economy, Travers suggested, Cayman would be left with an indigenous population of some 27,000 people whose revenue could only be derived from tourism.

“There is absolutely nothing wrong with that as an economic model.  Indeed, some people may prefer it and hence the matter is one of choice.  But it must be understood that if that is the choice, that model will generate a budget of approximately US$150 million per year and support a civil service that is therefore less than one quarter of its current size.”

If the Financial Industry is not accommodated he warned that young Caymanians can only be prepared for local employment in tourism. If the finance industry is not moving forward with the full support of the Cayman Islands Government then it is moving backwards, he noted.  “No financial industry in history has been ableto maintain a status quo.  And Government revenues from the Financial Industry will necessarily follow either trend -forwards or backwards– it is as simple as that.”

Travers added that the real mechanism for ensuring proper Caymanian integration into the financial services industry is the Immigration Law. He said it was widely accepted that it had not worked satisfactorily and where it had failed to integrate Caymanians into the sector the answer should not be policies which drives fund administration, IT services, law firms and banks back offices out of the Cayman Islands.

He said Cayman Finance was advocating a change to policies that he believed would create more jobs for Caymanians not less. “There is nothing in the recommendations of Cayman Finance with regard to matters of immigration that will not operate in the best long term interests of young Caymanians seeking opportunity in the financial services industry,” Travers vowed but added the country needed to bring back business that had relocated and attract new business especially in the form of fund manager professionals.

Cayman Finance was enjoying a good relationship with the new administration, Travers said, with a substantial improvement in co-operation between the private and public sector, the industry body was providing coherent advice on behalf of the Cayman Islands Financial services Industry through developed channels. “On the key points, our advice is being accepted,” he said adding that Cayman Finance had also endorsed the government 2009/10 budget because a great number of the recommendations were developed by and recommended by the organisation.

Although the chair noted that no one thought the increased fees were compelling in their own right they were far preferable to direct taxes. “If cuts can now be made in public sector expenditure, (they) may represent only a temporary inconvenience,” he said but nothing would have justified "crossing the Rubicon and introducing direct taxation.”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    it isn’t more complicated than that .Over the past 15 years our once leading legislation has been copied by competitors  who are not rendered uncompetitive  by the ridiculous mindset of Caymanians exhibited in these posts . Those who have no idea what it takes to run a financial firm competitively .The immigration policy cannot work in relation to the financial industry as it stands . That is why it is in terminal decline .We cannot attract the brightest and the best  with serious money to invest in infrastructure  with a financial services  roll over policy and there is no other option.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Once and for all, this is not about getting rid of Expats. Who said that? The minute Caymanians have a certain opinion about something, it is automatically interpreted as "oh yeah, they want to get rid of ALL expats". No, that is not the case, and I don’t think most Caymanians are that ignorant. It is about NOT removing the roll over policy, NOT moving to 5 year permits, because this will just open up the flood gates. You can’t apply these policies to the Financial Sector only, because soon the Tourism industry will claim that they need the same, the Construction Industry then comes and says they need it too etc, etc. If we are giving it out to all of them, why not give it to the teachers, nurses, doctors etc. How many more people is this country supposed to absorb (give residency and status)?

    If people wouldn’t have abused the Key-Employee excemptions, and other immigration laws for so long, then perhaps more Caymanians would be prepared to consider such moves as beneficial. Problem is, as soon as you allow 5 year permits to go out for certain positions, soon soooo many more employees are all of the sudden going to fall into that category and need it. Who is going to put then the lid back on the pot? Once you have opened the gates and let the horses run, it will be very, very hard to get them back.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your own leader of Govt has admitted on record  there is a serious problem with regards Caymanians and their attitude to people coming to work in Cayman – and he is gravely concerned that if this doesnt change Cayman will lose everything. So please dont say there isnt 

      As someone pointed out there will be no point in having a University in Cayman as you dont need a law degree to wash dishes , wait tables or mix drinks and that is all that will be left for your children if Cayman continues the way it is going ,




  3. Anonymous says:

    I must admit I am shocked by the attitude of certain caymanian posters on this topic – To give a pathetic excuse such as I can only practice law in cayman as that is where i sat my bar exams – Please look at  the various bio’s of the lawyers practicing is the international firms you will see that the majority have sat bar exams in multi jurisdictions.

    Cayman is 100 square miles with a population of less than 50,000  and is being propped up by the very people you want to get rid of – they unlike you will be able to get roles elsewhere when the financial services and legal industry winds up due to the attitude of Caymanians who think they should be running operations.

    How in the hell do you expect overseas companies to want to deal with you or remain on the island when there is such a feeling of negativety against them. You should be making a concerted effort to make sure these companies want to stay and continue to do business and spend their dollars on your island .

    • Anonymous says:

      Where you see a lawyer admitted in multiple jurisdictions for the most part they have not taken any other exams. They just show up and "hey presto". Caymanians are pretty much the only lawyers who have actually sat the Cayman Bar exams. Do not assume they have studied or woeked any more or any harder to have all those shiny admission certificates.

      • Anonymous says:

        Correct. When you have qualified in certain favoured jursdictions (e.g the UK)  admission elsewhere in the commonwealth is often a formality not requiring any further examination.

        • O'Really says:

          I was interested in this point so I did a quick Google search. As far as I can tell there are a number of courses available for lawyers who want to become admitted to practice in say the UK or the US. 

          So it seems to me that the only thing that would stop a Caymanian lawyer from taking advantage of such facilities is a lack of initiative. Stop worrying about UK lawyers being admitted to practice here as a matter of course and take responsibility for your own career, If it would be furthered by working abroad for a while, make it happen. If you can’t be bothered, stop complaining.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Financial Industry will be "winding up due to the attitude of Caymanians"? That is hilarious! Are you seriously suggesting that this is all what global corporations are considering when they make their next move? How about favourable investment laws, tax benefits, central global location, operating expense etc etc etc.

      Yes, we need to market Cayman now harder then what needed to be done for the last 10 years, but please do not suggest that the only way to do this is to change the immigration laws. I would think that the issue is a bit more complex than that.

  4. Anonymous says:

     I have just read in another part of the CNS about the efforts Switzerland is putting in to attract financial organisations and staff to relocate operations there. They are making a concerted effort to welcome the very people Caymanians seem hell bent on making them feel very unwelcome. 

    Cayman is going to end up losing everything and dont think you will have tourism to fall back on with crime rates increasing . If these organisations and staff leave Cayman the tourist dollar isnt going to be enough to support your restaurants and bars , shops , realestate  industries etc  . 

    All you are going to end up with is a place where the discerning tourist wont want to come – infact would anyone want to go visit and spend their money in a location where there is so much animosity towards non caymanians .


    • Anonymous says:

       Yes Business is indeed pouring into Switzerland as the Cantons attract sophisticated high net worth businesses by insightful immigration policy and so the Swiss cover the hole in revenue caused by the piercing of bank secrecy with new types  of   financial business  which generate huge economic benefit for all ,and provide significant employment and development opportunities . This is precisely what Cayman should be attracting .So the Swiss take the crisis and turn it into a huge advantage .Compare this with the rubbish spouted here in Cayman by so called Caymanians without the faintest clue about the issues of the financial  industry and you will see why Cayman is headed for a downward spiral. If the Caymanians don’t understand what it takes to have a financial industry going forwards in the new era they won’t have it . They need to understand that they can’t play at having it. Lets close the law school and open a fishing and waitress school. Scholarships for young Caymanians  going forwards should be limited to rope and thatch making.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I am a recruiter based in UK  with a global remit and I have both advertised and recruited professional staff for both the legal and financial sector in Cayman as well as other offshore territories . I also recruit for these companies in UK etc . I have been in industry for many years and hold a high level position with a global company

    These roles are advertised in international quality newspapers and trade papers as well as online and NOT ONCE have I ever received an application from a Caymanian for any position anywhere in the globe. That I believe speaks volumes , Cayman is in a precarious position there is a clear message being sent out that overseas professionals appear not to be welcome . The ppoint you are missing is that company’s are now starting to look elsewhere and you only have yourselves to blame . Cayman was once an easy sell , now you have what appears an explosion in violent crime and Caymanians advising that foreign companies and people should go elsewhere

    • Anonymous says:

      Dear recruiter,

      We are all shipping jobs off to other places and pricing ourselves out of other businesses with huge work permit fees and fee increases.  Many expats are finding themselves out of a job on very short notice often as a result of wholly arbitrary decisions of the various boards that determine work permits and related rights.  I would be very wary of recommending Cayman to anyone other then perhaps a relatively young applicant who has limited ties and just wants a couple of years to save a bit of cash.

      • Anonymous says:

         I am aware of the precarious position Cayman is in and we watch everything very closely . The real tragedy is that it should never have come to this

          .Cayman historically was a great place for people to go with young families where they could feel safe and have a great quality of life  low crime , good schools , friendly people . There has been a drastic change in recent years and it looks as though word is getting out about the various problems as more and more people talk about paradise lost 

      • Anonymous says:

        Ha Ha Ha

        I wonder where you have been living. Only expats are out of jobs? Oh well, with statements made such like yours, you don’t need to be suprised when Caymanians fight for their rights and refuse to embrace expats into their community.

    • Anonymous says:

      The papers you refer to are not sold here.

      The countries you offer positions in do not fully recognise Caymanian passports and the visa issues are a nightmare.

      There are in theory at least 5 jobs available for Caymanians for every one they fill in their own country.

      The relevant offshore experience available here is second to none.

      The Caymanians ask their employers to be posted to their employers overseas offices and get refused. Why would those same overseas offices hire them through you?




      • Anonymous says:

        The papers all have online editions and you should be reading them if you are serious about getting ahead you also need to be kept up to date with what is happening in the financial and legal markets.

        The  recruitment websites are truly global all you need is the internet . I have detailed some examples but there are 100’s more – So please dont say you dont get these papers,  as well as that companies advertise roles more and more on their own websites that way they save on recruiter fees . Monster also  has job boards in most countries that recruiters use    ( a local agency!!)

        You do not need a work permit to apply for roles in Cayman – all you need is to be suitably qualified – When we have a remit to recruit the main concern is the person appropriately qualified – some universities are better than others for certain subjects . Do they have the correct  experience ?  If you shine at an international organisation they will have no issue in promoting and supporting their staff to have the career they want. 


      • O'Really says:

        The original poster has answered your points, but I would like to make a few observations on your comments:

        "The papers you refer to are not sold here."  Employers look for initiative. Anyone who cannot overcome this minor obstacle has none and does not deserve anything other than the most junior position here or anywhere else. Talk about needing to be spoon fed!

        "The countries you offer positions in do not fully recognise Caymanian passports and the visa issues are a nightmare." As far as I am aware as a BOTD citizen, all Caymanians are now British citizens and therefore European Union citizens. Immigration issues in the Uk and Europe are formalities. The US and Canada will be harder, but not impossible if you have what it takes.

        "There are in theory at least 5 jobs available for Caymanians for every one they fill in their own country." But the objective of working overseas is to make you more attractive to Cayman employers. Let me see if I follow your logic; " I’m not going to work overseas because there are 5 jobs available in Cayman that I am not qualified for or I’m less qualified for than my competitors, because I have not worked overseas"  Genius.

        "The relevant offshore experience here is second to none." True, but irrelevant if you can’t get a job here! The point of working overseas is to broaden an individuals experience in general. This includes learning to work without the safety net of nationality, experiencing different work cultures and environments, learning new skills, time management, etc. These have value without industry specific considerations, although a period of employment in a relevant field, say, an insurance company overseas would be an advantage in the captive insurance industry here.

        "The Caymanians ask their employers to be posted to their employers overseas offices and get refused. Why would those same overseas offices hire them through you?" Companies trying to hang onto staff is a worldwide issue. There is nothing generally to stop you applying directly to the overseas firms or going through an agency. I have hired many individuals from my own organisation who  came to me outside of the internal channels. Again, the word you are looking for is initiative and it is sadly missing in this post.. 









      • Anonymous says:

        I would like to add one final point  perhaps a consideration should be not just to look to a career in financial / legal . There are always jobs in what we term the caring professions for both sexes globally – Nursing , Midwifrey  Medicine , Dentistry , Teaching and they offer if the individual wants a chance to travel . With regards Nursing / Midwifrey we have witnessed a shortage in this particular area of staff as a result countries such as Canada , Australia etc have been making a particular effort to get individuals with qualifications in this area to emigrate and assist with making the process as simple as possible  . I know for example in the UK they employ a large number of nursing staff , midwives and medical staff from outwith the EU ie Phillippines , Africa , etc .I also know a large amount of people that have taken a decision to change career and retrain and go into nursing etc yes it does take some sacrifice however in the long run they gain.

  6. Anonymous says:

    So what else does Cayman have to offer if tourism goes down the pan due to crime levels and Companies leave due to the attitude that they are not welcome at all.


    Nothing is the answer – face up to it Cayman is NOTHING without these two key industries who support your bars , restaurants , retail outlets , postal services , garages etc   

    Or is that what you want a crime ridden island that offers no opportunities to  you or your children . These companies hire the people that are most qualified it is in their interest todo so – they dont hire on the basis of race , sexual orientation , colour . What a lot of you want is positive discrimination whereby companies are forced to hire caymanian because they are caymanian .  No one would do busines with you if that happened so wake up , go out and get an education , experience working abroad and get the experience that these people have – it takes hard work which quite a lot of you dont appear to recognise- get some self respect 

    • Anonymous says:

      Build colleges and educate your children and you will be able to compete, in the job market but that then the local schools were (and still are)  not considered "good enough". So people have sent their children off Island to get an education and it still was not enough because now the abroad experience was lacking. So people have gone out and gotten work experience abroad on top of their education and now it is not enough because they apparently all have poor work ethics, bad attitude or just can’t cut it.

      When do you think enough is enough? 

      Nobody is claiming that Expats are not needed and the Financial Industry is not needed, but stop blaming the immigration laws for current situation that the Financial Industry is in. I think we all know that there is much more to it than that, or are you seriously suggesting that by removing the roll over policy and handing out 5 year permits the Financial Industry will be booming again (forgetting about the rest of the world and its economic situation)?

      • Anonymous says:

        That is exactly what Travers is saying .These posts just don’t get it .In a competitive environment Cayman has to attract higher quality expertise  in the financial industry to expand .This is a new  point . These companies involve huge infrastructure spending They create jobs but their executives cannot be regarded as replaceable EVER .Do you want them or not.? If not get out your fishing rod  and teach your children well because other countries do want them and are getting them and that is the only new product out there 

    • Anonymous says:



  7. Anonymous says:

    Some people have fooled Caymanians for so many years and still trying to do the same.  I hope Caymanians would be wise this time.  Big Mac should be discussing ways to amend immigration laws to prepare Caymanians to do the jobs expats are doing now in next 5 years time. He got the mandate for that.

    • Anonymous says:

       Aren’t most of the civil service positions filled by Caymanians?  And aren’t those ‘businesses’ some of the worst run on the island with bookkeeping behind by 2+ years in some government agencies?

      Honestly, the problems of Ivy League grads getting the top jobs is common practice around the world.  Its not what you know, but who you know (and who your father knows) that moves you up the ladder quickly.  That is just as true among Caymanians as it is other nationalities.

      The sense of entitlement to top jobs is what drives the perception that many locals are not willing to work their way up the ladder.  And the difficulty in firing a bad Caymanian employee makes the hiring decision more difficult as well.  If the industry was 100% Caymanians you would see the same complaints by poorer families against richer families.

      The Caymanians who have made it to the top had a strong desire and work ethic to get there.  They were willing to make personal sacrifices for their career.  Again, this is common throughout the world.  If you aren’t born into a wealthy family with connections it is the only way.

      Growing the industry is the key.  The bigger the total pie, the bigger the piece available to the local community.  Think of it this way.  If the industry became 100% Caymanian and those workers stayed from age 22 to age60 where would all the new graduates each year find jobs if there was no growth?

  8. Johnny Cake wid a cup of coffey(e) says:

    Yeah…all I going to say here is: it would appear that this scary movie is an easier sell to this government compared to the last.  For the record…I am neither PPM, UDP or any other party.  I am Caymanian and pro-cayman.

    back to my blue mountain brew.

  9. Anonymous says:

    ….so if my child comes home after I almost bankrupted myself putting him/her through university and afford him/her some overseas experience, he/she is now less likely to get a job because somebody who before would have sat in a job with a 2 year permit is sitting there now for 5 years before the job comes on the market again? Of, if the person has gotten permanent residency, that person may remain in that position for the next 15 years?

    ……and you seriously expect that Caymanians should jump with joy and agree that this policy is a great idea? PLEASE……………

    • Anonymous says:

      The Cayman economy is not a zero sum game.  Understand this and you will understand the fundamental fallacy of the premise underlying your post.  The tragedy is that those with views like yours are going to starve the economy of the oxygen it needs to allow the development of new employment opportunities for your child.

      Also, the financial services market is a global market.  Our clients can move elsewhere.  They are moving elsewhere.  You need to think beyond the Cayman Islands when considering these policies.  Our clients do.

      • Anonymous says:

        If only all Cayman based firms actually permitted their Caymanian staff to go and work in other offices around the world, you might have a point. Regrettably some of them actively discourage their Caymanian staff from going overseas – often preserving such positions for others.

        • Anonymous says:

          Hey Einstein, why not apply to non-Cayman based firms?

          • Anonymous says:

            Because – for example –  if you are a Caymanian lawyer called to the Cayman Bar you can only practise Cayman law.

            • Anonymous says:

              Going to another jurisdiction to work in the foreign office a Cayman law firm is not really trying to push the experience envelope is it? 

              • Anonymous says:

                You suggest a Caymanian lawyer with professional qualifications and experience stop their careers mid stream and re-qualify in another field/jurisdiction – just to gain a couple of years experience? Wow – we are further apart than I thought.

                • Anonymous says:

                  Why not?  What do you think the expat attorneys are doing here?  Grab some cojones and expand your horizons!  I’m qualified in 3 jurisdictions (yes, 2 with actual exams), and I’m looking at number 4.  And I did move my career mid-stream, but I assure you it did not stop – it just advanced.

      • Anonymous says:

        The Cayman economy is also not billed on the country’s immigration laws. I guess we all can agree that the reason why Cayman has a Financial Industry is because of the tax benefits that can be gained. Clients who move elsewhere are not moving because of immigration issues, or are you seriously suggesting that some of the banks have moved whole departments because they have had immigration issues with some of their work permits? I think corporations have to consider a much bigger picture than that, which include overall cost, favourable central location etc. Are you actually aware of some highly connected individuals or some corporations who have considered to come to Cayman but declined because of work permit issues? Everyone says that this is the case, but nobody can provide any numbers or statistics.

    • Anonymous says:

      there are always jobs for appropriately qualified people – perhaps the youth of Cayman needs to experience life off the island – so when they leave university let them work abroad for a number of years  – cut the apron strings 

    • Empty nest says:

      Well, according to all the expats posting on these boards, the world is a lot better than Cayman so don’t worry, your kid won’t come back.

      They will get a better, higher paying job with far more extensive benefits in another country and won’t come back to burden our home country.

      At the same time, they will be a better more rounded person with no inbred hatred that you automatically get by being a Caymanian. 

      Bet they won’t even be able to kiss their teeth…


    • O'Really says:

      When people here, me for example, talk about overseas experience, we are not counting time spent at university overseas. This is education. Overseas experience is gained through working in a relevant field overseas and having to truly perform without the safety net of having the right nationality.

      And if ever there was a post showing how little Caymanians really understand about the time frame required for gaining experience and winning ( yes winning as opposed to being given ) well paid financial service jobs, its yours.

      You clearly expect your child to return from university and take the job of a well qualified expat ( and what other type of job did you have in mind if you have educated your child to the level you state?)  in 2 years? Even 5 years is too short a period for most responsible  and well paid positions.

      Set yourself and your child wildly unrealistic goals and then blame someone else for failing to achieve them. PLEASE……………

      • Anonymous says:

        I am not talking about top positions. I am talking about general positions. What about the temps that sit in various positions (such as Fund Administration for example) for more than a year or two? Are you seriously suggesting that no suitable Caymanian could be found for that position or with a little effort could have been trained to take on this position? I think this is what most people are complaining about. You need to give Caymanians a bit of a benefit that they have a brain and don’t demand to come home from college and be hired as a CEO the next day. However, being able to get their foot in the door and get an opportunity would be a nice start, don’t you think?

        • O'Really says:

          Well, you’re either not the same poster that I responded to, or you have miraculously transformed from parent to child. As it is, I think I recognise you, my disgruntled friend.

          My original post was not focused on top positions. Top positions require far longer than 5 years to obtain. The nature of the financial service industry is such that many positions require professional qualifications, even for field staff. My detailed knowledge of the fund business is somewhat limited, but my experience is that fund administration companies recruit qualified accountants as fund administrators because the bulk of the work performed in Cayman is maintaining the accounting records. Maybe this has changed, but in my time these were generally recruited from the local accountancy firms after they had completed their contracts. In this case these would be qualified CA’s or CPA’s who by the time they moved into fund administration had at least 5 years work experience.

          So unless a Caymanian seeking to replace an expat had a professional accountancy qualification and 5 years experience, they would not meet the criteria for these jobs. If you think that only a " little effort" isrequired to obtain, say, a CPA qualification, feel free to go out and get it. If you do I can assure you that you will have plenty of job offers.

          You use the term "temp" as if this is somehow inferior to full-time. Temp does not necessarily mean less qualified or experienced, so being a temp does not mean they are more easily replaceable by the unqualified. 

          I’m sure that there are jobs within the fund industry that don’t require professional qualifications that a university graduate could be trained for. I don’t know how long such a training period would be. Maybe it can be done in 2 years, maybe 5. 

          Your comment that Caymanians should be able to get their foot in the door is of course correct, but how many? This is a topic for another thread, but given the size of the financial service industry there will be limits on how many unqualified ( in terms of professional qualifications ) and inexperienced Caymanians can be absorbed. There will be competition between Caymanians for places on the ladder and not all will get there. This is a reality faced the world over and maybe its Cayman’s time to face this.

          • Anonymous says:

            A. Don’t have a clue about your reference regarding you recognizing me

            B. Why do you make the assumption that the Fund Administrator has a CPA? Some do, some don’t. There are various levels of jobs within Fund Administration. You do not need to assume that all work permit holders on the Island within the Financial Industry have a professional qualification and more experience. That is just simply not the case. If you believe otherwise, you have been living in denial.

            C. Why do you assume I have no idea what is involved in getting a CPA. Has it dawned on you that I perhapsI have this qualification? Or is this in your world not possible just by virtue of me being Caymanian?

            D. Not saying that temps are inferior to full time staff, but they are supposed to be temporary and not continue to stay on for years (and yes, this is what happens). I believe that per law they are even to be rotated after 3 (or maybe 6) months. The problem here is that a lot of companies do not want to add the full time staff to their books (to avoid having to pay benefits) and continue to hang on to temps. I would say, this is taking potential jobs away from Caymanians.

            E. All Caymanians should be able to get their foot in the door if they have gotten the proper qualifications and experience needed. Unfortunately this is not the case, believe it or not. Yes, there are a lot of Caymanians that do not have the necessary education, qualification or experience, but there are now more than what used to be, and those children are coming home from their time abroad and often do still not get a chance.

            F. There is always a reason or an excuse why Caymanians are not suitable for a certain position. It seems that people like you have formed a solid opinion that Caymanians just don’t cut it in the Financial Industry no matter what they do. I think you are in complete denial if you assume that politricks has nothing to do with it. Perhaps you should look around at some firms on the Island, who have held on to Caymanian employees and Partners for a loooong time,  for as long as they could use the certain connections gained through that "local" employee or Partner to their advantage. Unfortunately, they got the push out the door as soon as they gotten either too powerful, too popular or they had lost their connection with the respective party in power. I am sure, not possible in your world.

            G. No need to respond. I already know what you are going to say….

  10. Anonymous says:


    we just have to agree to disagree. I go by my experiences, you go by yours. I have my opinion, you have yours…..


    • O'Really says:

      Actually, I have an informed opinion and you have a persecution complex, but I’m sure we can agree to disagree on this. 

  11. O'Really says:

    Even though you post as Anonymous, I recognise your style. You keep posting the same stuff over and over and for once you have said something I can agree with. Your last words " I will never believe it." 

    Forget Travers widespread network of contacts, or the fact that he represents Cayman Finance and speaks for their members, expat and Caymanian, no amount of common sense discussion is going to change your mind, you know what you know and that’s all you need. Unfortunately this is far too common a trait in Cayman and has about the same legitimacy as stories I pick up on the marl road.

    I have hired literally hundreds of professional expats over my career here and I never knew one of them before I interviewed them. So much for bringing in my buddies. But why should you believe me, you know what’s really going on! And I don’t expect you to believe this either but in virtually every case I would have jumped at a chance to hire a Caymanian, but they were not there!

    • Anonymous says:

      If you successfully hired hundreds of expats, why should there be a need to do away with the roll over policy and implement 5 year permits? Clearly the current immigration law did not prevent you from running your business successfully and it doesn’t seem that you were short of applicants for those positions…….

      • O'Really says:

        I retired before the current roll-over policy was introduced so it was never a factor for me. For the level of expats I was bringing in I would not have sought a 5 year permit in any case.  Except in unusual cases I did not expect the staff I hired to stay with my company more than 2 years and I seriously doubt the existence of 5 year permits would change this. It’s part of the business model still followed.

        I believe you are missing the point. Travers and Bush are seeking to attract the very top level professionals, the owners/promoters of say, offshore funds. They are seeking to have these people relocate all, or substantially all of the functions associated with their businesses which are currently carried out overseas. These people will not be interested in Cayman if there are limits on how long they can stay here. Would you transfer an entire business knowing you might only be allowed to stay 7 years? These people will have trusted staff as part of a team, they will want long permits for them as a minimum. The trade off is that there will be other jobs created which can be filled locally.

        I have my doubts as to whether this type of individual is ever likely to be attracted here, but if Cayman wants to try, then the amendments to the immigration law as suggested will be necessary. Of course, as is increasingly the case with at least the Caymanians posting to this board and an awful lot of the general Caymanian population too it seems, feel free to cut off your nose to spite your face!




        • Anonymous says:

          Whilst you (or Bush and Travers) may have some valid points, I believe that it is necessary to get the "buy-in" of the general Caymanian population, but it seems that Bush/Travers are not going about it the right way.

          I believe that a lot of Caymanians have lost the trust that their politicians do actually look out for the best interest of Cayman and Caymanians, and it will be extremely challenging to reverse the damage that has been done in the past by some of the politicians and/or expats who hold (or held) powerfulpositions and have abused the system.

          System abuse is not isolated to Cayman, but it is so much closer to people and in their face, given the small size of the country, therefore it makes it harder to ignore and forget.

          • O'Really says:

            I don’t know how else Bush or Travers can go about trying to alert the Caymanian people to the dangers Cayman is facing, other than giving them an unvarnished picture of what’s in store. The problem is that Caymanians do not want to hear it. They think everything is going to be business as usual, that Travers is simply scare-mongering as a front for an expat conspiracy and that Bush has his own agenda which is not aligned with the well-being of the Caymanian population. I have rarely believed a word out of Bush’s mouth, but what he is telling Caymanians right now rings very true, at least on this subject. As for Travers I can think of no reason for him to want anything other than the success of Cayman for all residents, expat and Caymanian alike.

            I’m not of the opinion that the financial service industry will disappear, but I believe the risk it will contract more than forecast is real and the impacts of this will be more significant and painful than people think ( if they think at all).

            Bashing expats has been a national sport for as long as I’ve been here ( and that’s a long time ) and in general I’ve ignored it. But I am starting to get concerned that it is reaching levels where irreparable damage will be caused to the image Cayman portrays to both existing businesses and potential new businesses. Add this to the pressure being exerted by the global financial crisis, which hasn’t gone away, renewed unwelcome interest from failing G20 governments, the increasing level of violent crime and the danger that Cayman will talk itself into the poor house increases significantly.

            I am not so naive as to think that there has never been abuse of the immigration system, but this happens far less than Caymanians will accept. My experience tells me that most often a Caymanian is passed over for promotion for legitimate reasons, but that the individual who can accept this is as rare as snow on SMB. I have an odd view, in that I believe immigration, in it’s efforts to protect Caymanians has actually hurt them in this regard. The main employers in the financial service industry, mostly expat owned or operated, are so keen to give Caymanians every chance to succeed ( if for no other reason than to keep in with immigration, the ever present threat, real or imagined ), that they are not as honest in assessing performance as they would be with an expat. Eventually the Caymanian employee who is not going to go any further has to have an honest assessment and maybe hasn’t been as prepared for the news as they should have been. Their resentment is understandable, but it doesn’t make them more capable.

            I may not entirely agree with the reasons behind your statement that " it will be extremely challenging to reverse the damage that has been done…" but I couldn’t agree more with your conclusion. For once I wish Bush success, but I have serious doubts that even he can pull this one off.


  12. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, I have seen too many of these so called highly qualified individuals who looked great on paper but didn’t look all that great in real life. Just because you have a Cambridge certificate doesn’t mean that you know anything about Cayman Law of Offhsore Financing. In fact, I had a few of these highly qualified people that call me up after they have taken up their positions, asking me some extremley dumb questions about the basics of Cayman Law (and I am just a measly little Administrator!). One would have thought that these highly trained people would have made a bit of an effort to educated themselves about Cayman Law and the basics of Offshore Financing prior to setting their foot on the ground in Cayman. Unfortunately, my experience has shown me otherwise, so I am hard pressed to show the desired respect…… got to earn it, and a Cambridge degree may not be sufficient enough……..

  13. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think that most people dispute that Expats are needed, and that there are some positions for which it is hard to find a qualified Caymanian. However, unfortunately in the past the immigration laws were abused and ignored and many work permits were given out for positions where a perfectly qualified and able Caymanian could have filled the position. Most of the times, this was done because a friend was doing another friend a favour, so who can blame Caymanians to finally get fed up with the lame excuses.

    I do not believe for one minute that what Mr. Travers suggest is true. Global businesses are not going to move their decission making owners, CEOs or CFOs to Cayman, and Cayman most likely will never be the head office for any big global corporation. The reason is that the overhead in Cayman is simply to expensive, and key-players need to be accessible and able to travel easily, which doing so from Cayman would just make things much more complicated. As such, the key-players will always remain in more central locations such as NY, Tokyo, London etc.

    The reason business in Cayman has contracted is because of the current economic downturn, which means corporations watch every dollar a lot closer than what they used to and outsorce their operations to cheaper locations as much as possible. It has nothing to do with the fact that Cayman has bad immigration policies that stiffle business. To suggest that is just foolish, and unless someone can provide a statistic to show how many people have turned down job or business opportunities in Cayman to prove me otherwise, I will never believe it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank You. Very well written, and true!

      They will come up with any excuse to hold unto their positions here and get their friends and family here and keep Caymanians out of the jobs. There already is in place the proper Immigration procedure for Key Employees – so after 7 years if their performance is so good then they should not have a problem getting Permanent Residence. Also a requirement for Key Employees should be proof that they have assisted Caymanians in advancing on the job.

      • frank rizzo says:

        How – isn’t a requirement for permanent residence 8 year’s residence? If one puts in a "stellar" 7-year performance, one doesn’t qualify to apply for permanent residence.

        • Anonymous says:

          If you are key employee you are permitted to work for 9 years in which case you are eligible to apply for permanent residence after 8 years. 

  14. Anonymous says:

    With Respect to Mr. Travers and appreciation for his many contributions to Cayman recently – canceling the rollover policy for any specific category of  professionals is not the answer to this problem. Ever since the financial industry started in the 1970’s I have been hearing about training Caymanians for the top positions. Now 30 years into this we still have the same problem. What is bothersome is – at what stage will Caymanians have at least 50% of the jobs  in the financial, legal., or accounting industries in this our own country? One solution to this is that even at this late stage Govt require the companies in this country to hire and train at least one Caymanian for every work permit holder. That way in 10 years we should have at least an equal share in all industries.


    • Anonymous says:

      "at what stage will Caymanians have at least 50% of the jobs in the financial sector" ?

      When they prove they can cut it, with the brightest minds in New York, London and Hong Kong. I’m personally sick of this Caymanian whining about their god given rights. When are they going to understand that their wealth has been created by extremely clever, professional people????

      Mr Travers clearly told us " CAYMAN BETTER START GETTING REAL", stop bloody whinging about someone from West Bay getting the opportunity to look after million dollar investments and let the experts get on with it…….

      • Anonymous says:

        I can see from your post that you are not one of the brightest minds from New York, London or Hong Kong either. In fact the brightest minds from these places stay there because they have more opportunities there. The reality is that the people getting and controlling these jobs in Cayman are usually no better equipped to have the jobs than the many Caymanians who have gone overseas to study,  and found out to their dismay that they are still not getting the jobs. Its not about whining – its about not getting equal opportunities in their own country. How will Caymanians ever prove their abilities if they are not given the chance? So since you seemed not to get my point let me put it simpler – its time to start giving Caymanians an opportunity, and that means training them for the future and accepting those who have trained themselves. And by the way – I have lived here for a long time but I am not Caymanian either. But fair is fair, and Caymanians need to be given an equal opportunity.


      • Anonymous says:

        Actually we don’t have to consider the "brightest" of these places.  Instead, we need to compare the education, "City" work ethic and experience of potential recruits when they worked in the leading institutions in the world off island.  With that backing, even the "quite good" (as opposed to the brightest) still may have more to offer employers. To be blunt, clients would rather deal with someone with a Cambridge degree and 4 years in the City – it is an easier sell for those to whom our clients answer.

    • O'Really says:

      I don’t want to get into the whole expat/Caymanian thing here, but it’s worth pointing out a few things.

      Travis is making it fairly plain that business in Cayman from the existing financial service lines is contracting. Given the global financial crisis, this is hardly surprising. You can ignore his message , but he is in a position to know. What he makes less clear, but implies ( and for what it’s worth, I believe this point to be true ) is that it will continue to contract. Many of the financial vehicles that provide fees at the moment are in " run-off mode ", that is they exist but are much smaller than they were and are heading for closure in some shape or form. There is some new business of the same sort, but not enough to stop the decline.

      To counter this continued decline, he is suggesting that we need to attract a new sort of business, one where mind and management are actually on island. Right now this is rarely the case. To do this, you need to attract the " owners of these businesses", the guys who make the decisions. These guys can work anywhere. They will not even consider Cayman if there are any limits on how long they can stay or who theycan employ. Cayman must play by their rules or not play. I don’t doubt you won’t like this, but that doesn’t make any difference. What’s in it for Cayman is the creation of second level professional, admin and support jobs ( for expats and Caymanians for sure ) but new jobs nonetheless. If Caymanians don’t want new jobs under these circumstances, that’s their prerogative but I suspect a period of unemployment will make this option a lot more attractive in due course.

      I would hope that everyone can understand that Cayman is competitive as an offshore jurisdiction, but getting less so with each fee increase and unconsidered public statement by BigMac. How competitive do you think Cayman would be if each professional service firm had to effectively employ 2 people for each work permit held, one to do the work and one to learn and help where possible? How productive would a work permit employee be with a trainee to deal with 8 hours a day?  Most companies if required to do this will just pack up and go.

      A further consideration is that no-one ever looks at the broader picture in terms of how financial service firms contribute more generally than simply through their own employment numbers. Take Rolston Anglin or Don Seymour. These guys were both sponsored through university by an accountancy firm, provided with vacation work in the local office, sponsored through their professional qualifications and sent overseas to gain experience. Could a firm do more? When they returned they decided to take different career paths and have done very well. There are many examples like this, but Caymanians are very selective in what counts and what doesn’t count.

      In every country and every economy there are more indians than chiefs. Cayman is not immune to this but there is a tendency to look at the very top and say Caymanians are not sufficiently represented without looking at the middle and lower levels and accepting that a lot of well paying jobs exist because these firms exist. I’m not suggesting that Caymanians should not aspire to top positions, but the fact they don’t get them, whether through operation of an expat conspiracy or because they are not good enough, should not lead to collectively cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face.


    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry, but the requirement to hire and train Caymanians which you suggest has been the Law for at least 20 years. Most companies ignored it. Now we pay the price.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I can’t really comment on your immigration policy. I can say, that, here in the U.S., we have a big problem.

    Someone asked about the costs of permits vs. work visas in regards to Cayman & U.S.

    Because there have been so many work visas for foreign workers in the U.S., there are different kinds of visas. But, here is an interesting argument about auctioning visas – **this talks about employers should put up a cash deposit or insurance policy, if the worker is convicted of a felony or stays in country after visa expires, the money will be forfeited and given to government. click this link.

    scroll down to 2004 February 19 Thursday "Current Year H1B Skilled Worker Quota Already Filled"  *be sure to also click on comments.

    continue to scroll down to see articles such as 2004 Feb. 07 Sat. "Thinking About Bush’s Less Than Half-Baked Worker Permit Proposal"

    2004 Jan 5 Mon. "African Immigrants Paid $2 Per Hour to Deliver Groceries"

    2003 Aug 2 Sat. "Foreign Workers Increasingly Brought In To Replace American Workers."

    • Anonymous says:

      Only nearsighted neanderthals see an immigration problem in the US.  Without immigrants (legal and illegal) the US economy would collapse.  Legal immigrants often fill roles in computer sciences, research, and healthcare.  There simply aren’t enough Americans qualified to meet the demand for them.  If not for illegal aliens, the entire fruit and vegetable harvest in California’s San Joaquin valley would rot because not a single native-born American could be bothered to pick crops. Furthermore, the American population is aging and family sizes are shrinking.  This means a shrinking pool of available native labor not to mention an ever increasing need for elder care-givers.  As a US citizen and former resident of a border state, I’m furious my tax dollars are wasted to construct a useless wall.  That will last about as long as the useless chain-link fence it’s replacing.  Finally, if you want to cure the drug problem in the US (or anywhere for that matter), all you have to do is stop buying the junk and the market will dry up!  My point is, stop blaming others for your problems and instead check the mirror!

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree, you are furious, and hostile. You are quick to name calling, wow! Didyou actually read the comments? Better yet, did you click on the link and bother to read it?

        It’s amazing how people are criticizing citizens for not wanting to let any and everyone in their countries. This goes both ways! Trust me, you can’t just go in any country you want.

        As far as the fruit and vegetables, most of the grocery stores in the states are selling fruits from Chile, Mexico, Thailand…meats/fish are imported from China, Canada, Philippines…..In fact, there’s information that Americans are looking for farm work.

        It would be nice if this subject could result in constructive dialog, yet, people (mostly employers of cheap labor) go on attack mode, or for some other hidden agenda.

        Here’s a question for you, how come you’re not in one of those countries setting up shop? I’m not being sarcastic, jus’ sayin’, I mean, I’m sure some of the immigrants (legal/illegal) would rather not uproot and leave their own countries.


      • Anon says:

        “Legal immigrants often fill roles in computer sciences, research, and healthcare.  There simply aren’t enough Americans qualified to meet the demand for them.”

        In the case of computer science, this is quite simply wrong. In the US and far more in the UK employers have discovered loopholes in the immigration system that allows them to ship in loads of foreign IT works at a fraction of the cost of hiring local staff. Claims that there is a shortage is simply a lie. In truth, there are plenty of people with the skills in both countries. However, this is not the case in Cayman.
  16. Anonymous says:

    To B****rd

    Are you American? I am not sure if you know what you are talking about. I have worked in the US and the company that took out a work permit for me had to hire an immigration lawyer to get it sorted. It was a long, expensive and difficult process. The requirements are MUCH more complex to get a work permit there than it is in Cayman. And nobody is willing to hand you out a 5 year permit just because. Even if you have a permit, as a foreigner you always struggle with things like health insurance, pension etc. What is available to US citizens is not necessarily available to work permit holders. Why does it always get so blown out of proportion if a Caymanian speaks up? I don’t think that anybody suggested that ALL expats should leave, and all businesses should be run by Caymanians. I think that what people are saying is to hand out a 5 year permit doesn’t make any sense. What is supposed to be the benefit of it, and for whom? Are you seriously suggesting that this will entice more businesses? I think businesses have to look at a much bigger picture than a company’s immigration laws! It get’s disgusting to constantly here about how Caymanians are not properlyqualified. Of course, if you compare them to the entire world population, there will always be somebody else who is better qualified. There a black sheeps in every population. Do you think Bridger and his team were doing such a wonderful job? Weren’t they supposed to be so highly qualified and that’s why they had to bring them in?

    • B****rd American says:

      First of all my Apologies. I am an American but have not spent much time there.  You obviously have more experiance and knowledge about their system then I do. Thankyou for setting me straight. I guess that I am still pissed off at the terrible service I recieved while there and I am takeing it out on anything Caymanian.  My eyes are now more open and I can see more of the other side.  So all I should say is Cayman has a problem that is not going to be easy to fix. I hope that whatever needs to be done will be and that the situation gets better for everyone.  All the best.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Cayman needs the Financial Services industry more than ever – the rate of violent crime is extremely concerning especially as guns are more and more coming into play and at the rate it is going its just a matter of time before a tourist is murdered or badly injured I can guarantee that will be featured in the worlds  press which will do Cayman no good as a safe family holiday destination. Who wants to holiday in a place that is under the rule of the gun and drugs ???

    What else does Cayman have to offer ? Think about it before you run do the one industry that can get Cayman out the mess it is in



  18. Twyla Vargas says:

    SORRY I AM NOT , prepared to support you on this one MR. Travers.  Scraping the roll over policy ?????

    Someone has to explain to me how it will help Caymanians.  Also I want to know how the situation will end with expatriates comming to Cayman, working the system, for year after year,  and then bringing their families to join them year after year.  Would,nt they be holding on to jobs that Caymanians would need?  After they have been herem say for 10 to 15 years, in the same job, what should we do then, let them continue until they get old and grey, give them status or just be quiet.

    No, I cannot see past this one, so help me out here before I say any more, seen.

    • Watching says:

      You  honestly think that getting rid of the hard to find skill and experianced workers in the financial industry that currently resides on Cayman and replaceing them with  the obviously untalented,unmotivated, and ethicaly challedged Caymanian workforce will work?  Honestly’ Caymanians are given every opportunity at every job that they are qualified for  and many that they are not.  What have you all done with this gift?  You seemed to want every job but do not want to actually do the work.  It also seems that you think that showing up on Payday is all that is required for a business to prosper. Look at your Goverment.   What do you see???  Please prove me wrong.  Talk is not Proof.

      • Anonymous says:

        You clearly have a very low opinion of Caymanians generally. This is the precisely the sort of prejudice that Caymanians have to battle against in the workplace.

        It is absolutely false to state that "Caymanians are given every opportunity at every job that they are qualified for and many that are not". There would less need for rollover if that were true. More often than not suitably qualified Caymanians are denied opportunities in favour of their expat counterpart, whether it is manipulating the job advertisement process or otherwise.  

        Rollover is not about replacing every expat with Caymanians. If you took the time to educate yourself on the issue you would know that.

        While relaxing some provisions may some merit, removing rollover will be disastrous for Caymanian/expatrelations.  

        The anti-Caymanian sentiments that you express demonstrate the need for rollover more than ever.

        For once, I agree with Twyla.

    • Anonymous says:

      No Ms Twyla  your summary that is not an accurate summary of what Travers said and not a good understanding of how a financial industry works  .Travers said clearly that the current policy had driven the financial industry out off Cayman .It was declining and so were job opportunities for Caymanians  and revenue to Government. Only if you expanded the financial Industry would Government revenues increase and job opportunities increase for Caymanians.,The integration  and promotion of those Caymanians into an expanding industry was a matter for the Boards  .But with no financial industry you had no jobs for Caymanians in the first place. He said clearly that Caymanians   don’t have any other choice .The idea that only Caymanians can run the financial industry is a delusion.

      • Anonymous says:

        "The idea that only Caymanians can run the financial industry" is a ‘straw man’. I have never heard that suggested by any Caymanian anywhere at any time. 

        Twyla was quite correct in summarising that Travers was suggesting the removal of the ‘rollover policy’, at least for the financial industry.  Since he has intimated that the current Govt. is listening to Cayman Finance’s proposals on key issues this gives us a hint of what the LOGB wlll announce next.

        What is interesting is that this will not favour the UDP’s new constituency,  Jamaican residents, who for the most part do not work in the financial industry. Will they catch on that they have been used? The "anti-Jamaican" PPM at least treated all expats equally with rollover.

        God help us all. 

    • o.c.m. says:

      Ummh, the entire article is an explanation as to how getting rid of the rollover policy and expanding the financial services industry would benefit Caymanians.  Were you not paying attention???

  19. Anonymous says:

    Your talking way over the average Caymanians heads so they will not understand.  The only way this will come to be is if the leaders are made to see the logic.  Good luck with this  but the more probable course will be the slow starting then rapidly accelerating relocation of firms to more understandable areas and Cayman becomeing a back water minor tourist destination for those that want to go the less traveled route.  Truly this is the only way that Grand Cayman can be dominated by Caymanians which is what the people of Cayman really want regardless of the cost to their current lifestyles.  If Caymanians could actually accomplish the necessary quality and quantity of work needed to make the financial areas of Cayman work it would already be that way.  Everyone would be happy and life would go forward for Cayman.  But instead of stepping up and educating and escalating their work ethics up to the worlds standards they have chosen to try to make Caymans business come down to theirs. The goverment  has backed the peoples wishes in this by forceing businesses to hire Caymanians over skill and experiance and trying to make it financially difficult to hire skill and experiance over Caymanians.  That is what the whole Caymanian immigration policies are all about.  It was a good try but its not hard to see that Caymanians are not still not happy and financial businesses will have a much easier time in many other areas of the world.  I know the Goverment will not like to give up all that money and will try very hard to keep it here but in the end  Whatever they promise will not go down to well with the people and probably won’t be enough anyway.  Too bad.  I will be happy to visit Cayman after the fall and Caymanians have refigured out a way to make a living here.

    • Anonymous says:

      What an ignoramus.The Immigration Law and policies do not of course require employers to hire Caymanians over skill and experience. The question only arises when employers fail to offer a position to a SUITABLY QUALIFIED Caymanian with the appropriate experience but instead choose an expat (probably from their homecountry).     

      • Anonymous says:

        Ah, "suitably qualified Caymanian" – the mantra of the mediocre.  Our businesses can’t recruit the best available and have to recruit or worse promote some individuals who know a) see law as a means of career progression over talent and b) have a relative in immigration.  So practically the law does require employers to hire some Caymanians over skill and experience.  Those "some" may be in the minority of an excellent Caymanian workforce.  But that minority do massive harm to the reputation of the remainder.

        • Anonymous says:

          "Suitably qualified Caymanian" has something to do with the Immigration Law. The only reason that the law needs to be a means of career progression is to combat the prejudice and discrimination of expat employers.  There are employers who prefer to employ expats over suitably qualified Caymanians for no better reason than they hail from their home country or are of the same race.   

          As for "mediocre", you clearly do not know who is posting, but it probably describes you very well.    

  20. Anonymous says:

    Every b****rd who comes to these islands is looking out for his own or his pocket and to hell with the indigenous Caymanian.  This is the very cause of or labour/employment problem.   When an expatriate steps over the threshold of any business/office, he is looking to make way for another of his kind, and push the Caymanian out.

    It is the Caymanian who is in the scale and leftwanting.  Tell me, which country (other than the Cayman Islands) allows expatriates in to over-run and take over.  All that is being proposed with the 5 year permits by the intelligent,  learned, educated LOGB is another way to deceive amd malign the natives.  Easy way of getting Permanent Residence.

    Most people are in the game for the winning.   Caymanians, wake up ,we have been asleep too long.  Don’t let the UDP pull the wool over your eyes.

    • B****rd says:

      Spoken like a true Caymanian.  Have you ever been off island to the other world?  In Cayman it is the fool that talks loudest.  Ever hear of the United States?  There are laws there that are inforced to make sure there is NO discrimanation in hireing.  This has led to Companies being able to hire the people they require to compete in the world.  Where do you think most of your tourist come from and how do you think that they are all able to afford to visit Cayman?   Where do most Caymanians go shopping to get the most for their money?  Why do you think this is so??  I know I probably lost you at spoken.  My humble Opinion would be to let things go as they are and let the rest of the world see what happens to a country that is trying to dominate all business on their small island without regard to qualitiy of workers and has no other viable marketable products.  Your wish to get rid of all non Caymanian  b****rds soon come.  Then you can go back to wipeing out what is left of all living things that used to live off your little island.  I sincerely hope you get what you want.

      • Anonymous says:

        Um – no discrimination laws do not apply to prefering citizens over non-citizens. It is a crime to employ a foreign national unless they have a green card, and you generally cannot get  a greencard unless you have skills which are not available in adequate measure amongst US citizens.


        That fence and those partols along the Mexican border are not just to stop drugs and terrorists. Undocumented migrant workers are in fact the main target – even more now that the economy is causing them to be competing with citizens for work.


        You seem a little irritated? When you realise you ain’t in  Kansas anymore, you might actually start feeling better.

        • just a worker says:

          My Bad,

          Thanks for correcting me,  Since I really don’t know much about a green card or visa could you tell the people how much a work visa cost in the U.S. verses a work permit in Cayman?  Anybody?  It would be good info to know. You could prove my point moot.  It could also mean that because of the American education system and basic hard working ethics of Americans that they don’t need much outside help to be successful.  Your thoughts?  Your right that I am a little irrated .  I worked on Cayman after the hurrican and was appalled at the added cost to get even a simple job done in construction because of the added permit cost, and lack of skill for the money that it cost the customer.  Here in "Kansas" if you want a job done there is lots of skill and you only end up paying for the skill and not the privilege of using it.  Good  point.

          • Anonymous says:

            "It could also mean that because of the American education system and basic hard working ethics of Americans that they don’t need much outside help to be successful".

            The obvious difference is that the U.S. is a nation of 305 million people versus 25,000 Caymanians. But of course you are looking for an angle to insult Caymanians so you evade the obvious.  

            When did the American education system become so impressive?  In 2006, fifty-seven jurisdictions participated in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), including 30 OECD jurisdictions and 27 non-OECD jurisdictions. The results show the average combined science literacy scale score for U.S. students to be lower than the OECD average. U.S. students scored lower on science literacy than their peers in 16 of the other 29 OECD jurisdictions and 6 of the 27 non-OECD jurisdictions.

            There is also little point in comparing the cost of work visas in the U.S. with  the cost of work permits in Cayman. Work permits are a significant source of government revenue in Cayman, whereas you pay income tax and a host of other direct taxes to live in the U.S.     

            • Anonymous says:

              Last I heard education in Cayman wasn’t doing so well, so let’s avoid throwing stones in our glass house (ha!). And while the high schools in the US are subpar in some districts, the univeristy system is excellent par none.

              • Anonymous says:

                I believe it is obvious that I was responding to a stone being thrown. But of course you have chosen to take the comment out of context.

                U.S. colleges and universities are a mixed bag; as well as excellent unverisities and there are many poor ones.  Clearly, there are people who attend the poor ones. In other words the mere fact that you are an American does not mean that you have had an excellent education and have great work ethics.  

                • Anonymous says:

                  Oh trust me, I am well aware of that. And even going to one of the better universities doesn’t mean that the student is remotely intelligent (legacies, financial consideration, etc.). I wasn’t trying to imply that the average American has a better work ethic or is more intelligent than the average Caymanian. I was just trying to bring things down to Earth, which I clearly failed at doing.

                  Look, rather than compare, let’s just focus on building up our own education system and seeking to fortify our weaknesses. Fair enough?

    • just a worker says:

      It seems more like every B***rd who dosn’t want to work but wants the money is looking out for his own pocket and to hell with any successful company and any successful, hard working Caymanian or otherwise.  There are many honest, hardworking Caymanians on island that have taken advantage of what your Goverment has provided in the way of jobs and help in getting jobs.  If there where enough of them on island you would be correct in assuming that Cayman needs no help to compete in the modern world.  Until then you would be better off (and so would your country and fellow Caymanians) if you would go about proving to ANY business that you are at least as good or better then the workers you want to replace.  Otherwise please stop makeing Caymanians look like jealous, losers.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Thank god, finally some intelligent commentary.

  22. Anonymous says:

    This is so right.  The fallacy of the protectionist approach is that the economy is a zero sum game so that every job for an expat excludes a job for a Caymanian.  That type of thinking will destroy the financial services industry, and when it is gone it will not come back. 

    If Caymanians want to keep the laws from the "good old days" pre-recession then so be it, but be ready for more job losses, more businesses moving, more taxes and an ever worsening circle of economic woe.

    • Too smart says:

      So your saying that Caymanians should let successful businesses come to Cayman and run themselves,  Hire who they need, and continue to be successful and these businesses will need other businesses around them to service the people who work the businesses and allso provide needed services for those businesses. And the successful businesses would also spend their money here.  Makes sense to me.  It also seems to make sense to all the other "successful" offshore financial centers.  I really hope the Caymanian people can see the logic before its to late.  Once the successful businesses start to go where they can continue to thrive its going to be hard to stop it and impossible to get any more to come.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Stop talking crap. Corporations move their businesses (or part of their businesses) because the overhead and operational costs are cheaper – not because they have immigration issues……

    • Adam SmithA says:

      And, Einstein, immigration requirements and enforced staff turnover are massive operational costs.

    • Anonymous says:

       That is not correct .In the financial services sector the quality of personnel and therefore the quality of service is at least as relevanta consideration as the cost of operations .

  24. Anonymous says:

    How does the roll over policy remove jobs from Caymanians? Most of the people who are being rolled are coming back after 1 year anyway. Big banks and firms stash them in another location for 1 year and then bring them back. How does this create a job for me?

    • Anonymous says:

      The point Travers makes is unanswerable .Given the effect of the roll over policy has been to drive fund administration and other  business from the financial industry  Cayman and given the trend is accelerating  then there are fewer properties rented and bought   ,fewer groceries sold ,fewer cars imported ,fewer spark plugs sold and  fitted ,fewer maids employed ,fewer Caymanians employed . I don’t know what your area of expertise may be but in a declining economy ALL opportunities  and all revenues public and private are reduced as a result . Government policy should be to expand the financial industry .If it keeps declining you will all be working in tourism or fishing. The financial industry will be in Canada or Hong Kong.

      • Anonymous says:

        What Tourism industry???? Who want to comes to the murder capital of the world with their families .?This whole situation  far  more  perilous than anyone is realizing and no task force initiative on crime from Government ???

      • Anonymous says:

        The point Travers makes is fallacious. Immigration policies are not the primary driver behind the decisions being made to relocate businesses.

        • Anonymous says:

          You obviously have not talked to any CEO who has moved his business out of Cayman  and asked why. CIFSA represent the CEOS .Do you seriously think you know better?.The facts are undeniable . You are getting a real heads up here from the industry and you are holding on for all you are worth to the myth of Caymanin superiority. It doesn’t exist and if you keep that up nor will your financial industry

          • Anonymous says:

            Who told you I have not got this from people direct knowledge of the reasons? You are quite wrong.

            "myth of Caymanian superiority". What planet are you on?! There is no such myth, but there is a myth of "expat superiority".

  25. Nikko says:

    Cayman is finally starting to get it. The reality is that the international firms that dominate the financial services sector have no interest in the Caymanian vs. ex-pat debates.  Most of these firms are run from onshore jurisdictions and will move jobs to whatever jurisdictions provide the cheapest and most flexible business environments.

    Citco and UBS have already outsourced dozens of jobs directly out of Cayman to places like Canada and Ireland (these are people that service Cayman-domiciled funds), depsite the fact that they have to pay taxes on their income in those jurisdictions.  Maples Finance and Butterfield Fulcrum have begun similar restructurings.

    Goldman Sachs and Citigroup have effectively shut down their operations in Cayman and moved the jobs to other jurisdictions.  Fortis is also been rumored to be on the verge of a similar move.

    And this doesn’t include the hundreds of jobs that were created in other jurisdictions that Cayman has missed out on.  AND thinkg about all of the spin-off jobs that have been lost (stores, construction, LIME, CUC, restaurants, etc..)

    Why would they do this?  Because the cost of doing business is lower and they have the freedom to hire whoever they want in those jurisdictions.  You could say "good" let the ex-pats live in Canada and Ireland, but I would guess that if we are talking about 250 jobs (and my guess is that is conservative) – at least 100 of those jobs would have been filled by Caymanians plus the spin-off benefits to the economy. 

    Global financial firms do not care to support the Cayman Islands, Caymanians, ex-pats, Bermudians, Canadians, or anyone else – they only care about maximizing their own bottom lines (that is the cold, hard truth).  

    If Cayman establishes an attractive business environment, firms will invest here and grow the economy for everyone.  If not, business will continue to move business to other jurisdictions and everyone will suffer the consequences.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nikko – Your closing paragraph is great on paper – but since for the last few years the business environment has only grown the economy for expatriates (Caymanians appearing in lower positions and lower percentages or even real numbers in the workplace) your words ring hollow.  In Tony’s own words:


      "Travers added that the real mechanism for ensuring proper Caymanian integration into the financial services industry is the Immigration Law. He said it was widely accepted that it had not worked satisfactorily and where it had failed to integrate Caymanians into the sector the answer should not be policies which drives fund administration, IT services, law firms and banks back offices out of the Cayman Islands."


      He is supporting reasonable protectionist policies through the Immigration Law including providing training and opportunity for Caymanians, and employing qualified Caymanians in preference to expatriates. Tony has been here long enough to understand how it works, and remember when it doid work – for everyone, Caymanian and Expatriate alike.


      He is right to do so.

      • Rufus B. Saye says:

        Thanks for some balanced commentary and discussions. 

        What has to be mentioned is that some expats really DO get it – and want to contribute in a positive way to the SUSTAINABLE development of Cayman and Caymanians.

        That includes a reasonably protectionist immigration policy – but the key point to remember is that under current laws and attitudes, most of the policies really are negative… summed up by the rollover policy that comes across as "shoot first, ask questions later".  With the perception of little or no possibility of being able to stay, no amount of legislation will force training, succession, mentoring etc. ("You can lead a horse to water, but can’t make it drink.") 

        Countries with successful immigration policies do have laws to hoof off undesirables, but also have policies that realize the need to promote the importation of people who will be valuable for the long term good of the country.  Not by coincidence, these same people will usually be grateful for the implied trust and try to integrate fully, including training and mentoring…

        Also, please note that I’m trying to separate senior skilled professionals and tradespeople vs. semi/unskilled – positive reinforcement in immigration will promote the intake of people who can and will train Caymanians at all levels in the workforce.

         Finally, realize that all of this talk of expats coming to make gobs of money is unintentionally hilarious in light of Cayman’s very high cost of living – many of the expats in the financial areas (and a number of them in the skilled trades) who have the experience and training to help Caymanians learn and advance come from North America and Europe and are basically earning what they earn at home – the main difference being in the the very things that make Cayman precious: climate, relatively unspoiled environment, fairly low crime, good infrastructure (roads/buildings/power/water/telecommunications etc.). 

        It’s not all about money… some of us love the place for what it is, good or bad… and want the chance to prove it, without having our efforts thrown back in our faces (which sadly may be more a reflection on the people doing the throwing than the receiving…)


        Keep it positive, Cayman… 

        • Anonymous says:

          Thank you Rufus, you are spot on. It all places us in a position whereby we need to treat certain expatriates in certain industries and with certain skills, differently. It is unfortunate that this may result in ignorant cries of racism (nothing could be further from the truth) but is something we need to face up to for the benefit of Caymanians and the financial industry which is ultimately thaty which distinuishes us from the rest of the region. 

        • Anonymous says:

          Rufus I applaud you.  Oh, and I thank you for saving me the time it would have taken to type the same thoughts you have. 

          I grow SO weary of so many Caymanians (and please note I certainly do not say ‘all’) blaming the expat community for all their woes re employment.;  Most of us are NOT here to make buckets of money!!!  We love this country and her people and we love the wonderful , laid back lifestyle we are afforded in Cayman.  And we love our Caymanian friends.

          I wish those persons who have made their points above could understand that and not tar us all with the same brush.  It offends me and I consider it discrimination.

          I also wish they could understand that we could make a lot more money back in our home countries but we CHOOSE to be here.  Here is ‘home’ nowfor us.  We love your country…..please allow us to help your economy by doing what we do. 

          And allow us to live here in peace.