Since the Covid-19 outbreak across the globe, the Cayman Islands has taken swift, proactive decision-making to protect the country and its inhabitants. A week was given between notification and full international border shut-down (22nd March). As borders closed, testing kits were being sourced and brought-in to deliver a progressive and (to date) impactful testing programme that has resulted in 1 death and 203 cases of Covid-19 (202 recovered), with 28,000 tests having been completed. In short, the response from the Cayman Islands Government has been swift, robust and successful.
Cayman Islands COVID 19 Dashboard

As the borders tentatively open, Cayman’s pragmatic approach shines through, whilst many of Cayman’s neighbors have opened their borders and are now closing them again, Cayman’s approach is soft, with clear, gentle steps to keep the people and businesses of the Cayman Islands protected. The response to Covid-19 is a fantastic example of why the Cayman Islands is one of the most sought after destinations to live in, across the region.

For companies and professionals looking for a beautiful Caribbean Island to move to, with crystal blue seas and stunning beaches, Cayman is arguably one of the most dramatically stunning locations. As working from home has become more and more viable, it has given those looking to live abroad more opportunity to move to their dream location – and many are finding the Cayman Islands are it! However, the Cayman Islands is more than just another picture postcard island – an UK overseas territory, with world-class infra-structure such as banking, health and education, low crime rates and superb culinary delights add a multi-dimensional level to living here.

Yet what makes Cayman really stand out from the crowd is the professional framework that underpins living and working here, such as the legal system, the regulatory bodies and the professional approach to the big important life activities like buying a home or starting your new company via the economic zone. The Cayman Islands is home to many of the World’s top law and accountancy firms and has an exceptional standard of living and this is down to clear and strategic oversight from a government and civil service who have developed world-leading infra-structure. The trickle down effect from this professional level of business is palpable – architecture is beautiful, homes are built to exceptional standards (supported by a reputable building code), schools are a great standard, you can get excellent medical treatment and coverage. In short, investing your time, your money and your lifestyle in the Cayman Islands is well worth it and the returns are phenomenal.

As Cayman weathers the storm of Covid-19 and people being to enjoy being outside and meeting friends for dinner overlooking the ocean, it is clear that the Cayman Islands has a solid approach to long-term sustainability across all aspects of life, which shines through and is attracting more and more expats looking to live somewhere that stands out from the crowd.

If you read our last blog, you will know we touched on working remotely and how businesses are likely going to have to include remote working as part of the ‘resilience’ business model going forward. It might be a short-term measure for global crises but it also might be that your company decides to incorporate more home working as the norm. Remote working is not new – area managers, sales reps, freelancers etc have all been handling remote working for years now and the increase in freelance work (pre-pandemic) is testament to the fact that it can work.

The biggest benefit from remote working is undoubtedly the improved ‘wellness’ of being at home. Even in the beautiful Cayman Islands, where the crystal blue waters smile are you with a glimmer of sunshine everyday, the short commute takes crucial time out of your day. Time is so important to the busy professional. Ironically, it seems that we spend much of our time working out how to balance our time. Instead of spending 30 minutes in a car each morning, you can go for a run, have a cup of coffee and talk to your kids, rather than shouting ‘get your shoes on’ repeatedly, or start work earlier and potentially reduce down the hours in your working day. This is quite liberating! Perhaps the new working model will see a balance between remote working and office working, going in for important meetings or project discussions but remaining at home on some days. Now is a good time for both professionals and businesses to assess the many positives that have come from remote working and how we can keep them where possible.

Setting up working from home takes some discipline however. Firstly, it is essential that both the homeworker and the employer talk about the reality of turning the home into an office and what is needed to make this happen. The remote working infrastructure is quite simple but absolutely essential. Without a good internet service, access to secure file management systems and all the basics like a printer, scanner, laptop or PC, plus any specialized equipment that you don’t have lying around at home, working from home can quickly become inefficient. When Covid-19 resulted in lock-down and parents began working from home, as well as school children joining remote schooling/classes, the number of laptops in the house and your bandwidth strength suddenly becomes more important. Many of these barriers are simple to overcome but ideally become part of a pro-active management plan rather than a reactive one.

Remote working takes a certain amount of self-discipline too. There are many potential distractions from working from home too and learning to be more efficient is key… yes, the oven is now perfectly clean and sparkly but you didn’t write the report you needed to complete and got carried away doing other less important things.  Some people become adept at managing themselves in this situation but others might need some support or some routine to keep motivated and focused. It is also very easy to just keep working, or sit down before breakfast and not move until your partner reminds you that you are still wearing your pajamas (at 5pm) and your coffee is cold. Switching off when you work from home is really important and managers have a responsibility to make sure everyone is maintaining a work life balance when working from home.

Also, for all of us, learning how to interact with your team remotely poses a huge challenge (whether you realize it or not). We all have different needs when it comes to interaction and recognition too. You might respond well to a smile and a thank you  which can get lost on a call, or you might be someone who can’t express your frustration and the lack of eye contact and conversation means your fury bubbles away rather than being dispelled with interaction or a simple question prompted by body language. Remote working throws a whole new set of interactions into the boiling pot. From a company perspective, you need to establish some protocols and checks for your team, helping them to become better managers from afar. On a personal level, understanding how you feel, how others feel and what motivates people remotely is really important. There is a lot to be said for direct eye contact and this has been largely lost during lock-down. Learning how to navigate work relationships remotely is like feeling something with gloves on. It can be done but it takes some practice!

Now is the perfect time to weigh up how remote working has worked for you and your company, taking heed of the cons but also including the many positives that have popped up unexpectedly.

At the time of writing, the world is slowly opening up, like a Butterfly emerging from a cocoon. We know some elements of life will just return to normal but there will also be change – and from a business perspective, encompassing the ‘new’ is not only essential but it will keep you moving forward, able to tackle global crises as best you can. The R3 Foundation in the Cayman Islands has acted quickly to help identify how improved strategy that can support people through times of global challenge from a top down level, be the crisis man-made or natural. Business owners and partners have a similar challenge at an organizational level – right now everyone should be thinking, how can we be better prepared for the future?

The key word to come out of the Covid-19 pandemic for the business world is ‘resilience’. Resiliency has been an environmental focus for many years now  – how can the natural world adapt to changing climate and stressors?  How can we protect key species so the survive?  Now, it’s imperative for the business world to take this focus and build resilience into their strategy.

What does being resilient really mean?  Covid-19 has taught us a few really important lessons about the future and understanding how we can be more resilient. Firstly: the ability to adapt from an operations and HR perspective is key. The reliance upon international travel, face-to-face interaction and large numbers of people working in big offices has changed, certainly for the short-term and potentially whenever a global pandemic hits our shores again. People need to be able to work remotely, potentially in different countries and across time zones. For countries like the Cayman Islands, increased storm activity also poses a similar barrier to work life, so being able to quickly move your operations, ensure your systems are safe, secure and accessible by the relevant people is paramount to being resilient for the future. For many companies, a remote business model was not part of the everyday strategy and Covid-19 resulted in a flurry of activity to set people up so business could continue as smoothly as possible. Now we have this understanding, we can build it into the longer-term business model and we can potentially improve how we work remotely, taking the opportunity now to stand back, assess what happened and set clear parameters for what your business expects in terms of service levels and remaining professional when remote working.

Secondly, identifying potential risks in your market and how you can navigate around them to accommodate issues such as a global pandemic, would help you become more resilient. The Cayman Islands Government has openly asked the tourism operators to look at how they can be less reliant upon international travel. For smaller businesses, it might be a case of looking at your supply chain, are you overly reliant upon one supplier or one country? Should you reduce your overhead or your stock holding, if this happens again, what would help you?  Do you have funding in place to support a quieter period of trading if needed? Being able to flex your business up and down to proactively respond to the market will help you weather any future storms.

Across the globe, we moved very quickly and almost entirely to a digitally based communications methodology overnight. Conversations were replaced by email. Face to face interaction has been replaced by video conferencing. Performance reviews have been done miles away from each other. Managing the business during times of high stress has been done in the isolation of your own home, in general. For HR professionals and business owners, managing this aspect of remote working should be considered as part of your ‘resilience’ strategy. How did your team cope? At times of high stress, having the right team in place is crucial and this might impact your recruitment policy going forward.

Perhaps as a team, you need to work out what went well, and what didn’t and put a plan in to make sure your people come out of situations like Covid 19 feeling as positive as they can, resilient and able to move forward with energy and motivation.


On the 16th March, less than a week after the first confirmed case of coronavirus hit Cayman’s shores, The Cayman Islands Government, in close consultation with His Excellency the Governor of the Cayman Islands, announced significant measures to protect the country from this new and frightening pandemic. The Government announced the closure of the airports (last flights were 22nd March inbound and 23rd March outbound), as well as announcing a raft of emergencies protocols to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the Cayman Islands and her population.

The Cayman Islands is heavily reliant upon tourism, yet on the other hand, there are limited intensive care units, a raft of elderly who would be at most risk of Covid-19 and the added complexity of being a remote island, in many ways cut off from the rest of the world. Health and well-being were put first, despite knowing there would be negative impacts on tourism and local businesses resulting from these measures. A severe outbreak of Covid-19 in The Cayman Islands would have been devastating. At the end of 2019, Cayman’s population was circa 68,000 including 30,000 residents on work permits, a steady rise over the years saw 2019 reach the highest number of residents ever seen in Cayman’s history – and the plans for 2020 were to increase work permits to 35,000. Whilst The Cayman Islands has an excellent standard of health care, it does not have the infrastructure to support high levels of Covid-19 patients, certainly not at the new levels of residency. Many countries faced the same issue but for a small Island, the threat of Covid-19 was/is extremely serious.
The Government acted swiftly, decisively and with the long-term sustainability of the country in their mind. On the 20th March the country went into lock-down, following a period of soft curfew. The beaches were closed, businesses moved to people’s homes and Cayman hunkered down to watch how the virus would unfold.

At the time of writing, there have been 140 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Cayman, 1 death (of a cruise-shipper who was evacuated to one of Cayman’s hospitals during a day-visit in early March) and 10,466 tests have been conducted. The robust testing strategy, which has identified several a-symptomatic cases in the community, in addition to testing those with symptoms, is further protecting the community and has been the successful result of a public-private partnership. Local philanthropic investment supported the Cayman Islands Government’s $4.4million purchase and quick transit of 200,000 reliable test kits to Grand Cayman from South Korea and the USA, 165,000 kits landed on the 8th April and extended testing and drive through was launched by 29th April. Whilst several prominent heads of countries grappled to get testing bought and testing sites running, The Cayman Islands smoothly (from the outside anyway) executed a beautiful operation that overcame significant logistical barriers to get test on Island and ready to go by May 1st 2020. Cayman also provided tests for neighbouring countries, to tide them over whilst awaiting their own kits.

From a business perspective, The Cayman Islands Government took some hard decisions right up front but the cautious approach to this serious disease (at this stage) seems to have provided the right protection for all Cayman Islands residents. As a result, the country has remained stable in terms of overall health, the perfect foundation to rebuild the economic damage reaped by this global pandemic.
More information on what’s happening on the ground can be found on the Government page

Is the Cayman Islands the best place to live in the Caribbean right now?

The Cayman Islands is well known for its financial services industry, yet there is more to Cayman than a world-class international financial centre. The Cayman Islands’ second economic pillar is seeing unprecedented growth in spend, as the Islands continue to attract high-end tourists. The strength of these two industries is having a knock-on effect on life in Cayman, as indicated by the Economic and Statistics Office as they released the 2019 Q1 results: “Indicators show that the economic performance was broad-based, led by expansions in hotels and restaurants (7.9%), wholesale and retail trade, repair and installation of machinery (5.9%), construction (5.8%), other services (7.1%), and real estate (5.2%)”1.

The Ritz-Carlton Cayman Islands has just unveiled the Caribbean’s largest (undoubtedly luxury) suite, which spans a huge 18,000 feet2, showcasing beautiful design and a commitment to luxury travel. This is hot on the heels of the Ritz hosted Cayman Cookout, a food festival that brings in world-class chefs and tourists alike. This high-end approach to tourism in Cayman is replicated through the services and amenities available on island and the ripple effect is cascading in full motion, for tourists and residents alike.

As the local resident population swells to over 65,000, the design and construction industries are also seeing huge growth in the Cayman Islands, and like the new Ritz suite, the world is watching and approving of Cayman’s high standards and innovative approaches. New urban chic architecture, alongside Cayman cultural heritage (and sometimes the two together), are just two of the emerging styles evident at awards ceremonies such as the International Property Awards, with beautiful developments such as the Residences at Stone Island gaining global recognition. Cayman isn’t just about beauty however, innovative design such as NCBs Cayman Technology Centre utilises novel design queues and off-the grid energy solutions – as a growing focus on sustainability is also emerging in Cayman.

Whilst people who know the Cayman Islands well, know that there is a plethora of things to do on vacation, from paragliding to swimming with the Stingrays, there is another side of the Cayman Islands that is becoming more popular and that is the emphasis on wellness, for the environment, residents and the local fauna and flora. Cayman’s increasing resident population is encouraging the ethos of ‘living well, living better’, and this is replicated in the services and activities available.

The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism has long been promoting the subtle differences between the three Cayman Islands, with Little Cayman rightly being highlighted as an eco-tourists dream due to the low development, focus on the environment and laid back attitude with the ocean at its heart. Cayman is starting to be known for a destination that is more than just (one of the world’s most beautiful) beaches. National Geographic recently highlighted some of the more environmentally engaging tourism opportunities, which are obviously open to residents on a much more frequent basis 3. The opportunities to engage with the greener side of Cayman are aplenty which is good for the environment and the soul, including activities like climbing the Bluff in Cayman Brac, supporting the Turtle Nesting project (on all 3 islands), taking a bioluminescence tour, taking a swimming horse-back ride, hiking the mastic trail or simply submerging yourself in the crystal clear ocean and engaging with what’s around you.

There is also a developing wellness industry, including yoga, Pilates, holistic therapy at one of the outstanding health centres, taking part in one of the many 5ks, 10ks, the Cayman Islands marathon or the sea swims, or simply booking into a world-class spa for the day. Cayman is highly focused on health and wellbeing. Paired with a booming food industry, where fresh vegan food, local fish, Sushi, steak houses, fine dining and everything between, it is fair to say that the Cayman Islands is offering some of the best living conditions in the Caribbean region at the moment. So is Cayman one of the best places to live in the Caribbean right now? We think so!



Maintaining Your Social Media Profile for Recruitment Purposes

You are thinking about leaving your job and you are also thinking about a potential move to the Cayman Islands, not only to fulfill your career aspirations by working in the world’s 4th largest financial center but to make living a lifestyle of fresh air, beautiful oceans, and no commute, a reality. However, obtaining a job abroad puts a whole paradigm shift on the recruitment process. Unlike the traditional recruitment methods where you first and foremost head for an interview, getting a job abroad will rely on a lot of digital activity before, and if, a one to one meeting is booked. Meaning, not only does your CV have to be super strong, along with honing your skype interview skills, your digital presence MUST be active and aligned to the kind of jobs that you are applying for.

Whilst the world in general is getting to grips with the fact that you cannot hide from the internet and actions caught online never go away, it is also an extremely positive tool for backing up the person that you say you are. A good place to start is to google yourself. Yes, that’s right, type in your name and see what comes up. You might already have the perfect profile – if not, you need to make some changes. How can you do this?

Firstly, your social media accounts need to verify who you are, and show that you enjoy doing, what you say you like doing. If you say you are technologically savvy but then have no social media presence, your recruiter is going to raise an eyebrow. If it is appropriate for you to have very little social media presence, which is certainly the case for certain senior positions, then your recruiter should not find a plethora of images showing you in various states of party/social/questionable activity. The reality is, most people should have some social media presence, just make sure it is appropriate. You need to sense check what people find when they look into who you are. For example, does your social cyber presence match with what you portray on your CV. If you say you are an active walker, cook, cyclist, etc, then it would be helpful highlight this within your digital profile, whether it’s a blog, or social media. At its most basic, your cyber presence is a verification method of the recruitment process.

Secondly, whatever you share, like or comment that is outside of your ‘wall’ or private posting space, is most likely going to be public. Your ‘self’ google search will help you identify what other people see when they look you up. So, if you are going to have a big old rant about a political leader, or cause that is close to your heart, consider what this may be saying about yourself to people looking into you, especially those without the benefit of knowing you. Remember the people who might not know you, may not realize that you ‘don’t really mean it’ or are ‘just joking’. On the other hand, perhaps you have a friend who tags you in their hilarious posts (that are open to the public), you may want to consider asking them to stop. If you do want to maintain a neutral position on certain topics, cleaning up your social media account is a good idea. Additionally, do remember that a real world does still exist outside of technology and you certainly need to consider the way you present yourself in public – swearing and unkind language that shows intolerance, or could be deemed as disrespectful, should obviously be avoided!

On a final note, you may have already separated your personal from your professional social media presence, if you haven’t, now is a good time to consider the benefits.

Whilst specific work related social media such as LinkedIn can be fantastic at communicating your professional background and interests, it’s no good if you don’t use it or at least use it properly. The key point is to start managing your online presence ensuring it aligns with the roles you are applying for. Networking, keeping up with trends, enjoying life (in the right way) and showing you are passionate, is all fantastic. Just make sure it is all aligned and appropriate.

The Cayman Islands is home to the World’s 6th largest international financial centre (IFC), holding pole position as the offshore hedge funds domicile, globally. Cayman also hosts the world’s second largest captive insurance centre and is a world leader in structured finance.

If you work in the finance sector or the supporting financial services, such as law or accountancy, you will already be fully aware of Cayman’s ranking in the global industry. What sustains and promotes Cayman’s success as a financial sector may not be overly obvious if you don’t live here, however it goes far over and above just a good reputation. There are a few points worth highlighting for people who are considering a move to the Cayman Islands, confirming this is a great career move as well as the perfect lifestyle choice:

  1. The Cayman Islands is a UK Overseas Territory (UKOTS). This means the UK has sovereignty over the Cayman Islands, resulting in a responsibility to ensure their security and good governance. For a small country of circa 65,000 residents, having the weight of the UK behind it brings numerous benefits – but at it’s most simple, being a UKOTS provides the financial industry with the foundation for a safe, secure, and well-regulated environment to do business.
  2. The Cayman Islands Government is pro-business, extremely stable and supports the financial services industry with a positive policy. As a result, the infrastructure and governance of the Cayman Islands is therefore set up to sustain the growth of the financial services sector.
  3. The regulation in the Cayman Islands, via the government and independent body, CIMA (Cayman Islands Monetary Authority), is well regarded globally and brings credibility to the jurisdiction and to all those that work here.
  4. As the Cayman Islands infrastructure is pro business, the reaction to new trends and technology, such as FinTech, including initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrencies is highly responsive and supportive,highlighting the jurisdictions’ forward thinking, thorough approach to new business trends.

The Cayman Islands government and financial industry have worked hard in the last 5 years, in particular to ensure Cayman remains off the EU blacklist. There is continuous pro-active networking and engagement between those governing Cayman’s financial services sector, and a range of international jurisdictions with whom Cayman do business, communicating the Islands’ continued commitment to high standards in the industry.

The backdrop for people considering the move to Cayman? The country is safe, has excellent infrastructure and the local government values the work of the industry. Many local scholarship programmes and internships are also offered, so companies can help train the local workforce and contribute on a more meaningful level to the local community. In addition, a move to Cayman will look good on your CV and you will have the opportunity to connect with highly revered professionals at the top of their game.

An in-depth overview for Hedge Fund Managers and those interested in becoming involved within the local Financial Services Industry in general, Cayman Finance has some excellent resources: Click here


Affinity Recruitment is proud to announce that as of September 2018, we have partnered with JTF Recruitment Consultants Inc in order to provide our clients and candidates with additional opportunities.

JTF Recruitment Consultants Inc specializes in the recruitment, counseling, and placement of partners, associates, law clerks, and all legal and administrative support. The Managing Partner Joanne Rossi has over 25 years combined experience as a lawyer and recruiter, having worked in boutique, international and Wall Street firms, as well as in-house legal departments, Joanne specializes in placing lawyers and all legal support staff in law firms and in-house legal departments.

The Cayman Islands Government, via the Premier Alden McLaughlin openly discussed the virtues of the diversity of Cayman’s residents in June 2018,additionally highlighting the Country’s population increase by 70% over the last 20 years. Whilst the government is open about the need for expat workers to support the economy, particularly in the financial services sector, the Cayman Islands infrastructure is straining under this population increase. This strain has had a natural rebound effect on the local Immigration policy, as entry to Cayman has become tighter and more robust.

The Immigration situation in the Cayman Islands is therefore under pressure and for all companies that deal with the work permit process on a regular basis, who have worked through the many changes in Immigration law and practice, it comes as no surprise that a systematic shift to simpler immigration is NOT expected any time soon.

A new trend in response to the increased strain is the outsourcing of immigration management within the workplace. As the process becomes more complicated (or perhaps less clear), the time and effort that can be spent on immigration issues is increasing. Companies like Affinity Recruitment are opening up their services on Immigration as an additional ‘product’ for clients, to reduce complexity, save time and ensure the recruitment process runs smoothly.

According to a global survey conducted by Deloitte, outsourcing has been on the increase globally, hitting a new high in 2016. As a result, the natural move by local companies such as Affinity Recruitment to increase their outsourcing services, is both on trend and in line with global movement. The Deloitte Team summarized that outsourcing has a range of benefits, in addition to the cost savings of paying for a resource on a contract/need only basis. The key outcomes of outsourcing highlighted included improved strategic flexibility and improved contract delivery, exceeding the scope of the original contract (when relationships are well managed).

Whilst the survey addresses outsourcing methods such as using cloud and systems management tech, when taken into context with the local Cayman Islands immigration, the required knowledge and understanding of the laws, plus the navigating of muddied waters, this can only be done by an actual human team at Affinity Recruitment have found an increasing demand for their seasoned approach to immigration as more and more companies turn to outsourcing as the ideal solution for this crucial business service.

Skype Interviews

Moving to the Cayman Islands generally depends on having a role secured before you pack your bags (unless you are independently wealthy of course!). These days, interviews take place digitally, rather than flying people to and from. Most people are totally au fait with Skype in their personal lives but less so on a professional footing.

In the old days, interview prep used to involve identifying and correcting how you gesticulate with your hand hands, adjusting the natural position of your legs when sitting, making a calculated decision about which socks you wear, no chewing gum and generally being clean, pressed and presentable etc. Now we must consider the small area of your person that is visible to the interviewer from many thousands of miles away. Therefore, if you are getting yourself geared up to applying for roles abroad, make sure your Skype (or visual media) skills are up to scratch. Affinity has put together a few dos and don’ts to get you ready for that big interview.


Practice – Ask a friend to play the interviewer and see how you respond within the small window of your computer/ipad. Pay attention to how you sit, what you look at, and how you communicate using body language and eye contact, on screen.

Understand your own quirks (and stop doing them) before you start interviewing – whether it’s swishing your hair, putting your hands in front of your mouth, scratching your head (without knowing it), we all have quirks that have the potential to distract the interviewer.

Set up in good time – do not leave it until the last minute to check where you will be during the interview. Set up in a quiet, private space, preferably away from animals and children (and definitely not in the pub garden!) well before time. Punctuality and being prepared are still key work skills and being late to your interview due to technical issues does not look good.

Use a computer or freestanding screen that can be secured – phones have a tendency to fall over, or worse, ring during your interview.

Do Not:

Interrupt – let the interviewer lead the conversation. It’s really easy to stumble over each other when on an interactive call.

Take the call with bad signal/connection – this is frustrating for everyone involved. Make sure you have a fantastic internet connection, so the call is clear and uninterrupted.

Assume the interviewer won’t see you from the waist down – If you have to stand up for some reason, make sure you are appropriately dressed. Whilst it’s tempting to have your top half looking ready for a snazzy work function and the bottom half still wearing pajamas, you certainly don’t want to reveal that you are only half prepared for the interviewer.

Get distracted – turn everything off and put yourself on ‘do not disturb’. When your eyes wander during the call, so does the interviewer’s respect for you.

If you want more tips on how to prepare for an interview, register with Affinity and the team will put you through your paces as part of their preparation process.