Women in Business

Having relocated to the Isle of Man from the Cayman Islands 14 years ago to head up the fiduciary services division of Cayman National Bank  (Isle of Man) Limited, Roz is now Director and Head of Fiduciary Services of Cayman National Trust Company (Isle of Man) Limited in Douglas.

Roz lives in Foxdale with her husband and their handsome chocolate Labrador.  She has a grown-up daughter who is currently living in the Cayman Islands. Roz has 29 years’ experience in the fiduciary sectors in the Cayman Islands and the Isle of Man. She is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and holder of the IoD Directors’ Certificate in Company Direction.

Roz, what was behind your decision to relocate to the Isle of Man?  It certainly was not the weather!   In September 2004, Grand Cayman was hit by a severe storm better known as Hurricane Ivan.  The devastation was wide-spread, my home had no water or electricity for 6 weeks and it was necessary to send my daughter to school in England.   I was one of the lucky ones as my home still had a roof, so I was able to continue living in my property despite the difficult circumstances.  In December of the same year, we experienced a 6.8 magnitude earthquake.  My daughter decided she wanted to finish her education in England.  A combination of these three factors led to my decision to leave.

It must have been quite a culture shock; did you find it hard to settle?  Not at all.   There are similarities in the two Islands such as their own legislature, , a mix of local residents as well as expats, and a slower pace of life to a certain extent.  In both Islands, we complain about having to sit in traffic for ten minutes and dread the thought of driving for half an hour to the other side of the Island!  The weather did not come as a shock as I missed the Seasons.  In the Cayman Islands it is hot all year around, chilly to us was 18 degrees Celsius!  There are differences in taxation; in the Isle of Man we pay income tax which is not the case in the Cayman Islands.  However, there are very high indirect taxes in the Cayman Islands.

Cayman National has a reputation for its high levels of customer service. As head of Fiduciary, and Director of the Trust Company, it must be part of your role to maintain and preserve that strong client focused ethic?  It is extremely important, and I lead by example which is reflected in my team’s enthusiasm and commitment to deliver exceptional service standards for our clients.

How different is the business environment in the Isle of Man to the Cayman Islands?  There are not that many dissimilarities.  Both are well regulated offshore jurisdictions with a strong reputation for highly qualified and experienced professionals in the legal, corporate and accounting fields as well as other areas.  In the Isle of Man and from my experience there is more interaction between the financial community and the regulators.

You and your team have developed long-standing relationships with your clients and professional intermediaries both locally and overseas. How have you managed to maintain those relationship in terms of giving you an edge over competitors?  We have always been privileged to have a well-qualified,  experienced team.  Our work ethic is always professional and hard-working but within a fun environment which is reflected in the way we deal with our clients.  Our approach is always to be proactive and to find solutions to meet our clients’ needs.  Each of our team members have their own portfolios, seeing tasks through from start to finish, and we have developed strong relationships with all our clients and intermediaries.  There is always a person at the end of the phone and we enjoy a good team spirit.  We also have the benefit of being sister company to Cayman National Bank (Isle of Man) Limited, with the ability to open bank accounts for our fiduciary clients within a matter of days.

Life is all about balance but would you say you live to work or work to live?  My husband would argue I live to work!  I am very committed to Cayman National and my role. With today’s technology it is easy to work from home and I have been known to work whilst on holiday when the need arises.  However, I enjoy my home life, I have travelled the world and have many wonderful and memorable experiences and tales to tell.

You recently visited the fabulous French Chateau ‘La Motte Husson’, featured in the TV series ‘Escape to the Chateau’. That must have been one of those memorable experiences?  I’m still kicking myself and questioning did we really spend the weekend with the Strawbridge family?  Their Chateau is beautiful and Dick and Angel were superb hosts; I have never eaten so much food.  It really was like we had been plucked out of our living room through the TV set! We developed a bond with them and our paths will be crossing again in the not too distant future.

How do you see Cayman National’s role developing on the Isle of Man?  This past year we have invested in replacing our systems with leading edge technology within both our trust and banking businesses.  We continue to strive to become one of the leading specialist financial institutions in the Isle of Man.  We are already one step ahead of some of our competitors as we are a bank as well as a trust company, and our new systems will enable us to offer even more bespoke solutions for our clients going forward.

Is there anything you would specifically like to see Government do to stimulate growth on the Island?  Ten or more years ago, we experienced more interaction with Government. There were more networking events and road-shows in the UK and overseas sponsored by Government. I would like to see more focus on these initiatives going forward.  Very recently I spoke to a law firm in the UK that had heard of the Isle of Man but didn’t really know anything about us and always refers their business to the Channel Islands!

Finally Roz, you have settled well on the Isle of Man – do you see this as your permanent home now?  Thirty years ago, I never imagined living in the Cayman Islands, let alone the Isle of Man.  I have now lived abroad longer than I lived in the UK.  A few years ago, my husband and I bought a lovely old house that we are gradually renovating and we do see this as our forever home.  However, I never say never as who knows what is around the corner!

About the author

Roz joined the Group’s Isle of Man operations in 2006 as Head of Fiduciary Services and was appointed as a Director of Cayman National Trust Company ...

Contact Rosaline Melia TEP, CertIoD

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