Former bank boss elected chair of Cayman Finance

| 12/01/2018 | 51 Comments
Cayman News Service

Conor O’Dea

(CNS): Conor O’Dea, the former managing director and senior executive vice president of Butterfield Bank, has been elected to serve as chair of the Cayman Finance board at the recent annual members’ meeting. Replacing Ian Wight, who held the chairman’s job for three years, O’Dea is taking up the role at a time when the offshore sector is facing a number of challenges. Cayman Finance CEO Jude Scott said he was excited to welcome O’Dea to the team. 

“His many years of experience and depth of knowledge are sure to be a great asset in helping achieve Cayman Finance’s goals, ” said Scott, as he thanked Wight for his three successful years. “We have made a tremendous amount of progress and overcome many obstacles with Ian at the helm, and are grateful to him for the time he has given us.”

O’Dea said he has watched the work of Cayman Finance and was excited to be part of future efforts as he thanked the members. “[I] look forward to working closely with Mr Scott and the rest of the board to advance the best interests of Cayman and its financial services industry,” he added.

O’Dea began working for Butterfield in Cayman in 1989 and retired from executive responsibilities in 2016 but he remained a non-executive director of BNTB Board and Chairman of Butterfield’s Board.

Alongside his day job he has also served in various associate and government positions, including President at the Cayman Islands Banker’s Association and the Chamber of Commerce. O’Dea was also chair of the UCCI board during the time Hassan Syed was appointed president and when he went on to commit a massive fraud against the college, stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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Category: Business, Financial Services

Comments (51)

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  1. Cayman Hyperbowl says:

    My only hope they run it better than they did UCCI????

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    • Anonymous says:

      You think UCCI is better-off now??? We will have to wait until they get serious ahead of the curve leadership, and not just boring over-relaxed place-holders who claim to have stabilized the situation by doing nothing.

  2. Anonymous says:

    LOL this must be a dream. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Who is Jude?

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  4. Stop The Crime says:

    I can’t believe that Cayman, the 5th largest financial center in the world, does NOT have a crypto currency exchange. That’s an embarrassment and I hope Mr. O’Dea makes this a priority. We could lead the world into the new economy and shouldn’t waste the opportunity.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I do not see any good reason why a jurisdiction which is trying to sell itself as been clean would go near such a stupid idea.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Oh man, I am going to paste and copy this statement and have it framed in a picture.Hilarious, and good luck in the 21st century. Not even going to bother explaining block-chains, you can lay in your ignorant mire for a couple decades.

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        • Anonymous says:

          In the future when this “currency” does not fluctuate by 50% a month, perhaps i would consider using it to purchase something. In the meantime, Why would I sell a property and maybe only get half what I hoped when it closed, or buy a property that could cost twice the price.

          In the meantime… Its just a plaything of day gamblers.

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          • Anonymous says:

            I am not even going to entertain how wrong that statement is, just lay as is…I have work to do.

        • Anonymous says:

          I understand blockchains. I have spent most of last week dealing with their applications to off exchange trading platforms. But unregulated cryptocurrencies are part of a bubble that is about to burst.

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        • Anonymous says:

          What has the potential widespread adoption of blockchain tech got to do with having a ‘crypto currency exchange’ here? What does that even mean? It’s not like your servers would be based here, your tech staff could be based anywhere, it would just be another CI exempted company on a wall in a law firm…

        • Anonymous says:

          When people with no experience of trading such as my dentist are acquiring Bitcoin, my mind turns to the good old South Sea Company. The party is great fun unless you are the ones holding the “investment” when the music stops.

    • Anonymous says:

      In case you haven’t noticed the SEC in the US doesn’t even know how to deal with/regulate crypto yet. Nor does the EU.

  5. shane says:

    He is a part of the Cayman society so why player hate the man and the position he has been appointed in after he will work in the interest of this country not vice versa “Skies the limit sir “

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  6. Anonymous says:

    How in the world did Syed manage to pull off such a scam with this first world genius on the board. Syed must have been a genius as well.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Can’t we find some home grown talent to head up these boards ?

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    • Anonymous says:

      We do. Jude Scott does an awesome job. How many financiers interested in these jobs do you imagine a population of 25000 produces every generation?

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      • Anonymous says:

        A lot

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        • Anonymous says:

          Seriously? Our native grown population of around 25,000 is the same as the population of Skegness or the Isle of Wight in England? Also, given the recent articles that suggested government paid health care covers around 15,000 Caymanians this suggests that we have around 10,000 home-grown employees NOT working for the government. Since our economy is half tourism and half finance, that means around 5,000 Caymanians are involved in tourism leaving 5,000 eligible Caymanians for the finance industry.

          You really think we can remain as one of the top global centres in the world with such a small population in the finance sector? We really do have to rely on the fact that being a global financial centre attracts the very best calibre workers from around the world. It is their skill and experience which can be leveraged by our own home-grown talent to allow our home-grown workers to get top notch jobs for which they would not otherwise be qualified.

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          • Anonymous says:

            Well spelled out!! Thank you for explaining this however, many will still not be able to understand how that works..

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    • Anonymous says:

      And they should be brown or black and speak patois. Who cares about qualifications or experience these days. This is clearly a racists appointment. You are a racists if you do not see this and you should yield all your opinions toward my superior observations.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The “them and us” posse rears its head again.

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      • Local says:

        Expats have been doing the us against them and openly discriminating against Caymanians for a very long time. It is now accepted that expats get more opportunities or have their rights protected more consistently than locals who are viewed and treated as second class citizens in their country.

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    • Anonymous says:

      No.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Congrats Conor. Sorry about your interrupted retirement, but it’s good to know the chair is in good hands.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Mr O’Dea seems like a nice man from Ireland but he is representative of a group of people who come to Cayman as mere bankers and after a few years because of the way Cayman’s economy works he ends up a millionaire with a property in vista Del Mar. How many teachers, nurses, from Ireland in Cayman prosper in anything like the way this banker has done. Yet his training was no more challenging than theirs. It is so unfair and part of the inequality problem that is going to rock the world soon. It cannot go on.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Ridiculous comment. Everyone is free to choose the career they want. Some pay better than others, some people excel in their chosen field and get paid better again. Get over it. Vive la revolution comrade!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Amen 7:24! And to be fair, you are correct, he is a nice man. But if something is not done about the gross inequality between the top few per cent and the rest in the world, we are going to see unrest of a nasty type, especially when more and more “workers” lose their jobs to automation.

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      • Anonymous says:

        If there were fewer teachers and nurses available, the job would pay more. If there were far fewer, it would pay a lot more. But then we would also pay more for their services.

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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s this type of thinking that always boggles my mind. So instead of pursuing a career in nursing, study finance and become a banker.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Seriously? Is that the best you can do to contribute to a discussion which is going on not just here but all over the world?

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        • Anonymous says:

          I’m not a teacher or a nurse, but I feel what I do is just a noble. I think I should make as much as a doctor does.

          Now excuse me my break is over and some people just sat down at table 12.

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    • Anonymous says:

      That’s right, this inequality is terribly unfair. Let’s start paying everyone the same wage irrespective of their profession so everyone can buy a property of Vista Del Mar. OR and if we can’t.. let’s make sure no one else can buy property there because that would be unfair. Let those rich people buy property somewhere else, that will make our nation much more equal.

      Now that I think of it, why don’t we just join up with Venezuela, the great equality government and a government “for the people”.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Idiotic comment, 10:29, missing the very real point of inequality. These bankers and lawyers are earning millions in Cayman, which they did NOT earn in the UK or Ireland. It’s the obscene rewards they get compared to many other professionals that the original poster was talking about. Cayman is not the only place in the world where essential professionals such as teachers and nurses are poorly paid but the gap here between these lawyers, accountants, bankers and others is truly disturbing.

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        • Fred the Piemaker says:

          You clearly have no idea what lawyers, accountants and bankers earn in the UK and Ireland. They are not exactly starving there, and I would go as far as to say that the difference – certainly for the UK – is accountable largely by tax.

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          • Anonymous says:

            I don’t think the Irish chap who came here many years ago from Jamaica where he was a very minor banker and ended up heading up Ansbacher in Cayman supports your argument, Fred. I don’t want to name names because he is dead but he owned a restaurant here and a string of racehorses in Florida and was generally known as a very very wealthy man. True, his name was eventually sullied in the courts by offshore dealings with the Irish big wig but, the fact is, he came here with little or nothing, and by virtue of “banking” made millions. My banker friends in the U.K. have not been in any way that successful, even if you allow for tax. So please don’t pop the condescending “you clearly have no idea” argument on us; we do.

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            • Anonymous says:

              So your observation is based on comparing someone when they were ‘very minor’ with the same person decades later? You realise that’s how careers generally work right? Then you compare someone who is successful in Cayman with your friends in the UK who are not. Your inane logic is something to behold. There are successful and and unsuccessful people everywhere but there are thousands of bankers in NY and London earning many times what even the best paid (legit) banker in Cayman has ever made.

            • Those bankers , lawyers and accountants who came here in the 60s and 70s took a risk when coming here. There was no guarantee that Cayman would be so successful. We were of course assisted by Bahamas and Bermuda where political problems led to business moving to Cayman. To be fair all worked with government in drafting new laws to attract further business and at the same time were very much involved in social and sporting clubs with Caymanians to provide better facilities.
              Had Cayman failed as a financial centre those people would have needed to start their careers all over again.
              Sir Vassel, Mr Norman , Mr Benson etc and governments of those days need to be remembered.

        • Anonymous says:

          Get over yourself. If you make CI$27,000 a year you’re in the global top 1%.

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    • Fred the Piemaker says:

      He has been a nice man from Cayman for the last “few” (29!) years. But sure, his career success is entirely down to where he was born.

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    • Anonymous says:

      This is so true mate!

  10. Anonymous says:

    We need to look at the fees the banks are charging. After loosing their tax evader client base in recent past, and paying 7-figure IRS settlements, the bank fees have steadily increased on the plain vanilla law-abiding Cayman-resident customers. Monthly nickel and dime fees have far outstripped interest and literally emptied the savings accounts of my minor children. That shouldn’t be allowed. Surprised more people aren’t talking about this.

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    • IRS says:

      It is all about the benjimans and the Government will not do anything to protect the average person. A fee to cash a check, really??? Just like the immigration matter, it’s revenue for the government. Welcome to Cayman ethopia.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Loosing again?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t worry. With all of the ankle grabbing policies these politicians have sign up to with FATCA, CRS et al, you won’t have a banking sector to worry about 20 years from now. Have you not seen the hedge funds domiciles are going down continually? Do you know that NO hedge funds, PE funds or even holding companies are setting up bank accounts here any longer? Like virtually zero. That’s because they are being referred back to the US, Honk Kong, Singapore and other investor friendly environments. So the banks will now have to make due with the residue they still retained in the finance sector and the local economy which is why they are lessing services for more fees. See RBC no longer cashing checks, or accepting deposits (The hostage tactic). Needless to say, I will *never* setup with RBC no matter what.. This is just going to get worse because they apparently don’t understand the *service* is what drives business.

      To open a bank account here is a nightmare and completely business unfriendly. And they act like they are doing you a favor by opening up you bank account. Then once you have had the audacity to ask them to open an account for you, you have to *prove* to them at every turn that you’re not some sort of criminal otherwise they block your account until you continue to prove your innocence. They all deserve to go out of business.

      The only thing saving these sorry institutions is Cayman still has a long of strong investment in real estate, it still has a significant financial sector despite it dwindling away every year because of idiotic politicians. And Dart. He deserves thanks every day because he’s probably single handedly keeping this place as prosperous as it can be despite this horrendously shitty banking sector.

      Maybe Mr. O’Dea can do something about this and I wish him well, one can hope but I doubt it.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I am have come to the conclusion that the banks managers/ staff does not understand or realise how onerous they make life for persons to maintain their accounts after they have gone through the maze of setting it up. I do not understand why every two years or so a bank account holder is sent opening of account forms to fill out again. I can understand asking for a copy of a light bill, or some other bill that shows the account holder’s address and/or confirmation of phone numbers or email addresses but definitely not having to fill out account opening forms. Why can’t the bank extrapolate the relevant information mentioned above on a single page for completion every few years for return with copy of current bill? Mr. O’Dea do you think you could get them to understand that what they are doing to their clients is nothing short of harassment. CAn you get them to understand that every box on the form most times does not have to be ticked? Don’t they understand that they already have the information that they are asking us for, all they have to do is go into the files and look up. I think it all comes down to the fact that they do not understand what is relevant information, how to treat their customers, what they are doing to us , or that they don’t care. What is also sad it that they all get together and decide that all will do this foolishness so we can’t even close our accounts with them and go to another bank. We are being held hostage, please help us.

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      • Yeap says:

        He was the CEO of BOB and contribute to this Now you want him to fix it. Really.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Yep, he help to create the mess so he should really know how to unravel it and cut all the unecesssry forms they want us to fill out. He needs to bring all of his cronies together and fix it. They don’t pay any interest and give us so much trouble. Allit will take is a little common sense.

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