Cayman’s Top Employer of the Year was selected out of a strong group of organisations that all impressed the judges in some form or other with their ability to attract and retain top staff and maintain a happy work environment. But what does it really take to be a top employer in Cayman?
Opportunity to grow: fourth place RBC Wealth Management
RBC Wealth Management was delighted to have made the fourth spot in the Top Employer of the year competition.
Head of Operations Tina Harris says: ““I am constantly learning and developing. RBC Wealth Management has very strong values – it’s not just about financial results but also about our behaviours. How we treat our clients and our colleagues is very important to the company. We truly have global partnerships where we are able to help and request help from our partners in offices around the world.”
Managing Director Deanna Bidwell says they are thrilled to be recognised for this honour of a Top Employer in Cayman.
“The RBCWM office is comprised of almost 100 professionals in the area of trust, banking, funds and investments. Located in the same George Town building as our sister company, RBC Royal Bank, we have been rapidly growing our office over the past few year and believe that we have provided an environment for personal growth, leadership development and technical training. RBCWM, as a subsidiary of RBC, also provides employees with strength and stability as well as being recognized by its peers in the field of Wealth Management, by being named for the second year in a row by Euromoney as the Best Private Bank in the Caribbean,” she says.
Bidwell says that through the recent recession, RBCWM did not downsize, end bonuses or reduce salaries.
“We remained committed to our staff as well as our shareholders and clients. Furthermore, we made the decision to expand the Cayman office and centralise our Caribbean trust back office functions with the folks here who have proven to be so strong in their field,” she confirms.
RBCWM employees created committees to provide employee social events, corporate donations and an employee giving committee and are frequently out in the community, doing whatever they can to give back.
“A few hours after the event on Friday night, the staff of RBCWM were out picking up trash.
Christina Seymour, trust officer in accounting, an employee for eight years who has worked her way through the ranks and has been provided much training and opportunities throughout her already impressive career, had this to say: ”What I enjoy most about working with RBC Wealth Management are the various opportunities given to employees.
“I have been able to travel overseas to train staff in another office and was provided financial assistance to complete my degree. RBC WM encourages employees to excel and take advantage of training and development opportunities. There is never a dull moment, you always keep learning”.
Bidwell says some of the other comments from RBCWM employees had to do with the open door policy that management holds. Everyone at RBCWM has a say in the operation of the business. Management is very collaborative and encourages equality in thought and interactions. Another big plus in working at RBC is the support for each other’s success. Everyone recognises each other and celebrates each other’s accomplishments.
“For an international wealth Management firm, RBCWM has a surprising low number of international workers. Of the 99 employees, 61 are Caymanians,” she says. “RBCWM’s hiring objective is to train Caymanians in house to work their way up in the organisation.
Bidwell, herself the first female managing director for RBC in the Caribbean, adds: “My dream is to have each and every employee be all that they can be, to fulfill all of their potential and to utilise all of the resources, training, programs and scholarships that we have to offer to achieve their highest possible career goals in the organisation”
Opportunities for employees also are available in different countries where RBC operates.
“We encourage people to always be thinking about their next step,” Bidwell says, “even if that means fostering an interest in different areas of the bank or different geographies.”
Women play an important role at RBCWM. “I am living proof of that!” Bidwell says, who was recently also named as the Head of the Caribbean for RBCWM.
Women hold 18 of the 27 management positions and these are typically specially trained roles. RBCWM deals with international clients with sophisticated needs. Such skill sets are not readily available in Cayman, so training is a big part of RBCWM routines. One of the 17 Caymanians in key management positions is Anna Pereira Johnson, who has advanced quickly through the ranks from HR officer all the way to Regional Manager of Human Resources.
She says “Our employees are such an enormous resource; we place much value in them and are so pleased that they have taken the time to acknowledge through the HR survey that RBC is a leader in diversity and training.”
Good work/life balance: fifth place Aon
Aon Corporation is the leading global provider of risk management services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human capital solutions and outsourcing and came fifth in the Top Employer competition.
Out of the nine dimensions considered in the Top Employer competition, Aon scored highest in Management Practice, Diversity and Community Involvement.
Daniel MacLean, managing director Aon Risk Solutions, Global Risk Consulting says: “As a global professional services firm, our colleagues are our most valuable investment, as they are the cornerstone of the firm and its foundation for long-term growth. Our desire is to be the destination of choice for the best talent in our industry.”
MacLean says Aon’s client focus is clear to all who work there.
“We assist clients every day with two of the most critical aspects of business: risk and people. We understand risk is a fundamental driver behind our global economy and wee help our clients navigate in a time of increased magnitude, scrutiny and complexity of risk,” he says.
The firm’s community focus is also extremely well integrated, as he explains: “The global team of Aon colleagues is a part of the fabric of the local communities in which we operate. Aon is a company of people helping people and we see community service as an extension of what we do
Overall, MacLean says he believes that Aon is a great place to work because they have created a culture of camaraderie among colleagues that is truly unique taking into consideration the diversity of employees.
“We are the global leader in all areas of our practice: captive management, insurance broking, reinsurance, and human capital consulting. Over recent years we have enjoyed a staff retention rate that is top among our competitors. This isn’t attributable to compensation practices but is more dependent on creating a tremendous team of people that work with interesting clients. I believe our senior management is open and honest, fair and very supportive. We work in a professional but relaxed and supportive environment,” he says.
Colleagues agree and anonymous comments from staff who explain why they enjoy coming to work each day include:
“This is the most supportive environment in which I have worked, both personally and professionally. People genuinely care about one another as individuals and colleagues.”
“Great work culture that provides a perfect balance between personal life and professional life.”
“The open, friendly environment. Regular social events that help people interact in a non-office environment. Management team are approachable. If I have concerns I feel I can speak openly and frankly without being judged.”
“The company allows you the freedom and flexibility to be yourself and think for yourself. They do not micro manage which is great.”
“A caring managing director who understands when family takes precedent.”
“A great team of people that support each other, even when the work pressures are high.”
“We work as one happy family.”
“We have a diverse work force and the staff work well together both local and expat.”
A happy place to work: third place CML
“I really enjoy working at CML,” says Chris Turrell, IT recruitment consultant. “The company embraces the meritocratic element of recruitment, so the harder we work the more rewards we earn. There’s also the ‘extracurricular’ activities that CML get involved in, there’s a great camaraderie throughout the team due to the social events as well as the CSR initiatives we get involved in; be it corporate sponsorship, drink drive campaigns or even something as simple as arranging the mighty Claymores Football Team. In short it’s a great place to be.”
Tiffany Morgan, Candidate Resourcer says: “I enjoy working for CML because I get to interact with so many different people on a daily basis; I love being able to help people look for work and really make a difference in their life. It’s a great office environment, where everyone is like-minded; it’s great to work alongside some of your best friends.”
Antoinette Williams, office manager says that being an employee of CML Offshore Recruitment, has provided many positive experiences in her life.
“During my three years of employment, I’ve become a more proficient multitasker and have developed my team-leadership skills, as the office manager. Getting the job done, staying on task and meeting deadlines are all important factors when it comes to being a “productive employee”. But I’ve also learnt that being able to “solve random (work-related) issues/queries” are just as relevant. Not only will you be seen as a dedicated worker, but one who can be depended on (as well),” she says.
“The work-environment at CML, is open and friendly. Yes, the expectation of being the Best at what we do, is seen in each of CML’s employees, whether it’s regarding matters of administration, legal, IT, marketing or accounting. We are all reliable and committed to producing quality service within the Financial Sector. But at the same time, we do understand the importance of friendship. We respect each other’s unique contributions to the company, and we try to find times throughout the year, where we can celebrate together, i.e. birthdays or acknowledgments of an individual accomplishment(s) at work.
“For these reasons, I can honestly say that I enjoy working with the CML team, and I hope to have many more positive experiences, in the years ahead, with this company.”