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EDITORIAL – Conor O’Dea: A coup for Cayman Finance

A standard disclaimer in investment literature warns that “past performance is not indicative of future results.” But in the case of Conor O’Dea, the financial services veteran recently selected as chairman of Cayman Finance, a waiver of that warning would be perfectly appropriate.

Mr. O’Dea’s sterling professional track record, decades in the making, gives us confidence in his ability to lead Cayman Finance, along with CEO Jude Scott, to new altitudes of success.

The new Cayman Finance chairman has served in numerous positions for the government and local business organizations, including the presidency of the Cayman Islands Bankers’ Association. But, of course, Mr. O’Dea forged his reputation (which now precedes him) primarily during his long and distinguished tenure at Butterfield Bank (Cayman).

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Mr. O’Dea shepherded Butterfield Bank through a period of great growth and oversaw the construction of the bank’s signature downtown George Town headquarters.

In 2016, Mr. O’Dea retired as President & Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director of Butterfield Bank (Cayman). His plan was to spend more time with his dear wife Fiona, enjoying Cayman as well as traveling the world while continuing to serve in a non-executive role on Butterfield’s local and global boards. Now, country and duty call, and we are putting Mr. O’Dea back to work.

Those of us who know Mr. O’Dea can attest he is a consummate professional – as comfortable at a microphone before multitudes as he is in a boardroom with major investors and clients. He possesses an uncommon amalgam of diplomacy, financial acumen, toughness and, not to be discounted, indigenous Irish charm and wit.

Mr. O’Dea’s cache of talents will complement the experience and strengths of Cayman Finance CEO Jude Scott, former partner at Ernst & Young, global CEO of Maples and Calder, and, civically, chairman of the board of Cayman Airways. The two will make a formidable team during this particularly difficult time – as offshore centers continue to draw fire from revenue-hungry politicians, globalist regulators and “tax fairness” zealots.

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During this protracted struggle, it is best to leave the sunny public relations campaigns to the Department of Tourism and Chamber of Commerce (of which Mr. O’Dea happens to be a former president). Cayman Finance must be prepared to be assertive, even aggressive, on behalf of Cayman’s financial services industry.

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