Bermuda's growth attracts global talent

Clients of Ernst & Young get a lot more than meets the eye. The eight partner ranking leaders and 170 professionals and staff that comprise the Hamilton office of Ernst & Young are in no way an island to themselves, but a vital part of the firm's worldwide network of specialists.

The firm prides itself on putting its collective worldwide experience to work in helping its clients achieve their business goals and meet existing competition and future challenges. Ernst & Young's integrity and professional competence are the cornerstones of the global organisation. The firm is committed to ensuring that its service lives up to the firm's reputation as an ethical, independent and objective firm built up worldwide over the past century and more.

An important aspect of this mission is investing in its people through training programmes and other efforts. Driven by growth, it's no secret that Bermuda suffers from a shortage of local skills that are heavily in demand in offshore financial services jurisdictions. The attraction of work permit holders and the flexibility the government has shown in adjusting the duration of work permits in certain cases has helped meet the demand. The firm is also addressing the issue by, among other things, hosting an annual recruitment event at which candidates are introduced to Ernst & Young's well-established professional designation programme and its commitment to training the people it recruits.

In addition to recruiting locally, the Bermuda practice spreads its net to North America, Europe, and Asia. With the hedge fund services industry expected to grow at up to 30 percent annually and the insurance sector continuing to expand, Bermuda is a very appealing professional destination. In addition, Ernst & Young's global network offers employees the opportunity to move to other offices around the world, and the firm encourages its specialists to work in other jurisdictions and industries.

The Bermuda office offers auditing, actuarial, risk and regulatory, and operations improvement services under the group's Assurance & Advisory practice. The office also offers US tax services to individuals, partnerships and corporations and, with Ernst & Young international tax services units, offers tax advice to offshore businesses that have operations in multiple countries.

The financial services group works actively with asset managers, banks, brokerages, insurers and private investors to provide audit and tax services. As befits a leading insurance jurisdiction with more than 2,000 companies and USD230bn in assets, Ernst & Young has a particularly strong local team in this sector, with insurance and reinsurance specialists serving more than 300 insurance clients.

The Bermuda asset management group comprises more than 60 professionals servicing clients offering both mutual and hedge funds through vehicles such as corporations, unit trusts and partnerships. The practice services hundreds of onshore and offshore funds, helps clients to set up funds in Bermuda and assists managers seeking to expand into other jurisdictions. Bermuda's buoyant financial sector continues to attract international investors - for example UK-based private equity firm 3i, which has just acquired a stake in fund administrator Fulcrum - and the island's future as an offshore centre remains bright. A key factor is the authorities insistence on attracting top-quality managers, not just a large number of funds, to safeguard the island's reputation as a pre-eminent financialservices hub.

Jessel Mendes, Chad Critchley and Chris Gauk are leaders in the Bermuda Ernst & Young hedge fund practice

 

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