UAE / Bermuda / Saudi Arabia / Caymans / Qatar

What’s a good way to start searching for offshore-type jobs for CFAs ? Is there any countries that are particularly strong for finance-type jobs these days?

I’ve never been to any of these places but I’m interested in working abroad.

Hi Wendy - are you an American citizen? Our head office is in Bermuda, and there are mostly Canadians there, as Canadians can break their tax residence while offshore, whereas Americans will always have to pay US tax on their worldwide income.

In Bermuda, for example, there is no income tax - so your after tax income will appear a lot higher, but the cost of living is quite high. For many Americans this doesn’t make sense if you are also paying full US tax rates on your employment income.

I think the economy has come down quite a bit there for finance jobs, but worth a try… side note the island is REALLY small, so if you’re a younger person, not sure if it would be my first pick…

I’m not a US citizen, though I am currently employed in the States on a temporary work visa.

How do people usually find jobs in Bermuda?

Are there jobs there for CFAs, or mostly just for CAs / CPAs ?

Why is the finance job market there currently not-so-hot… Is it just hangover from the 2008-2009 financial crisis?

I’m not an expert (so anyone else feel free to chime in), but I’ve heard there are a lot of back office jobs there or in re-insurance. Last someone told me was that since the slowdown, a lot of the reinsurers have left and consequentially, a lot of jobs have been lost and a lot of ex-pats have left.

I used to get LinkedIn messages from recruiters for hedge funds based in Bermuda, but I didn’t really look into it at the time. I’m guessing these kind of jobs would look for CFAs, but most back office jobs would look for CPAs/CAs (a lot of head offices are in Bermuda, lending to the financial reporting and records being based there).

Sorry I can’t be more helpful, but again if you are looking for a younger vibe, I would probably look into the other locations. I could probably do a year max in Bermuda… but even that would require constant trips off the island!

Singapour? I had a buddy get interviews out there

One of my buddies went to Singapore for 6 months to look for finance work… Came back emptyhanded.

It’s hard to find work in most places if you need to be sponsored for a work visa.

Singapore is a brutal market. There are enough Singapore nationals coming out of the local colleges to fill up most of the demand and the remaining is taken up by foreign students (namely Indians and Chinese) who did their graduate or post-graduate study in Singapore. Without contacts it’s highly improbable.

UAE , Qatar and the Kingdom are filled with foreign workers from basically everywhere so they are your best bet. Jeddah , Riyadh and Doha will leave you without much of a social life unless you’re married so if you aren’t aim for Dubai or Abu Dhabi.

Both have demand for CFA’s and thefinance sector is hiring. I don’t think there is any ‘good way’ to get in , you’re just going to have to hustle. I wanted to get out of the USA too and took a flight to Dubai , stayed with a couple of distant relatives I had never met and basically bombarded anyone with a half - decent profile on Linkedin , attended every prof networking event from internations and shamelessly used family circles. At the end of the day the family circle route pulled through.

People won’t tell you this but your passport is also going to matter a lot. Dubai isn’t a place which treats everyone equally and if you ask for too much they aren’t even going to get back to you. There will be enough people in line behind you from Kenya , Phillipines and any country you can think of who are willing to accept what you rejected. If you’re in your 20’s and no family to support 15,000 Dirhams is a good starting point.

Good Luck!

15,000 UAE Dirham per month = $49,000 United States Dollars per year

I think most U.S. college new grads make more than that.

That’s exactly my point.

15,000 Dirhams is more than adequate to live in Dubai with a lifestyle than includes going out every weekend and taking 3-4 vacations a year. Start negotiating for what you get back home and some guy from Karachi who has harder technical skills is more than happy to take your job to support his family back home.

Edit : The base level mentioned is assuming you just have an under-grad degree and maybe a couple of years experience under your belt.

Here’s how I see these countries

singapore - overcompetitive (like it’s been said in other posts)

middle-east - extremely boring from a finance standpoint, if you’re looking for adrenaline. It’s boring but stable and well paying region. So depending on your own preferences it may or may not work. For me, middle east is a no go.

Cayman/Bermuda - now we’re talking. Yes you may not have as many young folks around but that should not hinder the quality of life you’ll have there (if you’re not single) with a higher than average salary.

Again, everything depends on where you are vs where you want to be

It’s pretty difficult with a temporary work visa.

A girl I knew from college, after 3-4 years of working in the US, she and her husband (both CPAs) packed up and moved to the Cayman Islands for work.

And living in Dubai on 15k dirhams a month?! I dunno. Didn’t strike me as a cheap place to live when I visited, let alone go out drinking/etc and go on vacation anywhere.

Regarding Singapore, my old boss who runs a big office there and is well connected says – “there is a serious lack of finance skills in this country”. I told him I thought there would be plenty of locals who know what’s up?, but he flatly told me I was incorrect…very few senior-level finance people with hard skills, just a bunch of wanna-be noobs fighting it out.

I live in the Cayman Islands. Wrote level 2 in June here, about 60 candidates took the exam, Level 1 - 3. Not many exciting finance jobs on the island, basicly only back office and auditing. 80% of people working in finance has a professional accounting qualification, CPA/CA/ACCA.

The island life is awesome, lots of young people, great bars and restaurants. Cost of living is really expensive though, but tax free salary helps. If you don’t mind doing back office work, Cayman is a cool place to live for a couple of years

Hi Jamie, I actually worked in Bermuda and I thought it was boring and rubbish. Heard that the caymans is a bit different? Do you know if there is a need for CFAs out there doing core CFA jobs that are not already being taken up by poor unsuspecting accountants like myself when I went to Bermuda and embarked on my CFA just to get out of the hellhole that was audit

I used to live and work in Cayman. Good social scene, lots of sport. Gets a bit boring after a while though as very small.

Jobs wise - lots of opportunity in audit, fund accounting, insurance administration. There is a couple of more exciting roles

* Digicel & Lime (Telecoms) - FP&A Analyst,

* Dart (Venture Capitalist) - Financial Analyst Active Investments

* Private Wealth management / investment - RBC Dominion, Butterfield, couple of small funds.

Is VERY difficult to get the more interesting roles unless you have a Caymanian passport (government trying support indigenous population)