A blend of Caymanian enterprise, ambition and community-mindedness has earned Philip Agustus Rankin, a financial services leader, the Cayman Islands Certificate and Badge of Honour.
This award has been bestowed for his services to the financial services industry, and in particular to the Board of Cayman Airways (CAL).
Reflecting back to 2009 when he joined CAL as Chairman of Financial Matters, he said, “It was evident that that there was much to be done. CAL had been operating with significant deficits each year resulting in severe cash flow shortages, growing debt (formal and informal) and mounting payables.”
Having served as a Director since 2009, and from 2012 as CAL’s Chairman of the Board of Directors (an unpaid position), he is especially proud of the strides the Board has made to right the finances and the future outlook of the national airline.
Through definitive planning and innovative fiscal strategies, the airline’s situation is now vastly different from that of even 2010 – when its losses were over $12 million. After managing to practically break-even in 2014, the next year’s audited financials showed a profit of $3.6 million, the airline’s largest (if not its first) in its 48 year history.
Now, the airline is poised to end its 2016 fiscal year this month with further profits of approximately $4.6 million. Notably, CAL is also this month releasing a Request for Proposals which will allow the lease of four new 737-800 Boeing Max aircrafts, which will open airway possibilities from the Cayman Islands to Brazil, to as far as the west coast of the United States (US), and most regions of Canada.
Mr. Rankin added that, “In addition to possible new routes, being in a position to negotiate very favourable leases will increase CAL’s seating capacity, save around 30 percent in fuel costs, and significantly reduce operating expenses.”
All this from a “George Town boy”, who worked hard and took advantage of available opportunities. His choice to give-back by leading CAL is a crowning achievement of his career, and one which he says is “a natural return, since the Cayman Islands afforded me so many professional opportunities”.
Asked why the public hears so little of this and his other work, Mr. Rankin asserts “I’m too busy for publicity”. In addition to being committed “24-7” to CAL, and his full-time private enterprise, his other major community service has been sharing his decades of expertise with local university students, lecturing at International College of the Cayman Islands (ICCI) for over six years on the principles of finance.
His early years were spent in private sector finance at Deloitte & Touche, which took him on as a teenager. In his 14 years there, he became senior manager in the audit and assurance division, servicing areas as diverse as captive insurance, hedge and mutual funds, banking, trusts and shipping.
A member of the Cayman Islands Directors Association, he has also had a private practice for many years now, as co-founder and managing partner/director of Rankin Berkower (Cayman) Ltd. His work as a Chief Finance Officer has seen him amass prominent clients from major finance centres throughout the United States, and in countries as far afield as Asia.
The fifth of eight children from a working-class George Town family, Mr. Rankin graduated from high school with honours in 1975. He would eventually become the fifth Caymanian to qualify as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).