Calli and Kyle Crouser located to the Isle of Man from South Africa in 2020. Calli who is a Compliance Officer at international eGaming company Games Global and Kyle, an IFA, with their two young children.
Calli who is a Compliance Officer at international eGaming company Games Global and Kyle, an IFA, with their two young children.
What made you move to the Isle of Man?
We decided to make the move to the Isle of Man from South Africa in early 2020. We had been thinking about moving out of South Africa for some time and had considered emigrating to Canada or New Zealand. However, when a friend suggested the Isle of Man after their own successful relocation to the Island, we thought we’d do some research. We were aware of the Island through the Isle of Man TT Races but didn’t know a lot else. It was soon apparent that the Isle of Man was a well-regarded international finance centre, which was perfect for us given our finance backgrounds.
What really appealed to us, was how safe the Isle of Man sounded, something that was a priority for us with two young children. The strength of the currency, the Island’s diverse and well-established economy and close connections to the UK and Europe were also very attractive to us.
After speaking to several other relocators and having done a considerable amount of research, it was apparent early on that the Island had a lot to offer us a family – the education system seemed first-rate, and not too dissimilar to the UK. The tax system was very attractive too and would allow us to live a comfortable lifestyle.
How did you find your jobs in the Isle of Man?
I speculatively sent my CV to an eGaming organisation based on the Island and secured an online interview with the Head of Compliance shortly afterwards. A couple of weeks later the organisation offered me a role within their compliance team, and so our journey to the Isle of Man began!
I’m a qualified IFA and like Calli performed my job search remotely from South Africa. Likewise, I was fortunate enough to land a job at one of the Island’s leading financial consultancies. Several weeks later, the four of us, and our four bags made the 8,500-mile journey to the Island!
How would you describe the Isle of Man to someone who has never been here before?
The gem of the Irish sea! The Island is simply beautiful – wherever you stand you’ll have a great view. We love the lush green glens, plantations and countryside that is right on our doorstep. On a sunny day, the sea is crystal clear and during the summer perfect for a spot of sea swimming. The Island does have a rural feel about it, but this is nicely balanced by a vibrant hospitality scene and the Island’s thriving economy – the Island is home to so many diverse industries, businesses, and markets – it’s quite incredible how much opportunity there is here for career development.
Another real plus for me is how well geared the Island is to sports – of every kind! I am keen rugby player, and have joined a local club, where I play and coach the women’s team. It’s perfect for our two young boys, who have been given the opportunity to try out a variety of sports. Of course, the Island itself is one big playground – and I think we’ve only explored a fifth of it!
The Island is incredibly safe, a real haven of tranquillity for us as a family. The boys have settled well into their new schools and have been welcomed with open arms. There’s a strong South African contingent in the Isle of Man, and this in some ways has made it a home from home.
Tell us about your job – what do you most enjoy about it and are the opportunities for career development?
I have worked in the gaming sector since my relocation to the Island - latterly with Games Global, an international eGaming organisation. The number of compliance roles in the Isle of Man are endless – spanning all levels, and types of role. Because the economy is so diverse here, compliance roles are available across a selection of interesting industries, which is quite unique.
Something I’ve really noticed, is that Island employers are very keen to invest in their employees – whether that is through in-house training, professional qualifications or offering flexible working. As a working mother, I’ve been given the opportunity to flex my time, and have been pleasantly surprised at how many reduced hour roles are available here. The average salary is certainly higher in the compliance profession here too, and with personal taxes being lower, allows us to live a very comfortable life.
I had to re-qualify as an IFA when moving to the Isle of Man, and my employer was incredibly supportive of me doing so. My experience in South Africa and former training put me in good stead and I was qualified in a matter of months. Due to the Island’s international reach and reputation, the clientele and work is diverse, and interesting in equal measure. No day is the same!
How was your experience moving to the Isle of Man?
It was pretty straightforward. We had to go through the visa immigration process, which involved submitting qualifications, confirmation of employment, and performing an English test. In terms of logistics, it was all quite easy – we didn’t have much with us and chose to fly. The Island has great travel connections to the UK.
What difference has living on the Isle of Man made to your work-life balance? How do you spend your free time?
We are a very outdoorsy family, and the Island is perfect for that. I have rediscovered my love of running and have completed several half marathons. Of a weekend, we’ll explore the glens and the many footpaths – there’s lots of offshoots and new places to discover every weekend. The boys love their motorbikes, and Kyle and I will regularly go cycling.
I play plenty of rugby, but also golf, cycling and there’s lots of water sports to choose from. I’m looking to take up coasteering this summer! The beaches are pretty spectacular too, and all quite different in their offering. As a family we love Port Erin beach and will regularly indulge in a Davison’s Manx ice cream – or some chips, cheese and gravy, the Island’s unofficial ‘national dish’!
Our work-life balance has improved significantly since our relocation to the Island. With the lighter evenings, we can finish work and still have ample time to get out and enjoy an activity or enjoy a meal out at one of the many independent restaurants. Because everything is in such close proximity and accessible, it affords us the opportunity to spend more time together as a family.
Why would you recommend the Isle of Man to others looking to relocate and what would be your top tips?
For us it is the safety and stability Island life has given us a family. The Government is open and approachable, and the ability to travel to the UK and further afield has given us the flexibility to travel to places that we would never have had the opportunity to visit if we’d stayed in South Africa.
The Island is a very welcoming place, and I would encourage anyone considering a relocation to really immerse yourself in the outdoors, and the Manx culture.
The Island’s towns and villages are very diverse, each with their own unique identity. If people had the flexibility to do so, I’d recommend visiting the Island first and getting a feel for which area best suits them. I’d also suggest looking at the Locate Isle of Man and Isle of Government websites for helpful advice and local information.