Margot ignited her career over 20 years ago through her focused work on international cross-border restructuring, insolvency and forensic matters. Margot recently took over as head of the Grant Thornton restructuring practice in the Cayman Islands. Prior to joining the firm, Margot built and established the Cayman practice for a specialist insolvency and restructuring firm based in Asia. Her entrepreneurial flair and strong network, both in Cayman and internationally, resulted in building thriving businesses with multiple millions in revenues.
WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO PURSUE A CAREER AS AN ASSET RECOVERY EXPERT?
Very early on in my career I had the opportunity to work on forensic engagements and moved to the Cayman Islands in pursuit of interesting and challenging work, my first assignment was the liquidation of Bank of Credit & Commerce International. The asset recovery work on that case was complex, fascinating and like no other case I had ever worked on. The complexity and challenge of the forensic and asset recovery work was addictive and I went on from that assignment to work on a number of large distressed banks – some of which went into liquidation, and some which involved the pursuit of non-performing loans, and pursuing other avenues of recovery by litigation, asset tracing or both. There was no going back after that.
WHAT QUALITIES MAKE FOR A GOOD ASSET RECOVERY SPECIALIST?
Without doubt the first word that comes to mind is creativity. You have to be able to think about an issue from multiple angles and perspectives, put yourself in someone else’s shoes and think through where they would hide the assets. This would be coupled with tenacity and persistence and followed by an eye for detail, a healthy degree of scepticism and a love for the work.
HOW IS THE USE OF CRYPTOCURRENCY CHANGING THE ASSET RECOVERY MARKET?
Cryptocurrency has not yet changed the face or practices in asset recovery market, particularly in the Cayman Islands. Cryptocurrency is an area of interest and focus and could have a significant impact on the solutions and outcomes pursued by asset recovery specialists in the future. Many of the professionals are watching this space carefully.
WHAT IMPACT DO YOU THINK THE SAAD INVESTMENTS COMPANY V AHMED HAMAD ALGOSAIBI & BROTHERS JUDGMENT WILL HAVE ON FRAUD AND ASSET RECOVERY CASES IN THE CAYMAN ISLANDS AND BEYOND?
The Cayman Islands initial judgment has been good for the Cayman Islands in demonstrating the jurisdiction’s ability to handle cross border litigation and asset recovery engagements. It has proved the Cayman court system is capable of handling extremely complex litigation, which supports the credibility and accessibility of Cayman as a jurisdiction. It’s the largest litigation in Cayman history, spanning more than 10 years from the date the initial claim was lodged, with around US$10 billion at stake for the parties involved. The matter is currently with the Court of Appeal.
HOW HAS GRANT THORNTON ADAPTED TO GROWING COMPETITION IN THE CONSULTING SERVICES MARKET?
Grant Thornton has continued to be engaged on large, global and complex assignments. The quality of our work on these assignments is the main driver of brand growth and new work. As we grow, we continue to invest in a talented and experienced team in the Cayman Islands and throughout its offshore centres.
HOW DO YOU SEE YOUR PERSONAL PRACTICE DEVELOPING OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS?
As head of the Cayman practice, my focus is on quality, growth and sustaining the success of the Cayman practice over the past decade. In my short time at Grant Thornton I have developed strong relationships with my partners in the offshore network. We have the advantage of a great global brand underpinned by a “boutique firm” culture. We work together closely to offer our clients a seamless global service, sharing knowledge and resources to ensure our clients have the best possible experience. That means bespoke organic offerings that are underpinned by the quality and service of a trusted, well-known global brand.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE?
Success and balance in all areas of life. Not only have I managed a successful career, of more than 20 years, in insolvency and asset recovery, I have been a practice leader of two separate practices – one a start-up and the other an established business. I am one of a handful of women in the industry, and I managed my career while raising two successful and wonderful children.
The “highly intelligent, pragmatic, effective and extremely committed” Margot MacInnis is highlighted as “a tenacious and creative expert”, who is “great with respect to strategising the tackling of cross-border asset recovery issues”.
Margot MacInnis leads Grant Thornton’s Cayman Islands practice focusing on international cross- border restructuring, insolvency and asset tracing cases. With nearly 25 years of cross-border and offshore experience, her cases run from large and complex international engagements involving billions of dollars to small and complex frauds or asset tracing assignments.
Margot is regularly appointed in fiduciary capacities by the Cayman Court and has been successfully recognised as a foreign representative in many other courts. This includes being appointed a foreign representative, under Chapter 15, for cases including Platinum Partners, China Medical and a personal bankruptcy estate. Margot has been appointed as a receiver by international banks over shares of multinational holding companies across several industries, including steel, telecoms, retail, and oil and gas. Margot has led the liquidation and asset realisation strategies for dozens of alternative investment vehicles, including cases where former investment advisers have been accused of fraud or operating the fund like a Ponzi scheme. Her experience includes liquidation activities, forensic review and asset tracing as well as asset realisation and directing recovery efforts.
Margot is a CIMA-approved Cayman director and has experience providing independent director services to many clients, including large international companies. Margot has a keen sense for business, entrepreneurial flair and a strong network both in Cayman and internationally. She has built several thriving businesses with multiple millions in revenues.Comments from her peers include: “Margot has an excellent reputation and network of connections in the offshore insolvency and restructuring market, having been appointed to some of the largest international insolvency appointments in the Caribbean. She brings critical thinking and broad perspective to client engagements. She has also trailblazed the path for women in insolvency and restructuring.”