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John Spellman leaves Isle of Man Finance

Isle of Man Finance director John Spellman has left the position to pursue other interests.


Spellman left at the end of March. In an interview, he said that his two year contract had actually finished six months ago, but that he had stayed on to help see his department through a period of change and consolidation in the Isle of Man government that continues.

No successor has yet been named.

“The Department of Economic Development was created from the first of April, so it seemed sensible to terminate the contract on the 31st of March," said Spellman, who said his departure had been by "mutual decision".

"I had been in the government for two and a half years, originally on a two-year contract that we extended for an additional six months, while various structural changes took place within government.

"I’ve got other business interests, which have been neglected over a long period of time, and which I am now returning to.”

Turbulent time

Spellman’s two-plus years with the Isle of Man government coincided with a turbulent time in the island’s history, which included the global financial crisis and the collapse of a branch of the Icelandic Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander bank, whose savers did not have the benefit of a depositors’ protection scheme. This often left Spellman to explain the government’s position in the media, which typically was not an easy or popular undertaking.


The changes currently under way in the IoM government are the result of a £90m cut in the island’s 2010/2011 budget that was disclosed in October, when UK chancellor Alistair Darling announced changes to a customs revenue-sharing agreement between the island and Britain. The shortfall rises in subsequent years to £140m, or roughly one-fourth of the island’s annual net public spending in recent years.

As part of the changes, Isle of Man Finance – formerly an Isle of Man Treasury department –has been subsumed into the new Department of Economic Development, which is being headed by former treasury minister Allan Bell, as the new department’s minister, and Colin Kiveton as its chief executive.

Remaining on island

Spellman said he intends to remain on the Isle of Man, where his business interests include an accountancy businesses and consultancy. He is also a director of a UK-based software company.

Prior to taking up his role at Isle of Man Finance in September 2007, Spellman had been working for HBOS in Bristol. Before that he was managing director of Clerical Medical on the Isle of Man.

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