18 December 2013Analysis

Bermuda ramping up targeting of LatAm and Canada

Bermuda’s captive sector is ‘ahead of the game’ in securing the interest of Latin American companies that are getting increasingly comfortable with the captive concept.

That is the view of David Gibbons, director, captive insurance at PwC speaking at the 6th Annual Captive Update Seminar in Bermuda. “Latin America is growing and we are ahead of the game in positioning Bermuda with local rules and regulations,” he said.

Eduardo Fox, pc/trusts and Latin America manager at Appleby added that tax information exchange agreements (TIEA) with Latin American countries and “advanced negotiations” with others like Chile and Colombia — which had recently excluded Bermuda from a 40-plus list of “tax havens” – have further helped the Bermuda brand in the region.

The conference found that while US formations continue to dominate the field in Bermuda, the Island welcomed three Latin American entities this year and there is an expectation that more will follow.

Leslie Robinson, assistant director within the Department of Licensing and Authorisations at the Bermuda Monetary Authority said that despite economic headwinds, 2013 had been a robust year for the captive sector, with 71 new insurance company registrations by the end of November.

“We have been having a busy last few Fridays at the Assessment and Licensing Committee meetings in December and we are looking to have a very good year by the time the end of December comes in terms of total registrations,” said Robinson.

It is also hoped that Bermuda will begin to gain more traction in attracting Canadian captives to its shores. Gibbons said “the market for large entities forming captives is generally mature and has a strong foundation in Barbados. But the TIEA levels the playing field with Barbados.”

“Combined with Bermuda’s strong infrastructure, economy, and re/insurance sector we are in a strong competitive position to grow our Canadian captive presence. A recent Bermuda-sponsored event saw renewed interest from bigger players mainly in oil and gas with operations in the US. Going back to captive core competencies, beyond tax benefits, are the key to winning Canadian business.”