9 December 2020ArticleAnalysis

Committed to innovation

“We have had a successful year but are now looking at the next level.” Tony De Quintal, Walkers

Why do you think your firm has been recognised for this award?
We feel very privileged to have been recognised by the industry for this award. Over the past 18 months, we have seen significant growth across our insurance and reinsurance practice and have worked on several interesting and complex regulatory and transactional matters with a number of captives, their managers and reinsurers.We have had very positive feedback from our clients on the unique and comprehensive approach that we take when dealing with regulatory insurance matters and feel that the depth and breadth of expertise that we offer from within our practice—and our attention to our clients' needs—is what sets us apart.What would you describe as your wider USPs as a firm?
One of things that sets us apart from other firms is the depth and breadth of expertise that we offer at Walkers. Our insurance and reinsurance practice group comprises specialists in their respective fields, including regulatory, derivatives, structured finance, corporate and finance, insolvency, and dispute resolution, mediation and arbitration.This allows us to tailor our team for any deal, transaction or regulatory matter and enables us to staff a team for the largest and most complex transactions—of which we are seeing more and more in Cayman. Coupled with this expertise is our responsiveness, which is greatly appreciated by our clients.What have been your highlights of the past 12 months?Top of the list has to be working on our jurisdiction's latest Class D reinsurer licence application. That was a large project staffed with several our specialists that obtained Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) approval in record time.We have also thoroughly enjoyed engaging with the five largest insurance managers in advising their captives, and themselves, across a variety of matters. We recognise and respect the trust they have shown in our practice group and Walkers. We strive to deliver competently, promptly and within their objectives.Finally, there are the unique regulatory matters that have landed on our desks. We are being approached increasingly in this regard and are being entrusted to find pragmatic solutions that work for the client and CIMA. These have been enjoyable and technically interesting, which is what we enjoy.What are your goals and objectives for 2022?
We have had a successful year but are now looking at the next level. Walkers already boasts the leading regulatory practice in Cayman, and we aim to be the go-to firm for regulatory matters involving the entire insurance and reinsurance sector.We have recently assisted some of the clients of our prominent asset management practice and we are currently assisting several firms with demanding objectives for the captive and reinsurance sector. We are very focused on bringing these to market.As a firm, we are very committed to innovation and are currently working on some interesting insurance-linked securities structures which will be precedent-setting. Through these objectives, we want to affirm our role and ability to contribute to this sector, both in the Cayman Islands and internationally. Winning this award is another step in that regard.How would you characterise the health of the captives market in Cayman at the moment?
It is extremely healthy. Our firm is agnostic to choice of jurisdiction—we have a fantastic insurance and reinsurance offering in Cayman, Bermuda, Ireland and Guernsey, all important jurisdictions for the sector. However, we have seen a discernible growth and interest in the Cayman Islands and there are several reasons for that:

  • A pragmatic and reasonable insurance regulator that strikes a sensible balance between robust supervision and enabling business and innovation.
  • A well-respected and highly regarded offering of service providers with world-class law firms, auditors, insurance managers and a growing actuarial offering that facilitates the establishment of solid licensees and captives.
  • A balanced legal framework that provides certainty and the flexibility for licensees to tailor their business to their commercial objectives and innovation.